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(After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Agent Establishes Open Line with FAA Edit

Soon after the second WTC tower is hit, a senior Secret Service agent who is responsible for coordinating the president’s movements establishes an open line with his counterpart at the FAA. This FAA official tells him of further planes, on top of the two that have already crashed, that are unaccounted for and possibly hijacked. Although the Secret Service agent asks someone to pass this information on to the Secret Service’s operations center, the 9/11 Commission says that either this does not happen or else the message is passed on but not disseminated. Therefore the information fails to reach agents assigned to the vice president and, consequently, “the Vice President was not evacuated at that time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464] However, some other accounts contradict this, saying the vice president is indeed evacuated from his White House office by Secret Service agents at around this time. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002]

Between 9:03 a.m. and 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Defense Official at Pentagon Says, ‘We’re Next’ Edit

After the second WTC tower is hit, NBC News correspondent Jim Miklaszewski is heading down a hall inside the Pentagon when he runs into a Defense Department official. The official says he doesn’t yet know anything specific about the attack. But, he says, it is so coordinated that “[i]f I were you I would stay off the E-ring [the outermost corridor of the Pentagon] today, because we’re next.” According to Miklaszewski, the official had no specific information, “that was just his gut instinct.” [GILBERT ET AL., 2002, PP. 43]

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: FBI Calls FAA’s Cleveland Center, Warns It to Watch Delta 1989 Edit

Shortly after the second attack on the World Trade Center, FBI agents call Cleveland Center and warn air traffic controllers there to keep an eye on Delta Air Lines Flight 1989. According to USA Today, controllers at the Cleveland Center, which is tracking Delta 1989, have already been watching this flight, and, like the FBI, suspect “that terrorists plan to hijack [it] next.” Although Delta 1989 is not showing any signs of being hijacked, the reason for their suspicion is that it has many similarities to the two aircraft that hit the World Trade Center: it is also a Boeing 767, heavy with fuel, and had taken off from Boston’s Logan Airport around the same time as they did. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] At 9:27 a.m., the FAA’s Boston Center will—apparently mistakenly—report that Delta 1989 is missing (see 9:27 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] And at around 9:30 a.m., Cleveland Center controllers will mistakenly conclude that it has been hijacked (see (9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002]

(Between 9:04 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Military Cell Activated at FAA Command Center Edit

Brian Meenan. [Source: US Air Force] The Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC)—a small office at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, manned by military reservists—is activated.

Officers Learn of Attacks - Three officers are currently on duty in the ATSC: Colonel John Czabaranek, Lieutenant Colonel Michael-Anne Cherry, and Major Kevin Bridges. Colonel Brian Meenan, the director of the cell, is not in the ATSC at this time, and so Czabaranek, his deputy, is currently in charge. Czabaranek, Cherry, and Bridges learned of the first attack in New York at around 8:55 a.m. when another employee at the Command Center told them to turn on CNN, because an aircraft had crashed into the World Trade Center. The three officers initially thought the crash was an accident, but realized it was not when they saw the second aircraft hitting the WTC at 9:03 a.m. They then established contact with the Air Force Ops Center.

Cell Activated, Though Timing Unclear - The ATSC is activated, although the exact time this happens at is unclear. According to Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, the cell “quickly became a key communications node during the military’s response to [the] terrorist attacks.” [US AIR FORCE, 9/11/2001; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/10/2002] Jeff Griffith, the FAA’s deputy director of air traffic control, will tell the 9/11 Commission that “the military officers assigned to the Air Traffic Services Cell became immediately involved in coordinating FAA… Command Center actions with military elements.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/9/2004 ] According to a chronology of the ATSC’s actions on this day, calls to activate the cell are apparently made at unspecified times following the second attack in New York and before the FAA’s ground stop (at 9:26 a.m.). These calls are made by a Lieutenant Colonel Mahoney and a Colonel Litzenberger from the Air Force Ops Center. Apparently shortly after the calls are made, Czabaranek contacts NORAD to let it know that the ATSC is “up and running.” [US AIR FORCE, 9/11/2001]

Military Cell Aided by Recently-Installed Hardware - The ATSC’s response to the terrorist attacks benefits from the fact that, six weeks earlier, the cell had a secure terminal to access the SIPRNET—the military’s classified version of the Internet—installed, along with other hardware, which significantly enhances the movement of vital information. According to Meenan, because the cell has the SIPRNET terminal, “we could immediately look at NORAD and [Defense Department] plans as they evolved; filter, package, and format them, then walk out to the [FAA] national operations manager—who had control of the entire national airspace system—and give him current visibility into… fighter, tanker, and support aircraft activities. It cut down our response time tremendously.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/10/2002] ATSC Is a Bridge between FAA and Military - The ATSC is a “part-time military outfit, staffed by part-time Air Force Reserve members” who “provide a bridge between the civilian and military worlds when air traffic issues arise,” according to the Air Force Times. For example, “During a crisis, the armed forces suddenly may need to inject a large number of military airplanes into a sky that typically handles only a few hundred.” [AIR FORCE TIMES, 2000] However, Czabaranek will tell the 9/11 Commission that the ATSC is “not part of [the] FAA/NORAD hijack notification process.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/14/2004]

Presence of ATSC Officers a 'Fluke' - According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, the presence of the three ATSC officers at the FAA Command Center this morning is a “fluke,” since the Pentagon staffs the military cell “only three days per month for refresher training, but September 11 happened to be one of those days.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001]

Cell Handles Aircraft after Airspace Shut Down - Later in the day, after the national airspace has been shut down (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001), the ATSC personnel will coordinate actions relating to military and other special flights that are permitted to fly. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2003] They will be responsible for validating the requests they receive for the movement of aircraft, and issuing permissions in response to those requests. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ]

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Secret Service Learns of Additional Suspicious Planes, but Vice President’s Agents Supposedly Not AlertedEdit

A senior Secret Service agent at the White House establishes a direct phone line with his counterpart at the FAA and is told there are more suspect planes that are unaccounted for, but this information supposedly does not lead to the evacuation of the vice president from his White House office.

Secret Service Liaison Calls FAA - Secret Service agent Nelson Garabito, who is responsible for coordinating the president’s movements and is also the agency’s liaison to the FAA, is at the Secret Service Joint Operations Center (JOC) at the White House, attending a 9:00 a.m. meeting. After seeing the second attack on the World Trade Center on television, he calls Terry Van Steenbergen, his counterpart at the FAA. According to Garabito, the TV’s sound is off, so it takes a few minutes before he realizes a second plane has hit the WTC and makes the call. But Van Steenbergen, who is at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC, will say Garabito calls him “within 30 seconds” of the attack.

Warning Not Passed On - Shortly into the call, Van Steenbergen tells Garabito there are two unaccounted for planes that are possibly hijacked, in addition to the two that have crashed into the WTC. Garabito tells someone with him to run upstairs and pass this information on to other Secret Service agents, but, according to the 9/11 Commission, “it either was not passed on or was passed on but not disseminated.” As a result, Van Steenbergen’s information “failed to reach agents assigned to the vice president, and the vice president was not evacuated at that time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003, PP. 9-11; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/30/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464]

Conflicting Evacuation Times - According to the 9/11 Commission, the Secret Service does not evacuate Vice President Dick Cheney from his office at the White House until “just before 9:36.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] However, some accounts will say Cheney is evacuated around the time of the second attack on the WTC (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which would suggest that Van Steenbergen’s information is indeed passed on and disseminated. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] Garabito and Van Steenbergen will remain in contact over the phone—via a direct line, not a conference call—for the next 14 hours. Garabito feeds information to Van Steenbergen, though Van Steenbergen does not know how Garabito is getting this information. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/30/2004]

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: White House Officials Reportedly Converge on Cheney’s Office, but Accounts ConflictEdit

