Air Force One Pilot Recalls Crew's Respond to Threats on 9

Retired Col. Mark Tillman knew two commercial airliners had crashed directly into the World Trade Center as he took Air Force One directly into the sky above Sarasota, Fla., ナイキ エアジョーダン the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. But soon President Bush's Air Force One pilot heard the warning Second in command Dick Cheney gave obama, and three words began the selection of evasion flights throughout the country that particular day:

"It's a substantial sky, so for those who to address us, you're normally thinking it's going to somebody on a lawn with a bit of form of manpowered rocket or getting some fighter being released in to shoot you down," Tillman said. "But on this subject day, it had become throughout your home country. On Sept. 11, it was America."

The president's staff and Air Force One crew learned later that it was an incorrect alarm, but right at that moment Tillman was taking no chances. Information during that time was there may very well be up to seven to 10 hijacked airliners.

President Bush found out that American Airlines Flight 11 had crashed in the North Tower before a scheduled stop and promote his education bill at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla. When Chief of Staff Andrew Card told obama, "A second plane has hit the planet Trade Center. America is under attack," Tillman was watching the events unfold on television device the Boeing VC25.

"That's should the staff starts going into gear, advising the president of what is doing," Tillman said. "You can really start hearing the radios regarding the Secret Service, the employees cigarette smoking agencies everywhere.

"I really need to assume the worst. I reckon that obama was approximately to remain under attack, therefore got everything ready along with the plane. In advance of departure, Tillman saw anyone pursuing the runway along with a cam corder, so he took the VC25 in your other.

"Air Force One, you will have unidentified aircraft behind you," Jacksonville Center told Tillman simply because made his ascent above Florida. "They've shut their transponder off, they're above you together descending into you."

But because Tillman turned toward the Sea, the plane didn't follow. It turned into something just an airliner that have lost its transponder.

"But the whole day was like this," he explained. "The whole day, there are threats that weren't really threats, nevertheless you still were required to counter them. Tomorrow, that we were concerned somebody had followed us, and we also were yet another target. That we were told Air Force One was going to be next, and then we were required to counter that."

The president decided soon following that false alarm that he or she ever thought about and incapacitated so he could address the American people. Tillman and military aides chose Barksdale Air Force Base, La., due to the high security due to B52 Stratofortress mission. Air Force One radio operators notified the Barksdale command post in the very last minute, additionally, the wing commander were forced to prepare the base within minutes for obama.

"The Air Force rocked on that day," Tillman said. "They did everything perfect, that is the beauty with the actual environment Force. Do not need find the [crisis action team] together and spend hours working a checklist. When tips over, purchasing what their job would be to make it happen. That's what they did that day, but not only there, but all over the country.

"Offutt Air Force Base [Neb.] did so. Andrews Air Force Base [Md.] knew that they had to get the president of america. They're would always undergoing it day by day for those president, but tomorrow, it's different. On Sept. after staff determined the problem in Washington had settled down enough to have obama back.

"Everybody on the plane was be prepared for what needed to be for the us," Tillman said. "What many don't get was on Air Force One, the president had each one of his top leaders with him. He has being able to get connected to some of the military leadership. They his chief of staff and Secret Service with him. Everything was aboard at a selfcontained package, so he tends to make several great decisions for those country aboard, and that was the style the president was doing."

As Air Force One made its journey round the Midwest, the Texas ANG F16s were joined by other fighters, including F16s from Andrews and Langley Air Force Base, Va., because president's plane approached Washington. Lt. Col. Air National Guard, gave the president a thumbsup from near Air Force One's wing.

"I can't speak for any president, but for me to check out and then determine a fighter pilot at that time in your wallet, which is the classic Air Force mission," Tillman said. "You've got the fighter on the wing, and he's protecting obama of the usa. It just doesn't any better than that."

But Tillman designed 360degree income the Shenandoah Valley permitting the Texas fighters to find up while he wanted the F16s from President Bush's home Guard unit to steer Air Force One into Andrews.

Within the next seven years, Tillman returned President Bush to New York numerous times, including for Sept. 11 anniversary ceremonies. But he wasn't ready to attend Ground Zero himself until after he along with the president retired following President Obama's inauguration in January 2009.

"Everyone has to visit to witness might keep in mind the thousands who was simply killed that day," Tillman said. "The procedures that President Bush, his administration plus the military have placed into place have saved us, as well as cleaning President barack obama with his fantastic folks.

"But there is no-one to forget what actually transpired on Sept. 11. Lots of individuals died, not only in the towers, but also on the Pentagon, knowning that was unacceptable. We will need to be all set, and we will keep on being ready, but we lost many of our friends that day."Randy Roughton