Saturday morning we went to the airport restaurant for breakfast again. We had a few odd and ends to take care of, then all of us were going to the gun club; the girls wanted to do a few minutes practice to stay proficient. Linda, Alice and Ellen had been at the club for half an hour practicing when we arrived.
They all were definitely better; they were now putting all the rounds in eye at the 60 foot mark. I was satisfied with the improvement and told them so. According to the blueprints of the Kampala embassy, there was a target range in the basement for them to keep practicing, unless we had to clear it out and use the area for a bunk room.
The rest of Saturday was family together time. We cleaned the house from top to bottom as was one of our customary Saturday chores. There were a lot of walk up and hugs and kisses and I am going to miss you; we were slowly building up to the big good-by Monday morning.
I held the boys every chance I could. This was going to a lot harder than I thought. Day by day they were getting stronger and in more control of their facial expressions. They smiled a lot in their sleep, when they were awake and when someone was talking to them.
Saturday night we had our normal orgy in the basement – just us six like old times – slow, soft and gentle to start and then finished wild, hard and aggressive. If the General came down he did not stay.
There were no important notes on the table. The only note said he had gone to bed.
Sunday morning I cooked the normal big breakfast for my family; it would be the last for six weeks. Mom, Dad, Jake, Mindy Jason, and the General rounded out the table. Crash stayed over at Marlene’s last night.
After the dishes were in the dishwasher and the griddle cleaned we sat around and talked until noon.
Then I began the task of packing; I had plenty of help. I wish I could have done it alone, it would have been easier.
The dress shop had put all the expensive clothes in fancy carrying cases for a price. I packed tee shirts, panties (old fashion and thongs), bras, panty hose that I had no intention of wearing, socks and the like along with all the girly things I needed went in a small duffel bag.
Another large duffel bag was filled with gym shorts and workout clothes, a week’s worth of jeans, camo, shirts and several pairs of gloves; it was left open for the case that I carried my morning essentials in. After I dressed in the morning I would tie it shut.
At 2 PM the dry ice company called to confirm that they were making a 5 PM delivery to the airport. Yesterday before they left, my administrators had been sent to the six supermarkets in the area.
They had bought all the bacon, sausage, hams, chicken, steaks, roast, hamburger and hot dogs, plus 50 dozen eggs. They cleaned out the stores. All that food was in the restaurant’s big walk in cooler.
The General insisted the eggs could be carried with no problem. Just pack them in regular coolers and put plain ice in the cooler.
We met Andy and a couple others at 4:30; we lined up the crates that were insulated. The ice company suggested we start by putting 6 inches of dry ice on the bottoms then we stacked the foods by meal time. We left 6 inches around the outside for ice. When the food was a foot deep, another layer of dry ice was applied.
When we were done there were 14 crates of foods and two crates that were filled dry ice. Ambassador Bernardi had said there was a good sized walk-in freezer and refrigerator in the basement of the embassy.
I was concerned that if we did not stop the truck bomb far enough away, we could be left with no electric service. The service was overhead from the street, and that was the reason for all the dry ice and food.
The dry ice and extra dry ice should keep the food we were carrying frozen for two to three weeks; by that time I expected it all to be gone or reduced enough for the freezer to hold the remaining amount.
The General had the suggested loading diagram from the C17 loadmaster. Andy used the shop forklift to load the two 4x 4 x 8 and 4 of the 4 x 4 crates onto the flat bed truck and then strapped them down.
On the equipment trailer, 12 crates total were stacked two high and strapped down. That was all the preloading work that we could do until the loadmaster had inspected the load.
Tonight was my last night home and for supper we decided to go to a famous seafood house in Annapolis for the king crab and steak. The food was great; the mood, not so great, very somber.
We enjoyed the hot tub one more time, the last time for a while. I was sure there were none at the Kampala embassy.
Monday we were up at 5 and loaded all my things in the back of one of the older armored Suburbans. Older in this case was 5 years and better because it was still full sized, not the newer shorter fuel efficient version.
The new fuel efficient version was no longer fuel efficient when the armor up-fitter added all that steel plate and 1 inch glass to double the weight.
