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SHOWDOWN WITH IRAQ

Kitty Hawk Is Ordered to Persian Gulf

February 08, 2003|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — The United States on Friday ordered a fifth aircraft carrier to sail for the Persian Gulf in case of war with Iraq, defense officials said.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ordered the Kitty Hawk to deploy from the western Pacific through the Indian Ocean to join four other U.S. carriers and a British carrier.

The Kitty Hawk, based at the Yokosuka naval installation in Japan, is at sea with 75 warplanes.

The defense officials said those planes would bring to nearly 500 the number of U.S. naval and Air Force aircraft near Iraq.

Orders were also being issued to the carrier Carl Vinson to move from Hawaii to near the Korean peninsula.

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