Headquarters units of the US Armed Forces' central command were transferred to the Persian Gulf region for the sake of controlling possible military operations in case of war against Iraq.
Talking to reporters, Pentagon spokespersons noted that most out of 600 officers serving with central-command headquarters had already arrived at a US base in Qatar. These officers are responsible for planning military operations.
The official story has it that these officers are being transferred in order to take part in the Internal Look -- 2003 headquarters exercise, due to take place in the region in early December. This exercise is to last for about ten consecutive days. The headquarters of US Army, USMC (Marine Corps), US Air Force and US Navy units, which are subordinated to the central command, will reportedly take part in this exercise. It's intended to practise troop-control operations on the modern battle-field, the central command's spokesman Jim Wilkinson noted.
Pentagon spokespersons noted some time ago that operational structures of the headquarters of the central command, which is now based in Tampa, Florida, will remain in Qatar, after the exercise winds up. This move will signify the headquarters' transfer to the Persian Gulf region, i.e. its zone of responsibility, as well as real-life preparations for attacking Iraq.