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Profile: Federal Advisory Committee

 
  

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Before 9:00 a.m.: Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is Directing Global Guardian Training Exercise      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Admiral Richard Mies.
Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, Nebraska, appears to be the headquarters of the US Strategic Command (Stratcom) exercise Global Guardian that is “in full swing” when the 9/11 attacks begin. At least the director of the exercise, Admiral Richard Mies, commander in chief of Stratcom, is at Offutt this morning. [Omaha World-Herald, 9/10/02] Because of Global Guardian, bombers, missile crews, and submarines around America are all being directed from Stratcom's Command Center, a steel and concrete reinforced bunker below Offutt. [BBC, 9/1/02; Omaha World-Herald, 2/27/02; Omaha World-Herald, 9/10/02; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 11/12/97; Associated Press, 2/21/02 (B)] This bunker is staffed with top personnel and they are at a heightened security mode because of the exercise. [Air Force Weather Observer, 7/02; Associated Press, 2/21/02 (B)] Because of Global Guardian, three special military command aircraft with sophisticated communications equipment, based at Offutt, are up in the air the morning of 9/11. These E-4B National Airborne Operations Center planes—nicknamed “Doomsday” planes during the Cold War—are intended to control nuclear forces from the air in times of crisis. They are capable of acting as alternative command posts for top government officials from where they can direct US forces, execute war orders and coordinate the actions of civil authorities in times of national emergency. The Federal Advisory Committee (whose chairman is retired Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft) is aboard one of these Doomsday planes, being brought to Offutt to observe the exercise. Media accounts indicate Global Guardian is cancelled at Offutt shortly after the second WTC tower is hit (at 9:03 a.m.), with staff switching to “real-world mode.” [Omaha World-Herald, 9/8/02; Defense Department, 1/9/02; Air Force Weather Observer, 7/02] However, even after Global Guardian is called off, the three E-4Bs remain airborne. [Omaha World-Herald, 2/27/02; BBC, 9/1/02] Also, the morning of 9/11, a small group of business leaders are at Offutt Air Force Base for a charity fundraiser event due to take place there later in the day, hosted by the multi-billionaire Warren Buffett. When the attacks begin, these visitors are having breakfast with Admiral Mies, the director of Global Guardian. After the second WTC tower is hit, Mies excuses himself from the group, presumably to assist in canceling the exercise. [Omaha World-Herald, 2/27/02; Omaha World-Herald, 9/10/02; San Francisco Business Times, 2/1/02]
People and organizations involved: Warren Buffet, Brent Scowcroft, Federal Advisory Committee, Richard Mies, Global Guardian
          

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