Lee Longmire 4/30/04 Background See Team 7 Interview
Doesn't recall times, he was in his office on 3d floor doing a performance review with Fran Lozito. Co-worker, Kay Payne, CoS to Mike Cannavan, came in and reported that air traffic had lost track of an aircraft, no transponder, no comms. He had not heard the word hijack before he went to the 10th floor. He did not stop off at the WOC, but was briefed by his folks. He didn't recall that he heard about hijacking in those initial moments. First trade center impact had not occurred when he arrived on 10th floor.
All his people were up there when they heard there was a crash into the World Trade Center. They saw the smoke on CNN which was on a screen above and behind his position. At one point Monty Belger was with him on the dais and they saw the second tower impact.
Went to 10th floor and his people were already setting up. He sat on the dais and had Fran Lozito on his right. Willy Gripper, his deputy was out of town. Pete Falcone assumed responsibility for the tactical net. Mike Weikert assumed responsibility for the primary net. Janet Rife was American Principal Security Inspector and was on the floor. Jeff Griffith was there and after the decision was made to get the aircraft down he took Fran's position.
It is difficult to hear from the dais so he moved Fran to the number 1 position and he, Longmire, moved around. Lots of activity in the SVTS—Belger, Garvey.
Primary net is for the stake holders—air carriers, ATA, FBI, State, NMCC—outside stake holders. Tactical net is for internal communications within FAA. If Jeff Griffith had established a separate AT net he would have done that from the dais, position 2.
Other people there. The list as provided to the commission was validated as being there.
Mike Morse may have had the primary net. Mike Weikert was the lead for designing the facility. He didn't recognize the name, Karen Pontius. ACI had a mini-SCIF next to the ACC in a separate office.
Logs. ACI Watch log may have been kept by Darryl Smith, as initials indicate, but he was not at all sure on that point. 10th floor mini-watch log—they log on to primary net from inside their spaces. They should be on both primary and tactical nets. Log may have been kept by AHS, Amy Stovell, not Angela. MSH could be Matt Hahn, but he didn't recall. ACI role was to gather information. They had secure lines and faxes. There were STU lines available to him on floor. But secure comms would be coming thru the mini-SCIF.
Doesn't recall seeing a TSD display, but recalled they had a capability to put that on one of the big screens. He thought there might have been a TSD display in the back, perhaps on an AT screen.
Traditionally, they would set up both nets, determine where the aircraft departed from and where it was headed. They would attempt to communicate with the aircraft to determine situational awareness and to find out what the demands were. They would be going through air traffic or the air carrier to gain awareness. That comms path would be kept off of the primary and tactical lines and separately handled by the duty officer in the WOC.
ACI 10th floor would be the primary element for ACI. The 3d floor would monitor and support and could do so for both the primary and tactical nets.
Miltary role. The procedure was the FAA contacted the NMCC. The military role was to provide escort aircraft. NMCC stays in the background by monitoring the primary net and provided information, if asked. They are automatically included in that net. If that line didn't work they would go through the secure line in the ACI mini-watch. The universe of people with authority to notifiy military was The Administrator, Deputy, ACS-1 and ACO-1. That notification was done through the primary net—on 9/11 Weikert or Morse.
On 9/11. At that point we didn't know what we had and where the planes were. We didn't know what to tell military. At time of 2d impact he doesn't recall that they heard word "hijack." The tactical net was either up or in the process of coming up. All positions in the ACC were filled.
Concerning "hijack" he recalled getting reports from American Airlines. Staff then walked him through the initial notification from the Command Center and the question from the ACI watch. He agreed that he should have heard about a hijacking by that time but is sure he was briefed on everything the ACC/WOC had. He thought the last of three documents shown to him might have been the ACC log. He stated that Mike Weikert would best know the information we sought. The third document has the appearance of an incident log, but has no heading in the version held by the Commission.
