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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 143-01
April 04, 2001

STATEMENT OF SECRETARY RUMSFELD ON EP-3 CREW

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld today released the following statement:

"I join President Bush in being heartened by the good spirits and health of the 24 men and women in the crew of the EP-3. I hope and expect that their good treatment will continue. Admiral Blair has made the needed preparations to ensure their speedy return when that is made possible. That is and remains our number one priority -- the speedy and safe return of our people. The Services have taken every step possible to stay in touch with the families of the service members and ensure that they are kept fully informed of circumstances as they develop.

"I understand and appreciate the noble work of our uniformed men and women in defending our country. This is but one example of the special qualities of honor and character that are so evident in those who voluntarily choose to live a life of military service."

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