Pentagon orders commercial airlines to help transport troops - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Pentagon orders commercial airlines to help transport troops

Washington-AP -- Commercial airlines are being pressed into service -- as the military ramps up for a possible war in Iraq.

They're flying U-S troops, under an order signed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

By mobilizing the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, defense officials now have access to 47 passenger planes and 31 wide-body cargo planes.

Eleven carriers signed up for this first stage of mobilization.

Officials say they have enough transports for now, so they'll only call up passenger planes.

The reserve air fleet was established in 1951 as a way to get more carriers into service in an emergency.

This is only the second time its been used. The only other time it was activated was during the Persian Gulf War.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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