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We Remember Those Who Died
September 11th, 2001



Pentagon



Brian Anthony Moss

Brian Anthony Moss
Age 34
Sperry, OK
Occupation: Electronics Technician, second class, U.S. Navy
Location: Pentagon

Brian Anthony Moss was born Oct. 28, 1966 in Tulsa, OK, to Pat and Billy Moss. Brian, who was of Cherokee descent, graduated from Sperry High School in 1984. He then attended NEO at Miami, OK on an academic scholarship where he earned a degree in business management. He worked for a Tulsa brokerage firm until he was transferred to their Washington D.C. office in 1988.Brian returned to Sperry in 1990. After telling his parents he felt compelled to do something more with his life, he joined the U.S. Navy on March 8, 1990. After finishing radioman school in San Diego, he reported to his first command at the Naval Facility Command, Adak, Alaska. While there, he met and married the former Mary Lou Misamore of Toledo, Ohio on December 28, 1992.  Following his tour of duty, Brian decided that he wanted to join the submarine community because it was an elite force. He was always looking to better himself, his career and family. He volunteered to join the Navy's elite submarine force and completed his training at the Naval Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut in December of 1993.Before checking aboard his first submarine, Brian and Mary Lou's first child, a daughter, Ashten was born. Brian was stationed onboard the USS Alabama and was a member of the Blue Crew.  During the 4½ years at Sub Base Bangor, WA, a son, Connor, was born. Brian sacrificed his Sailor of the Year Board in order to witness his son being born. Since he missed his daughter's birth due to Trident Training School he wasn't about to miss this one.  Following completion of his sea duty, Brian was selected to become a member of the prestigious Naval Ceremonial Guard located in Washington, D.C. He quickly accelerated to the position of Divisional Leading Petty Officer for the elite Guard, in which he served for three years. Brian was primarily assigned to train the young Guardsmen to represent the Navy to the world. During his time with the elite Guard, he performed in countless ceremonies including the 54th Presidential Inauguration, Joint Service Pentagon arrivals, retirements, and laid fellow shipmates from the USS COLE (DDG 67) to rest at Arlington.  He transferred to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on August 15, 2001 and was assigned to the Chief of Naval Operations Telecommunications Center. He had just moved into his new office that week and he talked about the huge Navy seal in the floor right outside his new office. On September 11, 2001 Petty Officer Second Class Brian Moss was killed while on duty when a high jacked airplane crashed into the Pentagon.  During Brian's distinguished twelve-year naval career, he earned the following awards and decorations: Purple Heart (posthumous); Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two, one posthumous); Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five); Navy Battle 'E' Ribbon; Good Conduct medal (three); National Defense Service Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Ribbon (two); Pistol Marksman Medal (Expert); Rifle Marksman Ribbon (Sharpshooter); Submarine Warfare Designation; SSBN Deterrent Patrol Pin (eight); and Naval District Washington D.C. Sailor of the Year 2000, 2001.


Chin Sun Pak

Chin Sun Pak
Age 25
Rank: Specialist
Location: Pentagon


Chin Sun Pak,
25, enlisted in the Army in December 1997. The Oklahoma native, who was living in Woodbridge at the time of the attack, went through basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Jackson, S.C., before she was shipped to 8th Army headquarters in Korea.
Pak, who achieved the rank of specialist, served her final posting working for the Army's deputy chief of staff for personnel at the Pentagon.  At the Pentagon Memorial each victim is memorialized by a bench, placed along lines according to year of birth.
Source: The Washington Post, AP

