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NF Military officer reacts to news of Bin Laden's death

Military plane over Niagara Falls
photo coutresty 107th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard's Facebook page
Military plane over Niagara Falls

By Michael Mroziak


Niagara Falls, NY – A local military officer who was on duty at the Niagara Falls Air Base during the 9-11 attacks is reflecting on the news of Osama Bin Laden's death.

Senior Master Sergeant Brian Howes is with the 107th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard, stationed in Niagara Falls. He was the command post controller on duty on the morning of September 11th, 2001. Like many other Americans, he and fellow officers were watching television, following developments after the first plane struck the World Trade Center's twin towers.

"Once the second airplane hit the tower it was within minutes that we received a message notifying us that it may be more than an accident, obviously," said Howes.

Howes and his colleagues went into lockdown, and in the coming weeks began the hunt for Osama Bin Laden as the U.S. and its allies launched the war on terror. Nearly ten years later, Howes welcomes the news of Bin Laden's demise, but warns al-Qaeda will be in no mood to simply surrender.

"If it is close to the end what they do? They're backed into a corner now. They have no leadership," said Howes. "So, I think these next couple weeks are going to be more on our guard. We have a lot of people over there, whether it's from Niagara Falls here or around the Nation. I'm sure everybody is just keeping an extra eye out to see what's going to happen next."

Howes is hopeful that in addition to killing al-Qaeda's founder, those who carried out the attack on Bin Laden's hideout were also able to collect information that could help the U.S. military track down al-Qaeda connections and further eliminate the terror network.