Vice President Dick Cheney sees the second plane hitting the World Trade Center live on television while meeting with his speechwriter John McConnell. He later claims that several other officials then come and join him in his White House office: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, political adviser Mary Matalin, and his chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who has come across from the Old Executive Office Building next door to the White House. [MEET THE PRESS, 9/16/2001] According to journalist and author Stephen Hayes, “As word of the attacks spread throughout the West Wing, many White House officials migrated to Cheney’s office.” As well as Rice, Libby, and Matalin, these include Sean O’Keefe, the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget; Josh Bolten, the deputy White House chief of staff; and Richard Clarke. [HAYES, 2007, PP. 332]

However, other accounts contradict this. Clarke claims that when he arrives at the White House shortly after 9:03, he sees the vice president and Rice, but the two are “alone in Cheney’s office” (see (9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (It is possible, though, that the other officials only arrive after Clarke ends his brief visit to the vice president’s office.) [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 1-2] In numerous interviews where she discusses her actions this morning, Rice makes no mention of heading to Cheney’s office after the second tower is hit. [O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE, 2/1/2002; BBC RADIO 4, 8/1/2002 ; AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 9/11/2002; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/11/2002] Also, according to some accounts, the Secret Service evacuates Cheney from his office shortly after the second attack occurs (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] Cheney claims that President Bush phones him around this time, while he is still in his office. [MEET THE PRESS, 9/16/2001] But according to White House adviser Karl Rove, who is with the president in Florida, Bush is unable to reach the vice president because Cheney is being evacuated from his office (see (9:16 a.m.-9:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [MSNBC, 9/11/2002]

Between 9:03 a.m. and 9:35 a.m. September 11, 2001: Rumsfeld Aides Discuss Pentagon as Possible Target Edit

Edmund Giambastiani, Jr. [Source: US Department of Defense] Navy Vice Admiral Edmund Giambastiani Jr., who is Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s senior military assistant, returned to his office after attending a breakfast meeting hosted by the secretary of defense (see (8:00 a.m.-8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). After learning the second WTC tower has been hit, he says, he realizes “it [is] no longer an accident.” Stephen Cambone, who is Rumsfeld’s closest aide, comes to Giambastiani’s office, which is located near to the defense secretary’s office. Reportedly, he is there “to discuss the Pentagon as a potential target and their course of action if it was attacked.” Then, “Minutes later,” the attack on the Pentagon occurs. [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/8/2006] Cambone is also reported as being at the Pentagon’s Executive Support Center (ESC), located down the hallway from Rumsfeld’s office, some time between when the attacks on the South Tower and the Pentagon occur (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [CLARKE, 2006, PP. 219-220] It is unclear whether he goes to the ESC before meeting with Giambastiani, or afterwards. Despite Cambone’s concern that the Pentagon could be a target, no attempt is made to evacuate the place before it is struck (see Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001), and it does not appear that any alarms are sounded either. [NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001]

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Otis Air Base Commanders Assemble, Make Transition to ‘Wartime Posture’Edit

Commanders at Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, begin taking decisive action following the second attack on the World Trade Center. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 153-154] The commanders learned of the attacks in New York from watching the coverage on television. After the second WTC tower was hit, one of them had ordered the base’s battle staff to assemble (see (8:56 a.m.-9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 87-88]

Commanders Gather in Operations Center - The commanders now convene in the base’s operations building. As officers take their posts, the installation operations center (IOC) there comes to life. In the glass-enclosed battle cab that is at the core of the IOC, senior commanders gather around a large conference table, which overlooks the two main operations centers: these are the command post, from where the air war is coordinated, and the survival recovery center, which handles support functions such as security, food, and medical care.

Commanders Take Pre-Emptive Action - Senior commanders confer with intelligence officers who are with them in the battle cab, over what to do in response to the crisis. Lt. Col. Paul Worcester, the logistics group commander of the 102nd Fighter Wing, which is based at Otis, says, “We need to start doing some things preemptively.” Author Lynn Spencer will describe: “The Otis commanders decided to ‘lean forward’ in anticipation of what they might be called upon to do. But there has never been an air attack on America, and there is no protocol in place to tell them how to respond. They knew intuitively that they could not wait on guidance from the higher echelons of NORAD. This attack could easily expand, and they needed to be prepared.” The senior commanders quickly establish their agenda, which is to recall all the base’s training flights, and begin loading fuel and weapons onto all available fighter jets. According to Spencer, “The officers smoothly undertook the task of transitioning to a wartime posture.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 153-154] Six jets that are out on a training mission will be recalled to the base (see (9:15 a.m.-9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CAPE COD TIMES, 9/11/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155]

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA’s New York and Washington Center Controllers Told to Watch for Suspicious AircraftEdit

After the second World Trade Center crash at 9:03 a.m., air traffic controllers at the FAA’s New York Center are told by their supervisors to watch for airplanes whose speed indicates that they are jets, but which either are not responding to commands or have disabled their transponders. Controllers in Washington receive a similar briefing, which will help them pick out hijacked planes more quickly. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001] Whether controllers at other FAA air traffic control centers receive similar instructions at this time is unclear, but those at its Indianapolis Center, which is handling Flight 77, are apparently not informed by their supervisors of the unfolding crisis. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 105-107] Entity Tags: Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 175, Flight AA 77

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Pentagon Building Command Center Reacts to WTC Attacks, but Accounts Conflict over Urgency of Its ResponseEdit

In the Building Operations Command Center (BOCC) inside the Pentagon, Steve Carter and his team are watching the unfolding events in New York on one of the center’s monitors. [PLUGGED IN QUARTERLY, 3/2002, PP. 4-5 ] As the assistant building manager, Carter is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Pentagon. [CNN, 3/5/2002] The BOCC, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is where systems such as lighting, heating, fire safety, and security for the Pentagon all come together “through a network of thousands of sensors, actuators, and controllers.” According to Chuck Holland, a technical manager, it “has three eight-foot screens back-to-back that monitor everything.… Anything that happens inside and outside the building, we watch it.” [IEEE SPECTRUM, 8/2003; ENGINEER UPDATE, 6/2007] After seeing the television footage of the second WTC tower being hit, Carter tells his assistant: “That’s not an accident. We have an event going.” According to some accounts, he and his team immediately begin lockdowns, securing all the mechanical and electrical areas within the Pentagon. They also begin searching for unauthorized people and unusual packages. [PLUGGED IN QUARTERLY, 3/2002, PP. 4-5 ; HI-TECH SECURITY SOLUTIONS, 10/2004; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 429] However, a report in the Washington Post suggests their response is less determined. It states that, after the second WTC crash, Carter “grew uneasy and called his boss to suggest they begin locking down electrical and mechanical rooms in the Pentagon in the event that officials upgraded building security.” The report does not say whether these actions are implemented before the Pentagon is hit at 9:37 a.m. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/11/2006] Carter also telephones the Pentagon’s Defense Protective Service and is informed that the threat condition for the building remains at “Normal” (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). He is told that if it should change, DPS will notify the center. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 137] No steps are taken to evacuate the Pentagon or alert workers before it is attacked. [VOGEL, 2007, PP. 429] Entity Tags: Chuck Holland, Steve Carter, Building Operations Command Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(Between 9:03 a.m. and 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: American Airlines and FAA Command Center Again Discuss Loss of Flight 77Edit

