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DoD News Briefing, Tuesday, August 11, 1998

Presenters: Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD (PA)
August 11, 1998 1:35 PM EDT

Mr. Bacon. Good afternoon. Welcome to the professor here. Glad you could all make it. I have no opening statement, so I'm ready to take your questions. Yes.

Q: Would you give us an idea, Ken, what efforts are being expended by this department to aid in the embassy explosions?

A: Well, yes. I can give you a fairly extensive rundown, but let me start by saying that, so far, we've flown 17 missions or flights over to East Africa. We've delivered approximately 400 military and civilian personnel to the area, and several hundred, I guess, 140, short tons of equipment.

So that's 17 missions over 120,000 miles, and these have been from Washington, from the Middle East, and from Germany -- 418 passengers and 140 short tons of equipment.

Let me break down what we've delivered so far:

We moved in a forward surgical team of 20 people, a combat stress control team of seven people.

We moved in two Marine Corps Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Teams of about 100 people. That's about 50 people each. One of those went to Nairobi and one went to Dar es Salaam.

Thirty Navy Seabees were moved in from Guam to assist in the recovery operations.

We've also moved in a mortuary affairs team, an Air Force aeromedical evacuation crew of seven people, a three-person critical care transport crew to help bring people out in medevac planes.

We've moved in over 200 units of blood. One of the crucial requirements was blood, and we moved that into Nairobi, primarily.

So that gives you a flavor of what support the military has provided over the last couple of days, and we stand ready to provide additional support if called upon but, as you know, there is a fairly large team there.

We have been supported by people from several different countries, including Israel, which sent a team of experts at finding bodies in bombed buildings, in rubble. There are British and Australian security personnel helping us, and South Africa also supplied the medical evacuation support.

Q: When will the embassy personnel who lost their lives in the bombing be coming home, and how will they be transported home?

A: They will be transported back from Germany in a C-17 on Thursday. They will arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, and there will be a ceremony presided over by President Clinton and involving Secretary Cohen, Secretary Albright, and Secretary Shalala. That is scheduled to take place at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday morning at Andrews Air Force Base.

As you know, Secretary Albright will leave and fly to Germany tomorrow. She will meet with some family members and talk to people in the hospitals there, and she'll come back with the caskets on the C-17 from Germany.

Q: How many remains are actually coming back to Andrews?

A: Well, 12 people were killed in this terrorist act, and I believe that one set of remains is staying in Kenya to be buried there, and another set of remains will come back, maybe it already has come back, the remains of Master Sergeant Olds, in the Air Force, will be buried in Florida. And I believe those remains, if they haven't been sent back already, will be sent back before the other ones.

Q: So are we going to have 10?

A: That's my understanding right now, that there will be ten sets of remains.

Q: There will be 10.

Q: Have there been any requests, or have you considered allowing any of those, of the ten, to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery?

A: I don't know the answer to that question right now.

Q: There is a precedent for it.

A: Well, certainly the three peace negotiators in Bosnia, including Joe Kruzel [former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs], were buried in Arlington Cemetery, those who died in 1995, I guess. But I don't know how many, if any, will be buried in Arlington. I just don't know the answer to that question.

Q: Is it still the case that, after Andrews, all the remains go to Dover for...

A: My understanding is that the three -- well, that the two -- that military personnel, the remains of military personnel, active duty military personnel, go to Dover, and that the other sets of remains probably will not, that they will go directly to other points, whether they're undertakers or funeral homes.

Q: Can I just ask you to take that question, because there's been a lot of conflict about whether -- very conflicting information about whether there will be criminal autopsies performed on those remains, as well. Will they go to Dover? Could you just take that question?

A: I'll take the question.

Q: Thank you.

Q: The uniformed military people, on the Arlington question again, I think, would be entitled to burial in Arlington, in any event.

A: I've said I'll take the Arlington question.

Q: Ken, any first-blush indications on the background for this attack, these attacks? Does it appear to be state-sponsored? Does it appear to be -- have you identified the explosive involved? And was there any indication or forewarning of an attack on these facilities?

