Pentagon Spokesman's Regular Briefing
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REGULAR BRIEFING
BRIEFER: KENNETH BACON, SPOKESMAN
PENTAGON BRIEFING ROOM, ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA
2:08 P.M. EST THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2000
Q: Okay, perhaps this was gone over in briefings while we were gone.
Could you give us any details, including costs and dates, of when you
are going to upgrade security of U.S. ships, especially in the Gulf,
but around the world?
MR. BACON: Well, the issue is harbors, working for more secure
harbors, and we're in the process of doing that. I think the best
thing to do is to talk to - is to look at the briefing that Admiral
Quigley gave on Tuesday because he went into this in some detail, but
we're beginning a survey, a series of surveys of harbor conditions
around the world. Many of them, of course, will pass muster right
away, and no changes will be made or need to be made. But this is part
of a worldwide naval program to just review security procedures, and
this will be ongoing. It will obviously not something that will all be
done in three days.
Q: Assume you don't have any costs yet, but --
Q: When you start - will you start, for instance, in the Gulf in the
Middle East region, regions that are considered high threat areas?
MR. BACON: Well, we've already done a lot of checking there,
obviously, but yes we will focus clearly on the highest threat areas
But this is something that we wanted - it's part of a survey of force
protection and security measures around the world.
Q: Has anything been actually done in the Gulf and Middle East yet, or
are you just starting to do this?
MR. BACON: Well, we have actually sent more security forces to the
Gulf. I think they're to arrive next week in several ports. I don't
want to get into details, but we have increased the security teams in
several places in the Gulf.
Q: And are you going to - have ships started putting back into Gulf
MR. BACON: No.
Q: And when will they?
MR. BACON: That will be determined at the appropriate time.
Q: Have any U.S. ships, U.S. warships, transited through the Suez
Canal since the October 12th attack on the Cole?
MR. BACON: Yes.
Q: Any idea how many? Or are there any notable ships you can mention?
MR. BACON: Well, when the Secretary was in Egypt, the USS Hawes --
H-A-W-E-S - went through. And I think several ships were supposed to
go through right after the Hawes. But I would guess - we'll check;
but several ships have been through.
Q: And when you're surveying the harbor security around the world, are
you also taking a look at U.S. facilities, particularly where --
places like Norfolk and San Diego, where there are a large number of
MR. BACON: The Navy has been looking at domestic ports as well, and
actually has taken some actions in domestic ports, and I think some of
those have been reported, particularly about Norfolk. In fact, there's
a story in the - I believe in the Early Bird today about that. But
there have been several stories over the last several weeks. And I'd
refer you to the Navy for more details.
Q: This survey has begun or it has not yet begun?
MR. BACON: I don't know whether it started yet, but it has been - it
will start, if it hasn't.
Q: Has the Egyptian government taken extra security precautions, at
the United States' request, that allowed ships now to begin going
through Suez again?
MR. BACON: Well first of all, the Egyptians have always been very
aware of the - have always been - have always taken security
measures in and around the Canal. They did take some extra security
precautions when the Hawes went through, and we anticipate that they
will take appropriate measures when American ships go through.