August 16, 2006

NORAD on September 11

This Vanity Fair article presents a riveting picture of the US military's attempts to defend the country on that terrible morning.

For the NEADS crew, 9/11 was not a story of four hijacked airplanes, but one of a heated chase after more than a dozen potential hijackings — some real, some phantom — that emerged from the turbulence of misinformation that spiked in the first 100 minutes of the attack and continued well into the afternoon and evening. At one point, in the span of a single mad minute, one hears Nasypany struggling to parse reports of four separate hijackings at once. What emerges from the barrage of what Nasypany dubs "bad poop" flying at his troops from all directions is a picture of remarkable composure. Snap decisions more often than not turn out to be the right ones as commanders kick-start the dormant military machine. It is the fog and friction of war live—the authentic military history of 9/11.

The online version of the article includes actual audio clips from the recorded communications that morning.

I always felt that the total grounding of all civilian aviation that day was an over-reaction. Reading this it made total sense.

Posted by jackhodgson at August 16, 2006 11:18 AM