A: All of those are very good questions, and I'm not going to answer any of them. These are the types of issues that are being considered by the FBI. They're part of an ongoing investigation.

I think that frequently, in cases like this, the early information turns out to be wrong, or fragmentary, and I think it makes much more sense just to let the investigators do their work, and when they finish, they'll report their findings.

Q: Now, what about the arrests, then, today, by the Kenyans?

A: My understanding is that local law enforcement authorities are questioning some people. I don't know whether they have been arrested or detained for questioning. That's really up to them to describe. But there has been some questioning taking place by local law enforcement authorities.

Q: A related question if I may. Israeli television is reporting now that the explosive found in one of the sites was Semtex. Has it ever been released here or determined what the explosive was at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran two years ago?

A: I would have to go back and refresh my memory on that. My recollection is that that was in the report that we released in 1996, but I just don't recall what we said. You can go back and look at the report, but I'll ask Colonel Bridges to look it up for you and get you the information.

Q: Mr. Bacon, some of the anecdotal stuff coming out of particularly Nairobi, perhaps unfortunately, has been along the lines of where was the cavalry. Ambassador Bushnell has referred to this issue, rather than [have any] misunderstandings.

But there is some contrast between the quick and forceful action of the Israelis, which everybody agrees the situation would have been a lot worse without them. Was the U.S. slow out of the gate here? And if so, why?

A: First of all, let me compliment the work of the Israelis. Minister Mordechai called Secretary Cohen to offer him condolences and he also offered him help; specifically asked if it would be useful for the Israelis to send a team of people experienced in dealing with rubble and extracting bodies and, we hope, living people. And Secretary Cohen readily accepted that offer.

Second, I think we responded very quickly to this. As I said, we flew 17 missions right away. We had medical people on the ground relatively quickly. We had a number of support activities. Remember, Africa is not really close to Europe or close to Andrews Air Force Base. We put together teams of people within hours of the disaster and had not only new security teams on the way, but medical teams on the way. We had 64 civilian rescue experts from Fairfax County shipped over there. We had dogs shipped over there. We had over 200 units of blood shipped there relatively quickly. So I don't buy that allegation that we didn't respond quickly enough.

Q: The rescue team from Alexandria claims it sat on the ground cooling its heels for 17 hours because the Air Force couldn't come up with an airplane. The first mercy flight out of Ramstein, the C-141, did not get off the ground until 13-1/2 hours after the bombing. It did not arrive in Nairobi until 26 hours afterwards. If you call 911 and you don't get an ambulance for 26 hours, I subscribe you're in trouble. How is that a fast response?

A: I think we had planes leaving from Andrews Air Force Base at around 2 o'clock in the afternoon. We had to assemble teams. We had to make sure we had the right people. We had to get the FBI people on board. And I submit to you that in the life of press people, this may seem like a long period of time, but in terms of putting together complex teams of experts, I think we operated relatively quickly here.

Q: Was this not a field hospital or something related, all containerized, supposedly ready to go?

A: We had containerized equipment, but one of the issues here was assembling more blood. We realized immediately that we needed special expertise in surgery and that we needed augmentation of blood supplies, so it took a little bit of time to put those together.

QThere's been a report that there were several incidents foiled against embassies in the past. Is there any way that you can discuss any similar incidents involving military bases at all?

A: Ambassador Pickering said last week that 30,000 threats a year are received against U.S. diplomatic installations around the world. And all these threats are taken seriously. They are processed. They are considered. They are analyzed. We receive thousands of threats every year about U.S. military personnel and U.S. military installations. It is the nature of intelligence and the nature of security that failures are public and successes are private, so I cannot go into detailed accounts of threats that we've foiled.

I can tell you that during a period of time when everybody realizes that terrorism has become a greater threat -- that's over the last decade or so -- that the number of attacks against U.S. military and diplomatic personnel has declined quite dramatically. There were 200 attacks against military and diplomatic personnel in 1986. There were eight in 1997. So over approximately a 10-year period, there has been a rather dramatic decline, and it was a steady decline. This is not just a matter of good luck. It is a matter of increased attention to security, increased attention to intelligence and increased vigilance on the part of soldiers and diplomats all over the world.

