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Now showing: Feb. 17 edition of Air Force Television News

SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- The loss of two Air Force officers in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster highlights the latest edition of Air Force Television News.

Tech. Sgt. David Pullen profiles Col. Rick Husband, the mission commander, and Lt. Col. Michael Anderson, the payload commander, who were members of the seven-person crew who died when the shuttle disintegrated 16 minutes before its scheduled landing in Florida.

Staff Sgt. Pachari Lutke visits Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., to detail the stepped-up security for shuttle and other launches at Cape Canaveral in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks. Staff Sgt. Marty Rush goes inside Los Angeles AFB, Calif., to show the increased role the Air Force plays as the lead agency for space and missile defense.

Tech. Sgt. Paul Firman reports on Air Force policy governing the use of stimulants given to flight crews to keep them alert on long missions. In a companion story, Staff Sgt. Joe Wallace visits a laboratory at Brooks City-Base, Texas, where studies are under way to determine how to better keep troops awake and alert during long missions.

Rush also updates the Defense Department's smallpox inoculation campaign.

Staff Sgt. Leigh Bellinger watches the final days of basic training for an all-Air National Guard flight at Lackland AFB, Texas. Staff Sgt. Bronwyn Tardo is at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., showing how one airman helped save more than 100 dogs and cats brought into the country illegally, and Staff Sgt. Kevin Dennison is on hand as the Air Force Academy parachute team takes top honors at an annual college and university competition.

Air Force Television News is a biweekly production of Air Force News Service. It is distributed on videotape to more than 3,000 military and civilian outlets worldwide, and is seen on more than 700 cable television outlets nationwide. It is also available on the Internet at www.af.mil, and can also be seen regularly on The Pentagon Channel. The program is the only military production offered with closed captioning. Viewers can comment on the program by sending e-mail to: aftvnews@afnews.af.mil.

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