Army Command Center at the Pentagon Planned to Hold Exercise in Week After 9/11 Based on a Plane Hitting the WTC

The Army Operations Center

Army officers at the Pentagon were planning a training exercise that would take place less than a week after 9/11 and that would, extraordinarily, be based around the scenario of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Preparations for the exercise were being made about a week before September 11.

The existence of the planned exercise was revealed by Major General Peter Chiarelli, who on September 11, 2001, was the Army's director of operations, readiness, and mobilization. In that position, which he had moved into about a month before 9/11, Chiarelli was in charge of current operations in the Army Operations Center (AOC) at the Pentagon.

Chiarelli recalled in a February 2002 interview that, after beginning his new position, he had "planned to do an exercise for the Crisis Action Team, the CAT." He said, "In some of my pre-briefings, in learning about the job, it was briefed to me that the Crisis Action Team had not stood up, except for an exercise, in about 10 years in any great role." He therefore had members of his staff design a CAT exercise that, he said, he planned to run on September 17. [1]

Chiarelli also recalled in the interview that the Personnel Contingency Cell in the AOC had been tasked with putting together a new mass casualty standard operating procedure (SOP) for the Army. About a week before 9/11, Chiarelli said, a colleague of his--"Robby Robinson"--and two other officers "came in to brief me on their new SOP for mass casualty."

During the meeting, it was decided that in the CAT exercise Chiarelli was going to run, "we would go ahead and use this SOP as a kind of exercise driver." Chiarelli recalled, "The real amazing thing of that SOP is that the scenario was an aircraft crashing into the World Trade Center." Chiarelli told the others in the meeting, "Hey, not only is this a good SOP and a good plan, but at the same time, to really make this good, what we need to do is exercise it." According to Chiarelli, "We decided that we would use a scenario similar to that to drive this exercise" that he was planning. [2]

Chiarelli did not specify in his February 2002 interview what type of aircraft was envisaged hitting the WTC in the scenario. Nor did he say whether it would have been a hijacked plane or one that crashed into the WTC accidentally. But what his account means is that, in the days before the terrorist attacks in New York and at the Pentagon occurred, a military exercise was being planned that was scheduled to take place less than a week after September 11, with a scenario that was identical--or at least extremely similar--to what happened in New York on 9/11.

The possible significance of Chiarelli's training exercise being based around a plane crashing into the World Trade Center will need to be determined by a new and unrestrained investigation of the 9/11 attacks. However, the odds of this being due to chance, and unrelated to what happened on September 11, must be minute.

The AOC that Chiarelli was in charge of is located in the basement of the Pentagon, two levels beneath a parking lot. It plays an important role within the Army. Reportedly, "Critical information flows through the high-security worksite, with AOC personnel--almost all in uniform--working day and night to keep senior Army leaders aware of issues and events around the world, helping them make timely, critical decisions." Chiarelli described the AOC as "the Army's command and control center." [3] On September 11, senior Army leaders assembled there in response to the terrorist attacks.

The Crisis Action Team, whose members were going to participate in Chiarelli's training exercise, was activated in response to the attacks on the WTC. Chiarelli said at the time that he had activated it "to respond to the contingency in New York if requested by state and local officials." He said he "anticipated that the World Trade Center disaster would require enormous rescue, firefighting, and recovery efforts." [4]

[1] Pete Chiarelli, interview by Frank Shirer. U.S. Army Center of Military History, February 5, 2002. However, in an interview with Chiarelli's deputy, Brigadier General Clyde Vaughn, Army Center of Military History historian Stephen Lofgren mentioned that the exercise was scheduled for "a couple of days" after September 11, meaning September 13. See Clyde Vaughn, interview by Stephen Lofgren, U.S. Army Center of Military History, February 12, 2002. It is unclear which date for the exercise is correct.
[2] Pete Chiarelli, interview by Frank Shirer.
[3] William Schwab and Lorie Jewell, "The Army's Nerve Center." Soldiers, September 2004.
[4] Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11. Washington, DC: Defense Department, Office of the Secretary, Historical Office, 2007, pp. 134-135.

More info on 9/11-style military exercises ...

For some relevant background information, check out my two previous blog entries:

"Rehearsing 9/11: How Training Exercises Foretold the Attacks of September 11":

"NORAD Exercise a Year Before 9/11 Simulated a Pilot Trying to Crash a Plane into a New York Skyscraper--The UN Headquarters":


Curiouser and curiouser, these "exercises" and "war games". It would appear that these exercises/war games were the means by which the operation was rehearsed and ultimately conducted. I think Mike Ruppert was absolutely right on this score. Thanks for your ongoing research Shoestring.


Interesting Shoestring. You say...

"The possible significance of Chiarelli's training exercise being based around a plane crashing into the World Trade Center will need to be determined by a new and unrestrained investigation of the 9/11 attacks. However, the odds of this being due to chance, and unrelated to what happened on September 11, must be minute."

The "easy" significance to point out is how it contradicts "no idea", "no one could imagine," "a failure of imagination," etc... whether or not it is directly related to 9/11, I can't tell you. However, it is very interesting.