I might point out that if you look at casualties suffered by Americans in 1997, far more were suffered most -- the majority was suffered by American business personnel rather than by American diplomats or American soldiers. Now, I don't cite that for any other reason but to point out that Americans are vulnerable all around the world and I think that all Americans, public -- those who work for the government, and private -- those who don't, are paying more attention to security. It is not always a benign world out there and I think all Americans are working much harder to protect themselves.

Q: I'm sorry, what casualty numbers are you referring to?

A: I was referring to casualties suffered in attacks against Americans in 1997. There were 126 casualties in 1997, 104 of them were of business people.

Q: When Secretary Cohen received the offer made from Minister Mordechai, did he check with Secretary Albright or was that not necessary as far as he was concerned?

A: Secretary Albright was then in the process of coming back from Rome. I assume he checked immediately with the Joint Staff, which at that point was coordinating the requests for assistance and decided that this assistance would be helpful, so we accepted it.

Q: Could you please tell us more about the official who will replace Mr. Lodal and if he is going to get involved extensively with the Greek-Turkish affairs too as Mr. Lodal here at the Pentagon?

A: Mr. Lodal will be replaced by James Bodner. He has been nominated for the job by the White House, I think about two weeks ago. He is yet to be confirmed by the Senate, but we hope he will be confirmed by the Senate relatively soon. Mr. Lodal told Secretary Cohen that he would remain in -- that he wanted to return to private business, but that he would remain in the job until the transition could take place, and we anticipate that transition will take place soon. Mr. Bodner is currently a special assistant to Secretary Cohen. He has worked for him since 1983 when he went to work for Senator Cohen, then Senator Cohen, and he specializes in national security affairs and foreign policy.

I do not know whether he will pay particular attention to the Greek-Turkey account as Mr. Lodal has. I suspect that will have to be sorted out between Mr. Bodner and Walter Slocombe who is the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Q: (Inaudible) with the (inaudible) involvement, the two sides in Cyprus are almost ready to reach an agreement on moratorium over the air space of the island. Do you have anything on that?

A: I'm afraid I don't.

Q: And on the current military exercise?

A: I hope it's true, but I don't have any facts on it.

Q: Okay. On the current military exercise in FYROM, in Albania, are you planning to use also your installations in Greece?

A: My understanding is we do not plan to use our installations in Greece for that exercise just because they're too far away.

Q: And the last one, anything on the consistent reports for U.S. military involvement in Kosovo?

A: Well, first of all, our goal in Kosovo is to reach a diplomatic solution to the problem. I think we've been very clear about that from the very beginning. Second, if there is any military involvement in Kosovo, it will be done through NATO, not unilaterally by the United States.

Q: Secretary Cohen has threatened a very harsh response to anyone that's found responsible for these bombings, but we still don't know who did the Khobar Towers; is that right?

A: That is correct.

Q: How can the American public expect a vigorous response from this administration if -- what is it, four years later -- we still don't know who attacked those bases there?

A: Well, first of all, it's two years.

Q: A long time.

A: And second -- well, it has been a long time. And no one is more frustrated about that than Secretary Cohen or President Clinton, who has also promised a vigorous response and did so after the Khobar Towers bombing case.

These are very complex cases. They require a lot of intelligence work and investigative work. And that work is continuing. I think it's very clear from the amount of time we spent successfully tracking down the people responsible for the World Trade Center bombing, the amount of time we spent tracking down the person who shot people outside of the CIA, that we're serious about locating these terrorists and bringing them to justice.

We have done so in a number of cases, two of which I've just mentioned. We cannot expect instant responses in these cases. But as Secretary Cohen pointed out, there is no statute of limitations for terrorists. And we will work long and hard in order to find them. And when we do, we will take the appropriate response.

