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Air Force One on 9/11

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posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 03:01 AM
"6 minutes" is nothing like a realistic intercept time, even a scramble time. Look at this timeline: it's 2002 so post 9/11 security, with a Cessna flying towards the White House, and with jets scambled from Andrews:

7:59 p.m. Cessna enters "restricted" air space
8:03 p.m. FAA notifies NORAD
8:04 p.m. Cessna enters "prohibited" air space
8:06 p.m. Two F-16s get orders to scramble
8:06 p.m. Cessna passes White House "within a few miles"
8:17 p.m. F-16s take off from Andrews AFB
Intercept occurs "a few minutes later."

So we have
a) a 4-minute delay before NORAD are notified
b) a 3-minute delay before the scramble order
c) an 11 minute delay before the planes take off

This was as short a distance as you're likely to get, yet intercept time after entering restricted airspace was 18 minutes + "a few minutes" more.

posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 03:20 AM
Alert Fighters anywhere in the US are on Alert 15 status. From the time they are ordered to scramble, until the time they are airborne, they have 15 minutes. The weak link has always been the FAA to NORAD.

posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 02:35 PM

Originally posted by ashmok
8:17 p.m. F-16s take off from Andrews AFB

Here's something special. Interceptors sent up from Andrews AFB in this example, as anyone with common sense would have. Why were they sent up from Langleys then, on 9/11? Remember that Andrews AFB is about 10 miles from the Pentagon, as opposed to Langleys being some 130 miles away. The fighters sent from Langleys on 9/11 to the Pentagon were, of course, too late upon their arrival, and I don't think any were sent up from Andrews on 9/11, unless much later as extra security, etc.


posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 02:39 PM

Originally posted by Zaphod58
I'm sorry if I lost it a little bit today, but things have not been good here for me lately. My fiancee tried suicide the other day, and things have been really ahrd between us for about a month now. We're so far apart that it's hard to put things back together, since we can only talk online for now. So I was a little stressed out earlier, and took it out here.

Damn, Zaphod. You don't need to apologize to us for something like that. I hope things are better now, man. Best of luck to you guys, and be sure to take it easy.

posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 03:43 PM

Originally posted by bsbray11
Why were they sent up from Langleys then, on 9/11? Remember that Andrews AFB is about 10 miles from the Pentagon, as opposed to Langleys being some 130 miles away.

I think it's been said several times that there were only ever a few bases with fighters available on a 15 minute alert. I've never seen any evidence to counter that, so the explanation that Andrews wasn't one of those bases on the day makes sense to me.

posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 05:29 PM

Originally posted by ashmok
I think it's been said several times that there were only ever a few bases with fighters available on a 15 minute alert. I've never seen any evidence to counter that, so the explanation that Andrews wasn't one of those bases on the day makes sense to me.

Well I've never seen any evidence that they didn't have any on alert, so right back at ya. Andrews is a critical AFB for the protection of Washington DC.

posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 06:33 PM
Table I.1

Scramble Activity by Air Defense Units
and Alert Sites, 1989-92

Air defense unit/alert Total Number drug Percent drug
site Status\a number related related
-------------------------- ---------- ---------- ------------- -------------
Atlantic City, N.J. 1 82 14 17.1
Burlington, Vt./ 1 6 2 33.3
Langley Air Force Base, 3 52 0 0
Duluth, Minn. 5 0 0 0
Tyndall Air Force Base, 3 57 6 10.5
Ellington, Tex./ 1 158 10 6.3
Holloman Air Force Base, 3 41 5 12.2
N. Mex.
Fargo, N. Dak./ 5 0 0 0
Kingsley Air Force Base, 3 49 0 0
Fresno, Calif./ 1 88 1 1.1
Castle Air Force Base, 4 3 0 0
George Air Force Base, 4 76 1 1.3
March Air Force Base, 3 15 0 0
Great Falls, Mont./ 4 4 4 1 00.0
Davis-Monthan Air Force 3 62 8 12.9
Base, Ariz.
Jacksonville, Fla./ 1,4 64 4 6.3
Homestead Air Force Base, 4 270 24 8.9
Key West, Fla. 3 15 2 13.3
Niagara Falls, N.Y./ 5,6 0 0 0
Charleston, S.C. 4 40 1 2.5
Otis, Mass./ 1 70 7 10.0
Bangor, Maine 3 32 1 3.1
Loring Air Force Base, 4 22 5 22.7
New Orleans, La. 2 84 7 8.3
Portland, Oreg./ 1 33 2 6.1
McChord Air Force Base, 4 32 0 0
Selfridge, Mich./ 5,6 0 0 0
Seymour Johnson Air Force 3 52 2 3.9
Base, N.C.
Elmendorf Air Force Base, 2 111 0 0
Total 1,518 106 7.0
Note: Percents have been rounded.

\a 1, Dedicated air defense unit with home station alert site; 2,
dual-tasked unit; 3, detached alert site; 4, alert site closed or
planned to close; 5, no home alert; 6, changing missions.

\1 Drug Control: Impact of DOD's Detection and Monitoring on Cocaine
Flow (GAO/NSIAD-91-297,
Sept. 19, 1991).

========================================================== Appendix II

Dedicated air purpose or
State defense unit Alert site training unit
--------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
Alabama X
Alaska X X
Arizona X X
Arkansas X
California X X X
Colorado X
Florida X X X
Georgia X
Hawaii X
Idaho X
Illinois X
Indiana X
Iowa X
Kansas X
Louisiana X X
Maine X
Maryland X
Massachusetts X X
Michigan X
Minnesota X
Missouri X
Montana X
Nevada X
New Jersey X
New Mexico X X
New York X
North Carolina X X
North Dakota X
Ohio X
Oklahoma X
Oregon X X
South Carolina X
South Dakota X
Texas X X X
Utah X
Vermont X
Virginia X X
Washington X
Wisconsin X
Note: California and Oregon each have two alert sites.

