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Timeline[]

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8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: US Military Holding ‘Practice Armageddon’ Nationwide Training Exercise

Offutt Air Force Base control tower during Global Guardian 1998. [Source: Jeffery S. Viano] As the 9/11 attacks are taking place, a large military training exercise called Global Guardian is said to be “in full swing.” It has been going on since the previous week. [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002; OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/10/2002] Global Guardian is an annual exercise sponsored by US Strategic Command (Stratcom) in cooperation with US Space Command and NORAD. One military author defines Stratcom as “the single US military command responsible for the day-to-day readiness of America’s nuclear forces.” [ARKIN, 2005, PP. 59] Global Guardian is a global readiness exercise involving all Stratcom forces and aims to test Stratcom’s ability to fight a nuclear war. It is one of many “practice Armageddons” that the US military routinely stages. [BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, 11/1/1997; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/21/2002; OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002; OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/10/2002] It links with a number of other military exercises, including Crown Vigilance (an Air Combat Command exercise), Apollo Guardian (a US Space Command exercise), and NORAD exercises Vigilant Guardian and Amalgam Warrior [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 5/1997; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 4/27/2005] Global Guardian is both a command post and field training exercise, and is based around a fictitious scenario designed to test the ability of Stratcom and its component forces to deter a military attack against the US. Hundreds of military personnel are involved. [US CONGRESS, N.D.; COLLINS CENTER UPDATE, 12/1999 ; TIMES-PICAYUNE, 9/8/2002] According to a 1998 Internet article by the British American Security Information Council—an independent research organization—Global Guardian is held in October or November each year. [KRISTENSEN, 10/1998] In his book “Code Names,” NBC News military analyst William Arkin dates this exercise for October 22-31, 2001. [ARKIN, 2005, PP. 379] And a military newspaper reported in March 2001 that Global Guardian was scheduled for October 2001. [SPACE OBSERVER, 3/23/2001, PP. 2 ] If this is correct, then some time after March, the exercise must have been rescheduled for early September. Furthermore, there may be another important facet to Global Guardian. A 1998 Defense Department newsletter reported that for several years Stratcom had been incorporating a computer network attack (CNA) into Global Guardian. The attack involved Stratcom “red team” members and other organizations acting as enemy agents, and included attempts to penetrate the Command using the Internet and a “bad” insider who had access to a key command and control system. The attackers “war dialed” the phones to tie them up and sent faxes to numerous fax machines throughout the Command. They also claimed they were able to shut down Stratcom’s systems. Reportedly, Stratcom planned to increase the level of computer network attack in future Global Guardian exercises. [IANEWSLETTER, 6/1998 ] It is not currently known if a computer attack was incorporated into Global Guardian in 2001 or what its possible effects on the country’s air defense system would have been if such an attack was part of the exercise. Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Apollo Guardian, Crown Vigilance, Global Guardian, US Strategic Command, US Department of Defense, Vigilant Guardian, US Space Command, Amalgam Warrior Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:28 a.m. September 11, 2001: NORAD Possibly Holding ‘Live-Fly’ Training Exercise According to former counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, around this time the acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers speaks to him via video link (see 9:28 a.m. September 11, 2001). During their conversation, Myers mentions, “We are in the middle of Vigilant Warrior, a NORAD exercise.” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 5] However, no other references have been found to this exercise, “Vigilant Warrior.” Considering that exercise terms are “normally an unclassified nickname,” [CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, 4/23/1998 ] this is perhaps a little odd. Could Richard Clarke have mistakenly been referring to the Vigilant Guardian exercise (see (6:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which is taking place on 9/11? According to a later news report though, NORAD confirms that “it was running two mock drills on Sept. 11 at various radar sites and Command Centers in the United States and Canada,” one of these being Vigilant Guardian. [NEW JERSEY STAR-LEDGER, 12/5/2003] If this is correct then there must be another NORAD exercise on 9/11. If not “Vigilant Warrior,” a possibility is that the exercise referred to by Richard Clarke is in fact “Amalgam Warrior,” which is a NORAD-sponsored, large-scale, live-fly air defense and air intercept field training exercise. Amalgam Warrior usually involves two or more NORAD regions and is held twice yearly, in the spring for the West Coast and in the autumn for the East Coast. [US