Q: Different subject. I understand that Linda Tripp has formally communicated with the Pentagon in some fashion and asked to -- she's stating her intention that she wants to come back to work here. Is she expected back? When? And is there any impediment on the Pentagon side to her returning to the job she held before she went on this flexi-place program?

A: I have nothing to add to what Capt. Doubleday said about those same questions several weeks ago. Is there another question? Yes.

Q: Well, he said he might have something soon. So --

A: Well, he's not here.

Q: We're not -- okay.

A: Yes, do you have a question?

Q: Well, excuse me, though. You would still, though, be in charge of Linda Tripp's position, is that correct?

A: I'm not in charge of this issue. I've recused myself from dealing with this issue.

Q: Well, who would it be?

A: There will be nothing to say on this until we've had a chance to review the current situation. That review is ongoing and, as I say, there's nothing to add to what Capt. Doubleday said several weeks ago.

Q: I just wanted to ask -- you said you're not able to answer questions on this so --

A: You're right.

Q: Who is the appropriate person to even put a question to, then?

A: The appropriate person will probably be Capt. Doubleday when he returns.

Q: There is a strike going on by the Turkish employees at Incirlik Air Base. We've been getting reports that all -- virtually all of the facilities of that base are shut down, including places to get food; that people are living off of MREs; that baby formula is not available, that diapers are not available; that it has become dangerous to go off base; that people are ordered to only go off in groups; that at least one person was beaten off base apparently by strikers. Do you have a handle on the situation there? And what is the Defense Department or the State Department or the U.S. Government doing to deal with that situation?

A: Well, you're right there is a strike by approximately 1,400 Turkish employees. That strike has been going on now for -- I think, 18 or 19 days. We are negotiating in an effort to resolve the dispute with the Turkish employees.

In the meantime, a number of civilian services provided by the Turkish workers at the base have been interrupted. We have responded to that by setting up field kitchens and other ways to feed the military community at Incirlik. It is a Turkish air base, as you know, where we operate with the Turkish Air Force. There are approximately 5,300 Americans on the air base. I think 2,200 are Air Force service members, and then the rest are dependents.

We are doing several things. The first is we're doing our best to protect the security and safety of the Americans on the air base. Second, we are doing our best to keep them supplied. And that has been difficult because of the strike. But we are bringing in food and other necessary supplies. And the third thing we're doing is negotiating with the Turkish labor unions to try to resolve the strike. And those negotiations are now ongoing.

Q: Are people living off of MREs on the base?

A: There was a period of time when people were living on MREs, but we have now set up field kitchens. And my understanding is that most, if not all the people, should be getting hot meals from field kitchens now. But --

Q: You were talking about tents.

A: Well, I don't know whether they're being prepared and served in tents or in buildings. There are plenty of buildings at Incirlik. So I don't know --

Q: Are they being flown in?

A: I don't know specifically whether they're being flown in or taken by train. But they're being brought in, yes.

Q: Do you have a handle on what facilities are operating on the base versus what facilities they're not?

A: I do not, no. Many facilities have been shut down including recreational centers. But we've been able to operate Northern Watch during this whole dispute. Military operations have not suffered at all. There have been several earthquakes over the last month and American military people have helped, where appropriate, in dealing with the earthquakes.

So the basic operations and mission of our force at Incirlik goes on. The Americans are carrying these out under difficult circumstances. We're trying to do our very best to resolve the problem.

Q: And as for the reports of people being beaten off-base by groups of strikers.

A: There was one American NCO attacked in a parking lot outside a store, as I understand it, and he has filed charges with the Turkish police against the people who attacked him.

Q: Now people are only allowed to leave the base in groups, is that correct?

A: That is part of the -- of our effort to maintain safety and security -- to have people travel only in groups off the base.

Q: Do you know what the demands of the strikers are? I'm told that they're asking for a 450 percent increase in pay plus medical and retirement benefits, plus, plus, plus.

A: They're asking for many things. And that's what's being negotiated now. I don't know the specifics of what they're requesting.

Q: Do we have any personnel who are living off-base that have had to move on --

A: I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that. We can try to find out. I believe that most of the -- there is a fairly extensive housing on the base. And I believe most of the people live on the base. But whether all live on the base, I can't be sure.

