A little known fact behind the attack on The World Trade Centers is the heroic rescue of 2,700 employees of Morgan Stanley by Rick Rescorla, the Director of Security. If you never heard of Rick Rescorla, you are missing out on one of the best stories of an "American" hero.
Born Cyril Richard Rescorla in Hayle, Cornwall, in 1939. During WWII the 175th Infantry Regiment of the US 29th Infantry Division was headquartered in Hayle. Being a typical young boy he fell head over heals in love with the American GIs. In 1957 Rescorla joined the British Army The Parachute Regiment and also serving with intelligence. Upon leaving the military he served various jobs as a police officer.
He moved to the United States and joined the United States Army in 1963 ... wanting to go to Vietnam to fight. In 1965 he was a platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and fought in the Battle of Ia Drang - the battle recounted in the book and depicted in the movie "We Were Soldiers (Once ... And Young)"
Rescorla was a very bright and astute man. He was a critical thinker. In 1992 he warned the World Trade Center's Port Authority that the massive structures were vulnerable to (what we call now) VIEDs in the basement parking garage ... but his warning was not heeded ... In 1993 the first terrorist attack on the WTC happened. Rick helped evacuate the building, and was the last man out.
In 1997, Rescorla became director of security for Morgan Stanley headquartered in the World Trade Center. Feeling the WTC was too vulnerable a target for terrorists, Rick recommended Morgan Stanley leave the structure and find new office spaces. But they were locked into a lease. So, Rescorla then made certain all employees of Morgan Stanley train and practice in emergency evacuations from the WTC building, drilling them every three months.
On 18 September, as a result of these incidents, President George W. Bush declared war on those countries who harbored terrorists and defined the military retaliations as Operation INFINITE JUSTICE. The origins of the name can be traced back to the 1998 Operation INFINITE REACH airstrikes against Osama bin Laden's facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan in response to the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
On 18 September, the 1st Cavalry Division unfurled the guidon of the unit that was to become the first element representing the beginning of the change over of the Division organization to the FORCE XXI restructuring configuration. "C" Troop, 10th Cavalry Regiment was activated and assigned to the 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division as their Reconnaissance Troop. In addition to the process of activating "C" Troop, the Division restored the organizational continuity of a piece of its history. When the 1st Cavalry Division was initially activated on 13 September 1921, the 10th Cavalry Regiment was among the first cavalry regiments assigned to it.
On 20 September, George W. Bush, in a Joint Session of Congress, outlined the initial military objectives of Operation INFINITE JUSTICE, Following the address of President, the Army began preparation for "sustained land combat operations".
On 25 September, following the protest of Muslim groups on the basis that
their faith teaches that Allah is the only one that could provide "infinite
justice", the designation of Operation INFINITE JUSTICE was changed to
Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Local forces worked with the US led coalition in the air and on the ground in the subsequent weeks to unseat the ruling Taliban, smoke out and capture of al-Qaeda leaders leading to the cessation of terrorist activities in Afghanistan and minimization of their ability to spread their terrorism throughout the world.
On 08 October, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13228 that established the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council within the Executive Office of the President to be headed by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, Tom Ridge. The mission of the Office was to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks.
In addition, the Office was assigned the duty to coordinate the efforts of the executive branch to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States. In future efforts in carrying out these duties, the Office will often rely upon the capabilities of the 1st Cavalry Division for support.
Throughout the history of the 1st Cavalry Division, it has had the ability to
transition through the seamless integration of the methods of war fighting and
improvements in armament technology. This attribute is founded upon the
evolution of Division Commanders and subordinate units with experienced
noncommissioned and commissioned personnel who continuously upgrade their
management of warring skills.
Upper Left: On 10 October, the Noncommissioned Officers and soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division participated in a colorful Change of Command Ceremony, at Cooper Field, Ft. Hood, Texas, in which Major General David D. McKiernan relinquished his command to Major General Joseph F. H. Peterson. The flag was flown at "half staff" in memory to the victims of the 911 attack. The next assignment for Major General McKiernan, who had assumed the command of the 1st Cavalry Division in October 1999, will be as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC. Major General Joseph F. H. Peterson came from Ft. Stewart, Georgia where in his last assignment, he served as Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized).
