I finally found Jake and Dad in the JGB part of terminal building. They were looking over the work done by all the contractors. It had been a while since I had been in there myself.
The building had that new smell, just like that of a new car does. We looked over all the offices. Lorrie gave both Carson and Sabrina each their own office. We found their name plaque on the door. The office furniture was already set up along with the computer systems.
We had a nice business counter for the flight service and a second counter for MAAR computer terminals to do the rentals.
Further towards the tarmac entrance was a nicely sized pilot’s lounge with chairs, a couple of couches and two wall desks for courtesy computers. It was more for looks than anything else. Our pilots were going to be headquartered in the side hangar where they were now.
The next stop was the kitchen. Suppliers were still installing the last of the appliances. I checked out the big walk-in cooler and freezer. Both were operating and very cold.
In the cafeteria all the tables and chairs were waiting to be set up. The boxes were stacked along the wall. There were other boxes of kitchen plates, pots and pans waiting to find their assigned spot in the kitchen by the chef.
I still wondered why it was so important to the agency to have a cafeteria and a chef on site. The agency was paying for that part and the restaurant would be open to the public. I guessed that there was some kind of cover story for that if anyone asked. There had to be some kind of gimmick, I was sure of that.
We made our way down the hall where the meeting rooms were. There were four that were general meeting rooms that the public could reserve. Beyond that there were four more for JBG private meetings, behind one of those fancy red ropes on a brass fixture. A sign hung on the fancy rope (Area closed authorized personnel only). Moving past those rooms we came upon a door which had in front of it, another fancy red rope on a brass fixtute.
I moved the fixture and we tried the door. The brass plate on the door was stamped (Department of Homeland Security Morton Field office); the door had one of the ID card readers installed on it.
“They are all locked on this end,” My Dad replied then added, “I was in there when they were putting the office equipment in.”
I had the ID cards that Eric, Frank and Amy had issued me plus my JBG card, for a total of four. I slid the DHS card and the door opened. Dad was right there were four very nice offices as we entered through the door.
One was labeled US Government Office; I knew that to be the CIA office and the card Frank issued me opened that office. the other office was labeled U.S Customs and the State Department card opened that one. The other two were meeting rooms and my cards opened them as well. They were very fancy meeting rooms at that similar to the one we went to in Washington.
Dad and I gave Jake the tour of the maintenance building and the super hangar that Jake had negotiated for. The contractors were making good time with it. The building was finally totally enclosed, even all the side hangar’s had their doors.
It was getting dark by the time we made it into the super hangar so I flipped the light switches by the door. All the buildings were equipped with new energy saving LED lighting that was very bright, even though they were over fifty feet from the floor. This was the first time I had been in the big closed hangar with the lights on. The hangar looked even bigger with the lights on.
I needed to go back to the Summers Road office after I verified that everything was set for the C130 flight tomorrow. Lorrie, Marcy and Jenny were still in the temporary office when I arrived.
The flight folder was complete and everything was checked off. The mechanics had checked off the mechanical components of the plane and filled it with fuel. There was a notation of all the tools they had loaded on the C130 in order to reinstall the main rotor blades.
The folder also had copies of the flight plan with all the little details written on it. Those details included times, checkpoints, radio frequencies and anything the pilot or crew needed to know along with any special instructions.
It was a 12 hour flight without adding in the slowdown of refueling. With leaving Morton at 0400 and the time zone difference adding the fuel delay, it would be 2100 when they landed, far too late to unload one of the choppers and reassemble the rotor blades.
An overnight stay in Bamako – I wondered if they had made room arrangements. Hopefully they would get an early start the next morning. Bamako to Khartoum was 2200 miles – a six hour flight with good luck, providing they could fly the commercial airline routes.
It would be late afternoon when they arrived, hopefully with time enough to unload the last chopper and make it air worthy before dark. Another overnight stay in Khartoum, then load the other junk chopper and the flight back to Bamako to load the junk chopper there. The final overnight stay was in Bamako before flying home the following day.
The round trip was almost ten thousand miles in four days with four in flight refueling. The trip would consume 70 thousand gallons of fuel with over 40 hours of flight time. There would be three nights of motel rooms for the seven crew plus meals and who knows what else. It would take a day to do the expense accounting when they got back, unless the lead pilot assigned someone to do it during all the free time in flight.
I had to chuckle; I could just see Marcy’s calculator spitting out the numbers now. I wondered what was going through Lorries mind too.
Everything was in order – I had done everything I could do. I was not going to call the ambassador until the plane was on the ground in Bamako.
I wondered if this was how generals felt before a great battle, everything had been planned and all they could do was wait on the sidelines for the final outcome.
By now it was dark. Ching Lee sent me a text that supper would be ready in 30 minutes. It was a much smaller affair tonight; us girls with Jake, Mindy and Mom and Dad.
If Jenny had been asked about the menu I knew that we were having filet with salad and some kind of pie alamode – for dinner-she had been talking about supper for the last hour.
I guess the trip to the office would wait until after supper but it had to happen. Cindy had texted me that there were things on my desk that I needed attention tonight, even though we were not having a meeting.
Supper was great! Ching Lee and Vicky had learned all Jenny’s little secrets on how to grill great steaks. I sat at my normal spot at the head of the table place with Jenny to my right and Jake and Mindy to my left.
We were finally able to have a family conversation with Jake. I also got the feeling that there was a question he wanted to ask me in private. He did not say that but my sixth sense felt it.
Mom, Dad, Jake and Mindy soon said their goodbyes for the evening. Jake and Mindy planned to stay at Mom and Dad’s. Jake and Mindy were leaving at noon to go to Pennsylvania for the J&J Christmas party and were spending the night in a motel there. They were going to return the next day.
I spent an hour at my desk reading the material Cindy felt was important. There were sticky notes with instructions for tomorrow and signatures that finished the work for tonight.
It was going to be nice to snuggle and make love with Marcy tonight; she was always so warm and gentle and I needed that after today.
Edit by Alfmeister
proof read by Joe H.