Hawaii II

This story just gets more and more disturbing.  A comedy of errors coupled with the unforgiving nature of machine technology.  The latest iteration of the story has to be examined with the concatenation string fully articulated, of course.  I am including all I see pertinent in this regard here, but am also providing the link to the WaPo story so the reader can see the entire current version of the account:


Contrary to previous reports, the employee in question did not merely “push the wrong button” but instead claimed “he [sic] misheard a message played during a drill and believed a ballistic missile was actually heading for the state, according to a federal investigation.”

The employee, then, “claimed to believe…that this was a real emergency, not a drill,” according to a preliminary FCC report released today.

WaPo:  “The incident began when a night-shift supervisor decided to test incoming day-shift workers with a spontaneous drill, the FCC report said.  The supervisor managing the day-shift workers appeared to be aware of the upcoming test but believed it was aimed at the outgoing night-shift workers.  As a result, the day-shift manager was not prepared to supervise the morning test, the FCC said. Following standard procedures, the night-shift supervisor posing as U.S. Pacific Command played a recorded message to the emergency workers warning them of the fake threat.  The message included the phrase ‘Exercise, exercise, exercise,’ the FCC report said.  But it also included ‘This is not a drill’–language used for real missile tests.  The worker who then sent the emergency alert said they did not hear the ‘exercise’ part of the message.  This person, who has not been publicly identified, declined to be interviewed by investigators, but the worker did provide a written statement, the FCC said.  According to the FCC report released Tuesday, this worker is the only one who apparently did not understand it was a drill.”

The gaps in proper protocol, then, are nothing short of astounding.  “The FCC report also highlighted the disconnect between the Hawaiian government and U.S. Pacific Command in the drill.  While the night shift supervisor posed as the U.S. military’s regional command headquarters in the drill, U.S. military officials from both Pacific Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which tracks potential threats in U.S. airspace, have said that when they received reports about the false missile alert, they quickly scanned for threats, found none and checked in with the Hawaiian government for an explanation.”  And then another stage in the linkage failed to operate in a logical fashion.  “Army Lt. Col. Derrick Cheng, a spokesman for the Pacific Command, told the Washington Post the day of the incident that even after the military confirmed there was no incoming fire, it did not immediately issue a message of its own because it did not want to confuse the issue even more without checking in first with Hawaiian state officials.”

How can one even comment on this spectacular collapse of procedure?    SNAFU.







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