Tuesday quickly went by quietly and normal, for a change. The thirty JBG men from six of the South America embassies had completed everything HR needed, including the physicals. Today they were with Jamie and her assistants.
I did a VCATS meeting with the three sites that had choppers to inquire about the housing for my new female pilots going to them for a week. The personnel at those sites had separate rooms for my people just like Morocco.
The first problems showed in my VCATS with the embassy at Quito Ecuador, as I thought they would. The entire JBG group that was assigned there was coming to the gym for the works like everyone else.
That included the three ladies who we were paying as bodyguards for the ambassador’s wife Sally and the chopper pilot. Alice Dorsey, Ellen Mills and Elsie Hammonds were not happy and neither were the ambassador, his wife or the secretary Linda Charms.
I received an email and then a VCATS from both Amy and Victor trying to change my policy that everyone was going through the process of recertification and retraining. After an hour on VCATS my policy was still firmly in place. That group was scheduled next week.
Robert appeared at my door and I motioned him to a chair out of the VCATS camera view. He was waiting for me to finish my conversation with Victor.
“I will notify ambassador Woodman that your policy is our policy regarding your employees,” Victor replied then added, “Night BJ.”
“Burt and I have translated more intel from Kampala. The group is the KRAA: Kampala Revolutionary Army of Allah.”
“The attack is going to be in four weeks on a national holiday during the celebration. From the chatter they are going to use the streets full of people as cover, moving their terrorists into place and to slow down any police and government response. It is still a work in progress in the planning and by our translation,” Robert replied.
“Follow the trail closely and keep me informed. After Oct 1 – the start of the governments new fiscal year – all African embassies will be secured by JBG,” I replied.
I used the State Department’s map program to study Kampala and locate the US embassy there. With the program I could expand the images and they would still be clear as a bell. I printed off a complete set of the pictures to give me one table-top size picture of the embassy grounds and nearby area.
The British embassy was in an embassy block in the old part of Kampala. That made sense with most of Africa a British protectorate for centuries before countries were given independence.
Kampala was 25 miles from the Entebbe Airport, the only major airport in the country. There were other airports listed but they were grass, stone or dirt runways. There were a couple of short asphalt strips for small planes. A few small sections of the country were modern; the rest of the country was extremely poor by all accounts.
Those people living in poverty by most accounts – were ripe for the promises of prosperity by the terrorists. The players with money, guns, drugs and an unending stream of propaganda never seemed to run out.
I went back to the current notes on my desk and called Frank. I needed to make sure that the air freight deals would not jeopardize anything the agency was doing in their hangar or lead to problems.
I was surprised to find Frank fully endorsing the deals. “That means we will be able to get critical overnight deliveries hours early by having the sorting site at the airport.” Then as an after-thought Frank added, “We have a big office in Charlotte and so does DHS. The round trip might work out well for moving personnel and special packages, if you have room on planes at times.” Opposition from Frank would have been tough to deal with.
When I called Eric, the opinion was the same; all positive, I was relieved.
At our afternoon meeting, the main discussion was what to do about getting the county involved in the announcement. Even though we owned the airport and there had been serious disagreements early on every time we called the county for anything they delivered.
Jason was going to call his friend Harry Stills, the County New Business Coordinator for the signing. UPS had agreed to allow public signing of the contract for the publicity it would bring.
Tomorrow morning when I stopped at the restaurant for my mug of coffee, I would see Duke Justice and Clarence Hallworthy – two of the four County Commissioners – to see if they wanted to be there.
Ching Lee’s public relations girls would set up the media event.
Lorrie called her contact VP – Thomas Southfield at UPS – on a conference call to set up the date and time for the contract signing.
I asked if corporate spying was a problem in their line of business.
“Not really, why do you ask?” he replied.
I explained the interest from the other two freight companies.
“Sometimes we do things first and sometimes they beat us. Just let our contract signing make the news cycle first then do whatever you need to do. Business has to come first – we understand that,” he replied.
At our evening meeting, one more piece for the homeless girls came together. All of us had asked Alica and Amanda about finishing school; we had done it in a setting with the four of them. It paid off doing it like that because Paula and Joni were both supportive of them completing their education.
Lisa had contacted a testing agency that was coming Monday to give both girls achievement tests to see where they were and what need to be done. Lisa was willing to tutor them over the summer to help; Lisa and Jenny both were still tutoring the North six when they needed help.
Alica, for the time being, was going to be Jane Alica Jones. Burt was hacking the Ohio court system for all records he could find on her. Judge Slaughter was also looking at ways to help.
If all that failed then there were other resources at my disposal, that for some reason I had never considered using and I hoped that I would not have to go that direction.
There was DHS; they could move mountains on command of the right influential people and then there was the agency that was beholding, as Frank called it.
Then if all else failed and everyone agreed, I was sure somewhere in the 80 countries that I had people, one could find a third world doctor. One, for a few dollars, who would scribble in some dialect a birth certificate on dirty old paper that could be mistranslated that we could use to make Alica a legally different person – on paper at least.
Tuesday night I had a mix of uncomfortable dreams again for the first time in a long time. I was somewhere in a heavy firefight and I woke up when a bullet with my name on it was just inches away from my chest. For some reason I did not wake afraid or agitated from the reoccurring dream anymore, almost like I was expecting and prepared for the end.
Tomorrow I would update my will with Howard, Fine and Howard. It had been a while and I was sure it needed to be updated. Another thing I was going to do was have a closed door meeting with the girls about the business and how things should be carried on in case of a death at the executive level.
Another part of the dream was making the drones more useful than just video platforms and gunships. Reading between the lines on the state department contract, they were expecting things to get nasty in Africa and the Middle East and wanted most of their people out.
That way when things went down the tubes, the bosses could say none of our people were killed – just the contract personnel.
I wanted the drones to be able to be offensive and defensive if need be, and I dreamed up ideas for both.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.