Q: Is there any consideration being given to allow the civilians or the dependents to go home for the time being, given the difficulties there?

A: Well, new dependents who were on the verge of being shipped over there have not gone. And I suppose some of the dependents have come home for leave or summer vacation or to get ready to go college or whatever. But I don't know yet. No decision has been made to ship back dependents at this stage.

Q: And what's the status of the security situation? Have they augmented security or added additional security people to the base?

A: I don't know whether they have augmented the security forces with new people but certainly security has been one of the primary concerns. And you pointed out one of the actions that's been taken by the Air Force to protect people, and that is, to make sure that they travel in groups.

Q: Have there been any problems between our people there and the Turkish military people?

A: My understanding is that there have not been such problems; that they work well together.

Q: Are there prospects of this being resolved any time soon? Who's doing the negotiating?

A: The negotiating is being done by a team out of EUCOM, as I understand it. General Jumper has been down there and reviewed the situation, and there is -- I think negotiating has been going on since at least August 6th and maybe before that. But the negotiating continues and we are hopeful that we will reach an acceptable settlement.

Q: Two quick ones. A serious question on South Korea. Have US troops in South Korea, have they aided -- done anything to help out or have they been the victims of these floods?

A: Well, I assume since many of the floods have been around Seoul that we've been affected by them. The American military in Seoul lives on a hill so I assume the water is running down from where they live, but I'll get an answer as to what assistance we provided. I'm sure we've been working with the South Korean military to help them. We'll get an answer to you on that.

Q: We know the Lockheed Martin's theater missile program has been pretty much of a disaster, but are they charging us now $1 billion more than the negotiated contracts? Have they got a billion dollar overrun on this program?

A: No, that's not entirely true. There is a big cost overrun. My understanding is that the overrun is $732 million so far, and that largely results from the delays -- reflects the delays in the program that obviously a program delayed is a program that becomes more costly.

Q: Is this cost-plus?

A: They do -- it is a cost-plus program. They do not receive any fee -- it's a cost-plus fee program, cost-plus fixed fee. They receive no fee, as I understand it, on cost increases caused by delay.

In addition, we have changed the requirements of the program to a certain extent and that has created another $265 million in cost increases. So the combination of the delay plus the enhanced DoD requirements has generated about a billion dollars in increased costs.

Q: For nothing though, right? We've got nothing out of this. Though we've got a string of disasters so far.

A: That's true. We have not been able to hit the target. We do have a number of successful components of the program. One is the radar system which works very well. As you know, because we've been through this many times here and I don't have to go through a lengthy repetition of all of this, but there have been five failures and each failure has been attributed to a different cause so it has made it difficult to trace down and fix the failures. But both the program managers and the contractor are determined to make it work.

Q: Is there any increased consideration of finding a second supplier for this?

A: Right now, my understanding is that we are working aggressively with Lockheed to try to make the program work. A second supplier is always a possibility, but one of the problems we have right now is that there has been a substantial amount of investment in the program and there is a reluctance to start from scratch with another supplier.

Q: What were the changes that -- what did you say, 275 million?

A: $265 million, and I do not know what those new requirements are, but we will find out.

Q: Will you find out and let us know?

A: Yes, we will.

Q: You talk about forces that DoD has sent to East Africa. Are there additional forces on the way or is there a plan to send any additional forces to that area to assist in the investigation or to provide security for the people who are already there?

A: My understanding is, not right now. We have sent in a fairly substantial security enhancement, a hundred Marines. We'll obviously play it by ear and respond to the requests we get from the State Department, but my understanding is, right now we have enough people on the spot. We've been concentrating, of course, primarily, on first, finding people who are still alive -- that's largely over; taking care of the injured and evacuating those who need to be evacuated; and, of course, dealing with those who perished in this disaster and dealing with their families.

