Military Took Active Role in Hurricane Fran Planning

Article excerpt

Here's what military activity took place in Georgia and the

Carolinas as Hurricane Fran headed toward landfall:

As liaisons from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were

deployed to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina,

the Department of Defense said supplies were to be shipped to

Fort Gillem, Ga., and Fort Bragg, N.C.

FEMA Director James Lee Witt said in Washington that six

tractor-trailers loaded with cots, tents, portable generators,

blankets and other supplies are ready to go; the Agriculture

Department has earmarked bulk food supplies that might be

needed; and eight disaster medical assistance teams are on

alert.

The 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) flew its airplanes and

helicopters out of Hunter Army Airfield south of Savannah to

safe landing fields in Columbus and Chattanooga, Tenn.

Non-essential military personnel and civilian workers were sent

home early Wednesday.

Marine Corps pilots at Beaufort Naval Air Station flew their

FA-18 Hornet strike fighters to Fort Worth, Texas, to avoid the

hurricane. That base was chosen because it has maintenance crews

to service FA-18s, Chief Warrant Officer Tim Bennett said.

Beaufort Marines and sailors and their dependents were

encouraged to seek shelter inland.

Late Wednesday, watching the storm's track, Parris Island

Marine Corps Recruit Depot leaders stood ready to use 158 buses

-- a combination of school buses and commercial haulers -- to

evacuate 5,200 recruits and another 600 Marines and their

families who didn't have other transportation.

The group's expected destination, if they left Parris Island,

was Marine Corps Logistics Base at Albany, Ga., said Capt. Rick

Long of the boot camp's public affairs office.

VETERANS' BENEFITS RISING: Georgia, Florida and other states

with rising numbers of veterans would get a bigger chunk of the

Department of Veterans Affairs' health care resources under a

Senate proposal to make benefits follow patients.

The amendment to the VA's fiscal 1997 appropriations bill was

passed by the Senate Wednesday by a 79-18 vote, sending it into

conference committee with the House.

Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., who sponsored the amendment with Sen.

John McCain, R-Ariz. …

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