Newspaper Articles about September 11, 2001
Source Daily Oklahoman

Oklahomans stranded in D.C. after attack


Chamber of Commerce group, aerospace delegation not injured 

A group of Oklahomans who watched a ball of fire and billowing smoke rising Tuesday morning from the Pentagon in Washington remained stranded in the nation's capital Tuesday night in the eerie aftermath of a terrorist attack. Members of Chamber of Commerce groups from across the state were in Washington for an annual conference. A State Chamber of Commerce spokesman said each of the 168 Oklahomans was accounted for and safe Tuesday afternoon. However, due to airport closings and a gridlock that immobilized the city, none was able to leave Tuesday night. Carl Reherman, a member of the chamber delegation from Edmond, said he spent more than two hours in line to get reservations for three rental cars late Tuesday afternoon. However, bridge closings caused the cars to be stuck on the other side of the river indefinitely.  'The streets are totally empty,' Reherman said. 'It's spooky ' like something out of a movie.'  Richard Burpee, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, said his organization was working to find accommodations for those stranded in Washington. Many were scheduled to leave Tuesday or today. 'Our big issue right now is to find them a hotel,' Burpee said Tuesday afternoon. Most members of the chamber delegation were at a meeting on the ninth floor of the Philip A. Hart Building in the Capitol complex, waiting to hear remarks from Sen. Don Nickles, R-Ponca City, when they heard a loud explosion. Lance Johnson, director of international business development for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, said he looked out the window and saw smoke coming from south of the Capitol building. Johnson said Reherman had just leaned over to tell him the World Trade Center towers had been hit by an airplane. 'We were stunned,' Johnson said. 'We sat there thinking it all had to be part of a terrorist attack.'   Reherman said his wife had called him on his cell phone when he looked out the window to see fire coming from the area of the Pentagon some seven miles away.  'I knew what it was,' Reherman said, his voice breaking with emotion. 'The Oklahoma City bombing came flooding back like a big ol' wave.'  Edmond City Councilman Barry Rice said he didn't think much about the airplane he saw in the far distance when he glanced out a window of the Senate office building around 9:30 a.m. eastern time. Within seconds, he said, the group turned around and saw the smoke rising. No one knew the Pentagon had been hit until Nickles' speech was interrupted by a phone call from his son in Ireland, Johnson said. As the conference attendees were leaving, security officials began evacuating the building. Johnson said the group filed into a burgeoning stream of people filling the streets. He described a couple of fighter jets flying over the Capitol area and fleets of police-escorted black limousines screeching around corners as dignitaries evacuated the nation's Capitol.  Rice said members of the chamber delegation then headed back to their hotel. He said everyone around them looked like they were in shock. No one was panicking, he said. The streets were a scene of gridlock. There were constant sirens from police cars and ambulances. Johnson called it 'orderly chaos.' By Tuesday afternoon, Johnson, Reherman and others were back at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill.  'The lobby is wall-to-wall people,' Johnson said.  Other Oklahomans were in Washington on business not related to the Chamber of Commerce conference. Members of the Space Industry Development Authority visiting the Capitol were not injured. They are: Jay Edwards, a retired Air Force major general who once was commander at Tinker Air Force Base; state Sen. Gilmer Capps, D-Snyder; Bob Triplett, authority board president, and Ken McGill, both of Tulsa. Publication:The Oklahoman; Sep 12, 2001, pg 21

By Lisa Tatum Business Writer CONTRIBUTING: Staff writers Kenna Griffin and Mick Hinton




President seeks bill authorizing military action
Hijackers identified as hunt widens

