Omaha, Nebraska 2021-09-10 22:06:19 –
Omaha, Nebraska (KMTV) —Twenty years ago this week, President George W. Bush’s visit reminds the world and people of the Omaha region of how important Offutt Air Force Base is to US national security. I did.
Bush came to the US Strategic Army to oversee the country’s nuclear forces hours after terrorists attacked New York and Washington with jet passenger planes and crashed another in the field of Pennsylvania.
3 News Now Investigators spoke with three people stationed at STRATCOM on September 11, 2001. To others who served them, Air Force One landed on Ofat showed the weight of the terrible day.
Mark Kiris was an Army officer who served as a special aide to Commander STRATCOM. He didn’t know Bush was coming until he saw something strange about a fighter landing on Ofat.
“All aircraft and civil aviation were closed, which was pretty shocking,” said Kiris. “I saw the first two. I saw the next two. And Air Force One came out only a few seconds later.”
Many of STRATCOM, including the Air Force staff sergeant at the time. Michael Sglia withdrew from major annual exercises for nuclear forces after the attack. Suria has created some of the scenarios that STRATCOM has put into practice.
His boss basically called on other war commands in the country to make sure each military command was available and assigned him the unusual task of “asking their status.”
“I didn’t realize it at that point, but it’s likely that I built a briefing to President Bush later,” Sglia said.
Bush was reading a book to his students in a Florida classroom when the second plane crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, and most of the country realized that this wasn’t a coincidence.
His team first took him to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. But he couldn’t communicate with everyone there at the same time, so they took him to Ooft.
“The Pentagon has temporarily completed its mission, and the president is in such an uncertain situation, so it was thought that he needed to be placed in a place where he could communicate with a safe place,” Kiris said. Said. “So I advised you to bring him here.”
STRATCOM is one of the best communication systems in the world because it needs to be able to communicate securely with people all over the world in an instant as part of its nuclear mission.
“In many ways it was probably about the best place he could come,” said Kiris.
Kiris was escorting a retired general and group who came to assess Stratcom’s performance during the exercise. When Bush arrived, he was on the tarmac and was going to see off the general.
They hurried back to the safe underground level of STRATCOM’s current building. It was then replaced by a new $ 1.3 billion building nearby. He was just in time.
Kiris remembers Bush saying he would break the ice in a room full of military leaders, but he wouldn’t share it. He said it made them laugh and called it an important example of coerced leadership.
“It’s like a movie,” he said. “I always remember that day because I was there and when it was happening, I was actually about 40 feet away from the president.”
After the briefing, the president was taken to another basement in STRATCOM, and in 2001 the military had secure technology for video chatting with the national security team.
Michael Wrobel was engaged in computer support for STRATCOM at the time.
“One of my best friends explained to me some of the equipment we put in the building, which gave me the need to come to this building so that the president could communicate as needed.” He said.
President Bush stayed at Stratcom for only about 90 minutes before returning to Washington. But his visit impressed the people who still work there today.
“It made things a reality,” Wrobel said. “We spend a lot of time exercising. I’ve been here for 30 years. The building is very good at making these exercises as realistic as possible … but it’s I made it a reality.
Suria said: “I think it highlights the importance of the daily missions of the United States Strategic Command. I think it shows the importance of our mission here.”
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