Pacific team joinsBy Gregg K. Kakesako
in East Timor
A 15-member Pacific Forces Command team from Camp Smith has joined the Australian peacekeeping force designed to quell the trouble in East Timor.
The Camp Smith team has been providing support and will be joined by four logistics specialists who will help with the flow of troops into the Darwin, Australia, staging area.
The Pentagon said Adm. Dennis Blair's Pacific Command has been assigned to support an Australian-led multinational peacekeeping force in East Timor under Operation Warden.
Approximately 200 U.S. personnel will be involved, all from the U.S. Pacific Command. The troops are likely to be drawn from Japan, Okinawa and Hawaii. Vice Adm. Scott Fry, director for joint staff operations, said more could be added if the need arises.
About half of the force is expected to actually go into East Timor.
They are under orders to be ready to move within 48 hours.
Fry said 20 to 30 people will be involved in communications and 100 will be intelligence specialists. The U.S. force will be led by Brig. Gen. John Castellaw, deputy commander of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force.