Aussagen zu wargames 1: NORAD, USAF, TSA

(i) Beteiligung der FAA

Bill Aires, National Airspace Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration:

Aires noted that NEADS has worked with individual FAA En Route Centers on exercises, but not with any national FAA entities. Aires noted that all the military exercises would be in special use airspace. He noted that all the FAA would do was control an aircraft until it reached the military airspace.

Dawne Deskins, Lt. Col:

They had a cell that would play the FAA in the exercise.

Jeremy Powell, Lt.:

The first tool Powell would refer to in the case of a hijack would be the hijack checklist. The checklist is for both the Senior Director and the Technician. They coordinate the information they receive with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).

Clark Speicher, Col., NEADS Vice Commander:

Speicher informed Commission staff that NEADS locally simulated exercises are not coordinated with the actual FAA, but instead NEADS personnel act as the FAA. He continued and noted that in a live exercise there may be some “real” coordination, but most of the live flight exercises took place in the Warning Areas off the coast. There might have been actual participation from the FAA as they controlled aircraft to enter the airspace in which the exercise took place, but that would be the extent of the participation [Commission staff notes that this level of participation is far from substantial, and would not require a high level of inter-agency familiarization]. […]He noted in live flight exercises there might be coordination with the FAA involving receiving a “trusted agent” response from the FAA, but more than likely it was through a simulated FAA operator.

Ken Merchant, Exercise Design Manager for NORAD:

He stated that other agencies – such as the FAA – may have been involved in a NORAD exercise prior to 9/11 at the ARTCC level, but not at the national level. The possible exception to this that he could recall was the Positive Force exercise series, which is a CJCS multi-agency exercise with national players.

Edward Eberhart, Commander in Chief NORAD:

Eberhart commented that prior to 9/11 there was not much interest between the FAA and NORAD to share in exercises. The FAA priority was to serve the economic needs of the air traffic, whereas NORAD at times would be seen by the FAA as infringing on this priority by the use of space in exercises.

Huntress ID, MSgt. Dooley:

They at times had joint exercises with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It depended on the type of exercise as to whether actual FAA employees were involved. Dooley noted to Commission staff that prior to 9/11 she had “worked” the “tail end” of a hijack, but has no recollection of it.

Paul Goddard, Maj., & Ken Merchant, Exercise Design Manager for NORAD:

Merchant noted that if the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determined there was a hijack, they would contact NMCC with a request for a fighter shadow of the hijacked aircraft. NMCC would then contact NORAD to use their aircraft for a covert shadow. NORAD’s direction would be taken specifically from the FAA. Merchant noted that they did not have “national play” on a “mundane” exercise like a hijack, but it would be simulated.
Goddard noted that the FAA generated a “Twin Star” hijack exercise in 1995. They invited NORAD to participate since a real commercial airliner was to be shadowed by a fighter intercept. Goddard’s understanding is that it involved the entire FAA system, as well as the NMCC. […] Goddard recalls that pre-9/11 there was no vision of ROE escalation being involved in the exercise design. The technical aspects to be exercised were mid-air fueling and lighter wing handoffs. The Battle Staff element involved inter-agency cooperation and planning. The initial planning was to decide who theoretically would be involved in a hijack – including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the FAA, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a participant in the FAA conference. The planning did was not specific enough to identify a FAA hijack coordinator. […] Goddard commented that from a live perspective the exercises were built upon Sector and Region responsibilities. They go through a five year planning cycle. Based on the missions they were required to do, it was logical to plan in that manner. FAA would be involved to the point of de-conflicting airspace, but no further.”

(ii) Echte Flugzeuge

Dawne Deskins, Lt. Col.:

A typical design would include course deviation in which the hijacker forces the pilot to fly to a designated landing point. They would not do these hijacks exercises real world.