Upper Right: The Color Guard presents the Colors of the Subordinate Units and the Division to the Outgoing and Incoming Commanders of the 1st Cavalry Division.
By October 20, US and Coalition forces had destroyed virtually all Taliban air defenses and had conducted a highly successful direct action mission on the residence of Mullah Omar in the middle of the Taliban capital, Qandahar. During this time frame Special Forces detachments linked up with Anti-Taliban leaders and coordinated operational fires and logistics support on multiple fronts. Twenty days later, the provincial capital of Mazar-e Sharif fell. In rapid succession, Herat, Kabul, and Jalalabad followed.
On 16 November, the 1st Cavalry Division deployed the advance party of a Brigade Combat Team, known as Task Force "Blackjack", to Kuwait in support of Operation DESERT SPRING.
On 29 November 2001 anti Taliban forces in Afghanistan captured their biggest known trophy to date, a top al-Qaeda operative, Ahmed Omar Abdel Rahman, who is the son of an extremist Muslim cleric convicted in 1995 of conspiring to blow up New York landmarks.
Ahmed Omar Abdel Rahman, was a high-profile figure in Osama bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan was a important and popular figure in al-Qaeda. He had been widely used in recruiting for the network, because he was believed to be carrying on the work of his father, Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who is being held in one of the highest-security federal prisons in the United States. The father remains an enormously influential figure in the jihad, or holy war, movement even as he languishes behind bars.
By mid - December, the Qandahar Airport was secured and the Taliban capital was in the hands of Anti-Taliban forces. Within weeks the Taliban and Al-Qaida were reduced to isolated pockets of fighters. On 22 December, General Franks traveled to Kabul to attend a ceremony marking the inauguration of the Afghanistan interim government
With the immediate problem of dealing with the Afghanistan cells requiring less resources, more attention could be devoted to the methodical tasks of investigation and identification of other world wide terrorist cells spread in as many as thirty-four countries.
On 02 April 02, 2002 the Pakistani government turned over the most senior al-Qaeda member that has been captured since September 11 to the United States. Abu Zubaydah, a top al-Qaeda leader, was captured in a series of raids in Lahore and Faisalabad, Pakistan, last week. Abu Zubaydah was shot three times by the Pakistanis while trying to escape and he is undergoing medical treatment in an undisclosed location.
Zubaydah is thought to be a 30-year-old Palestinian and operational commander of al-Qaeda. For years, he had been in charge of recruiting, training and travel for al-Qaeda and is one of Osama bin Laden's key lieutenants. His capture was valuable since he is suspected of continuing to plan further terrorist attacks and of being responsible for establishing al-Qaeda cells round the world.
On 18 June 2002 Moroccan authorities detained al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubair, nicknamed "the bear", one of the three or four most senior leaders of Osama bin Laden's group captured since 11 September. Morocco authorities had detained another senior al-Qaeda operative, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, of Syrian descent and according to the German reports, a German citizen, He is believed to have recruited Mohamed Atta, suspected ringleader of the 11 September hijackers, in Germany.
Officials indicated that Abu Zubair was an associate of top al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah who is in US custody after being captured in Pakistan. Zubair ran guest houses in Afghanistan for people coming and going to the al-Qaeda training camps located in Afghanistan. He was involved in assigning them to missions and was "very knowledgeable" about al-Qaeda operations.
During the week of 08 July 2002, the Office of Homeland Security initiated a
series of defensive preparation efforts, Exercise Clear Skies I, a joint
service and inter-agency operation that was conducted for three days under
the command of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and
involved units from NORAD, Air Force, Navy, Army, Customs Service, Federal
Aviation Administration and the Secret Service. The portions of the tests
that involved the Army utilized the Sentinel, the services most advanced air
defense radar system, integrated with the Avenger and Linebacker air-defense
missile systems. The Avenger uses Stinger anti-aircraft missiles mounted on
a Humvee, and the Linebacker is a tank-mounted version of the system.
Over the years, Iraq had provided safe haven to terrorist organizations such as Abu Nidal, whose terrorist actions carried out more than 90 terrorist attacks in 20 countries that killed or injured nearly 900 people, including twelve Americans. Iraq had also continued to finance terror, giving assistance to groups that use terrorism to undermine Middle East peace and was a threat to the world community.
