The next big thing that JBG Security faced was the independent political debate. I had extended the RRT time off to a full week. When they came back, we had two weeks to get everything in place.
Cindy and Mark began the task of notifying the college security employees who were going to work the debate. I made a command decision that while they were this close, they were going to be recertified.
With three firearms trainers, Jamie’s team could do 30 in a day. With the college group the retraining would not be as intensive. They just needed to show proficiency with the pistol, shotgun and rifle.
There were people who objected to our college security people being armed on campus, but the Warrington incident as well as other incidents at other colleges proved it was necessary. The rifles and shotguns were kept in a gun safe in the director’s office along with a better set of body armor.
On the mats the basics were all that were needed along with take-down skills. All of it should go quickly.
One of the side hangars was being used to store the many pieces arriving, based on our preliminary planning for the debate. All of it would have to be trucked to Montgomery County. We still had one of the box trucks from the NASCAR vehicle updated with a rear lift gate. Marcy had leased the other two to the county school board.
On Thursday, Vicky, Ching Lee and I went to Montgomery County to look at the convention center, site of the debate.
“Wow,” this place was huge. I was not getting enough information from Mark and Cindy but they both had been very busy with Middle East issues.
Two hundred security guards would not be enough. It would take a hundred just to cover the parking lot, plus parking lot attendants to park cars. The plan needed to be changed already and we had not even put a firm one together yet.
Back at the office I went to see the EIT for an update on the BAM, BRMM and the Mad Matters groups. I was glad I did.
Robert was putting the last five days of surveillance into a folder for me. They were going to bus protesters in from three states. They also planned to have the buses come early and to use the buses to block off all the accesses to the parking lot and streets of the convention center complex.
I had a camera full of pictures and several Google map pictures. I printed off color pictures of all those I had taken. I put them out on the table to get a full site view. I should have taken one of the camera drones; I would the next time I went.
My clerks – with Jenny’s assistance – had mailed out 5000 RSVP tickets. The return portion had a line to write a question for the candidate.
4500 replies had been returned to date; 3500 of them had questions that were being entered into one of our computers; they would be printed out on 3 x 5 cards. They would be whittled down to a couple hundred to use for the debate.
The remaining 500 were going to be sent another invitation. At a week before the debate, we were going to send reminders to all of them as a reminder of the event.
The convention center was an old one and had a seating capacity of 5000. We needed to use a portion at the rear where the entrance doors were to set up the security area for the body and bag scanners.
I kept adding to the list of things that possibly needed to be done. I had a legal pad that I was keeping notes on.
1. Jersey barriers
2. Heavy lift forklift; 100,000 pound with long forks.
3. Heavy-duty wrecker. “Highway Thru Hell, rotator version.”
4. A big tent to handle the crowd waiting to go through security in case weather turned crappy.
5. Projectors and screens in case there were still people in the tent after debate started. The tent could also be used for people without tickets to the convention hall.
6. Come up with a solution to get 100 parking lot attendants.
7. Find an agency that would search the convention center with bomb sniffing dogs before the debate.
8. Have 24 hour guards at center at least a week before, to prevent tampering, sabotage and other activity.
9. Verify that all sound systems were operating.
10. Verify that the convention center was insured for all possibilities.
11. Verify that the convention center had enough electric power to run the scanners at the entrance of the building. Get a generator for backup.
12. Add diesel powered portable lighting around the tent.
13. Have hundreds of flex cuffs and several dozen ball gags. Anyone that gave any trouble was going to be immobilized quickly; hands, feet and mouth.
14. Have East Coast Security supply extra tazers.
15. Make sure separate secure bathrooms for the candidates were available, clean and guarded from the beginning to the end of the debate.
16. Issue clear safety glasses and gloves to all security personnel.
17. Set up a security command center.
18. Set up temporary security cameras for the exterior of the building.
19. Depository for confiscated items, guns, pepper spray, signs, posters and the like; a construction lockable job box would do.
20. Chairs for seating in the tent. Chairs were a double edged sword; they could also be used as weapons by the protesters.
I was sure more would be added to this list as time went on.
At our nightly meeting Lorrie brought up the fact that we were going to be in trouble in the early fall with both of the C130s. They were both due for inspections because of the number of hours we were flying them. Some weeks, they were getting 80 hours flight time.
Robbie estimated the inspection would take two weeks per plane for the annual inspection and compliance testing.
To make matters worse, Lorrie was picking up more and more cargo flights for them since so much TV time had come our way. There was a new industrial equipment manufacturer and an assembly plant in the industrial park that she was flying weekly freight runs for to some parts of the US and Mexico.
To add to that, not only were we flying for the agency but the US Forest Service had added JBG an emergency freight carrier for moving forest fire-fighters and equipment.
The TV time with Flight 709 had the phones ringing off the desk. UPS was inquiring about making Morton Field an air freight sorting and distribution location for the shore. A contract was being discussed for JBG to do a daily freight flight from the UPS Douglas/Charlotte east coast sorting center direct to Morton along with rental of one hangar for the Eastern shore sorting center.
UPS executives had already made one trip to Morton to check out the airport and the hangar they were looking to rent. They had toured the complete airport minus the agency corner. Their visit was on the same day that Robbie took the pictures of the C17 with the JBG logo taped to it and our C130s parked by it.
They had just come out of the end of the super hangar with Carson who was giving them the tour, and the three planes were still sitting there. Of course, the execs had to have pictures with the planes. No one told them that the C17 was not ours.
Currently all air freight for the shore was going into BWI; that was now operating beyond its ability to handle all the passenger traffic during peak hours. That led to cargo freight planes left in holding patterns for longer; passenger planes had the first landing priority.
Lorrie had found two planes, to possibly add one of them to handle the extra freight and down time on our two C130s in the fall.
One was a C130 H model being 0 timed overhaul at a Lockheed facility in Canada, and the other was an older L100-30 for sale by a Florida individual, but the plane was physically in France. The L100-30 was a civilian version of the C130 H-30 extended length military version.
We agreed that Lorrie should at least price check both. Her division was making money, lots of money and I was sure that missing 4 weeks of flight time between the two planes would complicate things.
One question that needed to be asked was if the aerial refueling pipes and valves were installed and functional. Our C130s were using that option at least once a week for agency flights.
On a fluke thought, I called Frank to see what the possibilities were of another one coming up for sale from the bone yard in Arizona. I held out little hopes that anything would come of it.
With another thought, I left a message for Captain Mc Calister of the Iowa National Guard to see what kind of deal could be worked out if all else failed.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.