American Airlines and the FAA Command Center discuss the hijacking of Flight 77 again, apparently at some point between when Flight 175 hits the World Trade Center at 9:03 (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001) and Flight 77 hits the Pentagon at 9:37 (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). Although American Airlines was initially informed of the hijacking by the FAA (see 8:58 a.m. September 11, 2001 and 9:02 a.m. September 11, 2001), at this point an American Airlines employee calls an FAA employee and tells him that Flight 77 has been hijacked. The FAA employee appears to be unaware of this hijacking, as, when he is told that American Airlines is missing a second plane (in addition to Flight 11, which has hit the World Trade Center) he asks for the flight number and inquires when the company last knew something about the flight. The American Airlines employee responds by saying, “we were talking to them according to Indianapolis Center about 45 minutes ago.” As the last recorded communication with Flight 77 was as at 8:51 (see 8:51 a.m. September 11, 2001), this would put this conversation at around 9:36. However, this conversation is part of a transcript of discussions by FAA employees and others, and in the transcript it appears shortly after the first mention of Flight 175’s crash at 9:03, indicating it may have occurred earlier than 9:36. [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 19-21 ]

(9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Condoleezza Rice Learns of Second Attack, Realizes It Is Terrorism Edit

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is informed of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center and immediately realizes it is a terrorist attack. Rice learned of the first crash shortly before 9:00 a.m. while in her office at the White House, but, she will later say, had thought it was a “strange accident” (see (Between 8:46 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). She had gone down to the conference area of the White House Situation Room for her daily meeting with her top aides. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002; BUMILLER, 2007, PP. XI-XII] A few minutes into this meeting, her executive assistant hands her a note saying a second plane has hit the WTC. Rice will later recall: “I thought, ‘My God, this is a terrorist attack.‘… I knew right away, right away, because that—that couldn’t be coincidence that two planes had hit the World Trade Center that morning.” [PBS FRONTLINE, 7/12/2002; MSNBC, 9/11/2002] After telling her staff, “I have to go,” she abruptly gets up and heads out. [NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001] Vice President Dick Cheney and counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will indicate that Rice initially goes from her staff meeting to Cheney’s office (see (Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [NBC, 9/16/2001; CLARKE, 2004, PP. 1-2] But in her own recollections, Rice will make no mention of this, saying that she goes straight from the conference area to the Situation Room’s operations center, intending to assemble a crisis meeting of the national security team (see (9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE, 2/1/2002; PBS FRONTLINE, 7/12/2002; BBC RADIO 4, 8/1/2002 ; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; BUMILLER, 2007, PP. XII] Entity Tags: Condoleezza Rice Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: DIA Supervisor Thinks Pentagon Is Safest Building in the World In the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) comptroller’s office, on the first floor of the Pentagon’s C-ring, workers are reportedly uneasy at the news of the plane crashes in New York. However, Paul Gonzales, a retired Navy commander who is now a supervisor there, confidently declares that the Pentagon is probably the safest building in the world. So by 9:30 a.m., most of the workers in his section will be settling back to their usual business. The DIA comptroller’s office is one of the areas impacted when the Pentagon is hit at 9:37 (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). Of the 18 workers there, seven will die and five others will be hospitalized. [WASHINGTON POST, 3/11/2002; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 429; TENNESSEAN, 9/11/2007] Entity Tags: Paul Gonzales, Defense Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(9:04 a.m.-9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001: People in Buildings near Pentagon Concerned They Might be Targets of AttackEdit

People in the vicinity of the Pentagon, including the managers of the high USA Today building, phone the local emergency call center, with concerns about their own safety. [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 48; MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU, 2008] The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) is the focal point of all police and fire 911 calls for Arlington County, where the Pentagon is located. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 66] After events in New York make it clear the US is under attack, the phones there light up with calls from local people wanting to know what to do. [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 48] According to Assistant Chief James Schwartz of the Arlington County Fire Department, the center is “receiving phone calls from buildings that are along the [Potomac] river and are also along the flight path for [Washington’s Reagan] National Airport,” which is about a mile from the Pentagon. [MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU, 2008] USA Today Building Managers Concerned - Among the callers to the ECC are the building managers at the USA Today building in Rosslyn, who are worried their complex could be a target and want to know if they should evacuate it. [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 48] The USA Today complex is just a few miles down the road from the Pentagon. [USA TODAY, 9/13/2001] It includes the two tallest high-rise buildings in the county, one of which is 30-stories high. [WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/11/2001; CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 9] These two buildings are in fact known as the “Twin Towers.” [WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/7/2001] ECC Suggests Evacuation - The ECC has no specific guidance it can offer the building managers, but tells them that if it makes them feel better, based on what they are seeing on television, then they should evacuate their building. [MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU, 2008] Some employees will begin evacuating from the USA Today building after the Pentagon is hit at 9:37. However, Westfield Realty, the company that owns the building, will not ask the tenants to evacuate until around 11:00 a.m. [WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/11/2001; WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/14/2001] Firefighters Think USA Today Building Is a Possible Target - Around the time that the ECC is receiving calls from concerned people in the area, firefighters at a local fire station who have seen the television footage of the attacks in New York start speculating what landmarks terrorists might go for if they attacked northern Virginia. The firefighters in fact see the USA Today complex as the most obvious target, but they also consider the Pentagon, CIA headquarters, the White House, and the Capitol building to be potential targets. [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 9-10] Just before the time of the Pentagon attack, a fire alarm will go off at the USA Today building, though it is unclear whether this is actually caused by a fire there (see (Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU, 2008] Entity Tags: USA Today building, Arlington County Emergency Communications Center, Arlington County Fire Department, James Schwartz Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Manager Linda Schuessler Responds to Second WTC Crash, Secures FAA Command Center

Linda Schuessler. [Source: Robert A. Reeder / Washington Post] After staff members at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, see the second attack on the World Trade Center live on CNN, Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations there, makes the decision to secure the center in order to protect the building and its occupants. The Command Center’s doors are locked and all non-FAA personnel are ordered to leave the premises immediately. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 64; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 80-81] Schuessler will later say her reason for doing this is “because we didn’t know exactly what the situation was and what was going on.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] At some point early on, she also assigns a member of staff to each manager at the Command Center, to be a note-taker and keep a record of every decision and order given by that manager. She realizes that documentation of all actions will be crucial for later recreating the day’s events. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65] FAA Managers Gather Information - Schuessler will recall that, following the second attack, those in the Command Center start receiving information from FAA field facilities, “about unusual things that were going on.” National operations manager Ben Sliney, three first-level supervisors, and Schuessler are involved in gathering together information from around the country that the specialists at the Command Center are receiving. Schuessler will recall, “Every few minutes, we would gather in the middle of the operational floor and share the information and discuss what some of our options might be, what we needed to be doing.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001; FRENI, 2003, PP. 64] Schuessler Standing in for Absent Manager - Linda Schuessler has come to the Command Center after working at FAA headquarters, and lacks operation-level experience there. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] She is in charge of the Command Center this morning only because Jack Kies, the FAA’s manager of tactical operations, who would normally be in charge, is away for a meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65-66; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 5/18/2006] According to author Lynn Spencer, Schuessler therefore focuses on staying out of Ben Sliney’s way, and taking care of administrative tasks. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Ben Sliney, Linda Schuessler Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

9:04 a.m. September 11, 2001: Military Raises ‘Infocon’ Threat Level The 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, receives notification from NORAD of an increased Information Operations Condition (Infocon) threat level. The message from NORAD directs the 1st Fighter Wing command post to upgrade the Infocon computer security level from Normal to Alpha. According to the wing’s own records, this is “the first message correspondence” the wing receives “to indicate that September 11th would not be an average day.” [1ST FIGHTER WING HISTORY OFFICE, 12/2001] Steps to be taken under Infocon Alpha reportedly include “changing passwords, updating keys used to create classified communication lines, minimizing cell phone use, backing up important documents on hard drive, updating virus protection on home computers, reporting suspicious activity, and reviewing checklists.” [COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE, 5/3/2001] Five Security Levels - The Infocon system provides a structured, coordinated approach for defending against and reacting to attacks on Defense Department systems and networks. It comprises five levels of threat, each with its own protective procedures. These levels go from Normal, through Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie, up to Delta. [IANEWSLETTER, 12/2000 ; GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, 3/29/2001 ] General Ralph Eberhart, the commander of both the US Space Command and NORAD, is responsible for evaluating the threat to military computers and issuing information conditions—“Infocons”—to the US military. [COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE, 5/3/2001] He is presumably therefore responsible for currently raising the Infocon level. Threat Level Lowered on Previous Evening - The Infocon level was in fact lowered to Normal the previous evening, reportedly because of a reduced threat to US computer networks from hacker and virus attacks (see September 10, 2001). [1ST FIGHTER WING HISTORY OFFICE, 12/2001] The 1st Fighter Wing is the “host unit” at Langley Air Force Base, which is about 130 miles from Washington, DC. It includes three fighter squadrons, which fly the F-15 Eagle fighter jet. [VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 9/20/2001; LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, 11/2003; AIR FORCE PRINT NEWS, 11/9/2006] Entity Tags: Ralph Eberhart, North American Aerospace Defense Command, 1st Fighter Wing Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Capitol Building Not Evacuated, despite Being a Possible Target