From Wire Services


   
 As the smoldering ashes of New York's World Trade Center slowly yielded unimaginable carnage, investigators fanned out across the country Wednesday to track the conspirators who orchestrated an unprecedented day of terror from the air.  In one indication of the potential death toll, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was asked about a report that the city has requested 6,000 body bags from federal officials. 'Yes, I believe that's correct,' the mayor said.   Meanwhile, President Bush branded the attacks in New York and Washington 'acts of war' and worked with Congress on legislation authorizing military retaliation under the War Powers Act.   'This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil,' said Bush, as officials revealed that the White House, Air Force One and the president himself were targeted a day earlier. 'Good will prevail.'  Authorities had 'specific credible information' that both Air Force One and the White House were targets, and that 'the plane that hit the Pentagon may have been headed for the White House,' said Sean McCormack, spokesman for President Bush's National Security Council.  There also was speculation that, in the case of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, the hijackers intended to jet elsewhere but were thwarted by passengers. One of them, Thomas Burnett, a 38-year-old business executive, told his wife by cell phone 'a group of us are going to do something' before the crash. The investigation swept from a Boston hotel to Florida and points beyond ' all in an attempt to determine who was behind the attacks in which two hijacked airliners barreled into the World Trade Center's 110-story twin towers, a third dove into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania. Agents stormed Boston's 36-story Westin Hotel, and one person was brought out and put in a van as guests watched.   Three people were taken into custody at the Boston hotel, then later released, according to broadcast reports and The Boston Globe Web site.  The Globe had reported, citing an anonymous source close to the investigation, that the three hadbeenlinkedtoacreditcard used to buy tickets on the flights that crashed into the World Trade Center. But WHDH-TV, also citing anonymous sources, reported that the three detainees were released after it was determined that they had no connection to the hijacked flights.  Authorities have identified more than a dozen hijackers of Middle Eastern descent in Tuesday's attacks and gathered evidence linking them to Osama bin Laden and other terrorist networks, law enforcement officials said. In all, perhaps 50 people were involved in the plot, government officials say.  At least five people were detained; others were interviewed in the hunt for accomplices. The known toll rose amid the rubble at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, where rescue teams searched for survivors. A few were found in New York, but thousands of people were believed killed.  Bush asked Congress to find $20 billion to help rebuild and recover from the attacks, vowing to spend 'whatever it takes.' Some House Democrats said the measure might give Bush too much leeway.  Bush weighed a range of military options to punish the terrorists and any nation harboring them, while investigators said they had identified more than a dozen hijackers of Middle Eastern descent with ties to bin Laden and other terrorist networks. America's NATO allies bolstered Bush's case for military action, declaring the terrorist attacks an assault on the alliance itself. Bush sought to build a global alliance with phone calls to the leaders of France, Germany, Canada, Britain and Russia; he talked twice to Russian President Vladimir Putin.  'An attack on one is an attack on all,' said NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson. 'The parties will take such action as it deems necessary, including armed force.'  Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told U.S. troops they will be called to arms 'in the days ahead.' Secretary of State Colin Powell said the president will oversee 'a long-term conflict.'   Bush said: 'This battle will take time and resolve.' Officials said lawmakers and the administration were working on legislation to authorize the use of force. It was not clear how quickly it would be brought to the floor, but Democrats and Republicans alike expressed support. Bush, hoping for political cover from Congress, discussed the proposal with lawmakers at the White House.  A U.S. assault was not imminent, according to senior government officials, because one of the largest criminal investigations in the nation's history was still under way. Federal authorities investigating Tuesday's devastating attacks are focusing on multiple separate terrorist groups, some tied to Osama bin Laden, law enforcement officials said.  