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Military News Briefs for the Week of Aug. 10, 2001

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2001 – (This is a summary of the top American Forces Press Service news stories for the

week ending August 10, 2001.)

*** U.S., BRITISH PLANES ATTACK IRAQI MILITARY SITES

U.S. and British warplanes struck Iraqi military sites Aug. 10 in response to recent hostile actions by Baghdad against coalition aircraft patrolling the no- fly zones, defense officials said. No coalition aircraft were damaged or lost.

"We conduct the strikes to protect U.S. and coalition pilots and aircraft monitoring the no-fly zones," said Army Col. Rick Thomas, CENTCOM headquarters spokesperson at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. At 5:30 a.m. Eastern time, about 20 coalition aircraft struck military targets near An Numaniyah, about 70 miles southeast of Baghdad, and a mobile early warning radar system and surface-to-air missile site near An Nasiriyah, about 170 miles southeast of Baghdad.

From December 1998 to date, more than 1,000 separate incidents have occurred of Iraqis firing missiles and anti-aircraft artillery at coalition aircraft. More than 375 of the incidents have occurred this calendar year.

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***

DoD TIGHTENS BLOOD DONATION RULES DUE TO 'MAD COW'

DoD believes stepped up recruiting efforts will make up for a narrowed blood donor pool caused by restrictions that begin next month because of "mad cow" disease concerns.

According to the new DoD restrictions that begin in mid-September, all personnel -- including active-duty military, civil service employees, and family members - - will be indefinitely banned from donating blood if they traveled or resided in the United Kingdom for a cumulative three months or more at any time from 1980 through the end of 1996.

The ban also applies to any person who received a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom at any time from 1980 to the present; who traveled or resided anywhere in Europe for a cumulative six months or more between 1980 and the end of 1996, or who traveled or resided anywhere in Europe for a cumulative five years or more between Jan. 1, 1997, to the present.

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***

MISSILE DEFENSE'S 'SWEET SPOT' OF SUCCESS

The test of the ground-based ballistic missile defense system July 14 was almost a complete success, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization officials said Aug. 9.

The exoatmospheric kill vehicle landed a knockout punch on the re-entry vehicle, hitting the "sweet spot" almost squarely, said Army Maj. Gen. Willie B. Nance Jr., the program executive officer for the project. Impact was about 18 inches behind the nose of the re-entry vehicle, he said.

"The largest piece of debris that we saw, based on all the radar tracks and data that we had, was about a six-inch-size piece of debris in any dimension. And that's debris that's left over from the kill vehicle and the re-entry vehicle after the intercept," he said. The next test is set for October.

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DoD LOOKS TO END 'PERMANENT VULNERABILITY' TO MISSILES

The absence of a credible ballistic missile defense leaves the United States open to blackmail, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in an Aug. 6 American Forces Information Service interview.

"The president has said that we want to be able to deter people from thinking that ballistic missiles are the weapon of choice to intimidate the United States and its friends and allies and to kill or threaten to kill our deployed forces or the United States," he said. Currently, 28 countries have ballistic missiles with various ranges, configurations, warheads and launching protocols, he said.

"It is not written how these things will evolve," Rumsfeld continued. "But it is written that if you establish a policy of permanent vulnerability, you can be reasonably certain that someone will take advantage of it."

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READINESS SUPPORT WEB SITE ASSISTS GUARD, RESERVE FAMILIES

Families of Guard and Reserve members will soon be able to obtain quality-of- life support information over the Internet to resolve issues while sponsors are away.

A Family Readiness Tool Kit will become available Oct. 1 on the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Web page at www.defenselink.mil/ra/. The kit is intended to be a resource for commanders and unit leaders and family members to pick the tools that they think will be most useful for their particular situation, personnel officials said.

For families, the tool kit lists Web sites and toll-free numbers for medical and pay assistance, financial management tips and other information. A "help guide" contains examples of best practices that have been used by commanders to prepare families for deployments.

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