Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Terror Team Lacks Airplane.(Final)

Byline: John Fleck Journal Staff Writer

Nuke Bomb Squad Left Without Dependable Ride

If terrorists plant a nuclear bomb in a U.S. city, the federal government's crack emergency response team might not be able to get there for lack of a plane, according to a report released Tuesday.

Made up of volunteers from the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories, including Sandia and Los Alamos in New Mexico, the team is trained to deploy at a moment's notice.

Its mission is to disable a terrorist bomb before it can wreak its havoc.

But when their beepers go off, the team members might be stuck at the airport without a ride. The three primary planes assigned to get them to the scene of a terrorist incident were unavailable for 29 days during the two-year period from October 2000 to October 2002, according to investigators from the Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General. …

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