John Glenn. [Source: John Glenn Archives, Ohio State University] Despite being a potential target for terrorists, the US Capitol building in Washington is not evacuated when the second World Trade Center tower is hit and it is clear the US is under attack. [CNN, 9/11/2002] Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D) is in the lobby of his office at the Capitol, and some of his staff members there are watching the television coverage of events in New York. Daschle has already been told about the first plane hitting the WTC, and then sees the second one hitting the South Tower live on television. As Daschle later recalls, he now realizes, “This is an attack.” Former Senator John Glenn (D), who has stopped by to say hello to Daschle, now warns him: “I’m not sure you ought to be here. This would be a logical target.” Indeed, Daschle will later comment, “I’ve heard people observe since that day what a prime target the Capitol building makes for such an air attack—this brilliant white structure perched on its own terraced hill, its dome outlined against the sky, with the broad, sprawling expanse of the Mall leading up to it like a long open runway.” [DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 105-107; KENT STATE UNIVERSITY, 5/10/2004] A bestselling 1994 novel by Tom Clancy in fact included the plotline of a suicide pilot deliberately crashing a Boeing 747 into the Capitol building (see August 17, 1994). [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/2/1994; NEWSDAY, 5/20/2002] Yet Daschle is able to continue with his scheduled weekly team meeting with his senior staff, where they discuss budget issues. [DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 106-107] Even by the time the Pentagon is hit, more than 25 minutes later, there will still have been no evacuation of the Capitol. [CNN, 9/11/2002] The building will eventually be evacuated around 9:48 a.m., reportedly due to fears of a plane approaching it (see 9:48 a.m. September 11, 2001). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/21/2002; DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 109; HASTERT, 2004, PP. 8] Entity Tags: Tom Daschle, John Glenn Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Administrator Garvey Arrives at FAA Headquarters and Learns of Second Attack FAA Administrator Jane Garvey arrives at her office at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC, and is informed that a second aircraft has just hit the World Trade Center. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 88] Garvey learned of the first crash while at the nearby Department of Transportation, where she had been in a meeting with Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and the Belgian transportation minister (see (8:48 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001). She had phoned FAA headquarters and was told by a supervisor, “We know a plane has just gone in, but we’re also tracking a hijacking.” She immediately went out to her car and headed back to headquarters, which is located two blocks away from the Department of Transportation. [BOSTON GLOBE, 11/4/2001] When Garvey arrives at her office on the 10th floor of the headquarters, she finds Monte Belger, her acting deputy, there. She asks him, “What do we know?” and he replies: “[T]his is something beyond a hijacking. This is not an accident. There is something here. [The Department of] Defense is going to be taking the lead.” Belger also informs Garvey that, just before she arrived, a second plane hit the WTC. Garvey heads across the hall to the Operations Center, where security personnel have already established a “hijacking net”—a teleconference that includes several agencies, including the Defense Department (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to author Lynn Spencer, Garvey “understands that it will be her job to pull information from the [FAA] Command Center in Herndon and forward that information as quickly as possible up the chain, to the Department of Transportation and any other agencies requiring it.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 88-89] Garvey and Belger spend the next 40 minutes going back and forth between their offices and the Operations Center. Staffers keep them informed about decisions being made by Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA Command Center. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Entity Tags: Monte Belger, Jane Garvey, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: New York City Put on Highest State of Alert

Joseph Esposito. [Source: NYPD] Soon after the second plane hits the World Trade Center, the New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Department Joseph Esposito calls for the initiation of something called Operation Omega. This puts New York on the highest state of alert, and requires the protection of sensitive locations around the city. NYPD headquarters is secured and all other government buildings are evacuated. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/18/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 302] Operation Omega is reportedly still in effect a month later. [NEW YORK POST, 10/6/2001] Entity Tags: Joseph Esposito, New York City Police Department Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Wolfowitz Continues Routine Meeting, Rumsfeld Stays in Office Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz has recently left a meeting with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld around 8:46 a.m. (see (Before 8:46 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Wolfowitz later recalls, “We were having a meeting in my office. Someone said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Then we turned on the television and we started seeing the shots of the second plane hitting, and this is the way I remember it. It’s a little fuzzy.… There didn’t seem to be much to do about it immediately and we went on with whatever the meeting was.” [VANITY FAIR, 5/9/2003] Rumsfeld recalls that around this time, “I was in my office with a CIA briefer and I was told that a second plane had hit the other tower.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/23/2004] Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke headed to Rumsfeld’s office right after the second plane hit. She later recalls, “A couple of us had gone into… Secretary Rumsfeld’s office, to alert him to that, tell him that the crisis management process was starting up. He wanted to make a few phone calls.” Rumsfeld tells Clarke and his personal chief of staff Larry Di Rita, who is with her, to go to the Executive Support Center (ESC) located near his office, and wait for him. “In the meantime, he would get his daily intelligence briefing, which was already scheduled for nine thirty.” Di Rita and Clarke head off down the hallway to the ESC, while Rumsfeld stays in his office. Apparently Rumsfeld will not go to the ESC until around 10:15 a.m. (see (10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WBZ RADIO 1030 (BOSTON), 9/15/2001; CLARKE, 2006, PP. 218-219] Entity Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, Larry DiRita, Paul Wolfowitz, Victoria Clarke Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Day of 9/11 Events, All Day of 9/11 Events, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Myers Learns of Second Attack but Does Not Head Back to Pentagon; Reports Are Contradictory Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers learns of the second attack on the World Trade Center. According to some reports, Myers entered a meeting on Capitol Hill with Senator Max Cleland (D-GA) just minutes before the second plane hit the WTC (see Shortly Before 9:00 a.m. September 11, 2001). There are confused accounts of when he learns of this second attack and what he does in response. Myers later tells NBC News, “[S]omewhere in the middle of that meeting, they came in and said the second tower has been hit… and I think that’s when we figured out something—that America or at least the World Trade Center is under attack.” He adds, “And then I left the office,” and, he says, NORAD Commander Ralph Eberhart then calls him. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] Similarly, in his 2009 memoirs, Myers will write that Cleland “had started preparing a pot of tea, but we hadn’t taken a sip when a staff person came in from the outer office and informed us that the second tower had been hit. We both knew the interview was over and started out to the TV to see the South Tower erupting with smoke and flame.” [MYERS, 2009, PP. 8] In testimony on September 13, 2001, Myers will state, “[A]fter the second tower was hit, I spoke to the commander of NORAD, General Eberhart.” [US CONGRESS, 9/13/2001] In a speech in 2006, Myers says that after the second attack occurs, “The meeting was over very quickly.” [COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, 6/29/2006] He will tell CNN, “[W]hen the second target was hit, we knew something was up, so we rushed back to the Pentagon.” [CNN, 4/15/2003] Yet in an interview five weeks after 9/11, Myers claims, “Nobody informed us” when the second tower was hit, “But when we came out [of our meeting], that was obvious.” [ARMED FORCES RADIO AND TELEVISION SERVICE, 10/17/2001; AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 10/23/2001] And, according to several accounts, he does not leave Capitol Hill until around the time the Pentagon is hit, which is more than 30 minutes after the second attack happens (see (Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). In a speech in 2003, Cleland will recall: “Gen. Myers bolted from his seat. We rushed into an adjoining office as we saw on TV the second plane slam into the second tower. Gen. Myers rushed out of my office, headed for the Pentagon. At that moment, the Pentagon was hit.” [ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 6/16/2003] But on a couple of other occasions, Cleland says he is still meeting with Myers in his office at the time the Pentagon is hit. [US CONGRESS, 9/13/2001; CNN, 11/20/2001] Contradicting both Cleland and Myers, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will claim that when he joins a video teleconference shortly after the time of the second attack, he can see Myers on screen, meaning Myers is at the Pentagon at that time rather than on Capitol Hill (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 1-3] Entity Tags: Max Cleland, Ralph Eberhart, Richard B. Myers Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Demolition Engineer Anticipates WTC Collapses; Tries to Warn Authorities

