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RAF MILDENHALL, England — Got cash? You better if you want a Gordita or Whopper this week.

Hungry airmen have had to use cash to pick up fast food at RAF Mildenhall since Saturday after a “hard disk” computer failure knocked out the credit and debit card capabilities at Taco Bell, Burger King and Anthony’s Pizza.

“A chip in the computer went down, has been ordered and should be fixed by week’s end,” Lt. Col. Dave Konop, an Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman, wrote in an e-mail. “We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.”

Konop said the technical difficulty did not cause any major disruption in business.

Anecdotal evidence collected from employees at the fast food restaurants on Tuesday indicated tacos, burgers and slices were selling at roughly the same rate.

There were long lines of patrons at all three locations during the Tuesday lunch rush.

Staff Sgt. Sergio Feal, 26, of North Babylon, N.Y., picked up lunch for him and his wife, Angela, at Taco Bell.

“It’s not a big deal for us because we never use a debit card to get fast food. I always carry cash for this stuff,” Feal said. “But if it happened at the shoppette, that would be a different story.”

Navy announces admirals’ promotionsThe chief of naval operations has announced a series of promotions involving officers in Europe and the Middle East.

Rear Adm. Edward Winters III has been assigned to command the Iraqi National Counterterrorism Force Transition Team, which advises and trains Iraqi special operations forces. Winters is deputy director, Interagency Task Force, U.S. Special Operations Command.

Rear Adm. Richard Gallagher, director of operations at U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, has been assigned to become commander of U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. Southern Command in Mayport, Fla.

Rear Adm. Michael Groothousen, commander of Naval Standing Maritime Forces Group Two in Naples, Italy, has been selected to command Navy Region Europe/Maritime Air Forces, Mediterranean, in Naples.

Haditha charge against one Marine droppedCharges have been dropped against a Marine charged in connection with the deaths of five Iraqi civilians last year at Haditha.

A total of 24 Iraqi civilians were killed in November 2005 in Haditha. The Marine Corps initially said the civilians had been killed by a roadside bomb, but later four enlisted Marines and four officers were charged in connection with the civilians’ deaths.

On Tuesday, the Corps announced that a charge of unpremeditated murder had been dropped against one of those Marines, Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz.

The charge was dropped after Dela Cruz was granted “testimonial immunity” April 2, according to a Corps news release.

The investigation into the deaths at Haditha and into another incident at Hamandiyah caused then-Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee to go on a worldwide tour to emphasize Marine Corps values.

In the wake of the two incidents, U.S. troops were also given “Core Warrior Values” training to remind them about the laws of war.

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