Bond says Missouri troops ready for terrorism response

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As he neared the end of his tour of Missouri military installations, Sen. Kit Bond said he didn't know to what extent the state's troops may be called upon to respond to last week's terrorist attacks.

Bond said, however, that he knows the troops are ready.

After visiting Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster Tuesday, Bond spoke to an audience of American Red Cross officials, volunteers and reporters at the Kansas City headquarters of the Red Cross.

Bond said members of Congress haven't been briefed on military plans, probably because plans haven't been made and possibly because sensitive intelligence information has been given to the media.

"One member of the United States Senate on Wednesday appeared on television and started talking about intercepted calls from Osama bin Laden," Bond said of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

A day after that information was disclosed, the military halted all classified briefings to Congress, Bond said.

Bond said he assured troops at Whiteman that the country's leadership is providing whatever support may be needed for any military action.

B-2 Stealth bombers stationed at Whiteman would likely be used when the United States responds to the terrorist attacks, Bond's office said.

After visits with the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman, Bond said he's proud "to see the men and women there who are committed to respond when they are called upon by the president."

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