In closing, President George W. Bush said "We must choose between a world of
fear and a world of progress. We cannot stand by and do nothing while dangers
gather. We must stand up for our security, and for the permanent rights and
the hopes of mankind. By heritage and by choice, the United States of America
will make that stand. And, delegates to the United Nations, you have the power
to make that stand, as well."
On 09 September, the operation was upgraded as Operation CLEAR SKIES II and was scheduled to end on 14 September. However, on 10 September, in response to elevated security threats, the Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld approved the transition of the exercise into a live operation NOBLE EAGLE - loading the launchers with live missiles to provide an extra layer of defense for the anniversary of the 11 September attack on the United States, which included a large outdoor ceremony at the Pentagon attended by President George W. Bush.
On 11 September, while citizens of the world contemplated the events surrounding the first anniversary of the September attacks on the United States, the Renegades of the 4th Battalion, 5th ADA Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division turned their portable short range air system, the eyes of the Sentinel and striking force of the Avenger, skyward to protect the nation's capitol.
The urban environment required innovative solutions to issues like force protection, terrain management, and movement of personnel and visitors. Additionally the soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 5th ADA successfully handled the extra stresses and pressures related to being a highly visible part of a high profile operation.
Many of the Washington area's monuments were visible from the tactical Avenger and Stinger team locations and were constant reminders to the soldiers that they are deployed in the nation's capital for an important reason.
On 18 September, one week after the Pentagon activated the network of antiaircraft missiles to defend Washington DC against another potential terrorist attack, the operation was evaluated as being able to meet the potential threat and the missiles were deactivated and removed. Following a debriefing, the 4th Battalion, 5th ADA returned to Ft. Hood, TX.
On 20 September, the 1st Cavalry Division unfurled the guidon of the unit that become the second element representing the beginning of the change over of the Division organization to the FORCE XXI restructuring configuration. "D" Troop, 9th Cavalry Regiment was activated and assigned to the 2nd "BlackJack" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division as their Reconnaissance Troop. In addition to the process of reactivating "D" Troop, the Division restored the organizational continuity of a piece of its history. In the post Vietnam War era, on 21 July 1975, the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry, which had been redesignated as a lineage unit of "D" Troop, was relieved from assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division.
On 01 November, in activation ceremonies held at the Grey Wolf Headquarters building, the 1st Cavalry Division unfurled the guidon of the unit that had been designated to become the third element representing the continuation of the change over of the Division restructuring organization to the FORCE XXI configuration. "F" Troop, 9th Cavalry Regiment was activated and assigned to the 3rd "GreyWolf" Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division as their Reconnaissance Troop.
On 08 November, in response to the presentation of President George W. Bush on 12 September, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1441 that demanded reinstatement of unfettered access for UN inspectors to search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq "or suffer the consequences".
During the period of 14 to 22 November, elements of the 4th Battalion, 5th ADA built on the after action findings of the Washington DC deployment and participated in additional Integrated Inter Agency System Intrusion Detection and Threat Response Tests which were held in the areas surrounding Crawford, TX.
On 22 November 2002 a senior al-Qaeda leader, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, described as the terror network's chief of operations in the Persian Gulf and a key planner in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen was captured and turned over to US officials. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a confidant of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was arrested "a few weeks ago" in an undisclosed foreign country and handed over to US authorities.
He was captured eight months after the arrest by FBI and CIA agents in Pakistan of Abu Zubaydah, al-Qaeda's overall operational planner and a top member of bin Laden's inner circle, and the 03 November death of Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, a key al-Qaeda operative, killed when a missile fired from a CIA Predator drone hit his car in Yemen. Considered an explosives expert, al-Nashiri is believed by authorities to have directed and arranged financing for the Cole attack and to have made the bomb used to blow a hole in the side of the destroyer while it was tied at the port of Aden in Yem.
On 25 November, President George W. Bush signed into law creating the Cabinet level Department of Homeland Security - a move that set into motion the largest reorganization of the federal government in more than half a century. Tom Ridge, who had been director of the White House Office of Homeland Security for nearly a year, was nominated to lead the organization. The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was charged to carry out three primary missions: Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism, and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.
