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[] US Commando Solo II Takes Over Afghan Airwaves,
U.S. Commando Solo II Takes Over Afghan Airwaves
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2001 -- After years of Taliban
propaganda, the Afghan people are hearing another voice.

At any time of the day or night, an Air Force Special
Operations Command EC-130E Commando Solo II is in the area
of operations and broadcasting news and information to the
Afghan people.

The aircraft fly a variety of missions. In Afghanistan,
they're broadcasting music, news and information in the
various languages of the country. These are radio
broadcasts only.

The planes are part of the 193rd Special Operations Wing of
the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. They are based at
Harrisburg International Airport, Pa.

Army specialists in the language and customs of the area
prepare the broadcasts.

The capability allows U.S. Central Command planners to warn
the Afghan population to stay away from Taliban and Al
Qaeda targets. The broadcasts stress that the coalition
campaign is not aimed at the Afghan people, but at the
terrorists and their Taliban supporters.

"We have no wish to hurt you, the innocent people of
Afghanistan," reads one English translation of a broadcast.
"Stay away from military installations, government
buildings, terrorist camps, roads, factories or bridges."

Another broadcast told the people of Afghanistan why the
United States is attacking the Taliban and Al Qaeda. "On
Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of people were killed en masse in
the United States," it reads. "Among them was a two-year-
old girl. Barely able to stand or dress herself. Did she
deserve to die? Why was she killed you ask? Was she a
thief? What crime had she committed? She was merely on a
trip with her family to visit her grandparents. Policemen,
firefighters, teachers, doctors, mothers, father, sisters,
brothers all killed. Why?"

The broadcast went on to explain that the attacks in New
York and the Pentagon were on innocent people -- an act
forbidden by the Muslim Koran. "(The terrorists) believe
they are heroes, Ghazi warriors triumphing over the evil of
the West," the broadcast continues. "However, the truth is
they are murderers and do not represent Islam." Ghazi
warriors are Muslim heroes from the early days of the

Ham radio operators can listen to the broadcast at 8700
kilohertz, said Air Force 1st Lt. Edward Shank, a spokesman
for the squadron. The squadron has participated in
operations in Panama, Bosnia, Kosovo and during the Gulf
War. Their aircraft have been modified to not only handle
radio, but television broadcasts. They can broadcast via
tape or live. "If needed, we have the capability to take a
speech by the President of the United States and beam it
live via satellite to the aircraft, which then would
broadcast it," Shank said.

The name "Commando Solo II" also has meaning. Commando
refers to the special operations mission, and Solo refers
to the fact that the aircraft can go it alone, Shank said.


Olivier Minkwitz_______________________________________
Research Assistant & Founder of FoGIS
Center on Transatlantic Foreign and Security Policy Studies
Office: Free University Berlin  Room# 103  Ihnestr. 22  14195 Berlin
Phone:  +49 (0)30 838 56545
Fax :     +49 (0)12 125 10791 226
Mobile: +49 (0)17 231 96006
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