Friday morning I was in the gym an hour early. I had been awake for a couple hours; Jenny had had a restless night. I massaged her legs with her favorite lotion twice and gave her a back rub before she went back to sleep. I had taken her phone and placed it on the table so it would not wake her and placed a ‘do not disturb’ sign on our door.
I checked my emails first thing. The agency guys had done the favor I asked for last night. I had pictures taken from their nightly drone missions over the bay in infrared and several different night vision shots of the compound. I printed them off on my printer.
Then the fire chief called to say he had the equipment with him and would meet me in the restaurant in 10 minutes. I would make it in time by pushing hard.
I was exiting my truck when he drove in the parking lot.
“Let me grab some guys,” I went inside and found six of the RRT who had finished eating. The chief followed us back to the compound.
“What the hell is this? Your own special prison?” Chief Grimes asked when he and assistant chief Sammy Little stepped out of the Chief’s truck. They were obviously impressed by the razor wire.
“The final step in advanced training for a selected few of our security teams, depending on what part of the world they are going to,” I replied.
Bob was already there. I positioned my guys and myself and then the Chief and Bob went up in the JLG man lift to use his fancy equipment.
After they were satisfied, we moved to several of the other buildings and the chief took more images. We met at my truck and downloaded the images into my laptop. I would be ready with a couple more things if the captains wanted to play. The Chief left me with two bags of gear, “Call me if you decide to use it. I will come back and help you set it up,” he said.
When I dropped the guys back at the restaurant, Andy Riddick was there with Jamie, Jake and Dad. It was a perfect time to explain in detail what might happen if Peters and Hamilton wanted to spice up the last hours here, what I wanted the men to do and what I needed set up in a rush.
Jamie and I had been preparing for the hostage training ever since I had received the request from Victor. All the necessary goodies were in the armory.
I stopped by the pilot’s office to verify which choppers were there and pilots. I placed a 3 hour hold on my choice of both.
Back at the gym, Vicky, Ching Lee and I went through final training module with the Rochester SWAT team. Then we did the breakout bull session. While I was looking at emails I printed out the images from the chief’s equipment.
“What did we do wrong? What did we do right? Then, how do we improve?” These were questions that we needed answered in order to stay at the top of our game. We received some very good feedback; almost all of it positive, with just a couple things in the negative column.
With everything that had gone on here this week and with all the people here, I was relieved. It was not an A+ but it was good.
“You said that you had something special that we could do before we go,” Peters said.
“Yes I do, let me make a couple of calls first.” Then I called Bob, “Is the site ready?” I asked.
“All the debris is gone. I am ready to move the items you wanted. Jake and the gang are here,” he replied.
“It’s a go; set it up, have Andy and his group at the terminal building, Jamie has the gear they need.”
I called Jamie next, “It’s a go, remember the weapons that shoot blanks and blank rounds only! Make sure no-one has live ammunition. You will have no more than ½ an hour to get the group equipped so they can be in position before this group arrives to get their equipment,” I said.
Then I called Hanna, “It’s a go, be at the airport. Are you sure you are up to this?” I asked.
“You bet! We are on our way,” was her reply.
I picked up all the papers from the printer.
“OK, here is the scenario for this exercise. We have two people who were kidnapped last night and are being held at a site not far from here. We know this from photographs taken over the last few days.”
“The site was being watched. Here are thermal images from a day ago. There are no hot spots; no one is there other than a heating system running. Here are thermals taken early this morning.”
“As you can see two buildings have multiple hot spots and what looks like there is someone being held on the second floor,” I said.
Peters turned his head to me and with a raised eyebrow, “You have access to satellite thermal imaging?” There were markers and satellite identification markers on some of the pictures.
“A lady always keep secrets; every gentleman knows that,” I replied with a smile.
“Now here was my plan as boss. I and going to send two five man fire teams on the ground, one for each side of the street. There is a junk yard to use for cover here and a tree line here to get close,” I said as I pointed to the photo.
“Then I am going to have a chopper drop a five man team onto each roof of the two buildings. The buildings have stairwells with roof access,” I stated.
“I have a pyrotechnics team who will be on site and is going in to create a distraction. There will be two reporters embedded but I don’t know where yet. I will issue the weapons. Each man gets 20 rounds, each team gets 1 flash bang and 1 smoke grenade,” I said then added.
“You have until I get a call; you get to tweak the plan. I have the gear for the guys rappelling out of the chopper,” I said.
A few minutes later my phone rang; it was Jake, “We are ready. All your villain guys are in place along with the pyrotechnics. Did you know one of your guys was an explosive expert?”
“Of course, Jason checks them out very extensively. Better yet, he has a license for it that we can use if I ever need it,” I replied.
10 minutes later Jamie was issuing the weapons and the toys to the Rochester men. Among themselves they had decided who was going to be on the ground teams.
