Local News

Fort Bragg Ready To Help Fight Terrorism

Posted September 18, 2001 6:53 a.m. EDT

— President Bush has made it clear that our nation's military will be asked to help in the war against terrorism. Soldiers at Fort Bragg say they are ready to go.

Fort Bragg troops are always ready for battle. In a press briefing Monday morning, leaders said that they wanted it to be clear that soldiers are on standby.

Military officials say a report in the Washington Post is false. It said some troops received warning orders, meaning that planning has begun here for retaliation.

"There has been no warning order issued to any unit in the 18th Airborne Corps," said Col. Roger King of the 18th Airborne Corps on Monday. "However, anyone who saw what happened on Tuesday would take it as a warning."

That report, and the president's alert to the military over the weekend, has brought the national media to Fort Bragg.

President Bush made it clear that the military must be ready for war. While soldiers train for such a mission everyday, they are taking his message very seriously.

"To hear the president say it brings a little additional meaning to it. It makes you want to train a little harder," says King.

Fort Bragg says it is moving tanks by railroad as part of routine maintenance that was scheduled many months ago. The tanks are not being moved out as part of any military effort relating to Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

On Sunday, King said "We are venturing into the unknown," and said he expects Fort Bragg troops to be called into action.

"We have confidence that eventually we will be given a specific mission and a time frame in which to do it and we'll put together the assets that we need to accomplish the mission." he says.

The post remains on a heightened state of alert. Thathigher stat eof security extends to Fort Bragg's schools.

Armed guards are patrolling the nine schools on post. Parents have to show identification to get inside. School leaders say they are trying to prevent any possible terrorism threat. Counselors and psychologists are also working with students.

As for the nation's military reserve forces, only members of the Coast guard have been called up so far. There are plans to initially call up 35,000 troops from every branch of the armed forces and that number could grow past 50,000 even up to 100,000.

Four Chinook CH-47 helicopters carrying 32 Fort Bragg solders left for Washington, D.C. Thursday morning. The soldiers are participating in humanitarian efforts at the Pentagon. The unit's soldiers may be deployed up to 30 days.