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A power control scheme for packet-based wireless communication systems is proposed in this paper. The proposed power control scheme aims at minimizing the total number of transmissions that a packet needs before it is received successfully over a Rayleigh fading channel subject to two constraints. One is that the transmission power should be greater than zero. The other is imposed by the constraint on the total transmission power at the base station. We use the augmented Lagrangian multiplier method to solve this problem and provide a theoretical solution. The simulation results show that, with the proposed power control scheme, the number of re-transmission can be reduced and the delay of a packet wasted in the channel can be decreased as well.