|Excerpted from a NuoViso interview with Lieutenant-Colonel Jochen Scholz of the German air force on 911 and the war on terror.|
Subjects: 9-11/Air Defence, 9-11/Drills, 9-11/E-4B, 9-11/Flight 93, 9-11/Pentagon
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The Failing of American Air Defense on 9/11
... what has happened there, over a period of almost two hours, without intervention by their own air force. [...] that over a period of two hours four airplanes have been hijacked at different times and then two went into the twin towers, one into the Pentagon and another downed somewhere in Pennsylvania. And they were able to do this without being bothered by anyone - this is unthinkable. It is definitively not thinkable. When you visit the homepage of the German air force, there go to the site of the two fighter wings, in the north Witmund and in the south Neuburg an der Donau (Neuburg at the Danube). There you'll see that they are active at all time, 24 hours on 365 days. Two alarm jets are kept for just one case, that is an outstanding event in the air. And the proceedings that are explained there - which would be explained (the same way) by the German flight control if you were to ask - and then additionally when you know as I do, that the whole process, to intervene with interceptors in an unresolved emergency situation in the air, that this has been developed by the United States in the 1950s as a reaction of Pearl Harbour. They wanted to never again be surprised like back then. That is the reason why this system was developed and it proceeds the following way .. I'll explain from the German perspective because I can name the German institutions. At the end of the chain of command (in the US) in this so called air policing, for the alerting of interceptors, which has a NATO term that is "alpha scramble", which is when the planes are going up, is the North American Air Defense Command NORAD. That is the biggest air defense center in the world, it looks to the outside and the inside and the smallest thing it has on it's radar.
In Germany the sequence would be like this, and it happens all the time. Let's assume Frankfurt, aviation hub Frankfurt, there are civilian and military air traffic controller together in one shift and then something happens what these people call "lost-com", loss of communication. That means they have lost communication with some airliner for any (unknown) reason. Thousand things can happen, technical stuff, or he has a heart attack, just something, or the airliner is not following the order to use a certain corridor in the air. Then the shift will try for five minutes to contact the guy again. This is the first criterion. The second criterion is when he additionally shows odd behavior, flying a strange route or something like that. Then there will be a call from Frankfurt to the so called Combined Air Operations Center in Kalkar, or in Messtetten [...] and in this C.A.O.C. is a cell, as we call this in the jargon, that is staffed with a field grade officer of the air force, a contact man from the Federal Ministry of the Interior because police matters may be part of what happens and a representative of the German air traffic control. When this (information) has arrived in the cell, and with direct connection they are informed immediately, and they also see what is happening on their monitors, on their radar, and when the plane still is behaving in an odd way then he will press a button and the siren will go on, with let's say the fighter wing 71 in Wittmund, next to the bunker in which the interceptors are parked. The pilots that belong to those planes are sitting in their barracks close by in full gear. Those pilots will jump up, leave their coffee on the table and enter their planes. In the NATO states the regulation is commonly like, depending on the degree of readiness, between ten or fifteen minutes one has to be in the air. Then they will be guided to the airplane to see what is happening. When it then has to come to a decision as force that machine back or force it to land, then a General has make that decision. But only that decision is his. The initiation of an emergency, the examination by the interceptors when something has been decided is wrong, that is happening like a fire run or the deployment of an emergency medic. There are no hierarchy's of command in between. And this is the exact way it happens in the United States in principle. [...]
And exactly this has not happened over a time span of two hours. Not one interceptor made the attempt to force back or clear the situation. And this can only be when someone has tampered with the automatism that I have just explained. [...] And the smoke that has been blown by the investigate committee of the congress that on this day exceptionally many exercises have been held that day, that there was confusion and one couldn't distinguish between real life and exercise, that is simply incomprehensible for somebody with an air force background, because what is happening at an exercise is always separate from air security and defense in the real life. Those who are involved with the exercise as traffic controller are not involved with the surveillance of the regular civilian traffic, so that's an absurd thesis.
The other thesis that was brought up, that one or the other squadron has been relocated towards Canada or somewhere, but of those squadrons the interceptors have certainly not been relocated with the others. Because they have to stay there, 365 days a year, and they are not to be used for anything else. And the funny thing is, that in the year of 9-11 these interceptors have been used 60 times without any problem and afterwards again a few weeks after ...