There was room for Linda, Alice and Ellen to put their things in the back of the Suburban and still have the four seats to use. I had asked them to carry only the things they thought they needed for six weeks.
By putting our things in the Suburban, they could stay there until they were unloaded at the embassy. I needed to be there first because I needed a little time to meet with Ambassador Bernardi.
At 5:45 we were in the airport restaurant along with all the RRT and a lot of their families. It was a goodbye breakfast for my family and the start of six weeks of breakfast with the RRT.
The C17 arrived at 6:30 – a half an hour early – and was directed to park in front of the terminal for loading. Andy, the General and I went out to meet with the loadmaster. We were given a tour of the cargo bay and a look at the things that had been approved by the DOD and loaded at DAB.
The Blackhawk was the first thing pulled in with the winch system and placed on the left side. The two mechanics who were making the flight watched the operation carefully. The rotor blades that they had removed were carefully strapped under the chopper.
The next thing that was to go in was the truck and the trailer combination. Then some of the pallets were placed in between the chopper and the truck.
The Suburban that Andy had filled with duffel bags belonging to his men was to be loaded next.
Then the Suburban that was filled with Linda, Ellen, Alice and my things was to be next; last in on the left side so it would be the first out.
There were eleven women in this crew assignment including the three Blackhawk pilots. It was going to be a leadership challenge for both Andy and me.
The final things to go in would be the remaining pallets and the skid steer.
Benches and folding chairs like the paratroopers used was the seating for us among all the equipment.
While everything was being loaded, Andy and I met with the flight’s commander in Lorrie’s office. The flight was 7200 miles and would require one in-flight refueling by two different tankers off the coast of Africa. The aerial tankers would be coming out of Spain.
After dropping us and our equipment in Kampala, the C17 was flying on to Saudi Arabia and then on to Germany before returning to the east coast.
We were nearly done when Frank, Kevin and Eric knocked on the door and came in, “We just wanted to wish you good luck and safe travels. We will keep you updated with anything intelligence finds,” Frank said.
Brooke Haywood – the Admin assistant for Burt and Robert – knocked on the door, “Good, I caught you before you departed. Robert told me to hand deliver this to you. It is important,” she said.
Brooke handed me one of our JBG inner office secure envelopes sealed with Robert’s security tape. On the front of the envelope was stamped in big red letters, “Top Secret.”
That was the first time I had seen that on one of our envelopes; I guess they were taking things even more seriously now that I was leaving. When I tore the tape and removed the file folder there was a sticky note attached, “Top secret – BJ only, related to current trip; Secret – BJ, Marcy, Jenny, Ching Lee, Vicky, Lorrie; Classified to all the above and your security administrators. If you want the access levels changed let me know. Robert.”
The papers in the envelope were stamped also there were only 10 sheets in the same manner I always received from Robert; the original text and the highlighted translated text, making it easy for me to read.
After I read them, I handed them to Andy for him to read and waited until he finished.
“We anticipated the plan would be changed before the attack so this is no surprise. Do you think we are still in good shape equipment wise?” I said to Andy.
I handed Frank the report, “Has any of your Intel come up with this yet?” I asked Frank.
Frank was dialing his phone and then asking questions.
“I think we are good; we planned for any possible changes with the equipment request,” Andy replied.
“The agency says they have picked up some data but have not translated it yet. As soon as I get a report I will call you. The wimpy triplets say only chatter is coming from the area. Oh – by the way – they still want access to your intel and people,” Frank replied.
“We have already discussed that, they can crap in one hand and spit in the other and rub their hands together,” I replied.
The loadmaster came in to say that loading would be completed in 10 minutes and then passengers could find seats.
I called the girls into Lorrie’s office for the last goodbye. There were hugs and kisses, plenty of tears and kisses for little Robert and Jacob and holding them one last time.
Then we walked to the big window to watch as the last item went in and was strapped down. I gave all of them more hugs and kisses and then I walked out with the team to find a place to sit for the next 14 hours. The only things I carried were a cooler with drinks and cold sandwiches from the restaurant like everyone else did. This was not first class accommodations.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.