Members of one organization may have entered the United States through Canada, authorities said.  A number of the suspected hijackers were trained as pilots in the United States. Their names were not immediately disclosed.  Intelligence officials are pursuing 'numerous credible leads,' Attorney General John Ashcroft said. 'The Department of Justice has undertaken perhaps the most massive and intensive investigation ever conducted in this country,' he said.  FBI agents obtained information from Internet service providers, conducted searches, and questioned people in Florida and Massachusetts. Early evidence, including communications among bin Laden supporters, indicated the attacks were tied to the wealthy Arab and accused terrorist. Bush prepared to ask Congress for billions of dollars in immediate emergency funds to help a shaken nation rebuild from terrorist assaults and prevent future attacks. Members of both parties said the partisan fight over whether to tap Social Security's surpluses for other federal activities seemed finished for now. Though that issue had seemed destined to dominate this fall's political battle, the enormity of Tuesday's destruction in New York and Washington had lawmakers saying they should respond to the incidents, no matter where the money came from. Ashcroft said authorities were conducting interviews and reviewing airline manifests, rental car records and pay phone records. He said between three and six hijackers, armed with knives and box cutters, seized control of each of the four commercial jets.   For some of the suspected accomplices, 'we have information as to involvement with individual terrorist groups,' FBI Director Robert Mueller said. He declined to say which groups or whether they were connected to bin Laden.  Officials said authorities were gathering evidence that the terrorist cells may have had prior involvement in earlier plots against the United States. That includes the USS Cole bombing in Yemen and the foiled attack on U.S. soil during the millennium celebrations.  Mueller said agents have followed leads that the hijackers or their associates had been in Florida, Boston and Providence, R.I. He said authorities are 'attempting to re-create the travels' of the suspected attackers.  Some 4,000 special agents and 3,000 support personnel are assisting in the investigation, and 400 FBI lab specialists are at the crime scenes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.  Evidence has been collected at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania site, but investigators have not yet been able to start work at the World Trade Center, where the search for survivors continued.   Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were investigating whether one group of hijackers crossed the Canadian border at a checkpoint and made their way to Boston, where an American Airlines flight was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center.  The officials confirmed a car believed to belong to the hijackers was confiscated in Boston and contained an Arabic language flight manual. Abu Dhabi Television in the United Arab Emirates reported that two men with Saudi Arabian passports and international drivers licenses issued in the UAE were linked to the Mitsubishi sedan. A Venice, Fla., man said FBI agents told him that two men who stayed in his home while training at a local flight school were the hijackers. Charlie Voss said the agents identified the men as Mohamed Atta and one known as Marwan. The FBI in Miami, Fla., issued a bulletin for law enforcement agencies to look out for two cars. Records with the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles show that one of the vehicles the FBI was pursuing ' a 1989 red Pontiac ' was registered to Atta. The FBI has already received more than 700 tips from a special Web site seeking information on the attacks. Agents served search warrants on major Internet service providers in order to get information about an e-mail address that may be connected to the attacks.  Giuliani said the best estimate is that a 'a few thousand' victims could have been in each of the World Trade Center's twin towers, potentially including 250 missing firefighters and police officers. There were 82 confirmed fatalities in New York ' a number that was sure to grow ' and 1,700 injuries were reported. 
 The four hijacked planes carried 266 people, none of whom survived. Officials from the military services said about 150 people, mostly Army personnel, were missing in the attack on the Pentagon. There had been estimates of 800 dead, but that was discounted by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