Q: A couple of hours ago, President Clinton sent a letter to Congress advising Congress that he's going to send troops. Is that covering the troops that have already been sent or is this --

A: I have heard that is the case, but I haven't -- I can't comment on it. In fact, one of the reasons I was delayed was I was waiting for a fax from the NSC but it didn't come so, rather than keep you all waiting, I decided to come out here. And I gather that that's a question that should go to the White House since he sent the letter.

Q: Just a point of clarification. Can you say why you recused yourself from the Linda Tripp matter and was that dealing with the DoD legal advice or private legal advice for some reason?

A: I just felt that given some of the charges the press has raised about me that it would be better for me to recuse myself, so that is what I have done.

Q: A new study coming out of the University of Texas, medical researchers there who are printing the study of the American Journal of Epidemiology this month are challenging government studies performed about Gulf War Syndrome and, among other things, the study says that the government's methodology was flawed and that government -- and that Gulf War vets were far more likely to die and be hospitalized than the general public.

I'm wondering if you know about this report and what the reaction is of the Department of Defense.

A: Well, I have looked at the report briefly and, basically, from the best I can tell, the report, which is by Dr. Robert Haley, is based on a fairly complex statistical analysis. Other epidemiologists challenge his methods and also challenge his conclusions.

We have asked the Rand Corporation to review these competing statistical interpretations of the data and the conclusions that flow from them. That's all I can tell you about that. I mean, you know, there were a set of reports in the New England Journal of Medicine, I believe, or the Journal of the American Medical Association last year that focused on mortality, hospitalization and birth defects. They were done by epidemiologists who, of course, study figures and try to deduce patterns. Dr. Haley has reviewed those reports and decided that there were statistical imperfections in the way they were done. The authors of those reports dispute Dr. Haley's findings, and those disputes are carried in segments called "counterpoints" in the American Journal of Epidemiology. You probably read those. The doctors who did the initial study do not believe that Dr. Haley's interpretation is correct so we've hired the Rand Corporation to look at these competing claims and to try to advise us on what's correct.

In the meantime, we continue to work aggressively to find out what caused Gulf War illnesses. We financed, I believe, 121 research projects, including one by Dr. Haley himself, and those medical research projects are underway. And we are also concentrating on trying to make sure that the people who were suffering illnesses attributable to the Gulf War get the best possible care they can.

Q: If the Rand Corporation does find some validity to Dr. Haley's criticisms, what kind of action might you take then?

A: Well, I think that's a hypothetical question and we'll just have to figure out -- we'll have to wait until the result comes out. All we're looking at here is one set of studies on hospitalization, mortality and birth defects. These are very important findings, but we'll just have to wait and see how the Rand Corporation sorts them out. There may be other statistical methods available that scientists haven't used yet in trying to figure out these results.

Q: Wasn't it also found that Gulf War veterans were 50 percent more likely to die in car crashes than the general public?

A: That's what the initial study found that was published last year, as I recall.

Q: Approximately how long will it be until the Rand study is available?

A: I don't know. I don't know. Anybody who has had -- this stuff is literally all Greek to me. The formulas are filled with sigmas and deltas and pis and other things, and I don't know how long it will take the Rand Corporation to sort this out.

Q: I'd like to return to the embassy bombings for one last question. We've heard a lot from the President and the Secretary of State as to improving security or taking a look at security at embassies around the world and that appropriate actions would be taken, if necessary. Where are we along those lines in studying the amount of security we have with U.S. embassies and are we close to seeing anything changing from present methods?

A: Well, first of all, this happened on Friday. Today is Tuesday. I'm sure the State Department is looking at its requirements all around the world, but as I explained earlier, the initial burst of energy here has been spent on figuring out how to help the people in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and dealing with the large human disaster there.

Second, the State Department, the FBI, and other investigators, the intelligence agencies, have focused on trying to figure out who did this and to preserve as many of the clues, the early clues, as possible and to work with other intelligence agencies to begin to piece together how this happened and who is responsible for it.

