Friday, August 12, 2005

COM: More Sensibility

Airspace exercises to drop references to U.S. Indians
Maneuvers renamed; 'Fencing Brave' to be called 'Fencing Dart'

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- NORAD, the section of the Pentagon that monitors and assesses U.S. airspace for risks of attack, has decided to delete references to American Indians in titles of readiness exercises by October.

The decision does not apply to the rest of the military.

In July, Adm. Timothy Keating, head of Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, sent a memo to the Pentagon that said exercises such as "Amalgam Fencing Brave" will, as of October 1, be referred to as "Amalgam Fencing Dart." As another example: The exercise "Amalgam Warrior" will be called "Amalgam Phantom."

One Army official said he's heard no talk of changing the name of the Army's Apache, Black Hawk or Kiowa helicopters, all of which are named after Indian tribes or leaders.

Last week, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced that any school with a nickname or logo considered racially or ethnically offensive would be prohibited from displaying them in post-season events.

A spokesman for NORAD told CNN there were no complaints that led NORAD to decide on the name changes. The agency's intent, he said, is to avoid using names that might offend American Indians.