CONGRESS, N.D.; AIRMAN, 1996; ARKIN, 2005, PP. 254; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 4/27/2005] Is it possible that in 2001 the East Coast Amalgam Warrior is being held earlier than usual (like Global Guardian (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001)) and is taking place on 9/11? In support of this possibility is a 1997 Defense Department report that describes the Stratcom exercise Global Guardian, saying it “links with other exercise activities sponsored by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Unified Commands.” The exercises it links with are Crown Vigilance (an Air Combat Command exercise), Apollo Guardian (a US Space Command exercise), and—significantly—the NORAD exercises Vigilant Guardian and Amalgam Warrior. [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 5/1997; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 4/27/2005] Since in 2001, Vigilant Guardian (see (6:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001) is occurring the same time as Global Guardian, might Amalgam Warrior be as well? In his book Code Names, William Arkin says that Amalgam Warrior is “sometimes combined with Global Guardian.” [ARKIN, 2005, PP. 254] Amalgam Warrior tests such activities as tracking, surveillance, air interception, employing rules of engagement, attack assessment, electronic warfare, and counter-cruise-missile operations. A previous Amalgam Warrior in 1996 involved such situations as tracking unknown aircraft that had incorrectly filed their flight plans or wandered off course, in-flight emergencies, terrorist aircraft attacks, and large-scale bomber strike missions. Amalgam Warrior 98-1 was NORAD’s largest ever exercise and involved six B-1B bombers being deployed to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to act as an enemy threat by infiltrating the aerial borders of North America. [AIRMAN, 1996; ARKIN, 2005, PP. 254; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 4/27/2005] Another Amalgam Warrior in fall 2000 similarly involved four B-1 bombers acting as enemy forces trying to invade Alaska, with NORAD going from tracking the unknown aircraft to sending up “alert” F-15s in response. [EIELSON NEWS SERVICE, 10/27/2000; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/29/2000] If either one (or both) of these exercises ending with the name “Warrior” is taking place on 9/11, this could be very significant, because the word “Warrior” indicates that the exercise is a Joint Chiefs of Staff-approved, Commander in Chief, NORAD-sponsored field training exercise. [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 8/25/1989] Real planes would be pretending to be threats to the US and real fighters would be deployed to defend against them. Entity Tags: US Department of Defense, Vigilant Warrior, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Ellington Air National Guard Base, Amalgam Warrior, Richard A. Clarke, Richard B. Myers, Vigilant Guardian Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:28 a.m. September 11, 2001: Myers Updates Clarke Videoconference on Fighter Response According to his own account, during a video conference with top officials that he is directing, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke asks Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Richard Myers, “I assume NORAD has scrambled fighters and AWACS. How many? Where?” Myers, who is at the Pentagon, replies, “Not a pretty picture, Dick. We are in the middle of Vigilant Warrior, a NORAD exercise, but… Otis has launched two birds toward New York. Langley is trying to get two up now [toward Washington]. The AWACS are at Tinker and not on alert.” Vigilant Warrior may be a mistaken reference to either the on-going war game Vigilant Guardian, or perhaps another exercise called Amalgam Warrior (see 9:28 a.m. September 11, 2001). Otis Air National Guard Base is in Massachusetts, 188 miles east of New York City; Langley is in Virginia, 129 miles south of Washington; Tinker Air Force Base is in Oklahoma. Clarke asks, “Okay, how long to CAP [combat air patrol] over DC?” Myers replies, “Fast as we can. Fifteen minutes?” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 5] The first fighters don’t reach Washington until perhaps more than 30 minutes later (see (Between 9:49 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). However, this account—or at least the time Clarke alleges the conversation occurs—is contradicted by Myers himself and Senator Max Cleland (D-GA). Myers claims he has been at a meeting on Capitol Hill with Cleland since about 9:00 a.m., and does not arrive back at the Pentagon until after it is hit, which is at 9:37 a.m. [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 10/23/2001; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; CNN, 4/15/2003; AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/8/2006] Cleland confirms the existence of this meeting, and claims that Myers is with him until around the time of the Pentagon attack. [CNN, 11/20/2001; ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 6/16/2003] (There are, though, some inconsistencies in Myers and Cleland’s accounts of this period—see (Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Vigilant Warrior, Vigilant Guardian, Otis Air National Guard Base, Richard B. Myers, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Richard A. Clarke, Amalgam Warrior, Max Cleland Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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