Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager
Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, Deputy Asst. Sec. of Def. for Public Affairs
Terry Mitchell, chief, Audiovisual Division, Office of ASD PA
The Pentagon
Arlington, Virginia
September 15, 2001
11:00 A.M. EDT

QUIGLEY: (in progress) -- leader of a combat camera crew yesterday that was taken through the interior portions of the damaged section of the building, and with the FBI right there, with the building inspectors right there, with the fire chief -- fire department personnel right there to make sure that we were safe and non-intrusive on any of the -- from the law enforcement perspective -- and what we ended up with is a tape that we'll provide dubs to all of you, every inch of it. What we have to start off with this morning, however, is a six-minute edited version, just for brevity, that Terry (Mitchell) will narrate a little bit for you, and that is what we will start off.

Second, Mr. Lee Evey, no stranger to many of you, is the head of the Pentagon renovation project and has been for some time. Following Terry, Lee will then get up and go through a description -- take another step further to the description of the damage that you heard some yesterday, as well as how we're going to take it from here in renovating the -- repairing the damage and moving on for the renovation of the remainder of the building.

So, that's the intention this morning. And, Terry, over to you.

MITCHELL: Could you go ahead and roll the tape, please? As Admiral Quigley said, this was shot by Air Force combat cameramen yesterday afternoon.

You can see evidence of fire damage along the corridors.

QUESTION: Which corridor is that?

MITCHELL: This is corridor five up here.

QUESTION: Five and four?

MITCHELL: I think it would be five and six.


MITCHELL: Some of the damage at the entrance there.

The wall behind this is sheared off. That's why it's daylight that's streaming into the office there.

QUESTION: Can you say at what level this is -- like on the first floor or --

MITCHELL: This is on the fifth -- fifth floor. You can see this room here, this is one of the older windows. You can see how it's blasted in with the Venetian blinds in the back.

This is the -- on the E Ring here -- this is between the E Ring and the D Ring. You can see this wall here is -- is falling in toward the outside of the building.

As you can see here, this office is opened to the elements now, but there's stuff sitting on top of the -- the file cabinets and on the desk in that office. So, to have survived all of the initial impact and the person in here could have just walked right out.

This is one of the unrenovated rooms. You can see the plastic on the fluorescent light has melted down because of the fire. And this was on the opposite side of the impact, so you can see some of the fire damage here. This is in one of the unrenovated spaces.

More fire damage in the unrenovated spaces.

Again, another office just opened up to the elements where the entrance sheared off.

You can see someone's glasses here and some candy on the desk.

This area back here, what you see here, that's the roof that has fallen in, in the back.

This is on the first floor. This is very close to where the airplane went into. You can see the evidence of the some of the different shoring that they're using in order to shore up the building. The way they described it to me is they come in, they remove some debris, they shore it up. They move in further, they move some debris, they shore it up. And it reminded me of being like in a coal mine filled with metal shards all over the place. You can see some of the working conditions they're under here. You have water all over the floor, metal shards all over the floor, and having to work through the -- shoring up all this -- (inaudible) --

QUESTION: How are breathing conditions down there? I see them wearing OBAs (oxygen breathing apparatus). Are they --

MITCHELL: Well, they're not wearing OBAs, they're wearing respirators. We had to, in order to go in, we had to suit up just like they did in order to go into this area. Now, once they've cleared the area and make sure all the bodies are out, they go in with a bobcat and they're moving -- removing metal and everything they can as fast as they can to get in.

This is evidence -- this is one of the columns that is in the Pentagon, and you can see how it's bent this way here, but the rebar is holding it together.

QUESTION: Is that solid steel?

MITCHELL: No, that's not solid steel. It's a cement column.

QUESTION: (Cross-talk.)

MITCHELL: It's more to the right of where we were at. This is the -- this is in a renovated section on the opposite side, if you were facing the opposite side. This is a hole in -- there was a punch-out. They suspect that this was where a part of the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn't see any evidence of the aircraft down there.

QUESTION: Which area is that?

MITCHELL: This is right inside the E Ring.

QUESTION: Did you see any evidence of the aircraft anywhere?

MITCHELL: Yes, I did. You could see just small pieces of it.

QUESTION: Well, how far in? Again, we're trying to figure out how it came into the building.

QUESTION: Can we finish the video first and then we'll go back?

MITCHELL: You can see someone from the Montgomery County unit here.

This pile here is all Pentagon metal. None of that is aircraft whatsoever. As you can see, they've punched a hole in here. This was punched by the rescue workers to clean it out. You can see this is the -- some of the unrenovated areas where the windows have blown out.

