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Originally posted by Boone 870
Before we get into this discussion ULTIMA1, I need you to clarify two things.
1. What was their normal patrol route?
2. If the fighters were on their normal patrol routes, would it have made any difference on 9/11?
September 9-11, 2001: NORAD Begins Northern Vigilance Military Operation NORAD begins Operation Northern Vigilance. For this military operation, it deploys fighters to Alaska and Northern Canada to monitor a Russian air force exercise in the Russian Arctic and North Pacific Ocean, scheduled for September 10 to September 14. The Russian exercise involves its bombers staging a mock attack against NATO planes that are supposedly planning an assault on Russia. [BBC, 2001, pp. 161; NORAD, 9/9/2001; Washington Times, 9/11/2001] The NORAD fighters are due to stay in Alaska and Canada until the end of the Russian exercise. At some time between 10:32 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. on 9/11, Russian President Vladimir Putin will call the White House to say the Russians are voluntarily halting their exercise. [Washington Post, 1/27/2002] It is unknown from which bases NORAD sends fighters for Operation Northern Vigilance, and how many US military personnel are involved. However, in December 2000, it took similar action—called Operation Northern Denial—in response to a “smaller scale” Russian “long-range aviation activity in northern Russia and the Arctic.” More than 350 American and Canadian military personnel were involved on that occasion.
A quick search of Northern Vigilance would have given you the information on aircraft being deployed to Alaska and Canada.
This depleted the number of aircraft that could have been used to intercept the planes on 9/11.
Originally posted by Boone 870
Do you think all the fighters in the country were in Alaska and Canada?
The NORAD fighters are due to stay in Alaska and Canada until the end of the Russian exercise.
But the evidence posted shows there were still plenty of NORAD planes that were out of the area that could have helped in the intercept of the 9/11 planes.
Do you have any evidence to debate it ?
They did have armed fighters ready on September 11. There were 14 of them at seven different bases.
They are supposed to keep armed planes ready at all times. That is why pilots can be ready in 15 minutes to leave the ground from the closest available base. They do not take time to load up interceptor planes, or this country has no actual national defense on a moment's notice. Either it does or does not.
The fighters that were required to be on alert were at their bases. None of them were pulled away for the three exercises happening that day.
The fact is the stock in the area necessary were sent elsewhere on 9/11/2001 to play "anti-terrorist games" or so we were told it was playtime. That is documented. They were not where they were needed when immediately needed.
On the Sept. 16, 2001, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press," Vice President Dick Cheney, while not addressing Flight 93 specifically, spoke clearly to the administration's clear policy regarding shooting down hijacked jets.
Vice President Cheney: "Well, the – I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft."
NBC's Tim Russert: "And you decided?"
Cheney: "We decided to do it. We'd, in effect, put a flying combat air patrol up over the city; F-16s with an AWACS, which is an airborne radar system, and tanker support so they could stay up a long time ...
"It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate."
Russert: "So if the United States government became aware that a hijacked commercial airline[r] was destined for the White House or the Capitol, we would take the plane down?"
Cheney: "Yes. The president made the decision ... that if the plane would not divert ... as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out. Now, people say, you know, that's a horrendous decision to make. Well, it is. You've got an airplane full of American citizens, civilians, captured by ... terrorists, headed and are you going to, in fact, shoot it down, obviously, and kill all those Americans on board?
"... It's a presidential-level decision, and the president made, I think, exactly the right call in this case, to say, I wished we'd had combat air patrol up over New York.'"