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For the week of Nov 28 - Dec 4, 2001

  News

Sack makes tracks to the Middle East


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

Author and war correspondent John Sack, of Ketchum, flew to Bahrain on Friday in hopes of boarding the U.S.S. Peleliu in the Arabia Sea in order to write about one of the U.S. military units involved in the war in Afghanistan.

He said Thursday before departing that the Peleliu, an amphibious Assault Ship stationed in the Arabian Sea, was carrying the 15th Marine Expediency Unit, which he hoped to join. However, both the members of the 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units landed south of the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar on Sunday.

John Sack

Sack, who is working as a correspondent for Esquire magazine, has covered every war the United States has been involved in the last 50 years. Earlier this fall, as the war against terrorism developed, he contacted the Pentagon and was put in touch with Marine Major Chris Hughes, stationed in Bahrain.

Sack was given permission to join the Peleliu this week. Both the Peleliu and the U.S.S Bataan carry approximately 800 infantrymen and also transport helicopters, command and control helicopters, helicopter gunships and Harrier jets capable of takeoffs on short runways and vertical landings.

Since he could not go to the Peleliu as planned, Sack is considering trying to enter Afghanistan from Uzbekistan to the north. There are approximately 120 other correspondents "shivering on the North side of the bridge waiting for the Uzbeks to let them in," said Sack.

The American base in Uzbekistan is 100 miles from the border.

"Id rather go with the Marines than wander around waiting," he said, prophetically last week.

 


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