Existing agencies that would be placed under the department's authority are:
Immigration and Naturalization Service; US Coast Guard; Customs Service;
Border Patrol; Federal Emergency Management Agency; Secret Service;
Transportation Security Administration; and the border inspection part of
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
On 15 January, the reality of the "Digital Battlefield" loomed on the horizon
as elements of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation
Regiment, 68th Chemical Company and supporting detachments (slice) of the
615th Aviation Support Battalion and 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery
Regiment received orders to prepare for deployment to Southwest Asia, under
the control of US Central Command, Tampa, FL. One of the first units to be
equipped with the AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter, the 1st Battalion,
227th Aviation has the primary mission to seek out and destroy enemy armored
vehicles. The troopers of the 68th Chemical Company are specialists in
detecting Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) weapons on the battlefield
and the decontamination of soldiers and equipment in the event of a chemical
attack and exposure.
Operating out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in central North Carolina, the battalion usually serves with the 18th Airborne Corps assigned to Ft. Bragg, NC. The deployment to Ft. Hood, TX was made in two moves, the first on 21 January, from Raleigh to Ft. Bragg, NC where they were mobilized and all equipment received a readiness inspection check. The second move was made following the receipt of final destination deployment orders issued on 05 March, Their equipment was shipped separately to Ft. Hood, TX and on 19 March, personnel flew from Ft. Bragg, NC to Ft. Hood, TX. where they began training with other units of the Aviation Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and at some time in the near future, if the Division is deployed, they will deploy with them.
On 20 January, "F" Company, 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment, currently assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, received orders to deploy along with the 4th Infantry Division to southwest Asia. "F" Company is an Air Traffic Control (ATC) asset of the 18th Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg NC. Their mission will be to provide air traffic control support for the 4th Infantry Division in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
As a tactical ATC unit, they control air traffic in the air space of the
division and also operate the divisional airfield. Along with providing ground
control approach radar they also provide mobile tower operations at any
tactical airfield. Primarily composed of air traffic controllers, it also
includes all of the normal support specialties like mechanics, administration
clerks and other support elements. With assistance of the 1st Cavalry
Division, preparations to deploy was completed in two weeks. During those two
weeks, the soldiers worked 14 to 16-hour days, but finishing quickly allowed
the troopers extra time to go home and take care of all of their personal
matters before deploying,
The fifteenth Cabinet-level agency of the government was formed from the merger of twenty-two federal agencies with 170,000 employees and followed a drawn-out debate on Capitol Hill. It was the largest reorganization of the federal government since the Defense Department was created in 1947.
On 06 February, Secretary of State Colin Powell met with the UN Security Council and, in a highly anticipated and strongly worded speech, offered a steady stream of raw intelligence that included intercepted telephone calls, satellite photographs, diagrams, and eyewitness accounts, accused Iraq of harboring and hiding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
He described Saddam's regime in lucid, incriminating tones, as a country that houses large stocks of chemical and biological weapons that have been tested on human beings as well as the possession of a small network of elusive mobile weapons labs transported by truck and rail, and possesses an active nuclear weapons program. Summarizing, he indicated that allowing the military capacity of Iraq to evolve, even "for a few months," was no longer an option and the UN must enforce the punitive actions of Resolution 1441.
On 07 February, the Attorney General, John Ashcroft, announced the increase of the national threat level from "Yellow" to "Orange," indicating the possibility of a "high risk of terrorist attacks." The level was raised in part because of a high amount of "chatter" being intercepted by various intelligence agencies.
On 11 February, one of the first elements of the 1st Cavalry Division to receive deployment orders, the 68th Chemical Company, began movement to the US Central Command located in Kuwait.
In response to the increase of the threat level change to "Orange", Fire Support Elements of the 4th Battalion, 5th ADA redeployed to the national capital and by 12 February all of their equipment was in position and integrated into the defense system communications network. Since that movement, they have remained there on station, carrying out their assigned precautionary and prudent defense mission.
Despite heavy commercial and military air traffic in the immediate region, the soldiers of 4th Battalion, 5th ADA continue to be at a high state of alert and motivation. Relying on previous training for confidence in the success of this mission, they remain composed and continue to calmly man their strategically located positions ready to respond should the situation warrant.
On 14 February the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment arrived at Camp Udari, Kuwait and was attached to Task Force 11th Aviation operating under the command of the US Army V Corps.
