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MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

Event: Sally Weed, Support Manager for Operations of Indianapolis Air Traffic Control
Center
Type of event: Interview
Date: Thursday, September 25, 2003
Special Access Issues: none
Prepared by: Gate Taylor
Team Number: 8
Location: Indianapolis Air Traffic Control Center
Participants - Non-Commission: Sally Weed, Support Manager for Operations; Eileen
Participants - Commission: John Farmer, Dana Hyde, Gate Taylor

The purpose of this interview is to learn about Sally Weed's experience on 9/11 as a
Support Manager for Indi, gain knowledge of Weed's brief position as liaison to NORAD
post 9/11, and to hear any recommendations Weed has for the Commission.

Background
Sally Weed worked as an Air Traffic Controller in Albuquerque, NM until 1982 when
she relocated to the Indianapolis ARTCC. Here she was an Air Traffic Controller until
1987, when she became a supervisor. In 1997, Weed transferred to Memphis, TN and
then came back to Indi in 1999 as a Support Manager of Operations. During her career,
Weed has worked with the military, as a liaison between NORAD and the FAA, and has
designed FAA airspace.

Weed's experience on 9/11


Weed was in her office on the morning of 9/11 when Doug Mullen came in and told her
that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. At some point after Indi had lost contact
with AA77 and a second plane had hit the World Trade Center, Dave Boone asked that
Weed go to the e-desk and help receive phone calls, take messages and relay information.
Grounding of all flights had already begun. Weed had no role in this decision.

Weed does not specifically remember who she was talking to that morning. It is possible
that she could have taken calls from NORAD on a commercial line. Other incoming calls
included family members of Indi staff asking for information, notification of military
flights taking off, and calls asking about a flight in Chicago. Weed does not remember if
she had contact with Washington HQ, the command center, or the ROC.

At some point, Weed does remember hearing of a mining accident in Kentucky. Soon
after this, John Thomas briefed her on police reports of a crash site in the area. There was
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no talk of a hijack situation at this point. As Weed was not familiar with the e-desk
books, she was unaware of any available POC or phone number to NORAD.

Liaison to NORAD post 9/11


Weed worked as a liaison for the FAA to NORAD from November 2001 to February
2002 in the Cheyenne Mountain Command Center. This position, created after 9/11, was
volunteer and on a temporary basis. The purpose of this position was to bridge the gap in
understanding between FAA air traffic controllers and military air traffic controllers.
There were no operational duties associated with this position. 21 FAA people
nationwide were involved with NORAD in a liaison position.

Weed noticed a vast difference in reaction to a NORDO situation. If the military were to
loose radio contact with an aircraft, they would be on high alert and get ready to
scramble. However, if the FAA were faced with a NORDO situation, which happens
regularly, they would not panic, and try to regain contact with the aircraft. From Weed's
experience, she believes the military did not expect a threat from within the country since
none of their large scale training drills took this scenario into account.

Since her experience in Cheyenne Mt, Weed now thinks that the sense of urgency has
changed for both the military and the FAA. There is now a relationship between NORAD
and the FAA. Before 9/11, Weed would not have thought to call NORAD in the event of
a hijack; she would have notified her supervisor, John Thomas, who would have made
further notifications.

Weed noted that a major difference between the military and the FAA is the frequency of
training and drilling. The military drills all of the time, but the FAA drills only a few
times per year. It would be difficult to incorporate regular drills into daily FAA routine
for tow main reasons: the air traffic controllers do not have time to get away from work
and the scenarios would not be practical and thus not be taken seriously.

Upon returning to Indi in February 2002, Weed took about 1 month to retrain as an
Operations Manager. She noted that training now is no different than before 9/11.

Other talking points of interview:


Prior to 9/11, Weed knew of SCATANA. She participated in table top exercises to review
procedures about every two years. These drills involved little detail and few people.

Since 9/11, every Air Traffic Control Center now has a DEN and a direct line to NEADS.
The FAA and military have worked on correcting the blank radar spot in Area 3.

Recommendations:
Weed stressed that the FAA needs to maintain the awareness level that they have now.
She is concerned that as we move farther away from 9/11, the FAA will become more
complacent. A military position at the center is a possible solution to keep the FAA more
alert and attentive to military operations and contacts. The liaison should have a specific
job description so not to have an ineffective position.
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Weed is concerned with loosing the DEN due to the cost of its operation.

Military training is not necessary for Air Traffic Controllers since the operations and
missions of the FAA and military are so different.
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