T8 B1 FAA Command Center Linda Schuessler Fdr- 4-6-04 MFR 715 | September 11 Attacks | United Airlines Flight 93

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MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

Event: Federal Aviation Administration Headquarters, (FAA HQ) Type of event: Interview with Linda Schuessler Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2004 Special Access Issues: None Prepared by: Geoffrey Brown Team Number: 8 Location: 10th Floor, FAA HQ, Washington, D.C. Participants - Non-Commission: Participants - Commission: John Azzarello, Miles Kara, Kevin Shaeffer, Geoffrey Brown Note: Please refer to the recorded interview for further details. Background: S began with the FAA in 1974 as an ATC at Atlanta Center, where she spent the majority of her career. She worked up to Assistant Manager of the Facility, and subsequent to that she came to Washington Headquarters as Assistant Division Manager for en Route and Terminal Procedures. hi May of 2000 S became the Division Manager for Efficiency and Manager for Tactical Operations at Herndon Command Center. Manager for Tactical Operations has national oversight for procedures, runway incursion, and federal contract towers. She was responsible for the administrative staff (QA, Training, Procedures and Automation). Her peer was John White, and he was the Manager for Tactical Operations. In January of 2001 she became Manager for Tactical Operations, and John White became Division Manger for Efficiency. The Manager for Tactical Operations is considered that Facility Manager. As Manager for Tactical Operations, she was responsible for the integration of some of the products and services provided by the Division Manager for Efficiency's staff. Jack Keyes was the Program Management, who was responsible as such for coordinating the traffic management functions throughout the national airspace system. Whereas the Managers for Tactical Operations and for Efficiency focus primarily on Herndon Command Center as a facility, the Manager of Program Management focuses on the nationwide air traffic conduct. From an operational perspective, the Manager for Tactical Operations works on more long-term strategic decision making. Program Management does involve dialogue with the air carriers, but such dialogue occurs at all three of the discussed positions. Keyes reported directly to Jeff Griffith, and Griffith reported to Bill Peacock. AAT 20, the Evaluation and Investigation office, would be the lead in investigating an accident or aircraft incident. Schuessler headed AAT 20 "sometime in the summer of 2002.. .May timeframe". She was in this position until November of 2002, Commission Sensitive

Commission Sensitive when she was detailed to the Deputy Director of Air Traffic for four months when Jeff Griffith retired. She returned to AAT 20 until roughly May of 2003, when she was appointed AAT 2, Deputy Director of Air Traffic Services. Currently - as of February 2004 - her title became Vice President of Systems Operations Services. Pre 9/11 procedures and protocol for hijacking events: Schuessler gave Commission staff an overview of the covert signals understood by pilots to notify that there is a hijack. She then spoke to Commission staff on her understanding of the proper procedures from the ATC level to pass information on a hijacking. Notification from a Facility OMIC would be passed to the Region Operations Center (ROC, 9 nationwide), and concurrently notifying their management chain. The ROC would in turn notify the WOC. Pre 9/11 there was not a process in place for the ROC to concurrently notify the Herndon Command Center. Pre 9/11 this was expected to be done from the facility. Also, there was a hijack coordinator it the WOC so the expectation was the hijack coordinator would be monitoring the situation, and in contact with Hemdon and, and the centers/facilities. In the FAA document 7210.3 there is uniform guidance for facilities to notify their superiors in the Centers of a hijack. Herndon Command Center has been in operation for approximately 10 years. She believes the position of Hijack Coordinator is held in Headquarters in the Security Section. She believes that the individual pointed towards in FAA document 720.3 to coordinate through DoD a military response for the hijacking. Chusler did not know who had this roll. She is "not aware of any documents" that list tasks Herndon is involved, but commented that Herndon does play a role because of its responsibility for air space management. She commented that Herndon would coordinate with its facilities, and the event would be "worked" though law enforcement channels. Associate Administrator for ACS would be the proper Hijack Coordinator. Schuessler has no direct knowledge of the intelligence group of individuals on 9/11. Her interaction, in the air traffic world, did not expose her to those desks very often. On 9/11, her most frequent points of contact in air traffic services: is Jeff Griffith and Bill Peacock. Most "refresher training" courses for hijacks are covered on the facility level. Through a review of an appropriate protocol, class training and document review. They also use CVI terminals for these training courses. Schuessler noted that since Herndon Command Center does not have its own radar reads, but is feed radar data, they have not the same hijack training as at the En Route Center. If an En Route Center had a hijack event pre 9/11, procedure dictated that the Facility Manger would notify the Assistant Division Manager (AEA 501) at the Region, who reports to the Division Manager (AEA 500). They would report to someone at the high management level at Herndon Command Center [Jeff Griffith level]. The Command