"Within the Pentagon, Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz continued to press the case for dealing with Iraq. Writing to Rumsfeld on September 17 in a memo headlined “Preventing More Events,” he argued that if there was even a 10 percent chance that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attack, maximum priority should be placed on eliminating that threat. Wolfowitz contended that the odds were “far more” than 1 in 10, citing Saddam’s praise for the attack, his long record of involvement in terrorism, and theories that Ramzi Yousef was an Iraqi agent and Iraq was behind the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. The next day, Wolfowitz renewed the argument, writing to Rumsfeld about the interest of Yousef’s co-conspirator in the 1995 Manila air plot in crashing an explosives-laden plane into CIA headquarters, and about information from a foreign government regarding Iraqis’ involvement in the attempted hijacking of a Gulf Air flight. Given this background, he wondered why so little thought had been devoted to the danger of suicide pilots, seeing a “failure of imagination” and a mind-set that dismissed possibilities." - pgs 335-336 - 9/11 Report

"We believe the 9/11 attacks revealed four kinds of failures: in imagination, policy, capabilities, and management." pg. 339 - 9/11 Report

The One Percent Doctrine

From Wikipedia:

The One Percent Doctrine

"The title comes from a story within the book in which Vice President Dick Cheney describes the Bush administration's doctrine on dealing with terrorism:[3]

"If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response."

Perhaps we should apply the same logic to the probability that such exercises were mere coincidence.

Robinson interview? Crawford Interview?

"The real amazing thing of that SOP is that the scenario was an aircraft crashing into the World Trade Center. That was the driver and Robinson can give you the background on that." page 9/42

Is there an interview with Robby Robinson?

Also what I find somewhat interesting....

"The meeting was scheduled to occur at 9:00 in the morning. I was in my office at 9:00 in the morning when I was first alerted to the fact that an aircraft had hit the World Trade Center." page 5/42

That was also the time National Security Adviser Rice called President Bush and told him a plane had crashed into the WTC. Except she told him it was a commercial airliner.

He continues......

"I remember some of the initial reports on CNN was it could have been a plane. No one saw a plane. People thought it was a rocket, thought it was something that could have occurred, then the idea was that it was a small plane, and it was really kind of confusing right around at 9:00 in the morning." page 7/42

Yes, but the President already knew it was a commercial airliner. This is confirmed by the President....

"It was unclear at that point whether or not it was a terrorist action. I mean, deep down inside, everyone suspected that" page 10/42

Well.....not everyone.....

"That plane must have had the worst pilot in the world" - G Bush

"He said a commercial plane has hit the World Trade Center, and we're going to go ahead and go on, we're going on to do the reading thing anyway," - Emma E. Booker Elementary School principal Gwen Tose'-Rigell

How did Bush and Rice know it was a commercial airliner...but not know it was a hijacked commercial airliner? Rice was told it was a commercial airliner by her executive assistant, Tony Crawford. Who is he?

"Army Lieutenant Colonel Tony Crawford, an intelligence specialist and executive assistant to Rice" page 301

"I said what a strange accident." - Rice,1518,587744,00.html

Rice is "Loyal".

The 9-11 commission thought it was interesting that they knew it was a commercial airliner as this document from their released notes show(one of the notes that has not been redacted and classified to keep us so amazingly free)......

Released notes from 9-11 Commission (POTUS = President of the United States).......

"October 24, 2001
Sequence of events
- First plane hits; Rice calls POTUS - tells him at end of convo that it's a commercial plane.

November 1,2001
Sequence of Events
• Called POTUS after first hit; said at first it's a twin engine and then a few minutes later said no, it's a commercial plane (so POTUS knew when he hung up it was a commercial plane??)

August 2,2002
Sequence of Events
• First plane hits; "we thought maybe a twin engine plane of some kind, a small plane." [She omits the reference to it being a commercial plane]

(so POTUS knew when he hung up it was a commercial plane??)

Yes, 9-11 commission-interesting isn't it?

So where is their interview with Tony Crawford?

haven't seen Robinson and Crawford interviews

no hits for robby robinson or robert robinson (or tony craword or anthony crawford) in what i've scanned so far. Neither shows up on any of the DOD doc indexes, or this interview index from the recent release:

this article needs to spread around

This sounds like the scenario

This sounds like the scenario of an actual "terrorist" attack piggybacking on a series of exercises and simulations.. just like what happened in London on July 7, 2005. In that instance, a massive security exercise coordinated by Visor Consultants, involving 1000 or more people, was in progress which envisioned precisely the same scenario as what happened that morning, at the same time and in the same underground train stations. The man in charge of the exercise (one Peter Power) even admitted in a television interview that "when events started unfolding in real life that followed the exact same scenario that was being simulated, the hairs on the back of my neck stood upright". Another interview here

Without an investigation, it is impossible to say if Power had any advance knowledge that something was about to go down... he does come across as being level headed and surprised by the events... however, some people are excellent at disguising guilt. I wonder how much of a parallel there is to Chiarelli's situation. It does seem beyond the laws of likely probability that two of the most significant "terrorist attacks" of our lifetimes were anticipated, precisely in time, place and character, by an element of the authorities.

In other words, my BS meter is pegged in the red.


to articulate the target in such "exercises"?

There must be a record of the discussions leading up to the exercise itself. The planners don't suddenly come up with an exercise and launch it in a couple of weeks. There must be a considerable, time consuming effort to whittle down the list of targets, so the logistics people can assemble the maps, communications people can mock up the data links and support agencies like local fire and police, ATF, FBI, FEMA, DHS, and CIA can all have a seat at the tables on both ends of the virtual stage.

How many years will it be before we know exactly who offered up the World Trade Center as a potential hard target for the terrorists to attack? What is it, some kind of weird Defense Department sports pool that you get a prize for winning? JEEZ!!!!