911 Commission Report excerpts
Tue Dec 5, 2006 02:38

911 Commission Report excerpts

* The Pentagon attack description pages
* Site evacuation after arrival of FBI? Conflicting reports

911 Commission Report, copy of text on pages 311-315 Notes
"If it had happened on any other day,the disaster at the Pentagon would be
remembered as a singular challenge ........... efforts are apparent when we analyze
the response at the Pentagon.

The emergency response at the Pentagon represented a mix of local, state,
and federal jurisdictions and was generally effective. It overcame the inherent
complications of a response across jurisdictions because the Incident Command
System, a formalized management structure for emergency response, was in
place in the National Capital Region on 9/11.190

Because of the nature of the event —a plane crash, fire, and partial building
collapse —the Arlington County Fire Department served as incident commander. Different agencies had different roles. The incident required a major rescue, fire, and medical response from Arlington County at the U.S. military ’s
headquarters —a facility under the control of the secretary of defense. Since it
was a terrorist attack, the Department of Justice was the lead federal agency in
charge (with authority delegated to the FBI for operational response). Additionally, the terrorist attack affected the daily operations and emergency
management requirements of Arlington County and all bordering and sur-
rounding jurisdictions.

At 9:37,the west wall of the Pentagon was hit by hijacked American Air-
lines Flight 77,a Boeing 757.The crash caused immediate and catastrophic
damage. All 64 people aboard the airliner were killed, as were 125 people inside
the Pentagon (70 civilians and 55 military service members). One hundred six
people were seriously injured and transported to area hospitals. 192
While no emergency response is flawless, the response to the 9/11 terror=
ist attack on the Pentagon was mainly a success for three reasons: first, the strong
professional relationships and trust established among emergency responders;
second,the adoption of the Incident Command System; and third, the pursuit
of a regional approach to response. Many fire and police agencies that
responded had extensive prior experience working together on regional
events and training exercises. Indeed, at the time preparations were under way
at many of these agencies to ensure public safety at the annual meetings of the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank scheduled to be held later
that month in Washington,D.C.193

Local, regional, state, and federal agencies immediately responded to the
Pentagon attack. In addition to county fire, police, and sheriff ’s departments,
the response was assisted by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority,
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Fire Department, Fort Myer Fire
Department, the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Emergency
Management, the FBI, FEMA, a National Medical Response Team, the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and numerous military personnel within the
Military District of Washington.194

Command was established at 9:41. At the same time, the Arlington County
Emergency Communications Center contacted the fire departments of Fair-
fax County, Alexandria, and the District of Columbia to request mutual aid.


The incident command post provided a clear view of and access to the crash
site, allowing the incident commander to assess the situation at all times.195
At 9:55,the incident commander ordered an evacuation of the Pentagon
impact area because a partial collapse was imminent; it occurred at 9:57,and
no first responder was injured.196

At 10:15,the incident commander ordered a full evacuation of the com=
mand post because of the warning of an approaching hijacked aircraft passed
along by the FBI. This was the first of three evacuations caused by reports of
incoming aircraft, and the evacuation order was well communicated and well

Several factors facilitated the response to this incident, and distinguish it
from the far more difficult task in NewYork.

Yet the Pentagon response encountered difficulties that echo those expe=
rienced in NewYork. As the "Arlington County: Action Report "notes,
there were significant problems with both self-dispatching and communica=
tions: "Organizations, response units, and individuals proceeding on their own
initiative directly to an incident site, without the knowledge and permission
of the host jurisdiction and the Incident Commander, complicate the exercise of command, increase the risks faced by bonafide responders, and exacerbate the challenge of accountability. "With respect to communications, the
report concludes: "Almost all aspects of communications continue to be problematic, from initial notification to tactical operations. Cellular telephones
were of little value....Radio channels were initially over-saturated....Pagers
seemed to be the most reliable means of notification when available and used,
but most firefighters are not issued pagers."199"

Evacuation details after arrival of FBI to attack scene
source: Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management original report pages

4.2. Activation, Deployment and Initial On-Scene Response

Within minutes of the crash on Pentagon at 9:43 AM, Battalion Chief Robert Cornwall of the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD), diverted from a call to a fire in nearby Rosslyn, VA, and rushed to the scene. Upon arrival, he assumed command of the Pentagon crash site. Assistant ACFD Chief James Schwartz arrived 5 to 10 minutes after the crash. Chief Schwartz assumed Incident Command (IC) from Chief Cornwall and assigned him to operational supervision of rescue and evacuation. Approximately 5 minutes after Chief Schwartz assumed IC, Chris Combs of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrived on scene and reported to Chief Schwartz (in accordance with the FRP). Chief Schwartz and Agent Combs had an established professional relationship from prior exercises and operations and quickly established a close working relationship. Incident Command therefore knew very rapidly (about 30 minutes into the response) about the missing jetliner, and the safety implications for the Pentagon rescue site (the fact that two jets had hit the WTC complex was not lost on the incident managers at the Pentagon site). In response, all staff was evacuated to an area under a highway bridge adjacent to the Pentagon, including any victims that could be moved (due to problems with radio penetration of the Pentagon structure, several fire fighters that were located inside the building and in the courtyard were not notified of this initial evacuation). All staff remained under the overpass for about 20 minutes, until it was determined that the threat had passed (FBI liaisons conveyed the information on the plane crash in Pennsylvania very quickly). Response personnel returned to their activities, and the ACFD remained in position and established the Incident Command Post (ICP) for the remainder of that day underneath the overpass. Security for the ICP was maintained using Arlington County SWAT team members. Other officers from the Arlington County Police Force played a supportive role, assuming charge of traffic around the Pentagon (in conjunction with Virginia State Police), ordering the closure of roads surrounding it, helping evacuate the Pentagon and helping the FBI and the other law enforcement agencies collect evidence and search for bodies. Fairfax motorcycle officers also reported, unrequested, outside Arlington police headquarters shortly

* Battalion Chief Robert Cornwall, ACFD assumes command
* Chief Schwartz, ACFD assumes Incident Command
* Chris Combs (FBI) arrived
* All were aware of WTC attack.
* All personnel were evacuated to an are under an adjacent overpass within 30 minutes of the arrival of the officers in command
* They remained there for about 20 minutes.

Titan Systems International

* Assisted Arlington County Fire Department with Pentagon, 9/11 reports
* Accused of complicity in Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse. Lawsuits
* Involved in emergency radio frequency issues.


Pentagon, 9/11?...Attack by Airliner or Missile? It is difficult to analyze what happened that day. This site attempts to organize and simplify the process of observing a vast collection of evidence. We also keep in mind that evidence could or has been planted on the internet to spawn conspiracy theories
Why The Quiet Release Of The Doubletree 9/11 Video?
Where was the FOX news fanfare? Total media blackout suggests new strategy may be to ignore 9/11 questions

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