Perspective: Iraq War Is Replicated at Secret Center
"We have a downed helo." The words, in bright type, riveted Ken Edwards to one of his five computer screens.
From his raised platform - a "crow's nest" at the heart of a cavernous operations room known as the "Kay-Ock" - the Air Force lieutenant colonel glanced up at an electronic wall display. The towering map was alive with ghostly blue figures flitting through its skies, splotches of "friendly" troops spread blue among its towns, and now an urgent yellow rectangle, tagged "TIC," troops in contact.
The ever-changing picture was the war in Iraq - digitized. The TIC marked the site of a U.S. helicopter crash north of Baghdad on Monday. The nervous blue figures were aircraft rushing to the spot.
It's the American way of war, 21st-century style: A life-or-death drama playing out among the palms and heat of the Iraqi countryside was being mirrored in the air-conditioned calm of this secretive military nerve center 800 miles away.
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