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[] DMN 7.5.02, zum ersten Mal Email für Soldaten in einem "Theater of War",

Dallas Morning News
May 7, 2002

For Soldiers In Afghanistan, Information Highway Leads To Tent

Cyberbase allows U.S. forces to e-mail loved ones, access Internet

By Associated Press

BAGRAM, Afghanistan ? U.S. forces hunting al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters
have brought more than firepower to this dust-ridden Afghan air base.

They've strung fiber optic cables through the treetops and installed
satellite uplinks, providing thousands of American troops with a crucial
link to home ? the Internet.

"Most of the soldiers here use it," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey
Franklin, 34, from Blue Ridge, Va. "I e-mail my family to let 'em know
I'm OK, that I hadn't hit no land mine."

The network at Bagram air base was set up by the U.S. Army's 11th Signal
Brigade to facilitate communications among military units and to help
gather intelligence in the war on terrorism. But it's also helping
soldiers keep in touch with their loved ones more than ever before.

"We didn't have all this during Desert Storm," 38-year-old Chief Warrant
Officer 2 John Proctor said of the U.S.-led operation to push Iraqi
forces out of Kuwait a decade ago. "It makes coping with being away from
home a lot easier."

The Internet in its current form didn't exist then. By the mid-1990s,
U.S. troops deployed in parts of the former Yugoslavia had slow-speed
links for the first time and limited access to e-mail.

Afghanistan marks the first time such an elaborate network has been set
up in a tactical theater to support combat troops.

At Bagram, it began modestly on Dec. 17 when a satellite dish, mounted
on a four-wheel-drive Humvee, was unfolded in one of the few parts of
the base that had been cleared by minesweepers. Twenty-four hours later,
cables were running into a single sandbagged green tent, filled with

The network has expanded several miles across the base, providing
Internet access to 250 computers at 45 locations, mostly in tents.
Access speeds reach 1.54 megabits per second, nearly 30 times as fast as
a dial-up modem.

For all the e-mail exchanges, messages still arrive at Bagram the old
way ? with stamps on them.

"We still get a lot of letters," said Capt. Steven Beecham, 30, of
Pekin, Ill., and a member of the 11th Signal Brigade. "But they're
usually from Grandma."

Olivier Minkwitz________________________________________
Dipl. Pol.
HSFK Hessische Stiftung für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
PRIF Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Leimenrode 29 60322 Frankfurt a/M Germany
Tel +49 (0)69 9591 0422  Fax +49 (0)69 5584 81
Mobil   0172  3196 006                               pgpKey:0xAD48A592
minkwitz -!
- hsfk -

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