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Commission Sensitive Center, during Schuessler's time at Herndon, they did not participate in a hijack exercise with the Regions. Traffic Situational Display (TSD) at Herndon: Herndon operates off of a radar feed from host data. Their TSD is for reference as opposed to separation purposes. Tim Grovak is the appropriate personnel to speak to regarding the TSD. September 11, 2001 (9/11): Typically Schuessler would check on the night operations with the night shift NOM, and was there when the mid-shift NOM was briefed. She would review the previous day's logs, and prepare for a staff meeting at 0830. A few minutes before 0830 Ben Sliney, the mid-shift NOM, and informed her that there was a possible hijack. Sliney did not share any other amplifying information at this time, and returned to the operations floor to continue to monitor the situation. Within five to ten minutes one of the first line supervisors, Tommy Pascione, came and told her that there was a possible stabbing of a flight attendant onboard the reported hijack. This significant information caused Schuessler to end the meeting, and tell everyone to report to the operational positions. At that time, CNN began reporting a small general aviation flight had crashed into the World Trade Center. They placed CNN on their center screen monitors. She did not equate AA 11 and the flight that crashed into the WTC. She remembers seeing another aircraft close to the WTC, and saw it as a "large commercial jet" impact the WTC. She did not have an airline or tail number on either of these aircraft at this point. She does not recall information on a "second hijack" before its impact. Schuessler also noted that 1) after she saw UAL 175 impact the WTC, she still believed the first impact was from a small aircraft; and 2) she did not equate the report of the hijacked aircraft with the incident at the WTC. At this point it did not occur to her that the nation was experiencing a terrorist attack. NTMOs on duty: She believes Tom Paccione was in Severe Weather, Mike Artis in East Area, and Tim Smith in West Area. After the second impact they worked with local facilities to clear aircraft out of that general area. They also worked with Boston Center to do this. They became concerned if a radar track was lost, or if a pilot stopped communicating - facilities were told to inform Herndon immediately if this occurred. She wanted Sliney to orchestrate the operations, Ellen King staff the NOM position Sliney had been in. A telecom was established with Air Traffic Headquarters, and John White communicated on that line. Lomanche was the "shadow for John" Lorraine Lomanche fed information to White and he gave that information to headquarters. Schuessler does not believe Grovak was there. Gail Carter, a staff

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Commission Sensitive specialist, was told by Schuessler to track by call sign aircraft that had been reported suspicious. Schuessler noted that sometime after the second incident they made the decision to ground the national airspace. Schuessler explained that after the first incident a ground stop for New York airspace ordered. After the second incident they expanded this to the Boston area as well. She explained that it is procedural to stop the air traffic after an aircraft incident. Schuessler noted that a facility goes through the Command Centers to communicate with other facilities regarding a national ground stop. The National Groundstop order was partly fueled by information on multiple hijackings, and extraneous information on bombs aboard flights. The groundstop order only stops departures, but is not an order to clear all air traffic from national airspace. The management team that "huddled" on 9/11 at Herndon kept each other informed as to the ongoing situation. Schuessler explained that she was asked specifically to monitor a telecom from Position 43. She was not able to do so, and designated someone else to. She sent all non-essential personnel out of the building. She believes that Tim Smith, West NTMO Position 24, or one of his staff, issued the groundstops for the New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. She believes that shortly after the second impact the NTMO's began "huddling" at the floor, and decided to have the positions ask the facilities to report suspicious aircraft circumstance to Herndon. Schuessler explained that they were looking for incidents such as a "radar stitch" (brief loss of transponder, not in excess of five minutes). But she was not presented with specific characteristics that were linked to the original hijacked aircraft. What led to their canvassing for information was the influx of information from the facilities originally. She commented that much of the information they received was conflicting. She has no knowledge of a threat to the Washington, DC area being reported before AA 77 impact the Pentagon. Schuessler recalls that she had little interaction with the Military Services Cell at Herndon and the CARF on 9/11; the operations floor did share information with the Military Services Cell, but the cell was responsible for carrying out their own appropriate actions. She was not coordinating with them, and does not believe the interaction between the cell and the operations floor could be qualified as a request for a fighter scramble to assist in the situation. Schuessler noted that while there were ongoing events and communications, she was working to make sure the facility itself was appropriately taken care of. She believes that while she was fulfilling her responsibilities to the facility, information was gathered on the floor which may not have reached her. She received incoming information that

