Editor's note: Following is the "Hostilities Statement" issued by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull on Tuesday, March 25.
My fellow Virgin Islanders, this is your governor Charles W. Turnbull.
As America and the other members of the allied coalition continue military operations against Iraq, I once again call on the people of the Virgin Islands to maintain a sense of calm but determined vigilance. Since the commencement of hostilities in the Persian Gulf last Thursday, I have received daily briefings from the adjutant general of the Virgin Islands National Guard, Cleave A. McBean; the director of VITEMA [V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency], Harold Baker; and officials of the Virgin Islands Police Department. I have also been in contact with the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Sen. Lorraine L. Berry.
As a result of these briefings, I have been assured that agencies and departments of the government of the Virgin Islands have been meeting in recent days to upgrade their emergency operations plans and to assess their needs and resources in order to upgrade security at identified critical ports and locations around the territory. In this regard, I am pleased to report that the United States Coast Guard, in conjunction with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, has increased its surveillance of our ports, harbors and other industrial facilities on all three islands.
All residents are urged to remain on the alert, consistent with the high national designation Orange, which is the second-highest alert established by the Department of Homeland Security. Persons witnessing suspicious activities are urged to contact the Virgin Islands Police Department at 911, immediately.
As I said at the commencement of hostilities, this war will have great impact on us at home. We must proceed with our normal activities, while not giving way to an atmosphere of fear. I call on all Virgin Islanders to continue to support our president and our armed forces in these difficult days.
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