· The self-dispatching of organizations, response units and individuals who arrived to help, but without the knowledge of the Incident Command post complicated the command capabilities and increased risks to responders already on the scene.
· Space and communications capabilities at the emergency control center and mobile command unit need expanding to be better prepared for an operation of this magnitude.
· Communication was impaired due to the inability to use cell phones, oversaturated radio channels and lack of interoperability of radios between jurisdictions, a problem the report notes continues to be a nationwide issue.
· Supplies of emergency equipment, medical supplies and critical high-demand items (such as batteries and breathing apparatus) were insufficient for a long-term operation, though other jurisdictions, under the mutual-aid agreement, were able to fill the needs.
· Communications and coordination between EMS control at the incident site and area hospitals receiving injured patients should be strengthened. An incident with more casualties would have seriously strained the system.
In addition to addressing a number of the issues outlined in the After-Action Report, Arlington has created two staff positions to concentrate on reviewing the more than 235 recommendations made in the report regarding overall emergency preparedness and developing an emergency preparedness blueprint that can be used by Arlington and local governments throughout the country.
"It was the vision of outstanding Arlington officials such as Fire Chief Edward Plaugher and Police Chief Edward Flynn that helped Arlington respond successfully to the Pentagon crisis, and their continued leadership and the commitment of other county employees will ensure we continue to refine and improve emergency preparedness," Carlee said.
In preparing the report, TSC reviewed key records, interviewed key first responders and emergency management officials and surveyed hundreds of additional participants from neighboring jurisdictions, federal agencies, the military, public service organizations and the private sector.
Copies of the After-Action Report on the Response to the Sept. 11 Attack on the Pentagon can be obtained in PDF or HTML on Arlington's website.
Home to the Pentagon, Arlington County, VA is located just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. While geographically the smallest county in the United States, occupying an area slightly less than 26 square miles, Arlington has 190,000 residents, over 200,000 jobs and millions of tourists each year. Employees report to many government agencies in Arlington and the private companies that support those agencies. The Pentagon alone has a workforce of more than 23,000 military and civilian personnel. In addition, 17% of the county is federal property. Arlington is also home to Ronald Reagan National Airport, the 16th busiest airport in the country. Under the County Manager form of governance, Arlington is a county that acts as a municipality, providing all public services to county residents and businesses.