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Second Troops Deployment Order in the Works

Aired September 22, 2001 - 10:26   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hundreds marched in New York last night against using military action, but as the clock continues to tick, more forces appear to be ready to be called to duty.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve joins us now from the Pentagon with a second deployment order apparently in the works -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The second deployment order in the works but not yet signed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. It will send more forward support aircraft into the Persian Gulf and that region of the world but no specifics yet on what aircraft are involved.

Word out of Turkey today that it will allow the U.S. to use its airspace and air bases for transport aircraft to respond to the terrorist attacks on this building and on the World Trade Center. The U.S., of course, already uses an air base in Turkey, Incirlik, for patrols over Iraq's no-fly zone. It's location on the eastern end of the Mediterranean makes Turkey key, but Pentagon officials are saying very little about this specific pledge of support today, feeling it is wiser for each country to speak for itself.

The Pentagon also saying very little today about reports out of Afghanistan, claims from the Taliban that they have shot down an unmanned surveillance plane. An official only remarking that it will not talk about operational matters and it is not going to be put in a situation of responding to every claim and comment made by the Taliban leadership.

The U.S. does have two types of what they call unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs in its inventory. The smaller one is called a hunter but the larger one is called a predator. Let me tell you a little bit about that. It operates at 2,600 feet. It can stay aloft for 24 hours at a time. There have been reports in the past that some of these unmanned aerial vehicles have been downed over Iraq. They have no defensive capabilities. They do fly lower and slower than manned aircraft, but, as I say, no illumination from the Pentagon at this hour as to whether or not the Taliban has downed one of these over its territory.

John, back to you.

KING: Jeanne Meserve at the Pentagon, thank you very much. The military planning one area of urgent concern, the economy another. If you have questions about that, get ready and log on. Coming up, our economy expert will answer your e-mail questions about the effects of the terrorist attack. Click on Ask the Experts at CNN.com. AOL keyword: CNN.

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