He was walked through the initial reporting at the Command Center which had the ACI watch in the net. He doesn't recall any discussions in the ACC about getting the military involved. He isn't sure what they would have asked them to do except to help search for aircraft. He doesn't recall when they heard that there were additional aircraft lost in the system. He does recall that at some point they were looking for multiple aircraft. He doesn't recall having a location on a missing aircraft. If he had one he assumed they would have reached out to communicate with the aircraft and perhaps reached out to the military.
At the time the aircraft went into the Pentagon he believes that the SVTS was up because of the incident and Dick Clarke wanted everyone on the line for continuity of operations. He was there and in it when SVTS was activated, sometime after the Pentagon was hit. Information concerning tactical information and other missing aircraft would have come from Jeff Griffith and his folks. Jeff would also have had the lead in getting aircraft on the ground.
He was walked through the White-Griffith conversation on AA77 and doesn't recall specifically that report. He doesn't recall the sequence of events on lost aircraft at all. He did not have any independent recollection of AA77, UA93 or D1989 except to say that he recalls the incidents but not what the individual circumstances were or the timing. He simply recalled them as part of events that occurred that morning.
Concerning the report on an aircraft 6 miles from the White House, he does recall the reports of an aircraft circling over the DC area.
He recalled that a separate net was set up for the security officers at one point. That was in reference to Brussells coming up on the tactical net.
He was walked through the Falcone-Arroyo recap of the various aircraft and the report of a fast moving aircraft approaching the White House. He said that information should have come to him through air traffic. At that point we discussed Jeff Griffith's position on the floor and the air traffic input. His belief was the Jeff was using a cell phone and he, Lee, brought him up to a position on the dais.
He was also walked thru the NMCC/NOCC conversation and the need for the military to get involved. He said the WOC could have bridged the military into the tactical net.
He was also shown the FBI, Jeff Bowers log entry that ties Jeff to the tactical net, not the primary net. His advice was to ask Bowers if he was on both nets.
His take. Part of the problem is that whoever was on primary net, they were using head phones, wouldn't have know what was going on on the tactical net. His position was that Pete Falcone had the experience to make sure that NMCC was on the net.
UA93. Unfortunately, he said, he can't help at all on the disconnect on UA93 reporting. He made the observation that the information we pointed out from air traffic might not have gotten into the ACC. The direction to bring aircraft out to monitor any aircraft did not come from him. If it came from someone higher or thru the SVTS he didn't know about that. At some point he was in the SVTS when Clarke said to get COOP activated and people out of Washington. He stayed to monitor the SVTS while Monte and others went to do other things. He is not sure about the timing of all of that. But thinks it was after the Pentagon was hit, shortly thereafter. Normally there is an SVTS log, but may not have been used on that day. [Independently, staff knows it was not used.]
He doesn't recall any of the information on UA93 being brought to him. He does recall the individual pieces—bomb, knives—because of post factor review. He can't imagine that he would not have been made aware of UA93. Fran would have been monitoring the situation while he was in the SVTS. Other than Doug being aware he's not sure that the information was held in the ACC. The "Peter's talking to Monty now about scrambling" piece at 0953 he did not recall.
He doesn't recall being involved in any discussions about scrambling aircraft. He was aware that he was the hijack coordinator, but said he would not have made the request without checking with Lynn Osmus or Monty Belger.
Concerning the policy, he was the senior person there and would have been the one running the show since Osmus and Canavan weren't there.
[I was out of the room for a while at the 21 minute mark or so on the second segment.]
In sum, he has no independent recollection of discussing UA93.
He wasn't involved. He would have been looking at information leading up to the events of that day. He was aware of the issue and that there was an effort to determine what happened, but not the specifics. He would have told them to go back to the records that the WOC keeps. There were no efforts to bring the ACC people together to find out what happened that day.
His advice: go to the logs, then talk to who ran the primary net. He doesn't know if he was asked about who was in communication with the military that day or if he was just told that it was an issue.
He was not consulted on who to bring into the Freeman effort.
Use your Facebook login and see what your friends are reading and sharing.
Now bringing you back...
Please enter your email address below to reset your password. We will send you an email with instructions on how to continue.