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Profile: Rick Findley

 
  

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Rick Findley actively participated in the following events:

 
  

(After 8:37 a.m.): NORAD Scramble Order Moves Through Official and Unofficial Channels      Complete 911 Timeline

      
NORAD commander Larry Arnold.
NORAD gives the command to scramble fighters after Flight 11 after receiving Boston's call. Lieutenant Colonel Dawne Deskins at NEADS tells Colonel Robert Marr, head of NEADS, “I have FAA on the phone, the shout line, Boston [flight control]. They said they have a hijacked aircraft.” Marr then calls Major General Larry Arnold at NORAD's Command Center in Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and says, “Boss, I need to scramble [fighters at] Otis [Air National Guard Base].” Arnold recalls, “I said go ahead and scramble them, and we'll get the authorities later.” Arnold then calls the operations deputy at NORAD's Colorado headquarters to report. The operations deputy tells him, “Yeah, we'll work this with the National Military Command Center. Go ahead and scramble the aircraft.” [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04; Air War Over America, by Leslie Filson, 1/04, p. 56; ABC News, 9/11/02] Then, upon receiving this authorization from Larry Arnold, NEADS calls Canadian Captain Mike Jellinek at NORAD's Colorado headquarters. Jellinek is sitting near Canadian Air Force Major General Rick Findley, director of combat operations there. Findley's staff is “already on high alert” because of Vigilant Guardian and Operation Northern Vigilance, a training exercise and a NORAD operation that are currently in progress. Jellinek gets the thumbs up authorization from Findley to send fighters after Flight 11. Yet, according to the 1st Air Force's own book about 9/11, the “sector commander [at NEADS] would have authority to scramble the airplanes.” Military controllers at NEADS are only a hot line call away from the pilots on immediate alert. Why NEADS calls NORAD's Command Center at Tyndall, then NORAD's Colorado headquarters, to get authorization to launch fighters after Flight 11, is unclear. Rick Findley later states, “At that point all we thought was we've got an airplane hijacked and we were going to provide an escort as requested. We certainly didn't know it was going to play out as it did.” Findley remains in charge of NORAD headquarters while his staff feeds information to NORAD Commander in Chief Ralph Eberhart, who is stationed in Florida. [Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 11/27/01; Toledo Blade, 12/9/01; Ottawa Citizen, 9/11/02; Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02; Air War Over America, by Leslie Filson, 1/04, pp. 50-52]
People and organizations involved: Dawne Deskins, Rick Findley, 9/11 Commission Report, Ralph Eberhart, Larry Arnold, Operation Northern Vigilance, Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Jellinek, National Military Command Center, Robert Marr
          

(8:48 a.m.): NORAD's Colorado Headquarters Sees WTC Television Footage      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Canadian Air Force Major General Major General Rick Findley.
Canadian Air Force Major General Rick Findley is in charge of battle stations at NORAD's Colorado Springs, Colorado, headquarters. According to Findley, “As the phones were beginning to ring, someone said, ‘Sir, you might want to look at that.’ I looked up and there was the CNN image of the World Trade Center. There was a hole in the side of one of the buildings.” CNN broadcasts this footage starting at 8:48 a.m. An as-yet unidentified person reportedly tells Findley that it was a small plane, who responded, “I said the hole's too big for a small airplane. ... I asked if it was the hijacked aircraft. I was scratching my head, wondering if it was another aircraft altogether.” [Calgary Herald, 10/1/01]
People and organizations involved: World Trade Center, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Rick Findley
          

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