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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Called back to duty...

The USS Intrepid, which is parked along side the Island of Manhattan, had served with distinction in WW II, Vietnam, and NASA recovery missions. She was decommissioned in 1974. Since then, she has been turned into an historic landmark and museum in New York City. However, the most recent Omnibus Bill appropriated funds that will bring the USS Intrepid back to duty...sort of.



Historic aircraft carrier to become anti-terror command post
By Peter Cohn,
CongressDailyPM


CONGRESS is planning to spend $31 million in fiscal 2005 to lay the groundwork for turning the USS Intrepid -- the WWII aircraft carrier turned historic landmark and museum in New York City -- into a permanent command center for government agencies in the event of terrorist attacks, CongressDaily has learned.

The funds are contained in the $388.4 billion fiscal 2005 omnibus measure that has been sent to President Bush. House Appropriations Chairman Bill Young, R-Fla., inserted the funds into the measure in conference for the stated purpose of "planning, design and reconstruction of Pier 86 in New York City," where the Intrepid is located. The city has condemned the pier for safety reasons and declared areas off limits to visitors.

A person familiar with the effort said the pier "is in disarray" and the funds are needed to begin construction of an "alternate emergency management headquarters for the government." The source declined to be identified because the plans have not been made public and involved parties who "haven't signed the final documents." The source did say the facility would include 100,000 square feet of office space with state-of-the-art communications equipment.

The facility would be similar to the FBI's temporary headquarters on the Intrepid after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when agency employees were forced to evacuate their offices. About 750 agents, as well as more than 400 police officers, were stationed on the Intrepid, which served as a helicopter landing strip. Some 500,000 telephone calls were fielded in the ship's makeshift offices.
(snip)
CongressDailyPM

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