The Pentagon

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Spencer was still acting defense secretary on July 18, on or about the date when Trump directed his staff to tell the Pentagon and the State Department to hold back the assistance for Ukraine, according to multiple news reports.

A week later, when Trump held his now-disputed phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Esper had finally been confirmed by the Senate as the permanent defense chief — though just two days earlier. Elissa Slotkin D-Mich.

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The assistance was the latest increment in a years-long effort to help the Ukrainian government combat Russian-backed separatists and deter Russian aggression. But that happened only after Democrats had begun accusing Trump of using the money as leverage to push the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family, an issue that this week led the House to start impeachment proceedings against the president.

Trump has offered shifting explanations for withholding the money, saying either that he was concerned about corruption in Ukraine or wanted other European countries to contribute more assistance to Kiev. The Boeing weighed an estimated Flight 77 took off from Washington D. Most of that fuel was still unspent when the jetliner struck the Pentagon.

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What Dusenberry and his colleagues were there to figure out was how the second floor of the Pentagon remained standing after dozens of first-floor columns were destroyed or severely damaged. The upper sections only collapsed after sustaining severe damage from a raging fire. FBI agents, fire fighters, rescue workers and engineers work at the Pentagon crash site September 14, where a hijacked American Airlines flight slammed into the building three days before.

The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of the building and followed similar attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.

The Pentagon

Photo by Tech. Cedric H.

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The first had to do with the way the concrete columns holding up the floors and ceilings were reinforced. Spiral rebar, they discovered, had saved the day. When building with concrete, steel reinforcement rods are embedded in the structure to give it added strength.

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In modern construction, a concrete column would likely be supported with widely spaced horizontal hoops of rebar running vertically up its core. But back in the s, the standard was to use a continuous loop of tightly spiraling rebar.

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Inside the blackened and hollowed-out first-floor office space, they found severely bent columns where the exterior layer of concrete had been sheared off, but the concrete core inside the spiral rebar remained intact. Incredibly, those deformed, sheared off columns were still standing. This is a happy outcome of what they were doing for other reasons at the time. The second thing that held the Pentagon together after the attack was the way the flooring and ceiling concrete was reinforced.

Pentagon | History & Features |

First of all, the support columns on each floor were spaced relatively tightly, with maximum distances of 20 feet. So the concrete beams and girders above them only had to span short distances.

And inside those concrete beams, the engineers had run long stretches of rebar that overlapped from one beam to the next. Dusenberry says that it was precisely those overlapping steel supports that held up heavy sections of damaged concrete ceiling even when the underlying columns had collapsed.

Being a Pentagon tour guide is harder than it looks

The Pentagon is a one-of-a-kind building, a five-sided fortress of concrete whose architectural style has long since gone out of fashion, if it ever was in fashion.