Thursday morning was a change in my routine. We were going back to the Palace for final discussions on the security agreement; we had gotten much further along than I expected the day before.
We were close to an agreement and it was going to be a major contract. It was going to take one hundred and sixty men and ladies to give them the coverage they wanted, and they wanted a lot.
Each minister wanted a driver on duty 24/7 and their own Suburban. Along with the driver each was to get two bodyguards 24 hours a day. The logistics to accommodate the drivers and guards at the residence had to be worked out.
The general discussion was that there would be a mini command center with communications and a place for them to watch the camera monitors. All of the ministers apparently lived on better than average estates with extra rooms or guest cottages they were willing to sacrifice for their safety.
Of course that meant that there would have to be dozens of automobiles for our men to get to the job every day – just one more logistical nightmare. That was why the contract was for five years to allow JBG to recoup some of that investment. It would expire at the end of the Premier’s term.
The Premier and Vice Premier were to have six bodyguards on every shift plus three drivers and three SUVs; one for the premier to ride in, one to lead and one to follow.
The contract price was at eighteen million a year and we had not even talked about helicopters yet.
I was not looking forward to the logistics. Just where in the hell were we going to find temporary housing for one hundred and sixty plus people? It was not going to be in a five star motel.
Better yet, where were we going to get all those employees on short notice? The negotiations lasted several hours and then another two hours on VCATS with the girls. Introductions both ways from four thousand miles away can be tricky but it worked out well. In the end we had a contract we could live with.
I could tell by Marcy’s smile there was plenty of profit to work with. Then there was the lease of eighteen more armored Suburban’s.
Lorrie would be happy because the eight Suburban’s that were here were staying. Only one more C5 flight would be required and it would be loaded both ways. It would be departing Morton with eight more Suburban’s and returning with all the equipment and tools used for the summit and the four helicopters.
For lunch the ministers and premiers wanted to go to a swanky private club resort to celebrate the security contract. I really think they wanted another ride to evaluate the Suburban’s and our security posture.
I was sure when during the meal the Vice Premier asked, “Why do you choose these large vehicles over luxury brands?”
“I survived a truck bomb in one of these; it blew the chassis off the frame and I walked away with minor injuries. It has proven protection that I will stay with.”
“Sure, there are a lot of weapons that will penetrate the armor and kill you. Even tanks get destroyed but for what we see the most, these have the best survivability,” I replied.
We carried them back to the palace and then we went to the training center to help Howie finish up the displays for tomorrow’s summit. Howie and his helpers were finished. Vicky and I went through the video program frame by frame on what we were going to say about each display after Howie gave the technical description and demonstration.
When we were finished it was back to the hotel for supper. The same as last night, Vicky and I were carried to the embassy for secure communications. The reporters hit the city again, this time with the news cameras.
The communications started off positive, first from Ching Lee, “I sent 10 security guards from Blair College to ride the road from Harrisburg to Lebanon, starting at the spot they were lost yesterday. Several of them agreed to use their personal cars and the others rented cars from the MAAR site.”
“The tag scanners picked up the three cars on 78 at Colonial Park headed east; they followed them to Avon Heights. Avon heights used to be an Amish community, not any more. Robert can fill you in on the details,” Ching Lee said.
“Avon Heights was a small Amish community with roughly twenty houses and a small store that catered to the community. The community was surrounded by small Amish family farms of twenty to thirty acres. They were traditional Amish who used horses to farm with and who shunned modern conveniences.”
“The previous administration settled several Muslin families from Iraq and Syria in the community. The Amish church was burned within weeks and violence against the Amish community started with the children being harassed and bullied. The women and girls were harassed everywhere they went; several girls were assaulted. Their farm animals started dying; tests said they were poisoned.
“When the Amish tried to get permits to replace the church, the Muslims bused in hundreds from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to oppose the permits. The Amish could not even get into the courthouse, the spots reserved for buggies was filled with protesters who refused to move. The county police had to clear the area.”
“The new church was torched before it was completed. The Amish – being of nonviolent beliefs – moved to Kentucky to join a larger group,” Robert said.
“That is the same method that they use everywhere they go. They did it to neighborhoods and whole blocks in Detroit, Milwaukee and Rochester,” I said.
“I have talked with Ben and the helicopter just made a second pass over the area. I should have the video soon,” Robert said from his report.
“Thanks Robert, I think you know what I want you do,” I said.
“Yeah, find out the name of every individual in Avon Heights and run them through the systems. Looks like we already know who three of them are,” Robert replied.
I called Ben and was directed to the task force MTAC. The entire group was there including Andrew and Anne. The discussion lasted two hours with an abundance of instructions and questions.
“Ben, there are a couple things I want special, first get with the Postmaster General. I want a list of all the people that got mail at the Avon Heights post office boxes and delivered three years ago before all this started and another list for today’s date.
“Next a mosque has been built there; discreetly see if you can find out any information on the Imam. Then check out where the funding came from to build it. I would bet Turkey, Iran, or Saudi Arabia,” I said.
“We already asked the postmaster for some of the same things a couple hours ago and have nothing yet. They say they have to wait on approval of the Inspector General,” Ben replied.
“Andrew, call him and read him that highlighted paragraph I used the other day and tell him that I am only five hours away. If I have to cut my trip short it will not be a good day for either his future employment or retirement goals,” I said.
“Ten- four boss, I read you loud and clear. Twist his arm or you will come to break it,” Andrew replied.
My next MTAC was to the President and Troy; I had to wait for fifteen minutes for them to get clear of a meeting they were in.
While I was waiting, Ambassador Taylor knocked on the door this time and asked for permission to enter. Seeing that I was in a hold pattern he asked, “What are you going to do about France and Greece?
“I met with both their Ambassadors to Portugal today; they are not happy.”
“They thought they could get an audience with you but you were in closed door meetings. I called Washington for guidance and was told you were going to handle it,” he said.
“If there is another summit at a later date they will be invited. Currently there are things going on that have a French connection that must be played out. I am afraid that allowing them to the summit may jeopardize the outcome.”
“I told the President yesterday that the summit was a JBG event with a possible business arrangement and had no connection to the US government.”
“The first diplomatic need of this trip was satisfied when I walked up those steps again in front of the cameras.”
“The other will be satisfied with the state dinner and festivities after including the inevitable media orgy Saturday night.”
“The leaders of the five countries attending the summit are coming to the state dinner. Their attendance has not been made public yet and there may be a couple more additions. The summit and dinner will be the first non EU sanctioned political gathering since its inception. I’m sure it will be a massive PR event for all.”
“After Brexit and now with others who are making noises about leaving the EU, we intercepted a communiqué from the EU leadership that indicates they are nervous and more than unhappy about this summit. They are discussing a variety of responses. The targets of that response have yet to be named, but I am sure I will not escape unscathed.”
“After the festivities wind down there is a top secret meeting among just the leaders. I have been asked to attend the meeting and possibly chair it. Maybe I am the one who should be nervous.”
“By the way, you and the misses have an invitation to attend the dinner and social gathering as my guest,” I said as the screen went live with Troy and the President.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.