July 06, 2005
Belly of the Beast

It happened again:

A band of terrorists hell-bent on death and destruction successfully smuggled weapons and explosives onto a commercial airliner. They seized partial control in the air and threatened to use the aircraft as a weapon.

But not quite:

Unlike what happened in September 2001, however, this was an exercise, albeit a realistic one with actual planes in the sky and real assault teams on the ground.

So begins Aviation Week and Space Technology's exclusive report on Operation Atlas, the first airborne counter-terrorism exercise held after September 11th. As expected, the elaborate drill revealed many flaws, inconsistencies, and inefficiencies in the nation's counter-terrorist systems, but that's a good thing. I'd much rather find the problems now than, well, later.

A fascinating inside look!

Posted by scott at July 06, 2005 08:06 AM

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Well, this is definitely a great step in the right direction. Fighters were scrambled, etc., so we could've stopped the plane prior to it doing any real damage (unless you happened to be part of the 176 passengers or crew...).

However, it does make me wonder what would happen if this was a more local flight - say, something that flew out out CMH - instead of international. The warning times would be practically nil, so how coordinated could we be?

However, let's have them work out the simpler issues now and work on timing once we can.

Posted by: ronaprhys on July 6, 2005 08:27 AM
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