Mark Loizeaux. [Source: Dan Gross / Washington Technology] Immediately after seeing the attacks on the the World Trade Center on television, Mark Loizeaux, the president of leading building demolition firm Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI), tries to contact government officials to warn them that the Twin Towers will probably collapse. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/22/2003; NEW SCIENTIST, 7/24/2004] Loizeaux will later recall his initial reaction to the crashes in New York. After the first tower is hit, he will say, “I told Doug [Loizeaux, his brother] immediately that the tower was coming down, and when the second tower was hit, that it would follow.” According to US News and World Report, “Horrified, the Loizeaux brothers watched first responders streaming into the doomed towers and tried frantically, and unsuccessfully, to phone in warnings.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/22/2003] Mark Loizeaux will recall, “I still had some cell phone numbers, so when the second plane hit I said, ‘Start calling all the cell phones, tell them that the building is going to come down.’” However: “It was frenetic, nobody could get through even with speed dialling.… Of course, building number 7, where the emergency management headquarters was, was on fire. I’d been in that office two months before.” Loizeaux then phones a couple of people on the National Research Council committee involved in assessing the impact of explosives. They ask him, “What do you think this is, that they’re going to fail, that they’re both going to fail?” Loizeaux will recall: “The expression around was they’re going to pancake down, almost vertically. And they did. It was the only way they could fail. It was inevitable.” [NEW SCIENTIST, 7/24/2004] Soon after the attacks, Loizeaux, as a recognized expert, will be called upon to comment on the fall of the WTC towers. [CONSTRUCTION (.COM), 9/13/2001] In addition, his firm will be involved with the clearing of Ground Zero. (It was also tasked with bringing down the remnants of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City after its partial destruction in 1995 (see April 19, 1995).) [CONSTRUCTION (.COM), 10/1/2001] Entity Tags: Mark Loizeaux, Doug Loizeaux Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, World Trade Center

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Pentagon’s Executive Support Center Goes into Operation, But Rumsfeld Not Present

Victoria Clarke. [Source: US Department of Defense] Just minutes after the second plane hits the World Trade Center, the Executive Support Center (ESC) within the Pentagon goes into operation. The ESC is located next door to the National Military Command Center (NMCC), and comprises several conference rooms that are secure against electronic eavesdropping. The Pentagon’s state-of-the-art communications hub, “Cables,” is establishing secure two-way video links with the White House and other key agencies. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke arrives at the ESC soon after the second crash, accompanied by Larry Di Rita, who is Donald Rumsfeld’s personal chief of staff. They have just visited Rumsfeld and informed him of the second crash, but he has remained in his office to wait for his daily intelligence briefing (see (After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Also at the ESC at this time is Rumsfeld’s closest aide, Stephen Cambone. According to Clarke, the ESC is “the place where the building’s top leadership goes to coordinate military operations during national emergencies.” Yet supposedly the Secretary of Defense does not join them there until about 10:15 A.M. (see (10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CLARKE, 2006, PP. 218-221; COCKBURN, 2007, PP. 5-6] Entity Tags: Victoria Clarke, Larry DiRita, Stephen A. Cambone, Executive Support Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(9:04 a.m.-9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001: House Speaker Has Problems Contacting the Vice President; Receives Nuisance Call

Dennis Hastert. [Source: Congressional Pictorial Directory] Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who is third in line for the presidency, is in his office suite on the second floor of the US Capitol building when he sees the second plane hitting the World Trade Center live on television. [HASTERT, 2004, PP. 5] He is told that Vice President Dick Cheney will soon be calling him on the secure telephone in his office. [DAILY HERALD (ARLINGTON HEIGHTS), 9/11/2002] However, Cheney is currently having problems using secure phones, and Hastert is too. Hastert later recalls, “To use the secure phone, you have to push a button and turn a key. On that dreadful day I couldn’t make the thing work. No matter what I did, I couldn’t connect with the vice president. As the minutes passed, my frustrations grew.” [HASTERT, 2004, PP. 6; HAYES, 2007, PP. 336] Several attempts to reach the vice president are unsuccessful. Hastert’s later explanation is that “Anyone who has used a secure phone can tell you they do not work very well.” However, numerous other people in the Washington area, including senior government officials, are also experiencing serious communications problems throughout the day (see (After 8:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Around the time the Pentagon is hit, the light on Hastert’s regular phone starts flashing, but instead of being Cheney it is apparently a nuisance caller, who complains, “I can’t get a hold of Jeb Bush, I can’t get a hold of the president, I can’t get a hold of Colin Powell. All this stuff is happening. What are you guys doing?” When Hastert asks the caller who they are, their reply is, “I’m just a citizen. Who is this?” [CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/25/2001; DAILY HERALD (ARLINGTON HEIGHTS), 9/11/2002; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/16/2007] Shortly afterwards, the Capitol is evacuated (see 9:48 a.m. September 11, 2001) and Hastert’s Secret Service agents hurry him out of the building. It is not until around 11 a.m. that Cheney finally speaks to him. [HASTERT, 2004, PP. 8-9; HAYES, 2007, PP. 337 AND 340-341] Entity Tags: Dennis Hastert, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Dick Cheney

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NORAD Training Exercise Canceled A NORAD training exercise that is taking place this morning, presumably Vigilant Guardian (see (6:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001), is reportedly canceled shortly after 9:03, when the second World Trade Center tower is hit. [AIRMAN, 3/2002] NORAD Commander Larry Arnold later says that after Flight 175 hits the South Tower, “I thought it might be prudent to pull out of the exercise, which we did.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 59] According to author Lynn Spencer: “The phone calls start flying between the various NORAD command centers. General Arnold calls Maj. Gen. Rick Findley” at NORAD’s operations center in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, “to give him the latest information and have him withdraw all forces from the simulated exercise.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 86] Arnold will recall, “As we pulled out of the exercise we were getting calls about United Flight 93 and we were worried about that.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 59] Some early accounts say the military receives notification of the possible hijacking of Flight 93 at around 9:16 a.m. (see 9:16 a.m. September 11, 2001). [CNN, 9/17/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] However, the 9/11 Commission will later claim that NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) first receives a call about Flight 93 at 10:07 a.m. (see 10:05 a.m.-10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Arnold will add, “Then we had another call from Boston Center about a possible hijacking, but that turned out to be the airplane that had already hit the South Tower but we didn’t know that at the time.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 59] Entity Tags: Larry Arnold, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Vigilant Guardian, Rick Findley Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Training Exercises