Jeremy Powell, Lt.:

According to Powell, some hijacking practice has involved scenarios in which the hijacked flight is incoming from overseas. One, in Powell’s recollection, involved a flight coming out of Canada. Powell noted that mostly these exercises are done in simulation. There were various live exercises; but none that involved hijacks. Powell commented that such live exercises would be extremely difficult to run.

Clarke Speicher, Col., NEADS Vice Commander:

Speicher noted that in a simulated exercise whether or not a fighter made and completed its intercept would not be a concern at NEADS. The exercise would be considered complete once all ofNEADS protocol and procedures were practiced. Speicher noted that he has practiced scenarios, both live and simulated, in which a change in Rules of Engagement (ROE) is passed to pilots. Speicher does not recall any exercises or real world situations in which NEADS was called upon to protect the National Capital Region.

(iii) Entführung

Steve Bianchi, Sgt.:

Bianchi noted that there were hijack suicide exercises but that those aircraft would be intercepted while over water.

Dawne Deskins, Lt. Col.:

A typical design would include course deviation in which the hijacker forces the pilot to fly to a designated landing point. They would not do these hijacks exercises real world. […] Deskins noted that there really were not the assets to do a large scale real world exercise to practice hijack response. […] She noted that there are exercised scenarios in which an aircraft is hijacked in France. In this exercise there is a long “lead in” time that involves receiving intelligence and having the crews practice using their hijack checklist. Ifit is a “straight” hijack scenario then it does not involve identification because the aircraft is already identified as hijacked. She states that she does not have a firm recollection of the details of these exercises.

Robert Marr, Commander Col.:

Marr noted he participated once with a live exercise for a hijack headed north from St. Louis in the south. They attempted to scramble aircraft internally in this exercise, and Marr commented that it did not work very well.

Robert Marr, Commander Col.:

He noted that NEADS has practiced scenarios that involved passing the shadow of hijacked flights over Canadian airspace.

Joe McCain, MSgt.:

McCain worked a hijacked plane in the Lufthansa aircraft event. It was intercepted and followed by Canadian F18s, and F16s from Burlington escorted the flight at the US coast. NEADS designated the flight a “Special 15″, and the flight continued to JFK Airport. McCain was an ill Tech at the time. In this circumstance, all the questions that the ill Tech team needed to answer were asked and answered. It was a “very easy scenario”, since they exercised and drilled for this type of event on a weekly basis.
They would have a Fertile (Northeast generated) RICE (large scale – more than seven targets – exercise). The scenario would be varied from over land to over water.

Jeremy Powell, Lt.:

According to Powell, pre-9/11 training in respect to hijacked planes was geared towards NEADS’ role as a response agency; it was trained for and a check list for what needed to be done was sequenced. There is an actual SD/SDT Checklist #6 that has a checklist of hijacking procedures. A different checklist exists for scrambling fighters from separate air force bases.
The first tool Powell would refer to in the case of a hijack would be the hijack checklist. The checklist is for both the Senior Director and the Technician. They coordinate the information they receive with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). […] According to Powell, some hijacking practice has involved scenarios in which the hijacked flight is incoming from overseas. One, in Powell’s recollection, involved a flight coming out of Canada.

Ian Sanderson, Col.:

Hijack exercises were conducted several times a year as far as Sanderson recalls; though he cannot remember specific scenarios.

Mark Stuart, Lt. Col.:

Hijacking scenarios that he conceived were primarily personal views; there was no substantive intelligence.

Jeffrey LaMarche, TSgt. & Jeffrey Richmond, TSgt.:

Prior to 9/11 Richmond dealt with hijack training that postulated the “typical” hijack scenario. The primary responsibility of an AST in that circumstance would be to maintain the track of the aircraft.

Ken Merchant, Exercise Designs Manager for NORAD:

Mr. Merchant cannot remember a time in the last 33 years when NORAD has NOT run a hijack exercise, but stated that they were always resolved peacefully, that is, NORAD did not project shooting down a hijacked aircraft.

