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(Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Army Vice Chief of Staff Keane Instructs His Operations Officer to Tell the Army around the World about the Pentagon Attack

General John Keane, vice chief of staff of the Army, instructs Major General Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s director of operations, readiness, and mobilization, to inform Army facilities around the world that the Pentagon has been attacked. Chiarelli headed from his office to the Army Operations Center (AOC) in the basement of the Pentagon sometime after the second hijacked plane crashed into the World Trade Center (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001) and called Keane after he arrived there. During the conversation, he alerted Keane to a suspicious aircraft that had been flying toward Washington, DC (see Shortly Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [US Army Center of Military History, 2/5/2002; Fordham News, 9/10/2016] The two men were still on the phone at 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon attack occurred (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). Although the building was hit far away from where his office is located, Keane felt the room shake violently. He now asks Chiarelli if he too noticed the impact. “Did you hear that?” he says. Chiarelli says no. “Pete, that plane [that was approaching Washington] just hit us,” Keane says. He will later recall that he then instructs Chiarelli “to tell the US Army around the world what happened and that, given the status of the AOC, which was unharmed, we would still maintain command and control of the Army.” [Fordham News, 9/10/2016; Weekly Standard, 9/11/2016] Keane will subsequently join Chiarelli in the AOC (see (Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [Goldberg et al., 2007, pp. 135; Fox News, 9/12/2011] From there, according to a report published by the Army, he will send “messages throughout the Army to inform subordinate commands that HQDA [Headquarters, Department of the Army] was still directing operations,” even though the Pentagon had been hit. [Christopher N. Koontz, 2011, pp. 56-57 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Peter W. Chiarelli, John Keane

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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