7 Air Stations Were On Full Alert Covering The Continental United States
(5 of these 7 Air Stations were within range of the four airliners hijacked on 911)
28 More Air Stations Were In Range Of The 4 Hijacked Airliners On 911
The following list were the 7 Air Stations that were armed and on full alert to protect the continental United States on Tuesday September 11, 2001.
The Air National Guard exclusively performs the air sovereignty mission in the continental United States, and those units fall under the control of the 1st Air Force based at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) in Panama City, Florida. The Air National Guard maintains seven alert sites with 14 fully armed fighters and pilots on call around the clock. Besides Tyndall AFB, alert birds also sit armed and ready at; Homestead Air Reserve Base (ARB), Homestead, Florida; Langley AFB, Hampton, Virginia; Otis Air National Guard (ANG), Falmouth, Massachusetts; Oregon ANG, Portland, Oregon; March ARB, Riverside, California; and Ellington ANG, Houston, Texas. http://www.af.mil/news/airman/1299/home2.htm
Beside the 7 Air Station on full alert covering the continental United States, here are 28 more Air stations that could have done something -- if they were left to do their job.
The following happened on September 11, 2001; At 10:01 a.m. the FAA ordered the 180th Fighter Wing out of Swanton, Ohio to scramble their F-16 fighters. Although the base has no fighters on stand-by alert status, it manages to put fighters in the air 16 minutes later, a "phenomenal" response time - but still 11 minutes after the last hijacked plane has crashed.
One interesting aspect is that NORAD has explained that it didn't scramble fighters from bases nearer to the hijacked planes because they only used bases in the NORAD defensive network. Yet the 180th Fighter Wing out of Swanton, Ohio wasn't part of that network, so why weren't planes at other bases scrambled at 8:20 or 8:40 or 8:43 or 8:46:26 or 9:02:54 or 9:24 or at the very least at 9:37?
Maybe some of these Air station could have managed to get fighters up just as fast as the 180th Fighter Wing. Why weren't they? Stand Down.
Also, there is an Air Defense Intercept Zone just off shore for the entire Atlantic Coast. This zone is constantly being patrolled. In general fast movers would not need to be scrambled. They can be diverted from routine patrol and training flights for the intercept. The odds are that on a beautiful blue morning in September many flights would be on patrol just off shore. It would be most improbable that even one commercial flight could go more than fifteen minutes without being intercepted. Source: http://www.af.mil/sites/alphabetical.shtml#a