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Bragg Troops Readying for Trouble in Iraq

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FORT BRAGG — There's been talk among some lawmakersabout taking military action against Iraq. If that should happens, it'spossible Fort Bragg troops, which are always preparing for such anencounter, could be heeding the call.

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

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

Chuck Oswalt is a civilian whose usual nine-minute commute will beaffected. He tells WRAL-TV5's BretBaier that he, and others like him, will not be impressed withthese 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 takeit 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 thegates.

Photographer:Mike Joyner