Craig McKinley, Maj. General:

McKinley referred to the eighties as the “decade of hijacks.” He noted that fighters would perform their intercept, identify, and escort the aircraft to a safe landing with routine proficiency.

Jim Millovich, Maj., & Robert DelToro, Maj.:

Del Toro noted that almost every exercise was built to respond to some type of general aviation event, and in large scale multi-day training exercises there would often be a hijack scenario.
Millovich commented that “at one point” almost every scenario they exercised included a hijack.

Timothy Duffy, Lt. Col.:

His understanding of the hijack role was to respond to the potential hijack by determining the true nature of the aircraft distress, and thereafter either covertly tailing the aircraft or making the escort presence ‘known, depending on the circumstance.

Wing Ng & Stiers, 102th Fighter Wing Chiefs:

The crew chiefs both agreed that the hijack exercises, both those prior to and those post 9/11, do not inform and have not changed their responsibilities towards the operation of a fighter scramble. Stiers noted that if a scramble order is given the fighters launch as quickly as they would to investigate “a tuna boat” as they would to intercept a hijacked aircraft. This can be explained by the fact that the reason for a scramble is rarely given to the crew chiefs, and is often not given to the pilots until after they are already airborne. This ensures that the on-ground system launches the military aspect at the same intense pace no matter what the circumstance. Ng note that on 9/11 there was an exception since Major Nash and Lt. Col. Duffy had heard of the hijack from the Operations Desk due to the call to the SoF desk from Cape TRACON. Stiers noted that the base does have “spade” exercises with a designated target. These non-real world events are not, in an operations sense, the prevue of the crew chiefs. Some exercises have been performed to simulate the reaction to an in air situation involving an aircraft that is in distress for reasons other than hijack. In those exercises the fighters are scrambled and help guide the participating aircraft to an airport for an emergency landing.

(iv) Selbstmord

Steve Bianchi, Sgt.:

Bianchi noted that there were hijack suicide exercises but that those aircraft would be intercepted while over water. Bianchi noted that in these training episodes the suicide bombers were threatening to use a bomb to destroy the aircraft, and that these were not threats on infrastructure.

Dawne Deskins, Lt. Col.:

At this point in the interview Deskins noted to Commission staff that she does believe NEADS exercised scenarios in which a terrorist would take a “small airplane that would run into something”, or was full of chemicals, or would be a ground event.

Mark Stuart, Lt. Col.:

He envisioned terrorists taking over planes and piloting them at the last possible moment as they crashed.

Jim Millovich, Maj., & Robert DelToro, Maj.:

Millovich commented that “at one point” almost every scenario they exercised included a hijack; but never in his knowledge was a scenario of a suicide hijack event.
Del Toro explained that there was once a testing of a force protection ground-based air defense capability that built into an exercise including a general aviation threat to the outheast Air Defense Sector (SEADS), but that event was built to test the force protection capacity of the base.

(v) Flugzeug als Waffe verwendet

Dawne Deskins, Lt. Col.:

She recalled an exercise in which an aircraft was used to release chemicals, but not a hijacked plane. She does not remember participating in an exercise in which a hijacked aircraft crashed into infrastructure. […] At this point in the interview Deskins noted to Commission staff that she does believe NEADS exercised scenarios in which a terrorist would take a “small airplane that would run into something”, or was full of chemicals, or would be a ground event.

Ian Sanderson, Col.:

He can not specifically remember […] a scenario in which an airplane would be used as a weapon.

Clark Speicher, Col.:

Speicher noted there is a “liability” period before the Battle Cab staff forms for twenty- four hour operations when an exercise is about to begin. He continued and noted that there is a distinction in exercise objectives between having weapons “on board” an aircraft and “using the aircraft” as a weapon.

