ZNY (ARTCC New York):
Lorraine Barrett, ATC:
She has participated as a controller with military aircraft out of McGuire Air Force Base and Warren Grove (military airspace just above Atlantic City). She wouldn’t have known how to contact NEADS then, but they now have a direct line to Huntress Controll (NEADS).
Pre 9-11 she had never heard of anything like what happened that day.
David Bottiglia, ATC:
Battliglia was not aware of procedures to notify the military, or of procedures to ask for military assistance in the case of a hijack. His only training was to tell his supervisor in the case of a possible hijack. Bottiglia understood that the Traffic Management Unit (TMU) had responsibility to make decisions regarding procedure and contacts in the case of a hijack. At the working position his job was to relay information through command. […] Bottiglia noted to Commission staff that he has never been involved in a real life military intercept on a hij ack and has never participated in a simulation that would vector a military aircraft towards a target. He noted to Commission staff that he understands usually HUNTRESS and/or GIANT KILLER are contacted by the FAA to coordinate air traffic controls for the warning areas. He knew of the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), but did not know that the call sign HUNTRESS was for NEADS. He was not familiar with a number to call other than NEADS. He was not aware of how to contact NORAD.
James Kurz, TMU coordinator:
Kurz next stated, after 9-11, the FAA micromanaged all events that remotely resembled a threat to aircraft. The FAA does interact more frequently with the military today. Kurz believes FAA involvement in military training and exercises prepares the FAA personnel to interact with the military in a real world event. After 9-11, FAA controllers regularly interacted with military personnel including fighter pilots during the maintenance of fighter caps over major urban areas and critical infrastructure. These efforts served to further improve and enhance the relationship between the FAA and the military.
Peter McCloskey, TMU Traffic Management Coordinator:
McCloskey was not really familiar with the Northeast Air Defense Sector and what role it played. Prior to 9/11 he had never participated in any joint FAA/military exercise. Not post either. No idea of military ROE on hijacks. Unaware of escort and engage order officially, but assumes they have that authority now. FAA could have a role in vectoring military aircraft to target. After 9/11 military and FAA had a lot of “knee jerk” reactions. A lot of general aviation pilots strayed into prohibited areas post 9/11, and this involved military scrambles, which went smoothly. After 9/11 there was a NEADS hotline in the TMU. NEADS would ask “do you deem it necessary to scramble?”
Mike McCormick, Air Traffic Manager:
Every year as part of refresher program have training on procedures for hijack. Does not know if there were every multiple hijack scenario testing. Prior 9111 no awareness of faa/military/dod exercises here at ZNY. Thought believes there have been some at Kennedy that were simulated as hijack on ground at airport. No knowledge of one with an airborne aircraft.
Mark Merced, ATC:
Prior to 9/11 Merced had no experience with a military scramble exercise, but had worked on military exercises in the past through a small piece of airspace at 14,000 feet and below. Merced experienced no difficulty coordinating the use of this airspace for military purposes, besides a few instances in which the military aircraft “spill out” of the airspace assigned to them. He had no practice with the military on hijacking procedures, but felt prepared to vector a military aircraft to a target.
Martin Rosenberg, TMU supervisor:
Rosenberg noted to Commission staff that even prior to 9/11, the FAA had telephone lines to Northeast Air Defense Sector (aka HUNTRESS), and Giant Killer [Commission staff believes Giant Killer is a Navy operation that controls the east coast low altitude airspace]. Rosenberg does not know who answered those lines prior to 9/11, nor does he know if those entities could authorize a fighter scramble.
Rosenberg continued by commenting that prior to 9/11 the FAA centers had very little awareness on how to communicate with the military. His only approach would have been to call the command center at Herndon, Virginia. He also noted that his knowledge of the location of air defense capabilities was limited to Otis AFB, Langley AFB and Atlantic City [Commission staff is aware that Atlantic City was not an active air defense base on 9/11]. Rosenberg further commented regarding military notification that he is not sure who had the direct responsibility for seeking military assistance, but he does not believe it is the responsibility of the center’s military operations specialist (MOS).
Paul Thumser, Operations Supervisor:
Prior to and on 9-11, concerning NORAD and NEADS, Thumser had reasonable awareness and thought it would take 5 or 6 phone calls to get there and they probably would have called an air force base. He was not familiar with Dynamic Simulation training concerning hijackings and had no computer or other training for hijacking. Operations supervisors do not go through the same training as controllers. Controller were only to a) get information and pass it and b) do what the pilots ask to do.
There were very few hijacks pre-9-11 for a controller to respond to in the real world. He recalled no exercises or drills-there was very little emphasis and drills. He had no knowledge of any exercises or drills sponsored by the FAA or the military and certainly none with multiple hijacking events.
