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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

04 December 2002

U.S. Military Will Conduct War Games in Qatar

(Defense Department Report, December 4: CENTCOM Exercise) (350)
The U.S. Central Command will conduct a seven-day, computer-based war
game at a new command-and-control operations center recently
established in Qatar, a senior Central Command official says.
"Exercise Internal Look is designed to exercise the command, control
and communications ability of Central Command Headquarters, and all of
our different component commands who are spread throughout all of our
areas of responsibility" (AOR), the senior official said.
The Central Command (CENTCOM), led by Army General Tommy Franks, is
one of the five geographically defined military commands within the
Defense Department. CENTCOM, which is located at MacDill Air Force
Base in Tampa, Florida, is responsible for conducting U.S. military
activity in a region consisting of 25 countries in Northeast Africa,
Southwest- and Central Asia, and the island nation of Seychelles.
During a background briefing December 4, a senior CENTCOM official
said the exercise is designed to test the capabilities of the newly
deployed, portable command compound that will involve 1,000 CENTCOM
personnel and several thousand other U.S. and foreign military
personnel, but will not involve combat troops. Britain will be among
the foreign countries participating, the briefer said.
"This exercise is going to ... test and exercise our ability to
communicate on the modern battlefield," he said. While the war games
are based on fictitious military scenarios, they are designed to "hone
our battle staff's ability to command from a forward-deployed
location, while maintaining seamless activity with our folks back here
in Tampa."
The senior CENTCOM official said that while CENTCOM's 25-country area
of responsibility includes Iraq, and this exercise could be construed
as a rehearsal to military operations there, the war games will test
"a number of contingencies in our AOR" and Iraq could be considered
among them.
Phase One of the exercise started in November when Central Command
moved the portable operations center to As Sayliyah military base near
Qatar's capital, Doha. Phase Two begins December 9th and lasts through
December 16-17th, the senior official said.
This is not the first such command exercise for CENTCOM, an official
said. Similar exercises have been conducted in 1990, 1996 and 2000 in
the United States, but this exercise is the first one held abroad.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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