(9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 175 Crash Leads to Confusion at NEADS; Some Think It Is a Simulation NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) in Rome, NY, has just received a phone call informing it of the hijacking of Flight 175 (see (9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and several personnel have witnessed the plane crashing into the second World Trade Center tower live on CNN. There is considerable confusion on the operations floor over whether the plane seen on TV is the hijacking they have just been informed of. Tape recordings capture NEADS personnel in the background trying to make sense of things: “Is this explosion part of that that we’re lookin’ at now on TV?“… “And there’s a possible second hijack also—a United Airlines“… “Two planes?” Someone comments, “I think this is a damn input, to be honest.” [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Another person replies, “Then this is a damned messed-up input!” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 84] “Input” refers to a simulations input, as part of a training exercise. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] NORAD has the capacity to inject simulated material, including mass attacks, during exercises, “as though it was being sensed for the first time by a radar site.” [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 1/15/1999] At least one military exercise this morning is reported to include simulated information injected onto radar screens (see (9:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [TORONTO STAR, 12/9/2001] At the current time, despite the earlier crash of Flight 11, NORAD has yet to cancel a major exercise it is in the middle of (see (Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 59] Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 175, Training Exercises

(After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Base Commanders Offer to Help NORAD; Timing of Acceptance Unclear

Amraam missiles being loaded onto a 119th Fighter Wing jet at an unknown time on the day of 9/11. The 119th is based at Langley, Virgnina. [Source: William Quinn] Shortly after the second WTC crash, calls from fighter units begin “pouring into NORAD and sector operations centers, asking, ‘What can we do to help?’” From Syracuse, New York, a commander of the 174th Fighter Wing of the New York Air National Guard calls and tells NEADS commander Robert Marr: “Give me ten [minutes] and I can give you hot guns. Give me 30 [minutes] and I’ll have heat-seeker [missiles]. Give me an hour and I can give you slammers [Amraams].” Marr replies, “I want it all.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002; NEWS 10 NOW, 9/12/2006] Reportedly, Marr says: “Get to the phones. Call every Air National Guard unit in the land. Prepare to put jets in the air. The nation is under attack.” [NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE, 1/25/2002] Canadian Major General Eric Findley, based in Colorado and in charge of NORAD on this day, reportedly has his staff immediately order as many fighters in the air as possible. [OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/11/2002] However, according to another account, NORAD does not accept the offers until about an hour later: “By 10:01 a.m., the Command Center began calling several bases across the country for help.” [TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001] The 9/11 Commission later concludes that a command for other bases to prepare fighters to scramble is not given until 9:49 a.m. In fact, it appears the first fighters from other bases to take off are those from Syracuse at 10:42 a.m. (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001) This is over an hour and a half after Syracuse’s initial offer to help, and not long after a general ban on all flights, including military ones, is lifted at 10:31 a.m. (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001) These are apparently the fourth set of fighters scrambled from the ground. Previously, three fighters from Langley, two from Otis, and two from Toledo, Ohio, were scrambled at 10:01 a.m. (see 10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001), but did not launch until fifteen minutes later. [TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001] Entity Tags: Eric Findley, Robert Marr, North American Aerospace Defense Command, 174th Fighter Wing Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft Learns of Attacks, Wants to Return to WashingtonEdit

Susan Dryden. [Source: Davar Ardalan / NPR News] Attorney General John Ashcroft learns of the attacks in New York while flying to Milwaukee, and immediately instructs his pilot to turn the plane around and return to Washington, DC. [DAILY RECORD (GLASGOW), 9/29/2001; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 115-116; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 257] Ashcroft Scheduled for Reading Event - Ashcroft is heading from Washington to Milwaukee in one of the FAA’s Cessna Citation V jet planes, to read with some schoolchildren as part of the president’s child literacy program. With him are David Israelite, his deputy chief of staff; Susan Dryden, the deputy communications director for the Justice Department; Ralph Boyd, the assistant attorney general for civil rights; and a detail officer from the FBI. Command Center Tells Ashcroft of Attacks - As the plane is nearing Lake Michigan, its pilot calls out to Ashcroft, “Sir, you are to call back to the Justice Department command center in Washington immediately.” Ashcroft makes the call and is informed that two commercial airliners have struck the World Trade Center towers. He then turns toward the cockpit and tells the pilot, David Clemmer: “Turn this plane around. We’re flying back to Washington.” Clemmer replies that they don’t have enough fuel to make it back to Washington and will need to land in Milwaukee to refuel. Ashcroft says, “All right, get us down for fuel and back in the air as fast as you can.” Plane Lands at Milwaukee Airport - Ashcroft then turns toward the other passengers and describes to them what he has learned from the command center. A few minutes later, his plane will land in Milwaukee to refuel. Ashcroft and his fellow passengers will go inside the terminal and get their first glimpses of the television coverage of the attacks in New York. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/28/2001; NEWSWEEK, 3/10/2003; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 115-117] Despite an FAA ground stop, which is supposed to prevent aircraft from taking off, Ashcroft will insist on flying from Milwaukee back to Washington (see After 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 257-258] Entity Tags: David Israelite, Ralph Boyd, David Clemmer, John Ashcroft, Susan Dryden Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Superintendent Doesn’t Send School Children Home, Despite Danger At the Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, where President Bush is staging a photo-op, White House security staff reportedly urge school officials to send the students home. As the Arlington Heights Daily Herald later points out, “the well-publicized event at the school assured Bush’s location that day was no secret,” and therefore “Bush’s presence made even the planned reading event a perceived target.” Yet Wilma Hamilton, the superintendent of schools for Sarasota County, who is at the school for Bush’s visit, refuses their advice. In spite of the danger, she later says she is glad she made this decision: “I couldn’t see sending the children home. There’d be no one there. All they would have to look at were those images on television.” Whether the school officials are advised to send the children home before or after the president leaves the place is unspecified. [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 43; DAILY HERALD (ARLINGTON HEIGHTS), 9/11/2006] Entity Tags: Wilma Hamilton Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: CIA Counterterrorist Center Learns of at Least One More Plane Unaccounted for According to CIA Director George Tenet, “Only minutes” after the South Tower is hit, the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC) receives a report that at least one other commercial passenger jet plane is unaccounted for. [TENET, 2007, PP. 163] The CTC is based at the CIA headquarters in Langley, and is run by the agency’s operations division. It gathers intelligence and runs covert operations abroad. It employs hundreds of analysts, and includes experts assigned from Defense Department intelligence agencies, the Pentagon’s Central Command, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, and other government agencies. According to the Los Angeles Times, “It serves as the nerve center for the CIA’s effort to disrupt and deter terrorist groups and their state sponsors.” [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/2/2001; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/12/2001] Further details of the unaccounted-for plane, and where the CTC learns of it from, are unclear. The plane is presumably Flight 77, which veered off course at 8:54 (see (8:54 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and was evidently lost by 8:56 (see 8:56 a.m. September 11, 2001). [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9] The FAA will later claim it had established several phone bridges at around 8:50 a.m., which included various government agencies, on which it shared “real-time information… about the unfolding events, including information about loss of communication with aircraft, loss of transponder signals, unauthorized changes in course, and other actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77” (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] So the CTC may have learned of the errant plane by this means. Yet the 9/11 Commission will claim the FAA’s phone bridges were not established until about 9:20 (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 36] And NORAD is supposedly only alerted to Flight 77 at 9:24, according to some accounts (see (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001), or 9:34, according to others (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Despite Attacks in New York, Pentagon Defense Chief Does Not Raise Alert Level Despite two attacks having occurred in New York, the threat level at the Pentagon is not raised. John Jester, the chief of the Defense Protective Service (DPS)—the law enforcement agency that guards the Pentagon—is in his office at the Pentagon. He had been unaware of the first WTC crash and only learned of it when his press officer, Glenn Flood, phoned about it at around 9:00 a.m. and asked him if he would be reacting. Jester switched on the TV in his office just in time to see the second tower hit, at 9:03 a.m. Even though he realizes that it is “obvious this was a terrible attack,” Jester later recalls that at this time, he is “thinking about what else we needed to do based on the attacks in New York, not having in my mind that it would happen here too.” [MURPHY, 2002, PP. 243-244] Lieutenant Michael Nesbitt, who runs day-to-day operation in the DPS Communications Center on the first floor of the Pentagon, telephones Jester and asks if he knows about the crashes in New York. Jester instructs Nesbitt to send a message to the building’s Real Estate and Facilities Directorate, reassuring everyone that the Pentagon remains secure. Jester tells him that its Terrorist Force Protection Condition is staying at “Normal,” which means there is no present threat of terrorist activity. (The Terrorist Force Protection Condition—previously known as the Terrorist Threat Condition—ranges from Normal through four higher levels, from Alpha to Delta.) According to the Defense Department’s own book about the Pentagon attack, “No one in DPS received warning of a hijacked aircraft on its way to the Washington area.” Jester apparently will not order the threat level to be raised until shortly before 9:37, when the Pentagon is hit (see (Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001); at the time of the attack, the alert level will still be at Normal. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 151-152] Entity Tags: US Department of Defense, Michael Nesbitt, Pentagon, John Jester Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NMCC Commander Concludes US is Under Attack, Yet Does Not Retake Charge of Center