ZBW (ARTCC Boston):
Dan Bueno, Traffic Management Supervisor:
The procedure for active fighter scrambles was coordinated in the “Otis Cape TRACON Letter Agreement”, and Bueno had experience in the early 1980s with a scramble to escort an airplane out of Kennedy Airport. Bueno has not participated in any tabletop scramble exercises. Regarding Operation Vigilant Guardian, a command post exercise that was scheduled to take place on September 11th, Bueno believes the military operation specialists may have been briefed, but that Boston Center was not involved beyond a NOPAR (no pass through air defense) order for the airspace involved in the exercise.
Bueno stated that the system “worked absolutely” on 9/11. Boston Center was able to shut down the airspace on the east coast in a relatively timely manner, and were able to reroute and land planes successfully. Bueno stated that the Dynamic Simulation Training (DynSim) that ATCs are required to perform yearly serve their purpose, even though they are only simulation. He noted that in the past one of his DynSims might have involved vectoring an aircraft toward a hijack, but if so it is only a loose memory, but that he definitely has not exercised a NORAC hijack with no transponder. Nor had their been a hijack simulation or exercise that included FAA and NORAD co-participation.
John Hartling, ATC:
Regarding the military, Hartling has had contact with military flights on a regular basis at the pilot to controller level, but has no knowledge of the relationship at the managerial level. Before 9/11 Hartling did not have much knowledge though on the warning areas and hot areas monitored by the military, and learned much later from 9/11 that Otis could deploy defensive strike fighters. Prior to 9/11 Hartling has no “intercept” training with the military, and was aware that NORAD controls much of the highest altitude airspace. He has had even more contact with military aircraft post-9/11 since military fighters are often running escort for VIP flights. Hartling does not think extensive FAA controller/military training is necessary since he is confident an FAA controller is able to vector an aircraft to a target, and can “break up” flights of between four to six aircraft. Hartling does note that part of his comfortable mindset regarding working with military flights does stem from his training as a controller in the Air Force.
Shirley Kula, Operations Supervisor:
Kula was unaware that military radar could find altitude, and she was not involved with the fighter scramble from Otis Air Force Base. Kula did vaguely recall a scramble in the “early 80s” off the eastern coast, but “certainly nothing since 1985.” Kula noted the Dynamic Simulation (DynSim) training programs usually have a hijack scenario every year, but those scenarios in her experience have never consisted of multiple hijacks, or in her experience of a single hijack that necessitates a vectored military fighter.
Jon Schippani, Operational Supervisor:
Schippani roughly recalled what occurred at the watchdesk. [Staff Note: The watch desk is the hub of activity in the Center.] He remembers Dan Bueno attempted to contact Otis AFB for support, but Schippani did not recall the procedure for request a fighter scramble. He guessed that most likely pre-91l1 protocol for the request should have been from Boston Center to the Regional Operation Command (ROC), and the ROC would process the request. He confirmed that prior to 9/11 his understanding of NORAD/NEADS role in a hijacking scenario was cloudy.
To get the closest military asset, Schippani noted he would contact Giant Killer out of the Virginia Capes. Giant Killer monitors low to mid altitudes along the east coast. He had an understanding of how to contact them by phone. [Staff Note: Giant Killer performs the Air Traffic Controller function in designated military warning areas over the ocean. It is a Navy organization with its control center at Oceana, Virgina.] Schippani noted that from his experience Otis Air Force Base was an unknown factor, and he would not know how to contact NEADS (North Atlantic Air Defense). Prior to 9/11 Schippani noted that Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) had no input in the coordination over airspace with the military, unless there was an “aircraft transfer”. Schippani was aware of the FAA Command Center at Herndon as a resource, but was not sure of its possible function on 9/11, or in a 9/11 type event.
Colin Scoggins, Military Operations Specialist:
At NEADS, Scoggins has experience dealing with Bill Airs, of the Department of Defense (DoD). Scoggins is also aware of a new FAA representative at NEADS, currently a position filled by Steve Colbertson. […] Scoggins noted that he remembers an exercise in 1995 or 1996 that involved a military scramble to escort a hijacked aircraft, and the fighter was unable to intercept. He believes this exercise was joint FAA/military and was done through ATB200.
ZID (ARTCC Indianapolis):
Linda Povinelli, ATC Supervisor:
Povinelli knew of NORAD. In hindsight, she would have called NORAD on the morning of 9/11 for a scramble. This would have been coordinated with the front desk. Povinelli has covered the front desk on midnight shifts and could get a phone number for NORAD. Contact with NORAD is beyond Povinelli’s rank, but she knows that communication is possible between the Air Traffic Control Centers and the military.
