Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Global Guardian FOIA request

I have yet to receive a direct response from STRATCOM regarding my FOIA request for information pertaining to the 9/11 Global Guardian exercise, so I have started inquiring with other groups, agencies, and commands.

Last week I received a response from Mr. Robert W. Hay, the FOIA officer of the 55th Wing, based at Offutt Air Force Base. He asked for a clarification regarding my request, to which I responded:

“... I am unfamiliar with how STRATCOM categorizes exercise records, so I would appreciate your assistance identifying the specific documents relevant to my research and the agencies and/or commands from which they may be obtained.

I am predominantly interested in the following:

1. Scheduling of the exercise. At some point during 2001, the exercise was rescheduled from October to September. I am requesting a schedule of the exercise dates and the exercise activities scheduled for each specific date, preferably as they were scheduled before and after the change. I am also requesting documentation of the proposals that initiated the schedule change.

2. Exercise participants. Who was actively engaged in the exercise on September 11, 2001? Who was in the STRATCOM command center, who was in charge, which fighters and bombers were in the sky, which missile crews were on alert, what type of equipment was being tested, what role did the private sector play, what other agencies and commands were involved, etc? I am requesting any and all available records containing this type of information.

3. Description of exercise scenarios. I am seeking descriptions of the exercise scenarios underway on the morning of September 11, 2001, and the role played by each of the participants. This includes descriptions of all simulated threats, how these threats were projected to the participants, and the (desired) responses of the participants to these threats.

4. Detailed records of the exercise. I am seeking a complete record of the Global Guardian exercise as it was carried out on September 11, 2001. This includes timelines, command decisions, force movements, personnel/shift changes, evaluations of decisions, scenario commencements/terminations, etc.

5. Additional exercises. I am seeking similar records of other exercise activities that were underway on September 11, 2001, most of which were being run in conjunction with the Global Guardian exercise. These exercises include Vigilant Guardian, Northern Guardian, Apollo Guardian, Amalgam/Vigilant Warrior, Crown Vigilance, Timely Alert II, and Ellipse Alpha. (Note: Not all of these exercises have been confirmed)

6. Additional information. I am seeking all available records regarding activities at STRATCOM on the morning of September 11, 2001. This includes activities outside of the exercises, such as STRATCOM's transition from exercise to real-world events, STRATCOM's response to the terrorist attacks, the communications between agencies and the direction of strategic forces, the organization of the STRATCOM battle staff, etc. Basically, I would like every available record of significant events at STRATCOM from the date in question. ...”

Yesterday I received a response thanking me for my clarification. Mr. Hay stated that although the 55th Wing does not own the records, he has forwarded the request to the relevant parties at STRATCOM.

I expect the majority of the records to be classified, but I intend to get my hands on whatever I can.


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