The Oklahoman, Sep 13, 2001;



Bush braces U.S. for war Terrorists cannot hide, president says

From Wire Services

WASHINGTON - President Bush ordered U.S. troops to get ready for war and braced Americans for a long, difficult assault against terrorists to avenge the deadliest attack on the nation. 'Those who make war against the United States have chosen their own destruction,' he declared Saturday.  'We will smoke them out of their holes,' Bush said. 'We'll get them running and we'll bring them to justice.'  Four days after hijackers seized commercial airliners and slammed them into the symbols of American military and economic might, Bush said prime suspect Osama bin Laden's days are numbered. 'If he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken.'  'This act will not stand,' he said. 'Everybody who wears the uniform: Get ready,' Bush instructed. The White House would not rule out the use of ground troops. Bush warned that 'the conflict will not be easy.'  As of midnight Saturday, only the Coast Guard among the services had begun calling up reserve forces for what was dubbed Operation Noble Eagle. Coast Guard officials said 700 reservists were activated earlier in the week for up to 30 days. The president urged Americans to go about their lives but cautioned the threat might not be over. He said there should be 'a heightened sense of awareness that a group of barbarians have declared war on the American people.' Attorney General John Ashcroft, with Bush at Camp David, said that investigators 'are beginning to understand the ways in which this terrible crime was committed.'  A second arrest warrant for a material witness in the hijackings investigation was issued by federal prosecutors in New York, the Justice Department said Saturday.  The person had not yet been arrested at the time the warrant was announced. Investigators expected to issue additional warrants, perhaps as soon as Saturday evening, as the investigation into Tuesday's attacks shifts into higher gear.   'We are at a point where there will be additional and more frequent warrants,' Justice Department spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said. Meanwhile, 25 people arrested for immigration violations since Tuesday's hijackings are being questioned by the FBI in the investigation of the terrorist acts, the Justice Department said Saturday.  None has been formally charged, either on immigration counts or with crimes related to the four hijackings, department spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said. Some but not all of the detainees who have been interviewed are cooperating with the FBI. All are in the Immigration and Naturalization Service's custody. Among them are two men detained at an Amtrak station in Fort Worth, Texas. They were interviewed by FBI agents, taken into custody and flown to New York. The two boarded a flight Tuesday morning in Newark, N.J., as the four hijackings were under way, said a law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity. The plane was grounded in St. Louis as the FAA halted all air traffic; the men then boarded an Amtrak train bound for Texas.  They were taken off during a routine drug search Wednesday night. Although no drugs were found, the men had box-cutting knives and carried about $5,000 in cash, said a federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity.  Federal agents later raided the Jersey City, N.J., apartment shared by Ayub Ali Khan, 51, and Mohammed Jaweed Azmath, 47. Agents took at least two other men into custody and seized a computer and other evidence. Meanwhile, investigators sent the flight data recorder and voice recorder from the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania to the manufacturer for analysis. The cockpit voice recorder of the jet that hit the Pentagon was badly damaged and may not provide much information, officials said.  The first big break in the investigation came Friday when a man was arrested in New York in connection with the hijackings.  He was being held on a material witness warrant, said Jim Margolin, spokesman for the FBI in New York. The warrant allows authorities to hold someone considered crucial to the investigation without charging him with any crime. The man's identity was withheld.  Secretary of State Colin Powell said Pakistan has offered to 'assist us in whatever might be required,' effectively pledging its soil and airspace to an assault on neighboring Afghanistan.  Powell expressed gratitude for Pakistan's willingness to cooperate. Bin Laden, identified as a suspect in Tuesday's attacks, has operated in neighboring Afghanistan.  Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar chose his words carefully while announcing the decision in the Pakistani capital, aware of hard-line Islamic groups at home who are staunchly anti-American and strongly behind Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia.  Pakistani diplomatic and military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said Pakistan had agreed to the full list of U.S. demands for a possible attack on Afghanistan, including a multinational force to be based within its borders. They also said Pakistan has sought assurances from the United States that any ground force would be multinational.  Pakistan also agreed to close its border with Afghanistan ' a measure taken by Iran on Saturday ' as well as allowing its airspace to be used for possible strikes and cooperating in intelligence gathering, the officials said. Also Saturday, the Taliban's Ambassador in Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, said the Taliban would declare war on any country that assisted in an assault on Afghanistan. He threatened to send Taliban troops across the border if the country is a neighbor ' though he did not name Pakistan specifically. On another diplomatic front, Bush added Mexican President Vicente Fox to the list of world leaders he has called since Tuesday. The pair talked about bolstering efforts to prevent terrorism along the 2,100-mile border.  One day after leading the nation in prayer, Bush changed his tone Saturday to begin preparing Americans for sacrifices ahead.  'I will not settle for a token act. Our response will be sweeping, sustained and effective,' he said. 'We have much to do and much to ask of the American people.'  His advisers said that fighting terrorists will expose U.S. troops to severe risk and U.S. citizens to retaliatory strikes. Bush did not speak in such blunt terms but used his weekly radio address to raise the first words of caution.  'You will be asked for your patience, for the conflict will not be short. You will be asked for resolve, for the conflict will not be easy. You will be asked for your strength, because the course to victory may be long,' he said.  Bush intended to challenge Americans today to defy terrorists by returning to the normal course of their lives as soon as possible, aides said. He also hoped to reassure jittery financial markets by espousing the fundamentals of the economy.
The Oklahoman; Sep 16, 2001