Mark Stuart, Lt. Col.:

Documents on his hard drive will substantiate that on March 24, 1999 Stuart drafted a briefing on the threat of terrorist use of aircraft to crash into buildings. He briefed, over time in 1999, 2000 and 2001 the logical progression that linked hijackings to the use of explosives in vehicles [probable reference to Embassy bombings] and then, logically, to the use of aircraft. He recalled briefing his scenario at annual intelligence conferences at both CONR and NORAD. At CONR the receiving official was Col Tom Glenn, now retired; at NORAD it was the J2, Navy Captain Kuhn. […] Specifically, Stuart said we should ask Col Glenn what happened to Lt Col Stuart’s concerns on terrorist activity, e. g. using planes as weapons.

Jeffrey LaMarche, TSgt., & Jeffrey Richmond, TSgt.:

Prior to 9/11 Richmond dealt with hijack training that postulated the “typical” hijack scenario. The primary responsibility of an AST in that circumstance would be to maintain the track of the aircraft. They had never been trained in circumstance that the plane would be hijacked and used as a weapon.

Craig McKinley, Maj. General:

McKinley noted that if exercises did take place that can be compared to the 9/11 hijack attacks then there were no intelligence warnings that drove these exercises. He noted that “the exercise kids probably put on their creative hats” and developed interesting scenarios to test the operations capabilities of their sectors but there was no indication that the scenarios paralleled a credible threat.
McKinley noted that to his knowledge before he left for the Pentagon there were no 9/11 type scenarios built into their exercises. The hijack scenarios that were exercised involved a successful escort to landing and negotiation with the hijackers.

Jim Millovich, Maj., & Robert DelToro, Maj.:

Millovich commented that “at one point” almost every scenario they exercised included a hijack; but never in his knowledge was a scenario of a suicide hijack event.
Del Toro explained that there was once a testing of a force protection ground-based air defense capability that built into an exercise including a general aviation threat to the outheast Air Defense Sector (SEADS), but that event was built to test the force protection capacity of the base.

Timothy Duffy, Lt. Col.:

Duffy noted that he definitively never heard of a hijack scenario in which terrorists would use a plane as a weapon.

Paul Worcester, Col.:

According to Worcester, and evidenced by the contents of the Alert Package, hijacking scenarios pre-9/ll were classically discussed and trained for within air defense planning, but Worcester also noted that these plans did not address a 9/11 type scenario. Normally the response would entail an escort procedure. Worcester commented regarding the purpose for a fighter escort of a hijacked aircraft that military personnel “always joked that it was plotting the wreckage … you would mark the debris circle … the Egyptian air loss comes to mind similarly the TWA Air crash.”

John Hawley, TSA, former FAA:

Hawley mentioned the pre-inaugural tabletop exercises, including exercises regarding the use of planes as a weapon. Hawley noted that this issue was raised by Lee Hamilton with Mike Canavan during the Commission’s hearing. Hawley thought that in December 2000 some scenarios that were “pretty damn close to 9-11 plot” were practiced. Canavan was definitely in charge of that. Hawley said that one of the scenarios may have had something to do with a chartered flight out of Ohio that had turned the transponder off. Mike Wiechert ran a lot of these exercises. It really forced you to think outside the box. The topic was in the FAA’s thoughts, the discussions.

(vi) Mehrere Flugzeuge

Dawne Deskins, Lt. Col.:

She does not personally recall the design of a hijack with multiple hijacks or terrorist take over.

Joe McCain, MSgt.:

Multiple hijack scenarios were not addressed in the training.

Ian Sanderson, Col.:

He can not specifically remember […] a scenario that involve multiple hijacks.

Mark Stuart, Lt. Col.:

He never imagined multiple hijackings in any scenario.

(vii) Flugzeuge aus dem Inland

Steve Bianchi, Sgt.:

Bianchi does not recall any training exercises that were planned to address an air threat to the National Capital Area that involved an intercept of an aircraft after it crossed into national land borders. Bianchi noted that there were hijack suicide exercises but that those aircraft would be intercepted while over water.

