- Deputies: Man, woman tried to arrange killing of his estranged wife (5/21/17)1
- Former coroner convicted of felony theft now faces prison in misdemeanor case (5/23/17)2
- Police: Woman arrested after meth found hidden in pants (5/26/17)2
- Cape police say man assaulted, kidnapped girlfriend (5/21/17)2
- Woman may lose foot after being hit by moped (5/24/17)
- Illinois Trail of Tears site where Cherokee buried named to National Historic Register (5/24/17)
- Two men face charges in Cape prostitution sting (5/28/17)
- Business notebook: Woman, sister-in-law buy Perryville custom-wear shop (5/22/17)
- Police apprehend Charleston man they say hit Cape woman with car (5/24/17)
- Broadening horizons: Heartland Dream Team founder stays committed to area youth (5/21/17)2
Leaders in Tampa over U.S. forces in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON -- U.S. forces in Afghanistan are commanded from a base in Tampa, Fla., a balmy setting more than 7,700 miles from Kabul.
The Central Command, one of nine U.S. military commands covering different parts of the world, evolved from a smaller unit based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa -- because of past problems in Afghanistan.
The volatile nature of the region makes it tough for the command to move closer to the action, so it has stayed in Florida. The command is responsible for U.S. security interests in 25 nations that stretch from the Horn of Africa through the Arabian Gulf into Central Asia.
"If you had to put your finger on the hottest part of the globe, it would likely come down in CENTCOM's domain," Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote in his 1995 autobiography.
Lt. Col. Chip Compton, a Central Command spokesman, said moving the command has been discussed.
"Historically, it's not been politically feasible," he said. "My guess is that the countries feel uncomfortable having a full-time American presence."
Headquarters work focuses on administrative duties, so a command's base may not matter in warfare that relies on satellites and lasers.
The Central Command's leader, Gen. Tommy Franks, is far from isolated from his troops. The highest-ranking U.S. military officer to go inside Afghanistan in the course of the war, he began last week in Uzbekistan, met at Bagram air base near Kabul, the Afghan capital, with top northern alliance officials, then headed for a tour of the Persian Gulf.