Air Force One

George W. Bush’s Whirlwind Tour on September 11th:

Route of Air Fource One on September 11, 2001.
Route of Air Fource One on September 11, 2001.

At 9:55 AM George W. Bush departed from the Sarasota, Florida airport on Air Force One. Curiously, his plane took off without fighter escort. An administration official said: “The object seemed to be simply to get the President airborne and out of the way.” It was only after becoming airborne that Bush talked to Cheney and agreed to authorize the military to shoot down any hijacked planes, according to Bush’s own recollection. This alleged decision was made nearly an hour after second jet hit the World Trade Center.

At 10:32 AM, Cheney called Bush to tell him of a threat to Air Force One.

At 11:45 AM, Air Force One landed at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, Louisiana. At 12:00 noon, Bush arrived at Barksdale Air Force Base headquarters in a Humvee escorted by armed outriders. While at Barksdale, Bush made a speech, saying “Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.” At 1:44 PM, Air Force One left Barksdale Air Force Base for Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base.

At 2:50 PM, Air Force One landed at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska. Offutt is the home of the U.S. Strategic Command. At 4:30 PM, Air Force One took off from Offutt destined for Washington.

At 6:44 PM, Bush arrived at the White House.