Robert Marr, Commander Col.:

Marr noted he participated once with a live exercise for a hijack headed north from St. Louis in the south. They attempted to scramble aircraft internally in this exercise, and Marr commented that it did not work very well.

Robert Marr, Commander Col.:

Marr noted that he did not recall any specific exercises that included direct defense of the National Capital Area. He noted that NEADS and NORAD had training and scenarios that called for protection of large scale areas.

Joe McCain, MSgt.:

“Occasionally” in exercises aircrafts take off intemally (from US over-land airspace). Often the aircraft would leave from Chicago, and instead of going where it was flight planned, would go to Toronto.

Ian Sanderson, Col.:

He can not specifically remember a scenario practiced of a hijack within US airspace.

Clark Speicher, Col.:

Speicher does not recall any exercises or real world situations in which NEADS was called upon to protect the National Capital Region.

Mark Stuart, Lt. Col.:

In all cases he briefed that a hijacking would originate overseas, inbound to the U.S. He never imagined it could happen inside the U.S. Stuart thought that security vulnerabilities overseas made it far more likely that hijackings would come from without.

Ken Merchant, Exercise Designs Manager for NORAD:

Prior to 9/11 NORAD did not run an exercise involving a hijacking over the National Capital Region (NCR), but there were events within exercises that involved the NCR.

William Scott, Col.:

Scott commented that despite the notice of the terrorist events that were analyzed in the RAM report they still looked at the NORAD mission as a direct mission to protect the continental United States (CONUS) from external threats, and that it was a firm and Constitutionally sound line between what was a NORAD responsibility and what was a FBI/law enforcement responsibility.
He also commented that the exercises that accounted for threats from aircraft headed from outside CONUS that entered into CONUS qualified as a NORAD responsibility strictly because threats that originate outside CONUS are DoD events. He explained that hijackings prior to 9/11 were not scene as a national emergency, and that once hijackings became a national emergency the DoD took some responsibility for the response.

Huntress ID, MSgt. Dooley:

Huntress ID noted to Commission staff that they have participated in hijack training scenarios – mostly for flights inbound from overseas – but had never exercised a hijack overland. The procedure for response that they were familiar with in the case of a hijack entailed establishing a visual identification of the target by a fighter. The time they had to do so would depend on whether or not the target was squawking. If there are multiple mode 3s, or ifit was a primary target only, then the time frame to establish a positive identification would be complicated. If the flight is over water the time limit is roughly 2 minutes to 5 minutes once the flight passes the “core line” (a specific distance from the coast at which the priority of the event is escalated). There is no time limit overland. The scenarios practiced before 9/11 most frequently that involved finding an aircraft that was a primary target were practiced; but most of those scenarios would be over water. Even in the drug interdiction context they were not allowed to take military action with anything over domestic airspace.

(viii) Transponder aus

Joe McCain, MSgt.:

McCain states to his knowledge it was never exercised that the target would stop squeaking its transponder.

Clark Speicher, Col.:

He noted that prior to September 11, 2001 (9/11) they practiced locating primary targets inbound as live flights over water. But a live flight over land would be too difficult to coordinate.

Huntress ID, MSgt. Dooley:

Huntress ID noted to Commission staff that they have participated in hijack training scenarios – mostly for flights inbound from overseas – but had never exercised a hijack overland. The procedure for response that they were familiar with in the case of a hijack entailed establishing a visual identification of the target by a fighter. The time they had to do so would depend on whether or not the target was squawking. If there are multiple mode 3s, or ifit was a primary target only, then the time frame to establish a positive identification would be complicated. If the flight is over water the time limit is roughly 2 minutes to 5 minutes once the flight passes the “core line” (a specific distance from the coast at which the priority of the event is escalated). There is no time limit overland. The scenarios practiced before 9/11 most frequently that involved finding an aircraft that was a primary target were practiced; but most of those scenarios would be over water. Even in the drug interdiction context they were not allowed to take military action with anything over domestic airspace.

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