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Sept. 11, 2001 9/11 attacks

I would be going to the Travis Air Force Base commissary that morning when I watched an airliner strike the World Trade Center on my TV set.

After being assigned to Travis 13 years of my military career and being one of the first airmen called on during the Cuban Missile Crisis, I knew no one would be allowed on or off base.

Military and civilians who worked on base waited in long lines outside the gates and were eventually told to go home. The only people security forces let on base were after a full identification check and a thorough search of their cars.

No one was allowed on the flight line, as it was shut down.

A call went out for an aircrew to take a KC-10 tanker to refuel a couple of F-16s flying combat air patrol over Los Angeles International Airport. Security was tight for some time after 9/11.

Fighter aircraft from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, were stationed on the south side of Travis runway to fly combat air patrols over the San Francisco Bay Area.

California highway patrol officers stopped anyone from taking pictures of the F-16s.

After the terrorist attacks, security at Travis Air Force Base was greatly improved.

Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.

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