Brigadier General Montague Winfield. [Source: US Army] Brigadier General Montague Winfield, commander of the National Military Command Center (NMCC), the Pentagon’s emergency response center, later says, “When the second aircraft flew into the second tower, it was at that point that we realized that the seemingly unrelated hijackings that the FAA was dealing with were in fact a part of a coordinated terrorist attack on the United States.” [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] For unknown reasons, Winfield had stepped down from his usual position at 8:30 a.m., and allowed Captain Charles Leidig to temporarily take his place as deputy director for operations in the NMCC (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004 ] Post 9/11 news reports will give the impression that Winfield remained in the NMCC throughout the course of the attacks, and was aware of the unfolding events. None of them will mention him ever having left the center. [CNN, 9/4/2002; ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] Yet, despite concluding that the US is suffering a “coordinated terrorist attack,” Winfield allows Leidig to continue as his stand-in, and does not take over from him and resume charge of the center until shortly after Flight 93 has crashed. This would presumably be around 10:15-10:30 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Charles Leidig, Federal Aviation Administration, Montague Winfield Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Pentagon

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Admiral in Charge of Navy Anti-Terrorism Division Finally Realizes US Is Under Attack But Does Not Know from Whom Edit

Jeffrey Hathaway. [Source: US Department of Defense] Rear Admiral Jeffrey Hathaway of the US Coast Guard is presently temporarily assigned to the Navy Command Center at the Pentagon. For about the last two months, he has been in charge of Navy Anti-Terrorism Force Protection. He’d been at the Command Center earlier on for the morning briefings, but headed back to Coast Guard headquarters at about 8 a.m. He’d been aware of the first plane hitting the WTC, yet, despite his specific anti-terrorism role, apparently did not know immediately that the US was under terrorist attack. He later says it was only “apparent to me after I found out that the second plane had flown into the World Trade Center that the first one was not an accident, and that there was some sort of a coordinated attack.” Furthermore, he will claim, “No one knew where it was coming from. It could have been domestic terrorists for all we knew. No one knew why.” He claims there were no indicators that such an attack was imminent, saying, “There were general indicators in the air of general threats; nothing that was in my role that would have indicated hijacked airliners INCONUS [in the continental US].… There was very little attention being paid to anti-terrorism efforts INCONUS for the Navy. We were mostly focused on the fallout from the USS Cole bombing in Yemen.” [US COAST GUARD, 6/20/2002; NATIONAL DEFENSE MAGAZINE, 6/2003] Entity Tags: Jeffrey Hathaway, US Department of the Navy Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Atlantic City Fighters Recalled from Runway to be Armed, but Do Not Launch until after Pentagon AttackEdit

Mike Cosby. [Source: US Department of Defense] Two fighter jets at a New Jersey military unit that are about to launch for training are recalled to respond to the attacks in New York, but will not be airborne until after the Pentagon is hit. The two F-16s belong to the 177th Fighter Wing, located at Atlantic City International Airport, and are only loaded with BDUs (practice bombs) for their routine training mission. [CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 10/2002] Colonel James Haye, the supervisor of flying (SOF) at the 177th FW, was informed of the first aircraft hitting the World Trade Center, and then went to a nearby television to see the footage of the burning North Tower. He’d alerted Lt. Col. Randall King, one of the base’s pilots, who was in the same room as him. King, who is an experienced commercial pilot, said: “Whoever was at the controls did that on purpose. That is no accidental crash! And that was no small airplane!” After watching the television coverage for several minutes, Haye sets about putting the scheduled training mission on hold. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 58-59 AND 120] As they are taxiing to the runway, the two fighters preparing to launch are told to stop and return to the flight line (the parking and servicing area for aircraft). Personnel at the base then set about removing the training munitions and arming the planes with live missiles. Major Tom Cleary, one of the pilots, will later recall, “We launched almost immediately after the Pentagon was hit.” However, apparently his aircraft will not be properly armed. He recalls, “I was still carrying training munitions, but I had live guns.” Col. Mike Cosby, the commander of the 177th FW, indicates the jets may not launch until slightly later, saying, “We were airborne within the hour after the Pentagon attack.” Later on, four F-16s with live missiles will be launched from the unit, followed by another four, also with live missiles. According to Cosby, “We were the first non-alert unit to fly armed ordnance over the Northeast corridor anywhere the Northeast Sector of NORAD wanted us to fly, between New York City and Washington, DC.” [CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 10/2002] Two F-16s with the 177th FW have been airborne already this morning, practicing bombing runs near Atlantic City, and are called back to base following the attacks on the WTC to be re-fitted with live missiles and then re-launched (see 8:46 a.m.-9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [BERGEN RECORD, 12/5/2003] Entity Tags: Mike Cosby, James Haye, 177th Fighter Wing, Randall King, Tom Cleary Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

(9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Officers Realize US Is under Attack, Yet No Fighters Are LaunchedEdit

Pilots and officers with the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, realize the US is under terrorist attack when they learn of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center, yet the first DCANG fighter to launch in response to the attacks will not take off until more than 90 minutes later. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 122-123] Intel Officer Reports Crash - The 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard, which includes the 121st Fighter Squadron, is based at Andrews. [DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AIR NATIONAL GUARD, 7/24/2001; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 10/21/2001] Some of its pilots and officers who are in the unit’s weekly scheduling meeting at the base learned of the first crash when an intelligence officer interrupted their meeting to bring them the news, but they assumed it was an accident (see Shortly After 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). After the second plane hits the WTC at 9:03 a.m., the intelligence officer returns. He bursts into the room, yelling: “It’s happened again! The second tower has been hit! And it’s on purpose!” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 122] Officers Realize This Is a 'Coordinated Attack' - Those in the meeting realize this is a terrorist attack. Captain Brandon Rasmussen, a pilot who is also the chief of scheduling with the unit, will later recall: “At that point [the] meeting adjourned, this is no longer a pure accident, somebody is meaning to do this. I think everybody knew that this was a coordinated attack that was happening. We had no idea who it was by, but it was definitely intentional when you get two airplanes hitting both towers.” The officers head down the hall to the break room, where the television is on. Seeing the coverage from New York, they realize that large airliners hit the towers, not “light civil aircraft” as they previously thought. People 'Launched into Action' - One officer exclaims, “Well, holy sh_t, if this is a terrorist attack, we need to get something in the air!” [RASMUSSEN, 9/18/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 123] Lieutenant Colonel Steve Chase, who is at the operations desk, will later describe: “People just launched into action. There was a buzz in the unit. People got on the radio and telephones to higher headquarters.” [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002] Leadership Only Acts after Pentagon Attack - However, Rasmussen will say that the 121st Fighter Squadron only takes proper action in response to the attacks after the Pentagon is hit at 9:37 a.m. He will recall that, after learning of the second attack, “we didn’t know what we could possibly do, that’s New York City way up the road. So… like everybody else in America, we’re just standing by and watching the news. Time dilatation between the towers being hit and when the Pentagon was hit, but the news [broke] about the Pentagon being hit, and by that time they were in our backyard. At that point, the squadron leadership went into action.… As soon as the Pentagon was hit, we knew that we were going to be sticking around home and being quite busy.” [RASMUSSEN, 9/18/2003] Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the DC Air National Guard, will only head across the base to assist the response at the 121st Fighter Squadron’s headquarters after the Pentagon attack occurs (see (Shortly After 9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 445-446] Jets Take Off over 90 Minutes Later - According to Knight Ridder, “Air defense around Washington, DC, is provided mainly by fighter planes from Andrews.” [KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/11/2001] Yet the first DCANG fighter jet to take off in response to the attacks does not launch until 95 minutes after the second crash, at 10:38 a.m. (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and this has no missiles, only training ammunition. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] The first fully armed jets will take off from Andrews at 11:11 a.m. (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 84; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004] Entity Tags: 121st Fighter Squadron, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Steve Chase, Brandon Rasmussen Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