Hanna and her camera man were at the hangar. Hanna had all kinds of go-pro cameras on a helmet and on a chest harness. The jacket she was wearing clearly identified her as TV media. Luckily the jacket was big enough for one of our bullet proof vests to fit under. The camera man filmed the fitting.
“I feel like the Pillsbury dough boy,” she replied after we had finished.
“I’m going out with the guys in the chopper; my camera man is going with one of the ground units,” she said.
“I am not sure that is a wise thing for amateurs,” I replied.
“I am not an amateur. My ex and I were into mountain climbing, rappelling off cliffs, free falls – that kind of thing – this is a piece of cake,” Hanna replied.
“Hmm, another thing I didn’t know about the girl,” I thought – maybe I need to investigate her.
After that, they had a quick run-through and verified that everyone understood how to use the equipment. It was made much easier because all of the guys did it before the choppers were loaded.
The ground group was loaded into two vehicles and carried to the edge of the field. They had less than a hundred yards to the cover of the junkyard and hedgerow.
Jake even had some weird African music playing on a loud radio.
I drove one of the vehicles and trekked across with group that was going to take the left side. The reason I went with them was that was the side Sidney was on with the diversion. I wanted to see what he had cooked up. Jake’s text said it would be cool.
The burned out Suburban had been placed about twenty feet from one block building and two of the burnt cars on the other side by the block building.
I saw at least 4 people with video cams stuck out of various windows in the wooden buildings plus there was someone in the JLG basket with a big cam of some kind.
I looked around to where I had parked and there were a number of vehicles and a crowd from both the office and airport. I saw Jenny’s and Vicky’s Suburban.
Everything was set – I gave the go word, the choppers were already in the air and swooped in over the two buildings, six men and Hanna rappelled out onto the roof and then moved away. Hanna was right – she was no amateur to rappelling; she made it look so easy. That was one thing I had never had the desire to do.
At the same time the other chopper did the same thing and moved away. Jake and I were with Sidney by the corner of the first building. Ronnie was crouched by the corner of the building with one of the training Stinger missiles. It was just the empty tube.
As soon as the choppers pulled away Sidney yelled “Fire!” Just as he did Jake hit the handle on the CO2 fire extinguisher he was holding at the end of the tube for a couple seconds. The junk Suburban exploded in flames. Ronnie shifted the aim of the tube and the process repeated with the two cars in flames.
I was sure that if one of the cameras were in the right position that the cold white blast of CO2 coming out of that tube would look like the real deal.
The two ground units had working towards to two block buildings as the choppers were dropping their teams. When the cars exploded several men ran from the block buildings into rifle fire – promptly falling down and playing dead.
Flash bangs went off in the second floor of both buildings within moments of each other. Those teams were going in and there was rifle fire. Then flash bangs from the ground units they were going in.
The teams came out with the hostages and all the bad guys with their hands up; the games were over. We had film from 10 cameras. That film would be reviewed again and again. It was a start in a long process to develop a viable training module. Then it would be put together for training and a promotional piece.
The agency experts were coming over Monday to look at the site and recommend changes while all the construction equipment was there. Would more buildings and more obstacles need to be added? Only time would tell.
I knew one thing; there were 20 guys from Rochester who were happy. Peters and Hamilton were right with them. They were high-fiving each other and the guys who rappelled out of the choppers were ecstatic, Hanna along with them. I wondered if I had created a monster.
Jamie and her assistants accounted for all the weapons, unused blanks and smoke grenades.
The fires in the junk vehicles burned themselves out by the time we were done. I cornered Jake, Sidney and Ronnie; I wanted to know what they had used and to congratulate them on the rocket ingenuity.
“Three Ziploc bags of jet fuel, one bag of gasoline in each, one blasting cap, wire and a motorcycle battery did the trick,” he replied.
“Yes, it sure did. It looked great and whoever came up with CO2 trick needs to get an award,” I replied. “We will be using that one again for sure.”
Everyone went to the airport restaurant for lunch. The project was the only topic of conversation. Jenny, Marcy, Ching Lee, Vicky, Lorrie, Cindy and Mark were seated among all the players gathering information. Hanna and her camera man grabbed slices of pizza to go. An assignment came in as she was stowing her gear.
“You will have a copy of all the uncut film tonight. I will have one of the editors put together a film for you, getting rid of all the blurbs,” then she added.
“It was fun; call me, I will do that anytime.”
An hour later the 200 left the runway for Rochester. SWAT team 2 from Rochester was trained and satisfied with it all. One more team left to go on that contract.
But we may have opened Pandora’s Box; two dozen police departments had requested information on our training program less than two weeks after the Rochester group returned home.
As if that was not enough, there was all the new emphasis on rape at colleges nationwide. That was brought about by several bungled cases highlighted by major media. Cindy was receiving at least a call a day seeking information on that training program and scheduling seminars.
We were busy and it looked like we going to get a lot more.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.