Oklahomans sail to front of new war

They are scared. They are proud. They are Oklahomans on the front line in the war against terrorism. Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, Theda Roulston and Michael Baker find themselves on the battle line of American forces engaged or ready to assault enemy targets in the Middle East. Cruising the Mediterranean Sea and poised for more expected bombings against terrorist installations, the native Oklahomans admit they never dreamed they would be in this position. 'It is really scary knowing that we are bombing somebody and they could send a bomb out to us,' Roulston wrote in an e-mail to The Oklahoman. 'It is hard, very hard.' Because of strict security, the Oklahoma shipmates could only communicate with The Oklahoman through e-mails that w ere screened by N avy officials.  A petty officer third class, Roulston handles air traffic control on the Roosevelt. Theda Roulston. Roulston's name may be familiar to Oklahoma basketball fans. A standout player for Little Axe, Roulston was named The Oklahoman's 1996 High School Girls Basketball Little All-City Player of the Year. Along with her Navy duties, the former star player is mother to Skylar, 4. 'It is really hard to be away from her, but at least I know that she will have her freedom when she gets older,' Roulston wrote. 'I hope one day my little girl will know that I put my life on the line to keep hers free from terror.'  A Nimitz-class ship, the Roosevelt carries 85 aircraft and a crew of almost 4,000. Baker, also an air traffic controller, first served on the Roosevelt from 1991 to 1994 and returned in January 2000.  'The morning of our (Mediterranean) departure for deployment was kind of different from my last deployment,' Baker wrote. 'My first deployment I was sad that I was leaving home. This one I briefly got upset when I told my wife and kids bye for the last time for six months.'  The 29-year-old petty officer first class graduated from Pioneer-Pleasant Vale School District near Enid in 1990. He enlisted in the Navy a few months later.   When the U.S. attack on Taliban and al-Qaida targets in Afghanistan began, the crew of the Roosevelt was enjoying a 'steel beach picnic,' during which the crew can use the flight deck to play ball, run or just enjoy the weather. Roulston said the mood changed immediately, with the ship tightening security and cutting off phones, e-mail and television. The only outside contact was a satellite feed from CNN.   'I can't tell you what we are about to do and when, but it will be important,' Roulston wrote. 'My role in all of this is to make sure that the aircraft on board my ship are capable of flying off safely, doing their job and landing safely.'  Military analysts speculate that the Roosevelt may be used for attacks in nations other than Afghanistan, such as Iraq, that support terrorists. Another possibility is that the Roosevelt could pass through the Suez Canal to waters closer to Afghanistan.  'We are still operating in the Mediterranean area,' Baker wrote. 'Our future is uncertain as we speak.'   As word trickles in about military operations in the Afghanistan region, family members back home can only watch television in hopes of hearing a good word.  'I'm scared to death. I'm having dreams about this,' said Roulston's mother, Joammie Walker. 'We support them and what they're doing, but I'm still scared for her. I'm just praying she returns home safe.'  Walker said she tries not to watch television and puts herself 'in a shell' while the bombing takes place. But the more difficult task is explaining to Skylar what Mom is doing.  'Skylar is not aware they're shooting. She know she's (Roulston) in war. She wanted to know what war was, and I told her when people shoot at each other. She wanted to know would they shoot at Momma and I couldn't answer that.'  Having a child shortly after graduating from high school prompted Roulston to pursue a career in the military. Her first duty was in Washington on the presidential ceremonial guard, taking part in ceremonies at the White House and Arlington National Cemetery.  From there, Roulston went to the Navy's 'A' school to begin training for air traffic control. Upon completion, she was assigned to the Roosevelt.  'Life on the boat is very different,' she wrote. 'Waking up in the morning and trying to get ready with 10-15 other girls doing the same thing is almost impossible. I sleep with two other girls sleeping above me. With so many people on board the ship, it is nothing to stand in line for 45 minutes just to eat.'  Baker attended Naval Air Traffic Control school in Tennessee before boarding the Roosevelt. After three years, Baker left the ship for more air traffic training before returning to sea. Both Baker and Roulston described the crew's mood as 'tense.' 'You hear a lot of rumors about a lot of things, but you learn not to believe everything,' Roulston wrote.  'I never would have guessed that I would be in battle somewhere.' The Oklahoman :Oct 10, 2001;By Scott Cooper



