Academy lauded for quick accountability

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy established accountability for nine personnel running in the Boston Marathon within four hours of the bombing Monday at approximately 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

Accounted for and safe were Julie Henner, Capts. Stephanie Silva, Jeffrey Hannon, Derek Portlock and Charlotte Portlock, Cadets 1st Class Ilma Calite, Zach Marx and Loring Ross and Cadet 2nd Class Jason Burbach.

"We felt (accountability) went extremely well," said Paul Ceciliani, the Academy's antiterrorism officer. "Air Forces Northern gave us some very positive feedback for reporting our numbers so quickly."

Hannon, who works in the Staff Judge Advocate office here, said he headed out of the marathon area as soon as he finished the race.

"I grabbed my food, clothes and water and immediately departed," he said. "I was in the subway about 20 minutes before the blasts occurred."

His phone -- and those of family members who accompanied him to Boston -- started "lighting up" once word of the bombing spread.

"I received a phone call from one of the other captains in the office who had heard about it," he said. "She immediately contacted me."

First Air Force (Air Forces Northern) is one of eight numbered air forces assigned to Air Combat Command. Under its Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission, it assists civilian agencies before and during emergencies and natural or man-made disasters in order to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance when and where it is needed most.

Three people were killed and another 176 people were injured in two blasts near the Boston Marathon's finish line roughly four hours after the start of the marathon's third wave, according to news reports Tuesday.

The FBI is investigating the attack as an act of terrorism, President Barack Obama said in a Tuesday morning news conference.

"This was a heinous and cowardly act," the president said. "Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.

"We will find whoever harmed our citizens," Obama added. "And we will bring them to justice."

He also praised responders and volunteers for their quick action and their kindness.

"If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil, that's it: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid," he said.