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September 6, 2001: Army Holds Major Training Exercise with Other Agencies at Base near Pentagon

Egon Hawrylak.Egon Hawrylak. [Source: US Air Force]The US Army holds a major training exercise at Fort Lesley J. McNair, a base near the Pentagon, along with numerous law enforcement and emergency response agencies, and the exercise will improve coordination between these agencies when they work together in response to the attack on the Pentagon on September 11. (National Guard Bureau 4/1/2002 pdf file; EENET 6/5/2002 pdf file) Fort McNair, which is two miles east of the Pentagon, is the location of the headquarters of the US Army Military District of Washington (MDW). Numerous staff elements of the command stage their operations from the base. (Global Security (.org) 1/12/2002; US Army Military District of Washington 10/22/2004) Colonel Egon Hawrylak, the deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and security for the MDW, will later recall that on this day, “[W]e had conducted a huge tabletop exercise” at Fort McNair “with all the state, federal, and local law enforcement and emergency disaster relief agencies.” The exercise is held “in preparation for” the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, on September 29 and September 30. Agencies that participate in the exercise include the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) and the FBI. Hawrylak will say that during the exercise, members of the different agencies “talked about things, so we knew each other; we knew how to coordinate and get things done together.” Hawrylak will not say what scenarios are prepared for during the exercise. He will say, however, that the exercise contributes to “the great working relationship” that the Army has with the ACFD, the FBI, and other agencies when they have to work together to respond to the attack on the Pentagon on September 11. (Reuters 9/17/2001; National Guard Bureau 4/1/2002 pdf file; EENET 6/5/2002 pdf file) On September 5, security at Fort McNair was increased as part of a nationwide crackdown ordered by Army leaders who are concerned about terrorism (see August 15, 2001 and September 5, 2001). (Wamble 8/3/2001; Vogel 8/15/2001)


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