Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has appointed retired Army Gen. William W. Crouch, former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, and Navy Adm. Harold W. Gehman, Jr., former commander-in-chief of U.S. Joint Forces Command, to lead a review of lessons learned from the Oct. 12 attack on the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.
Gen. Crouch and Adm. Gehman have been directed to review applicable Department of Defense policies and procedures and address force protection matters, rules of engagement, logistical support, intelligence and counterintelligence efforts and any other matters deemed pertinent by the review panel in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. The review will be conducted separately, but in coordination with, an FBI-led investigation to determine culpabilty for the blast. The Cole Panel, along with a separate Navy review of the preparations that the USS Cole made for refueling in Aden, is intended to provide a comprehensive assessment of the incident and lessons to be learned from it.
Secretary Cohen has directed that the lessons learned review be completed as expeditiously as possible.
An armor officer, Gen. Crouch retired from his post as vice chief of staff of the Army in Dec. 1998 after more than 35 years of service. Gen. Crouch commanded U.S. Army forces in Europe when they deployed to Bosnia in 1995. A career surface warfare officer, Adm. Gehman turned over his post as commander-in-chief of U.S. Joint Forces Command, formerly U.S. Atlantic Command, in September. His retirement, after more than 35 years of naval service, is to be effective Nov. 1, 2000.