Vicky and I were up early; I guess we were getting used to the different time zones we had traveled to. As usual there was a quick shower together as we did back home then a quick breakfast and a short trip to the airport where Josh and Vance were waiting on us.
Checking the time I called to wish my mates a good night – it was 10 PM there – with words of love and how much I missed them; the feelings were mutual. I promised to spend quality time with them when I returned.
I called Ching Lee and repeated the same message to her. She told me that she had just sent her e-mail for the funeral arrangements. Linda Koons wanted to use the Groffs Family Funeral Home for his wake and Lancaster Methodist Church for his funeral- with the Pastor leading the service. The only thing missing was the date and times.
I sent an e-mail to all the college security sites and the office group, “As you all know by now, JBG embassy security division lost two of our fellow employee’s in a terrorist attack this week.”
“My wish is to form two details that would act as honor guards for our two fallen soldiers in arms.”
“I need all former Military personnel who have their dress parade uniforms, for an honor guards at Dover AFB and the transfer at the funeral home and place of internment.”
“The dress uniforms of the JGB College police force are welcome to.”
“Flights will be arranged as dates and times are confirmed.”
“If you can participate, please contact Cindy to sign up – ASAP,” I said.
After I finished it, I let Vicky proof read it before I sent it as a mass-email to all the college security sites, and the office group – including the new college police force.
The flight to Dubai was a short hop – less than five hundred miles – but it allowed us to finish all the emails. The gym office was in the process of shutting down for the night; it was 11 EST now. I pulled up the live video of the gym to see all the normal agency groups staying in shape.
In all my travels I have never come across an airport like Dubai. Dubai International Airport. It is a monster on eight thousand acres, employing ninety thousand people.
According to the airport information guide over seventy-five million people passed through its turnstiles last year.
It was so large that it took thirty minutes for Vance to navigate the jet to the general aviation parking.
The general aviation parking for us was in the section next to the Gulf Stream dealer. It was a huge Gulf Stream dealer with a row of new and used planes, with specifications on a pedestal in front of each plane.
Not having any real exercise for a couple days, Vicky and I decided that we would walk to the end of the line of new and used planes and back while we waited on our embassy ride to get here.
We walked down the row of planes and looked at them. There were G2 and G3s in the used row, G5s along with the newer G550 and G650 models in the new row – but then I should not have been surprised, Dubai was the billionaire capital of the world with all that easy mid-eastern oil money.
Lorrie had been looking for a G5 for Jake and coming up empty, Gulf Stream insisted that there were none available on the market or in dealer inventories.
Then it hit me; these were not on the inventory list because a wealthy investor bought them as an investment. The investor paid cash after negating a bottom line cash deal that may have involved more than one plane. Lorrie and Marcy had done the same thing when we bought the Bombardiers. Gulf Stream didn’t care as long as the sold column kept growing and the factory stayed busy.
As we walked, a maroon G5 came into view. It was the same year as the one we flew in on; it was in the used row. Maroon was Jakes favorite color and the way they had worked the stripe was beautiful.
I took out my smarter than smart phone and started taking pictures. I began with the pedestal in front of the plane containing the spec sheet that did not have a price on it. Then I walked around taking a complete set of 360 pictures of the plane. I wanted to look inside but assumed that the cabin steps were locked. When I was done snapping pictures, I sent the entire set of pictures and data sheet to Lorrie, asked that she evaluate the plane with Jake and that I would get interior pictures too. I asked Lorrie to research what it was worth ASAP, and to see if Jake was interested.
While we had been walking and looking, the embassy pickup team had arrived and was headed our way with Vance and Josh in tow. A golf cart blew past them with two men in traditional Arab garb.
As the cart was going past us, they slammed the brakes so hard they left black skid marks on the tarmac. One of them began gesturing and speaking in a mix of Arabic that I thought was unusual. I listened to him tell me that they would take us to the terminal, that a woman’s place was not on the tarmac.
Boy, you they in for a surprise in about a minute, I thought.
Vance, Josh and the four men from the embassy – two of whom were JGB – almost walked right over the two from the cart, simply moving them aside.
“Hello bosses, it is great to see you two finally made it here in one piece. I’m Carl Roe; are you thinking about adding another plane to your fleet? I heard you bought another dozen helicopters to add to the ones you already own not so long ago.”
“Yes, we are looking to add at least one more long range jet to our fleet, possibly more. These four to five day embassy trips are taking the plane out of its normal day to day operations for one of our other division. It is normally assigned to our Delmarva Air Charter & Florida Vacations division. The southern vacation season is in full swing making things complicated,” I replied.
“On top of that, my brother has a contract to clean up the Japan nuclear plant that had the meltdown. His contract requires him to go from Maryland to Japan for a week once a month. Using this jet would allow him to fly there and communicate with his people there, while using one of the choppers when he is in Maryland to deal with his construction business in Pennsylvania and Virginia. He wants to buy one and lease it back to us – the chopper is on us,” I replied.
“Vance, if you can be so kind, find a salesman to open this plane and take a complete set of interior shots and send them to Lorrie,” I said.
“Will do, boss, and I will look over the log books, call Robbie and read them to him,” Vance replied.
I handed the one that had been less mouthy a business card with my cell number circled, “I will be here until tomorrow morning, but in the region for a couple more days, work me up the cash price; fueled, inspected, certified and ready to fly,” I told him. Lorrie would have all the data and the pictures when she logged in to her email in the morning – 3 PM our time today.
“The Ambassador is waiting for you to go over the security items we determined with yesterday’s audit, he has already sent the list to Victor Edmonson.”
Vicky and I sat through the review of the security audit on VCATS with Victor Edmonson and Elmer Hobart. Elmer controlled the money request when it came to Congress. It was a very informative meeting and some of the things were going to be difficult for JGB to implement right away.
The first terrorist attack that was at Benghazi had been a fiasco from every angle there was. It started with poor intelligence gathering, a bad response, then the handling of the events after and the attack and a lack of truth in reporting to the media, severely damages the administration, the powers to be learned from their mistakes.
Victor was going to hold a full blown press conference in Washington on Friday and we both had to testify before congress, the day after the final funerals. I was expected to be there to make a statement and do at least one of the Sunday morning talk shows. “O – Joy,” I thought, next week’s embassy visits would be postponed. I wondered if Vicky was up to the task, maybe with Mark assisting.
By the time we finished 3 VCATS and MTAC conferences and finally got through the employee and embassy staff interviews, there was just enough time for a VCATS with home office before another state dinner.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Joe H.