The Oklahoman, Nov 27, 2001
By Doug Mellgren
McAlester's ammo plant boosts war effort

McALESTER -- Some of the main tools of destruction for American bombing raids in Afghanistan ' Mk-80 series and BLU series bombs ' begin their approximately 7,350-mile trek in southeastern Oklahoma. The McAlester ArmyAmmunition Plant has been a mainstayfor Oklahoma and the armed services for nearly 60 years by producing, storing and delivering bombs and other weapons for every American engagement since World War II.  It is the military's largest explosives storage facilityand southeastern Oklahoma's largest employer with a $91 million impact, said Mark Jordan, engineering division chief with the plant's Defense Ammunition Center.  The 45,000-acre site, nestled southwest of McAlester and stretching between U.S. 69 and State Highway 31, serves manyfunctions for all the military branches. However, its weapons volume and shipping capabilities make it a top priorityfor America's defense and the state's economy.   With more than 6 million square feet of storage space in 2,426 buildings, the plant has almost half a million tons of munitions that have not been touched during the ongoing militarycampaign.  'During peacetime, truck is mainly used to ship out,' said Brian Lott, the ammunition plant's marketing specialist. 'During wartime, rail is used the majorityof the time. It's taken to a port and loaded onto a boat.' 
Specific bombs used in the Afghanistan campaign from the McAlester plant include the BLU-109 and BLU-113 penetrator bombs, and the Mk-82 and Mk-83 unguided bombs. For national securityreasons, plant officials would not comment on the bombs or how theyare assembled. But with Congress approving another round of military base closings in 2005, officials tried their best last week to inform a state legislative commission on their abilities and importance. The plant is the largest of four tier-one facilities in the country. Tier-ones provide the majorityof weapons needed by the military during the first 30 days of a conflict. Along with bombs, the plant produces rockets, warheads and missiles, and can renovate mortars and grenades. The bombs made at the McAlester plant and being used in Afghanistan are designed for powerful explosives and destruction. One group is specifically designed to seek out certain targets. The BLU-109 is more commonly known as a bunker buster. The 2,000-pound penetrator bomb has been effective in blasting the network of caves al-Qaida forces have been using since U.S. planes began bombing, military officials have said. The BLU-109 has tips that allow it to penetrate deep into rock or concrete before exploding. The BLU-113 has the same function but is laser-guided and weighs 5,000 pounds. The Mk-82 and Mk-83 are unguided bombs, weighing 500 and 1,000 pounds respectively. The Navy and Air Force exclusively use the Mk-83.  While bombing raids over Afghanistan have gone on daily for more than 60 days, plant officials in McAlester said the campaign is far from depleting the stockpile. 'This doesn't compare to Desert Storm because we haven't had that massive of a buildup,' Lott said. 'In Desert Storm, we used very few smart bombs. Now, it's almost 100 percent smart bombs.' While its bomb production, shipping and storage abilities grab attention, the plant has four core objectives ' production, distribution, renovation and demilitarization. Demilitarization involves the meltdown and deactivating of bombs and missiles either out of date or no longer needed. These weapons and their materials can be recycled for new weapons or used for other purposes. The plant can demil bombs weighing up to 2,000 pounds. Two on-site autoclave facilities are used to 'melt-out' the explosive materials. Even though it is under government control and serves the government, its revenue is mainly generated from other sources.  'We are a fee for service plant,' Lott said. 'That's why we have a marketing department. We receive little direct appropriations from Congress. In the past 10 years, we've worked really hard to partner with the private sector.'  Partnerships include Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing and Raytheon. In five years, revenue from private contracts has increased from $1 million to $7 million. The plant employs almost 900 people.  The plant has developed a permanent on-call workforce that makes up more than 200 of the plant's employees. These workers are on six-month contracts but receive the same benefits as full-time permanent employees. 'We get a lot of our young folks recruited that way,' said Donna Adam, the plant's civilian deputy. 'It's our first source to hire full time.'  Originally commissioned as a naval ammunition depot in 1943, the McAlester depot was transferred to the Army in 1977.  'We still hear a lot of folks in the community refer to us as a Navy depot,' Lott said.  The plant has gone through two major developments in five years. The last Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1995 closed down the Savanna Ammunition Depot in Illinois. As a result, the Army's Defense Ammunition Center from Savanna moved to McAlester.  The Defense Ammunition Center handles munitions training, logistics engineering, explosive safety, demil research, technical assistance and career management.  'One of the greatest things to occur for us came through BRAC,' Lott said. Charles Stroo, the ammunition center's associate director of training, said the center provides an annual payroll of $19.5 million and generates $1.3 million for the local economy through hotels, rentals and entertainment. The center raises $150,000 in monthly sales tax revenue, Stroo said. Another 1995 base-closing commission action reorganized the Red River Munitions Center in northeastern Texas as a satellite facility of the McAlester plant.
Source:The Oklahoman Dec 17, 2001 Page One By Scott Cooper


Lieberman praises terrorism war response by Oklahomans


U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said Tuesday that people at the University of Oklahoma are doing things right to fight the war on terrorism. Lieberman spoke to a crowded room of OU students, faculty and staff along with members of the Norman community in the fourth part of the 'Future of American Politics' series. The series has been sponsored by the OU Speakers Bureau with the assistance of the office of the president and the OU President's Associates program. Lieberman, D-Conn., was scheduled to speak at OU in December but rescheduled his visit. Lieberman, the Democratic candidate for vice president in 2000, spoke about reforming government and strengthening national security. He said keeping the student foreign exchange program working and growing is a major factor in keeping America strong. 'At OU, the foreign exchange program that brings students here to study and work must not be allowed to become a victim of Sept. 11,' he said. 'OU has students from 100 countries coming to school here. They are first in the Big 12 and among the top in the nation with international exchange agreements around the world.' Another area that OU is helping the nation is its development of technology to fight terrorism. 'In this information age, we have learned painfully that emerging technology, which is broadly available, will be hard to keep out of the hands of our enemies,' Lieberman said. 'No other nation has ever had the means to meet this threat as the United States of America.' This also means creating antidotes and cures for biological warfare. 'Sometimes these developments come out of university labs,' he said. 'OU ranks first in the Big 12 in research funding. In World War II, we needed code breakers. In this war, we need bug busters.' He said the war on terrorism is unlike any other war the United States has fought because there is not a single national enemy and the conflict is happening on U.S. soil as well as overseas. He said Americans should stay true to their values and be willing to defend them. 'Do not fear,' he said. 'We have every reason to be confident.'
Publication:The Oklahoman By Michelle Sutherlin
Date:Jan 16, 2002
Section:Today
Page Number:53



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