The State Department has spent approximately a billion dollars since 1986 improving the security of its embassies. They have constructed 27 new embassies that are, according to the so-called Inman standards that, I suppose to most Americans, would look fortress-like there, surrounded by nine-foot walls. They're typically far away from streets. They have big security perimeters and they look, sort of, like fortresses inside. You've probably seen these in places like -- well, Caracas, Venezuela, is where one exists. There's another one in Mascat, Oman. There are 27 of them.

In addition, they have spent a lot of money to improve security in existing embassies rather than build new ones to improve security in existing embassies. As State Department officials said on Friday, and they have said since and they will probably say again today when they have another briefing on this, they are now looking at ways to improve the security of embassies all around the world. I don't know where they stand on that.

I can tell you from the military standpoint that right after this tragedy occurred, Gen Shelton, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent a message out to all of the ten commanders-in-chief, the area commanders-in-chief around the world, asking them to review their security and to make any necessary changes in light of the terrorist act in Africa. And so the CINCs have, as they do on a day-to-day basis, reviewed their security posture in light of the press they're receiving and events taking place in other parts of the world and made whatever changes were appropriate.

Q: The Air Force grounded the fleet of B-2s the other day. Is there any fix at this point as to how long this grounding may last or who will --

A: Well, first of all, my understanding was that they were fixing a specific problem, and that as that problem was either checked and found out it -- and in some cases, it might not have to be fixed. They were going to look at each one of these planes and what -- there are 48 of them, I guess. No, no -- 20, 18, 16, something -- I don't know how many have been built. They will..

Q: I've asked the Air Force and ACC and Whiteman Air Force Base, where they keep them, how many they have and I'm still waiting for an answer. They've definitely been very (inaudible) --

A: Well, they're stealthy so they're hard to count. At any rate, as soon as they determine whether a repair is necessary and if so, they fix it, the planes will go back into flying.

Q: So that's 48 stealth bombers...

A: No, no, no, no. I can't remember how many are built. I mean, there's supposed to be 20, right? And I can't remember how many of those have actually been built yet.

Q: So, we expect that they'll come back on line one at a time and we won't have a fix on what the cost will be for quite some time?

A: Well, I think that that's a very good question for you to ask the Air Force, but my understanding is they will come back one at a time, yeah.

Q: A quick question -- any movement on a new Air Force Secretary nominee?

A: Not that I'm aware of.

Q: Is that something you don't expect will happen till next year? I mean, obviously, Congress doesn't have very much time.

A: Well, I don't really know what to expect. There isn't much time left to nominate and confirm somebody. Obviously, we'd like to fill that vacancy as soon as possible, but I just can't make a prediction for you.

Q: Well, the thing why -- how about the Navy Secretary? There's understanding that there's a nominee selected but his name hasn't gone to the Hill yet.

A: Oh, this just in. B-2s are okay. Do you have any expatiation on that?

Q: They're all flying.

A: They're all flying?

Q: They're all (inaudible).

A: So, whatever the -- do we know how many are flying? [There are 10 operational at Whiteman AFB and 11 more in production at Northrup.]

Q: (Inaudible) find out.

A: The crisis is over. Okay, I'm sorry. What were you asking me?

Q: The Navy Secretary. When is that nomination going out?

A: I don't know the answer to that question, either. It should go up relatively soon.

Q: (Inaudible) when the bombings occurred, I believe there was a JCET team that was waiting to leave Rwanda?

A: Yes.

Q: Were they deployed down to Dar es Salaam or somewhere?

A: They were going to be deployed to Dar es Salaam to enhance security there but, in fact, they weren't because we moved in some Marine Fleet Anti-terrorism [Security] Teams and the JCET has returned to its home in EUCOM.

Q: Are you looking at migrating any of the technology that was used at the Khobar bombing? Is TRW in a contract for sensor equipment? Is there any possible migration of that kind of sensor equipment to these...

A: Well, that's a good question and that's something the State Department will have to answer. Obviously, the State Department has to rebuild these embassies and presumably will -- it's up for them to comment on, but I doubt if they will rebuild the Nairobi embassy in exactly the same place. But this is one of the decisions they have to make over the next few weeks or months.

Q: Thank you.

A: You're welcome.