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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

An updated post on Positive Force '01

April 2001 - The military engages in an exercise entitled Positive Force '01, a worldwide joint military/civilian exercise which includes many agencies which were conducting exercises on September 11th.

Held every 18 months, Positive Force exercises are large worldwide joint civilian/military emergency mobilization exercises.

Major themes cover the continuum of operations: mobilization,
deployment, employment, sustainment, crisis termination, and
(Joint Chiefs of Staff archive)

Some of the many participants in Positive Force 01
included members of the armed forces, members of the Unified Combatant Commands, the Departments of State, Transportation, Justice, and Health and Human Services, DLA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Defense and the Central Intelligence Agencies, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office, as well as many other agencies.
(The Defense Logistics Agency's The Provider, September/October 2001 archive)

Since the FAA is within the Department of Transportation and the FBI is within the Department of Justice, it seems likely that those agencies were also participants. Additionally, it also seems likely that the Secret Service would have participated in a large scale continuum of operations exercise such as this.

NORAD is a participant in this exercise, proposing an exercise involving a hijacked plane being crashed into the Pentagon, but the proposal is rejected. (See for instance Killtown's April 2001 entry or Cooperative Research's 'April 17-26, 2001' entry for more information and sources on this)

As far as exercises included within Positive Force '01 are concerned,

Positive Force 01 involved DLA
resources more than previous exercises,
and encompassed many CINC
and DoD agencies major exercises
such as Reception Staging and
Onward Movement and Integration
(RSOI), Turbo Challenge and
Amalgam Warrior into one.
(Defense Logistics Agency's Dimensions- July/August 2001 archive)

Amalgam Warrior is a live fly exercise; some quotes about past Amalgam Warrior exercises-

They are designed to exercise air sovereignty and air defense. Emphasis is placed on realistic target flow employing electronic warfare and other penetration tactics. Functions exercised include, but are not limited to, surveillance, detection, tracking, interception, employing rules of engagement, force generation, counterdrug operations, attack warning, attack assessment, counter cruise mis-sile operations and CONPLAN implementation.

The five-day Amalgam Warrior 96-1 concluded on Oct. 20, and put Americans and Canadians through their paces, challenging forces in the areas that coincide with NORAD's missions. The exercise was conducted in real time with a fictitious world political scenario, which prompts NORAD forces to transition from a peacetime posture to a war-fighting stance. The threat escalates from tracking unknown aircraft, which have incorrectly filed their flight plans or wandered off course, and in-flight emergencies to terrorist aircraft attacks and large-scale bomber strike missions.
(Global Security archive of IA archive)

Amalgam Warrior is often held in conjunction with Global Guardian, as is Vigilant Guardian- both of which we know were occuring on 9/11. (Defenselink.mil archive, Global Security)

The east coast Amalgam Warrior exercises are held in the fall, usually in October (Airman, US Congress, Arkin) but since Global Guardian was moved forward from early FY '02 to late FY '01 (Peterson AFB Observer, 03/01, archive, Arkin, p.379) it seems possible that Amalgam Warrior may have been as well.

We know there was a NORAD exercise involving live fly on 9/11 from Larry Arnold's Code One Magazine interview:
Another AWACS was flying a training mission off the coast of Florida. President Bush was in Sarasota. We moved the AWACS towards the president. Then we received tasking from the Secret Service through the Joint Staff and NORAD to follow the president and protect him. I had set up an arrangement with their wing commander at Tinker some months earlier for us to divert their AWACS off a normal training mission to go into an exercise scenario simulating an attack on the United States.
(Code one interview with Larry Arnold archive)

and from the same article- another AWACS was apparently training somewhere near Washington DC:

Our picture over DC was pretty poor. And the communication was poor. So the aircrews themselves coordinated the refueling and the combat air patrols. An AWACS flying a training mission nearby arrived.

One final quote about Positive Force '01:

The real success achieved during
Positive Force was reflected in how
the Agency responded to the events
of 9-11," Petrucelli said. "Again, the
total force team of DLA, the active
reserve and civilians stepped forward
and made things happen seamlessly.
All this is made possible because of
DLA's active participation and commitment
to joint exercises.
(Dimensions, Winter 2002

For more information on various Positive Force exercises held in the past, see also Global Security's Positive Force page (archive).


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