On 01 March 2003 a key al-Qaeda leader, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and two others were arrested allowing authorities to recover a huge amount of information about al-Qaeda at the house in Pakistan. The information included computers, disks, cell phones and documents that authorities believe will provide names, locations and potential terrorist plots of al-Qaeda cells in the United States and around the world. Mohammed also was believed by US officials to have details about the group's finances.
The only al-Qaeda capture that approaches the magnitude of Mohammed's was that of Abu Zubaydah who was turned over to US authorities last April. Zubaydah more than once provided information that sent American security officials scurrying to provide warnings to cities and sectors of the economy, knowing all the while that he could be lying.
Officials believe Mohammed can detail how the 11 September was put together, answering long-standing questions about the plot's origins.
On 01 March, the 1st Cavalry Division received orders to prepare for deployment and begin preparations for an overseas assignment to support the global war against terrorism. No details about the final destination of the Division was given, other than they would be under the control of US Central Command, Tampa, FL. area of operations, which includes the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of Africa.
Since the beginning of the year and in anticipation of the deployment, the 1st Cavalry Division had trained hard to improve its soldiering skills, weapon, equipment and maintenance readiness, and individual physical fitness and readiness. The overall vision and plan of the Division was to ensure effective and total preparation for war, no matter what mission is assigned.
The announcement came as the United States continued its buildup of troops in the Persian Gulf region for a possible invasion of Iraq. Currently more than 100,000 American service members were mustering along the Iraqi border and in the Persian Gulf.
Nearly 17,000 troopers are assigned to the four maneuvering brigade and command combat teams of the Division. Two other units, the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment and the 68th Chemical Company had previously deployed to SouthWest Asia in February.
An essential element of deployment readiness is the evolution of the 1st Cavalry Division to the Force XXI configuration, the 1st and 2nd Brigades had completed their transition to the new digital battlefield systems of the XXI Army. The 3rd Brigade is scheduled to begin the transition process and will be finished before its deployment overseas.
The digitized systems of the equipment and command posts of the 1st Cavalry Division allows information to be passed quickly through the chain of command. The combination of communication and computer systems that make up the backbone of the system give the individual soldiers of the Division the situational awareness the Army has desired.
On 16 March, in a last-minute effort at diplomacy, President George W. Bush,
British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar
will search for a way to win UN backing for using force to disarm Iraq when
they confer at a meeting on an Airforce base at LaJes on the Island of
Terceira in the Azores archipelago located in the eastern-Atlantic. The last
minute talks were "an effort to pursue every last bit of diplomacy" in the
face of fading hopes for approval of a UN war resolution against Iraq.
Saying in closing, - "Tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world", Bush urged other nations to support "the immediate and unconditional disarmament" of the Iraqi leader. France, Germany, Russia and China have opposed an additional United Nations resolution to set an ultimatum for the Iraqi leader to disarm as other efforts to win the votes of uncommitted nations at the UN Security Council faltered in the recent days.
On 17 March, the day following the Azores summit, President George W. Bush delivered a final ultimatum Monday night to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein: exile or war - decide by Wednesday night (the 19th). "Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours," Bush said during a prime-time address to the nation. "Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing." In support of his decision, Bush detailed the prior 12 years of failed diplomatic attempts of the UN to disarm Iraq following the Persian Gulf War. In closing, he said "The UN Security Council has not lived up to their responsibilities in carrying out the consequences of Resolution 1441. We must act alone !.
Iraqi officials said Saddam would not leave. "He will stay in place like a solid rock," Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf told the al Jazeera television service. As Bush spoke, federal authorities elevated the domestic terror threat level of the nation to high (orange) from elevated (yellow) and announced the implementation of an enhanced security program called Operation LIBERTY SHIELD.
Elements of Operation LIBERTY SHIELD, aimed at heading off "multiple attacks", against US targets worldwide, includes:
The "Coalition of the Willing", countries that backs the United States in the invasion, included some 40 nations who publicly indicated their support and 15 other nations, for one reason or another, who do not wish to be publicly identified. The majority of the nations named do not have a direct combat role, but have allowed the United States to base troops on their soil and/or given permission for US aircraft to overfly their territories. Others have offered expertise in dealing with unique battlefield threats, such as detecting and identifying agents employed in biological or chemical attacks.
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