(9:04 a.m.-9:11 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Traffic Control Managers Ban Aircraft around New York and WashingtonEdit

In a series of stages, air traffic control managers ban aircraft from flying near the cities targeted by the hijackers. All takeoffs and landings in New York City are halted within two minutes of the Flight 175 crash [see 1]. Mike McCormick, the air traffic control manager at New York Center, makes the decision. Boston Center follows suit in the next few minutes. Around 9:08 a.m.-9:11 a.m., departures nationwide heading to or through the New York and Boston regions’ airspace are canceled. . [1] In addition, “a few minutes” after 9:03 a.m., all takeoffs from Washington Reagan National Airport are stopped.. [2]

After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: CIA’s Deputy Director and New York Station Chief Conclude Bin Laden Behind AttackEdit

At the CIA’s Langley headquarters, Deputy Director for Operations James Pavitt has arrived back at his office after attending an 8:30 a.m. meeting in the agency’s conference room (see (8:48 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The second WTC tower has already been hit by this time. Pavitt sends a message to all CIA stations, saying, “I expect each station and each officer to redouble efforts of collecting intelligence on this tragedy.” Mary, the CIA’s New York station chief, calls him. In this call, Pavitt and Mary agree that Osama bin Laden is behind the attack. According to journalist and author Ronald Kessler, they believe that “Its scope, temerity, degree of planning, and viciousness fit his way of operating.” [KESSLER, 2003, PP. 202-204] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, James Pavitt, Central Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events


The head of the agency that provides security at the Pentagon informs another military employee that the Pentagon is unprotected against an aerial attack. In reaction to the news of the attacks on New York, Army Deputy Administrative Assistant Sandra Riley telephones John Jester, the chief of the Defense Protective Service (DPS)—the law enforcement agency that guards the Pentagon. She asks him, “What do we have in place to protect from an airplane?” He tells her, “Nothing.” According to the Defense Department’s book about the Pentagon attack: “The Pentagon did not have an antiaircraft system on the roof of the building or on the grounds. Even if DPS had received word of an inbound plane, it had no plan to counter a suicide air attack. Had a warning been issued in time, DPS’s only effective response would have been evacuation and dispersal of the building’s occupants.” [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 152] The Washington Post will similarly claim the Pentagon has “no anti-aircraft guns posted on its roof, nor any radars of its own for tracking local air traffic.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001] Yet, at the nearby White House, the Secret Service is believed to have a battery of ground-to-air Stinger missiles ready to defend the place. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Sandra Riley, John Jester, Pentagon Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: WTC 7 Alarms Activate; OEM Calls for Air Security and Warned of Plane Heading for New York The second plane hitting the World Trade Center (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001) causes internal alarms to go off in WTC Building 7, located just a few hundred feet away from the Twin Towers. The alarms warn there is no water pressure and that the building’s emergency power generator has been activated. Office of Emergency Management (OEM) staff, based in Building 7, immediately request air security over New York. They are told that federal support is on its way, but the Federal Aviation Administration instructs them to use NYPD and Port Authority Police Department air assets to clear the airspace around the WTC. They are also warned that the Kennedy Airport control tower is reporting an unaccounted for plane heading towards New York. A report by the Mineta Transportation Institute will claim that this plane is Flight 93, which later crashes in Pennsylvania. [JENKINS AND EDWARDS-WINSLOW, 9/2003, PP. 16] However, Flight 93 is still flying west at this time, and only reverses course and heads towards Washington at around 9:36 a.m. (see (9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to at least one person at the scene, WTC 7 is evacuated around this time due to the reports of this incoming third plane (see (9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [JEMS AND FIRERESCUE SUPPLEMENT, 3/2002, PP. 68 ] Entity Tags: Office of Emergency Management, World Trade Center, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, World Trade Center

Soon After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Director of Air Traffic Services Joins FAA Teleconference Edit

in a template

Bill Peacock, the FAA director of air traffic services, is currently away from FAA headquarters for a meeting in New Orleans Wikipedia [see 2]. His staff called him earlier to alert him to the possible hijacking of Flight 11. He returned to his hotel room in time to see the second attack live on CNN. He quickly phones FAA headquarters, trying to contact his staff, and has his call added to the teleconference being run from the conference room next to his office.[3] [FRENI, 2003, PP. 12 AND 22]

According to a statement provided by the FAA to the 9/11 Commission in 2003, this teleconference began “[w]ithin minutes” of the first WTC tower being hit [see 3]. Yet the 9/11 Commission will later claim that it was not established until “about 9:20” [see 4], which is about 15 minutes later than Peacock supposedly joined it. [4][9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;[5]

(Shortly After 9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Notifies FAA that It Wants Fighters Launched; Message Relayed to Air Force Base near Washington

Andrews Air Traffic Control Tower. [Source: FAA] The Secret Service tells FAA headquarters that it wants fighter jets launched over Washington, DC, and this message is then relayed to the air traffic control tower at Andrews Air Force Base, which is 10 miles from Washington. The District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews is notified, but no jets will take off from the base until 10:38 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44, 465] The request for fighter jets is apparently made by Secret Service agent Nelson Garabito, who is responsible for coordinating the president’s movements, during a phone call with his counterpart at FAA headquarters in Washington, Terry Van Steenbergen. This call began shortly after the second tower was hit at 9:03 a.m. (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/30/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464] FAA Headquarters Calls Andrews Tower - According to the 9/11 Commission, “The FAA tower” at Andrews is then “contacted by personnel at FAA headquarters” who are “on an open line with senior agents from the president’s detail,” and is informed that the Secret Service wants fighters airborne. Karen Pontius at FAA headquarters tells Steve Marra, an air traffic controller at the Andrews control tower, “to launch F-16s to cap the airspace over Washington.” Message Passed to DCANG - Marra then relays Pontius’s message to the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard, which is based at Andrews. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 465] Marra apparently passes the message to Major Daniel Caine, the 113th Wing’s supervisor of flying, when Caine phones the control tower (see (Between 9:05 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Caine will later recall that the tower controller (i.e. Marra) tells him “that they just received the scramble order.” But Caine will also tell the 9/11 Commission that the Andrews tower “would not have been in the loop for any Secret Service orders to scramble aircraft.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ] Despite receiving this message from the Secret Service, the DCANG will not launch its first fighter jet until 10:38 a.m. (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] Entity Tags: Daniel Caine, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Andrews Air Force Base, Steve Marra, Terry Van Steenbergen, Nelson Garabito, Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Karen Pontius Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

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