Local News

Bragg Troops Readying for Trouble in Iraq

Posted January 14, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— There's been talk among some lawmakers about taking military action against Iraq. If that should happens, it's possible Fort Bragg troops, which are always preparing for such an encounter, could be heeding the call.

Opinions vary, but, like it or not, Operation Purple Dragon is on the way. With it will come road blocks along many roads that are heavily used by civilian traffic.

This operation will be bigger than the May, 1996 exercise with British troops. Purple Dragon will involve 20,000 airborne, ground, and helicopter insertion troops.

Chuck Oswalt is a civilian whose usual nine-minute commute will be affected. He tells WRAL-TV5's Bret Baier that he, and others like him, will not be impressed with these maneuvers.

From January 21 to February 5, 20 different sites will be closed, either by a gate or by Military Police.

The army knows this is an inconvenience and they claim they don't take it lightly, but Lt. Col. Rick Spearman of the 18th Airborne Corps says their most important mission is safety.

Troops not involved in the operation will also be turned away at the gates.

Photographer:Mike Joyner