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Pentagon Renovations Helped To Blunt Blast

Pentagon Renovations Helped To Blunt Blast

By Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service.

Washington D.C. -- (AFPS) September 15, 2001 -- Ongoing Pentagon renovations include designs for force protection that saved military and civilian lives after the hijacked commercial airliner smashed into the building Sept. 11, a DoD official said.

This one-meter resolution satellite image of The Pentagon was collected on Dec. 28, 2000 by Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite. Clearly visible are the cars in the parking lot, the Pentagon's renowned five-sided shape, the building's inner rings and five-acre courtyard. IKONOS travels 423 miles above the Earth's surface at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour. Click photo for higher resolution. (Copyright ©2001 Space Imaging, Inc., )

The Pentagon - December 28, 2000 - IKONOS 1-meter (pre-attack)

Satellite Photo Spaceimaging.com.

The terrorist assault "happened to hit an area that we had built so sturdily," Pentagon renovation program manager Lee Evey said to reporters Sept. 15. In addition to saving lives, the renovations helped to keep more of the building intact.

This one-meter resolution satellite image of the Pentagon was collected at 11:46 a.m. EDT on Sept. 12, 2001 by Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite. The image shows extensive damage to the western side and interior rings of the multi-ringed building. IKONOS travels 423 miles above the Earth's surface at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour. Click photo for higher resolution. (Copyright ©2001 Space Imaging, Inc., )

The Pentagon - September 12, 2001 - IKONOS 1-meter (aftermath image))

Satellite Photo Spaceimaging.com.

"It could have been much, much worse," he said. The airliner crashed low and diagonally into the Pentagon's outside "E" ring limestone wall, Evey explained. The plane first hit a recently renovated wedge section near the heliport on the west side of the building before passing into an unrenovated area, he said.

Floor-to-floor and interconnected vertical steel beams, sturdier windows and Kevlar armor panels used in the revamped exterior wall helped slow down the plane and mitigate effects of the explosion as the plane crashed through the Pentagon, Evey noted.

The Pentagon consists of five concentric five-sided buildings that ring a park-like central courtyard. The buildings are named A Ring to E Ring from the inside out.

Evey said the hijacked aircraft slammed through the E, D, and C rings before coming to rest in an open-air service passageway separating the C and B rings.

An initial $145 million construction contract to start repairs to the damaged sections was awarded Sept. 14, Evey said. Total cost of repairs to the damaged sections of the building, he said, "would cost hundreds of millions of dollars."

The contract also covers renovations on remaining portions of the building and has a potential value of up to $758 million. All renovations are to be completed by 2012.

Meanwhile, fire and rescue operations continue. Rebuilding, Evey concluded, will not start until the search for victims and the removal of debris is complete.


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).