Sally Weed, Operations Support Manager:
Weed noticed a vast difference in reaction to a NORDO situation. If the military were to loose radio contact with an aircraft, they would be on high alert and get ready to scramble. However, if the FAA were faced with a NORDO situation, which happens regularly, they would not panic, and try to regain contact with the aircraft. From Weed’s experience, she believes the military did not expect a threat from within the country since none of their large scale training drills took this scenario into account.
Since her experience in Cheyenne Mt, Weed now thinks that the sense of urgency has changed for both the military and the FAA. There is now a relationship between NORAD and the FAA. Before 9/11, Weed would not have thought to call NORAD in the event of a hijack; she would have notified her supervisor, John Thomas, who would have made further notifications.
ZOB (ARTCC Cleveland):
David Dukeman, Military Operations Specialist:
Dukeman described the mil operations position as the coordinator for the airspace around Cleveland Center with the military. “When the military bases want to do their exercises you have to coordinate with the space involved in the release.” The person in the military operations position does not actually working any live traffic.
Dukeman said that Selfridge, a military air base, uses air space around the Flint Area. Pittsburg Air National Guard uses an area over Bradford, PA for refueling, etc. The military uses the air space on a daily basis for exercises. He would copy down the information on the exercise, request a time frame from the military contact, and then call that facility requesting the space back and confirm the use of the particular air space. Prior to 9-11, he worked on coordinating use of airspace with Huntress. He does not remember what is in the Military Operations Manual or in any of the other materials provided to him about hijacking, and who to call in the event of one. To his knowledge, there was nothing he was supposed to do in the role of Military Operations Specialist in the TMU in the event of a hijacking. He does not know if he was supposed to call the military. He wouldn’t know who to call. There were certain military facilities he came into contact with through his job as coordinator, but he received no training on who to contact in the event of a crisis.
Mark Evans, Supervisor of the Traffic Management Coordinators:
He thought that it was certainly not clear whose authority it was to call fighters. CC didn’t think they had the authority. No one knew who had the authority to get military action started.
Tom Kerinko, Military Operations Spezialist:
He develops procedures that are used operationally. He negotiated with his military contacts on training areas (special use airspace) that they wanted to use for routine activities.
Prior to 9/11, he worked with Bill Ayers, his NORAD counterpart. They would communicate regarding changes in the air space (size and shape), on topics such as .Y~stricted air space, and also any problems that may arise with military air craft in Cleveland Center. On average, he would talk to Bill every week if issues were pending. They were only in touch when there was a topic at hand or a problem. It was his understanding that in the event of a hijacking, NORAD would request vectors to the aircraft and they would put a fighter in position behind the airplane to follow it in. He never experienced this situation.
Kerinko did not remember any changes to hijacking policy with regard to the FAA or the military during his time at Cleveland Center. […] He said there haven’t been too many changes at the Center since 9-11. Now, the military handbook is signed off on by DOD and FAA. It was updated to cover hijack and scramble procedures; developed more air space for the military’s use; the military exercises are much more frequent and FAA involvement has increasingly participated in military exercises.
Richard Kettel, Air Traffic Manager:
Relationship between FAA and NORAD was “less direct” than it is today. What we need is to be able to make one call in the event of a hijack. Don’t have the time to make multiple calls, especially when the plane is traversing airspaces. Kettel said he used to deal with NORAD when planning missions; in terms of blocking air space for them and preplanning their route. Kettel thinks Cleveland Center was unable to contact NORAD directly on 9-11, but he thinks they were on the phone bridge.
Kim Wernica, ATC:
On September 10, 2001, Wernica thought that in the event of a hijacking the controller handling the plane was to tell the supervisor of the area who in tum told the manager. Then the manager would call the regional operations center. She does not know what NORAD is; so she probably would have called the Command Center, too.
The management manual, known as 7210.3, would have provided her with directions. She knew of a military manual but she was not familiar with it before 9-11. “Now the military is part of our world,” she said. […] She did not know what sort of communication existed between FAA and NORAD prior to 9-11. She had never heard of NEADS. An example she offered of normal communications with NORAD was: “when a communist aircraft flies through the airspace, the Center has to call Huntress to give the coordinates.”
Wernica said, “You’re a controller one day, a supervisor, an operations manager the next. Training for these different positions is nonexistent.” As Operations Manager, she received no additional training specific to a crisis situation.”
John Werth, ATC:
When asked about NORAD, he said he was aware of it. He knew it was at Cheyenne Mountain and said that he thought is was the “the central command to safeguard all military planes.” His experience before 9-11 led him to believe that the military, in the event of a hijack, would “put a tail on the hijack to intercept them.” He also thought that the watch commander at the Center would have had direct access to NORAD.