This concept did not reduce ANG strategic air defense force structure. It did not deactivate any ANG interceptor squadron. It did not affect announced force structure modernization plans. Each squadron was modernized with F-16ADs on schedule. It did not alter the specific contributions to the air defense mission fulfilled by northern-tier ANG interceptor squadrons in support of NORAD's operational plans. Each squadron continued to conduct alert, but at a detached site. Each continued to train and exercise in preparation for both their peacetime and wartime taskings. This recognized the evolving threat and the deletion of the supporting radar/CADIZ control system in southern Canada last year and advances to the logical next step of terminating peacetime air defense alert at these bases where there was no longer a valid military requirement.

The US force is currently comprised of 180 Air National Guard F-15A/B and F-16A/B aircraft located in 10 units and 14 alert sites in the United States. In addition to the 10 dedicated units, 2 F-15 dual-tasked general- purpose units stand alert for NORAD -- an active unit at Elmendorf, Alaska, and an Air National Guard unit at New Orleans, Louisiana -- part of which is on 24-hour alert. NORAD has initiated a flexible fighter alert concept. This concept allows NORAD Region Commanders to tailor their aerospace control forces and alert postures to meet the perceived threat within their specific areas of responsibility, reduce their overall level of effort and reduce expenditures to meet their fiscal goals. Surveillance of approaches to North America continues; however, intercepts are now based on regional activity and intelligence information.

At the time of the attacks, only seven locations-around the perimeter of the United States-were engaged in the air defense mission. Each was assigned a pair of Air National Guard fighter aircraft ready to scramble if US airspace were threatened.

Civilian air traffic radars are separate from NORAD's "fence" of radars focused on external threats, Pennie explained. The rationale for this arrangement was that not only were Sept. 11-style hijackings not expected, but the Cold War mind-set was that "once a bomber got that far [past the NORAD fence] ... things were pretty bad."

Unfortunately, Pennie reported, NORAD "simply can't connect all the radars" and create an all-inclusive radar monitoring facility. The technology simply does not exist to do this, and building an all-new radar system from the ground up would be time consuming and prohibitively expensive.

As the Cold War began to wind down and budgetary constraints became realities, more and more of the missions previously carried out by active duty forces began to be transferred into the reserve components. By the 1990s, 90 percent of the air defense mission was being handled by the Air National Guard.

And last but not least, here is the OFFICIAL list of bases with Alert fighters for the Continental US that fall under control of First AF Tyndal AFB in Florida.

There were seven Air Stations that were armed and on full alert to protect the continental United States on Tuesday September 11, 2001. The Air National Guard exclusively performs the air sovereignty mission in the continental United States, and those units fall under the control of the 1st Air Force based at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) in Panama City, Florida. The Air National Guard maintains seven alert sites with 14 fully armed fighters and pilots on call around the clock. Besides Tyndall AFB, alert birds also sit armed and ready at: Homestead Air Reserve Base (ARB), Homestead, Florida; Langley AFB, Hampton, Virginia; Otis Air National Guard (ANG), Falmouth, Massachusetts; Oregon ANG, Portland, Oregon; March ARB, Riverside, CA; and Ellington ANG, Houston, Texas.

Now maybe I'm blind, but does anyone see Andrews listed in there? Cause I sure don't.

[edit on 10/5/2005 by Zaphod58]

posted on Jan, 8 2009 @ 09:11 AM
I don't usually haunt this forum but I came across this account and found it very compelling:

9/11 Mole in the White House?

Safire adds this information:

According to a high White House official speaking to me on background, the airliner that had taken off at Dulles—AA Flight 77—"did a 360" (meaning it changed direction from the White House) and at 9:45 slammed into the Pentagon.

Further down, he gets to the crux of the issue:

A threatening message received by the Secret Service was relayed to the agents with the president that "Air Force One is next." According to the high official, American code words were used showing a knowledge of procedures that made the threat credible.

(I have a second, on-the-record source about that: Karl Rove, the president's senior adviser, tells me: "When the president said 'I don't want some tinhorn terrorists keeping me out of Washington,' the Secret Service informed him that the threat contained language that was evidence that the terrorists had knowledge of his procedures and whereabouts. In light of the specific and credible threat, it was decided to get airborn with a fighter escort.")

After quoting material also found in Apple’s article, Safire finally draws a conclusion:

The most worrisome aspect of these revelations has to do with the credibility of the "Air Force One is next" message. It is described clearly as a threat, not a friendly warning—but if so, why would the terrorists send the message? More to the point, how did they get the code-word information and transponder know-how that established their mala fides?

That knowledge of code words, presidential whereabouts and possession of secret procedures indicates that the terrorists may have a mole in the White House—that, or informants in the Secret Service, F.B.I., F.A.A. or C.I.A. If so, the first thing our war on terror needs is an Angleton-type counterspy.

Safire’s conclusions mirror those of fellow columnist Robert Novak, who began his column of the same day (New York Post, 9/13 p. 59) by saying that “Security experts and airline officials agree privately that the simultaneous hijacking of four airliners was an ‘inside job,’ probably indicating complicity beyond malfeasance.”

Sorry if it's been posted before. I did a search and couldn't find anything.

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