That's soldiers from the Third U.S. Infantry, the Honor Guard, are in there. And this is the conditions they have to work in. There's the Tyvek suits, the respirators, goggles, and helmets, and they also have boots on them as well.

QUESTION: Where is that exactly? Between which rings?

MITCHELL: Between the -- I believe it's the E and D Rings.

And that's the end of the tape.

QUIGLEY: And again, we'll have -- this was just a short, edited version, and we'll have dubs, full dubs of all of the footage to hand out for those of you who wish one upon completion.

Okay, next -- now, Ivan, getting to back to one of your questions, I believe, I think Lee is going -- is going to address directly your questions. So again, if not, please ask it when he's done. But I think, through the charts and his descriptions, you'll have a much more fulsome understanding of the plane's path and some of the damage done.


EVEY: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Good morning. My name is Lee Evey. I'm the program manager for the Pentagon renovation. And I'm going to review with you this morning --

QUESTION: Sorry. Is it E-V-Y?

EVEY: No sir. It's E-V-E-Y. Echo-Victor-Echo-Yankee, sir.


EVEY: I'm going to review with you some information with regard to the route of the plane, the impact, the effect it's had on the building, and some of the things that we've done in the Pentagon renovation prior to this incident that we think have had a significant beneficial effect for the people in the building.

Let me first orient you, so as we -- as we walk through this, it makes sense to you. You've probably heard a lot of discussion about wedge one, wedge two, the renovation, what's renovated, what's not renovated, and I think it's probably quite confusing. So I'm going to qualify that for you a little bit.

Let me first orient you. This is the south side of the building directly facing I-395. This is the heliport, the area, the side of the building where the aircraft impacted. This is the Mall Terrace, where we've built the new remote delivery facility, and most of your are familiar with that. On this side is the River Entrance, which faces the Potomac River, and over on this side is the Metro entrance side, where we're building the new Metro entrance facility.

Now, the reason why we are doing the renovation in wedges is that that is the way that the building was originally constructed. The Pentagon was constructed in five chevron shapes. So, if you look at the first wedge, wedge one, it's a chevron. And the unique thing about the construction of the building is that each of these chevrons was built almost as a separate, stand-alone building. So, for instance, each one of these chevrons, or wedges, has its own complete utility system, which is unique and separate from the utility systems on either side. That's why we're doing the renovation the way we're doing it, in wedges. And in fact, we're replicating the way the building was originally built. What we're doing as our wedge one was the first wedge in the original construction of the Pentagon.

Because you have individual utility feeds for each one of these areas, it enabled us to build a construction wall on this side, a construction wall on this side, move the people out, shut the utilities down and continue to operate the rest of the building without having any impact on building operations.

Now, one of the things that you should be aware of at the Pentagon -- and I'm sure those of you who work here already are -- is that it's a very large building. Each one of these wedges is over 1 million square feet. And typically in each one of these wedges, you have about 5,000 occupants. The total building is larger than three Empire State Buildings. It's got lots of amazing facts and figures associated with it with regard to its size and scope.

To put things in perspective for you, though, the face on each of the five sides is a bit longer than three football fields in length. It's got 42,420 columns which hold the building up, and we've lost some of those columns. But to put that loss in perspective, there's over 42,000 of them in the building. It's got 85,000 light fixtures, six and a half million square feet, 17 and a half miles of corridors, 16,000 miles of communications cabling. It's a very, very large building. So you have to put that in perspective as you look at some of the other things that I'll be showing you this morning.

Now, where we are in the renovation is we're just completing wedge one. In fact, the construction was almost totally complete, within days of being totally complete. And we were moving people from wedge two into wedge one so that we would empty wedge two and could then begin construction in the wedge two area. So we were in the process of moving almost 5,000 people into wedge one.

That process was to be completed in October. And in November, we were to turn over to the new construction contractor for wedges two through five -- we were to turn over to them a completely empty wedge two -- no people, no furniture -- completely empty, so that they could start their demolition and abatement activities. That's removing bad materials in the building and demolishing it so that it could then be rebuilt.

Those plans are, of necessity, going to have to change somewhat now. But we find ourselves at a unique juncture. We had on-site the construction contractor who was completing wedge one, and we had just completed an extensive evaluation and source selection process to select a contractor to do wedges two through five.

Our intent for the remainder of the renovation is to have one contractor finish it. We're doing a base contract award. The first part of the contract is to do the work in wedge two. And we have options in that contract to do wedges three, four and five. We don't have to exercise those options unless the contractor continues to do good work and we want to continue them.