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Commission Sensitive were misinformed, and possibly contradictory; further, she noted that the paradigm of a hijacking as of the morning of 9/11 did not predict the nature of the events. She further noted that considering this fact, her belief that the decision to clear the national airspace system was extremely timely. Schuessler believes she conversed with an ATA representative regarding information. This representative was asked to share with the carriers the information being received by Herndon. Tom Paccione was also speaking with air carriers from NSPT and Severe Weather, to her knowledge, and asked to do so as well. She recalls possibly mentioning to the ATA representative that a suggestion could be made to the airlines to increase cockpit security, but 1) was unclear as to whether or not this was done, and 2) she does not believe it was Herndon's responsibility to issue that advisory. Schuessler noted that "at some point we did reach out to the international community" (air traffic service providers) and shared information. She does not remember making the decision to suggest to those entities to increase cockpit security. Schuessler does not recollect United Airlines Flight 93 (UAL 93) "being one that stood out" besides its missing status. She does remember that there were reports that there "may have been something on the frequency that was unclear", or that there was a bomb on board it, but believes they thought it had crashed before it actually did. She does not remember a thought process to "tag" the flight at any point. And she further believes that this information was brought to her during the same time period at which they were in the process of grounding aircraft from the national airspace. She believes that John White may have received information regarding UAL 93 from one of the specialists who was speaking with a facility that was monitoring UAL 93. Schuessler had no specific knowledge on the fighter scrambles that occurred on 9/11. Schuessler does not recall having conversations about fighter scrambles, or about scrambling on a specific aircraft. She just recalls having basic knowledge that military fighters were scrambling. She does recall monitoring the clearing of the national airspace system; collectively they made that decision, and it was shared with Headquarters so they were aware of what actions would be appropriate for this. As far as the two teleconferences that occurred out of FAA Headquarters, Schuessler noted that she is not sure which line was the one that was monitored by John White, but she commented that it was from White's open line at the NTMO position that a good deal of information came across. Schuessler commented that she has been under the impression that Colonel Atkins was on the same line as John White. Schuessler believed that Atkins, considering Atkins was in the "Headquarters arena", would have been used as a conduit to the military. Schuessler noted that they were extremely busy once they decided to clear the skies. They were communicating with and monitoring aircraft for government VIPs, for emergency response purposes, and for the military.

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Post 9/11: Schuessler informed Commission staff that she was not involved in preparing a chronology of events, or for Administrator's Garvey's testimony before the Commission. She was involved in briefing Secretary Menetta on the actions taken by air traffic on 9/11. Schuessler commented that one of the questions asked by the AAT 20 staff (Tony Ferrente and Doug Gould) was if she had any information on military notification of the attacks. She told them that they shared information with the Military Services Cell, and received information in turn that one of the bases in the northeast had been notified. She explained that AAT 20 should have the clear impression from their discussion that she did not request fighter assistance from the military. She recalls this discussion after the initial 9/11 Commission hearings. She believes that the discussion she had with AAT 20 was on topics outside the realm of the official FA A protocol for hijack notification to the military through the FAA hijack coordinator. Schuessler first saw the document "FAA Summary of Hijacking Events" after Commission staffs first visit to Hemdon in the summer of 2003. Schuessler is confident that AAT 20 contacted Ellen King, and that she cooperated with gathering log, tape, and transcript information following the events of 9/11. She is not sure if the FBI came to Herndon following 9/11, but she does recall that the FBI asked them for information on different call signs - "They would call and ask us for all the call signs that begin with the number two" (paraphrased). Schuessler was not involved with the dialogue between General Arnold and Jeff Griffith. She did have a brief conversation after the Commission's initial hearing with General McKinley in which they discussed that the FAA and military had disparate information regarding notification time frames; there was no dialogue regarding changing or researching this and she has not had such a discussion since. They did not speak about specific flights, and she recollects that she initiated this conversation.

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