An Air Force weather forecaster said Saturday the U.S. military isn't getting important data collected by Saudi Arabia, even as winter sandstorms and choppy seas pose new obstacles for U.S.-led forces.
Although the kingdom does supply some information, it does not share data on wind speed and direction, fearing that teletype reports would aid Iraq in launching a chemical or biological attack, the forecaster said."It's not as good as what we get in the States," said Capt. Judy Dickey, referring to the extensive network of weather reporting stations operated by the military and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"They aren't transmitting any wind data because of the chemical threat. They don't want the upper level winds to go out worldwide so the Iraqis could pick it up," she said.
She said the forecasts are good enough to provide planning information for commanders to help them decide whether to attack. But still, the U.S. military could use the wind data to help plan a defense against chemical attack, she said.