QUESTION: What's the size of that contract?

EVEY: Sir?

QUESTION: What is the size?

EVEY: I'll cover that information, sir.

QUESTION: Can you say who -- has it been awarded?

EVEY: I'll give you all that information. We'll get to that in just a couple of minutes if you can just hold on.

What I wanted to do was try to put this in perspective for you so you could understand. We've learned -- this is wedge one, okay, the newly-renovated area. The path of the airplane seems to have taken it along this route, so it entered the building slightly, on this photo, slightly to the left of what we call corridor four.

There are 10 radial corridors in the building that extend from A ring out through E ring, and this is the fourth of those radial corridors. So it impacted the building in an area that had been renovated, but its path was at a -- it appears to be at a diagonal, so that it entered in wedge one but passed through into areas of wedge two, an unrenovated portion of the building. And, of course, you all know it's got rings A through E, five stories tall, et cetera.

QUESTION: That seems to indicate that it came to rest in ring C, the nose cone.

EVEY: Let me talk to that, because you've asked a number of questions already about the extent of penetration, et cetera. This is an overhead of the building. The point of penetration was right here, and we blocked that out to show that's the area of collapse. The plane actually penetrated through the E ring, C ring -- excuse me -- E ring, D ring, C ring.

This area right here is what we call A-E Drive. And unlike other rings in the building, it's actually a driveway that circles the building inside, between the B and the C ring. The nose of the plane just barely broke through the inside of the C ring, so it was extending into A-E Drive a little bit. So that's the extent of penetration of the aircraft.

QUESTION: It broke through which one?

EVEY: The rings are E, D, C, B and A. Between B and C is a driveway that goes around the Pentagon. It's called A-E Drive. The airplane traveled in a path about like this, and the nose of the aircraft broke through this innermost wall of C ring into A-E Drive.

QUESTION: One thing that's confusing -- if it came in the way you described, at an angle, why then are not the wings outside? I mean, the wings would have shorn off. The tail would have shorn off. And yet there's apparently no evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring.

EVEY: Actually, there's considerable evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring. It's just not very visible. When you get up close -- actually, one of my people happened to be walking on this sidewalk and was right about here as the aircraft approached. It came in. It clipped a couple of light poles on the way in. He happened to hear this terrible noise behind him, looked back, and he actually -- he's a Vietnam veteran -- jumped prone onto the ground so the aircraft would not actually -- he thinks it (would have) hit him; it was that low.

On its way in, the wing clipped. Our guess is an engine clipped a generator. We had an emergency temporary generator to provide life-safety emergency electrical power, should the power go off in the building. The wing actually clipped that generator, and portions of it broke off. There are other parts of the plane that are scattered about outside the building. None of those parts are very large, however. You don't see big pieces of the airplane sitting there extending up into the air. But there are many small pieces. And the few larger pieces there look like they are veins out of the aircraft engine. They're circular.

QUESTION: Would you say that the plane, since it had a lot of fuel on it at the impact, and the fact that there are very small pieces, virtually exploded in flames when it tore into the building? I mean, since there are not large pieces of the wings laying outside, did it virtually explode?

EVEY: I didn't see it. My people who did see it enter the building describe it as entering the building and then there being flames coming out immediately afterwards. Whether you describe it as an explosion or not, people I talk to who were there, some called it an explosion. Others called it a large fire. I'm not sure. I wasn't there, sir. It's just a guess on my part.

QUESTION: Is there anything about --

EVEY: Could I keep on going through the briefing? And I'll answer questions at the end, if I may. And I'll stay and I'll answer any of your questions you want. I'll answer, okay?

This is a very interesting picture. It's interesting to me because when you first look at what has happened to the building, it seems almost incomprehensible, almost like you took a puzzle and dumped it out on the table and you've got all these pieces all over the place. But actually, there's a symmetry to this. There's a rhyme and a reason to it. It's very interesting what you see here, okay?

You see these vertical maroon bands here. They're of great interest to us in the Pentagon renovation, because what those are -- and you have some horizontal ones here -- what those are is those are steel frames that were placed into the building as part of our renovation activities. We undertook a significant amount of work to try to make the building much more blast-resistant than it was prior to renovation. These steel --

QUESTION: Could you tell us what this is, because I can't --

EVEY: This is the collapsed portion of the building.

QUESTION: That's area one, though, right?

QUESTION: What direction are we looking at?

EVEY: You're looking from the outside of the building directly into the face of the area that has collapsed.