With Tuesday off I spent the day at the office and just looking at things. I walked over to the Horsey house to inspect the addition there. The three story addition was now closed up to the weather, the exterior finished.
The electricians and plumbers were doing their thing; another week or two and the drywall could be put up and finished and the plumbers back to install the fixtures.
As much as I wanted to spend more time looking, the office was calling. All the thumb drives from yesterday went back into my safe. Then I sent the recording of Anton and me to another drive and it joined the rest in the safe.
Cindy issued me a new phone and transferred my entire contact list. With the SIMs card and the battery out, the phone joined the things in the safe. It was probably over-kill but with all the hacking going on, I wanted a clean phone. There were just too many pictures and other things on the phone.
Even though they had been deleted or sent to thumb drives, it left me worried. If Robert and Burt could find all those things that supposedly were gone, so could anyone else.
I visited Robert and Burt to thank them for the great work they had done with the intelligence. I met the four new people in the EIT department; I had asked Burt and Robert weeks before I left if they knew anyone who was as talented as they were who we could hire. I did that as soon as I found out that we were getting the additional embassies.
Christina Peete, Jay Rudd, Alex Holley, and Kayne Keating were the new spooks. Robert and Burt had worked them into the system and how things were to be done. They had helped with the work for Kampala.
I could tell there was something that they wanted to ask from the looks back and forth, “Spill it.”
“We need a bigger computer system; with six of us hacking everything everywhere this one is over-whelmed. It’s starting to slow us down.”
“Just order what you need and send the bill to Cindy to approve it,” I said.
“It could be seven figures with the servers we need,” Robert replied.
“If that is what you need to continue at the level you have been at and get better as we expand, order it. Is the office going to be big enough to hold it?
“The system will companion with the servers and system we already have to make a really great system, so only time will tell on that,” Robert replied.
I was paged back to my office for VCATS, Victor, Amy, and Elmer Hobart and Steven Crow were waiting, Vicky was keeping them entertained until I could get there.
After a lengthy conversation I had won another battle; the State department agreed to allow JBG to start the security exchanges as we had the numbers trained. It would allow greater flexibility with training and staffing swaps. It was still going to be a logistical nightmare. People, choppers and armored SUVs all needed to go to 40 different countries.
The other good news came from Robbie and Lorrie. It seems with the extra help and by picking out the best Black Hawks first, he was expecting two Black Hawks a week, possibly three to be completed; the hold up would be the paint shop. I learned one of the side hangers on the super hanger was now a paint shop.
Before, Robbie had to do all the work to the chopper, then fly it to Baltimore only to be partially taken apart again to paint then reassembled and flown back. Now the work could be done as needed and then rolled across the airport to the paint shop and painted; then rolled back to finish assembling and final test.
I learned from Lorrie that the C17 had been gone just 10 days; the original 2 week stay turned out to be 26 weeks. I for one was glad it was gone. I was tired of it being a topic in some of the meetings with the wimpy triplets.
On another note, last night was the first of the freight flights. There were a few minor problems at Charlotte; Scranton had been smooth. To my surprise the report that Lorrie had received about the flights indicated the planes were nearly full of packages. If that trend continued it would end any thoughts of down-sizing to smaller planes.
That was going to be a problem; we were hoping to be able to down-size one of the freight flights to a smaller plane after the first few weeks and free up the extended C130 to deliver choppers in Africa and the Middle East for the new contract.
Logistics is going to be a bitch – make no mistake about it, I thought.
I had 45 minutes before I was going to lunch with the girls. It was time to face the music; I went to the gym floor to find one of the trainers to spend time with me on the mats. I wanted to see just how bad the six weeks of the good life had hurt my skills.
Kathryn was more than willing to be my partner. I found myself on the floor several times and huffing more than usual. I had a lot of work to do in the gym over the next week or so to get back what I had lost.
A midweek day lunch with my mates was a rarity and I enjoyed today’s. Even though I chose to eat light, it was a refreshing hour.
After lunch I was back on VCATS with Victor and we began a rough outline of the embassies that were at the top of the list for the first change-over to JBG security.
The list was all 39 of the new embassies now that Kampala was staffed. There were some of the smaller African mainland and island countries that were considered part of Africa that did not have US embassies. The 39 that were left included the remainder of the Middle Eastern countries that JBG did not have.
I had a couple of hours before our evening meeting. I had questions that I needed answers to for the logistics problem.
The first call went to General McVee of the Iowa National Guard. They had flown flights for us last year to get flight hour training for their pilots and crews. I wondered if their budget crisis was over or if they would still be interested in the same arrangement.
The next call went to General McJames and included a list of questions: Has it ever been done before? What are the chances? What direction do I need to go and who do I need to talk to?
“I don’t know, I have never been asked that question before; but I will find out,” the General replied.
Mary Ann – one of Cindy’s clerks – came into my office at the right time. I copied the embassy list, “Find me a full map of Africa and the Middle East, mark these locations on it and hang it on the wall. I need a visual of where these places are.”
It was now the first week of August. We had 8 weeks by the contract terms to begin and all the embassy swaps needed done by the end of October. Even if Robbie could continue three choppers a week, we were still going to be short.
The armored SUVs numbers were going to be close, we had held on to older ones and the last order that Marcy made was in and sitting in the parking garage. When I found out that our contract was going to be expanded, I stopped plans to disperse them to the locations they were ordered for.
An additional order for the 40 more had been made but only a few would be delivered by Oct 1.
Our meeting began on time, I spent two hours being brought up to speed. The bad news was the gun club problem was growing; the good news on that was that Jason had made progress in negotiations with the owner and he was receptive to discuss an offer, but wanted to meet with me personally.
“Jason, set up a meeting for any time on Thursday. I am not supposed to have to go back to Washington after tomorrow,” I replied to his statement then added, “Check with the county and make sure there are no liens or other surprises we need to deal with on the deed.”
I listened while Marcy ran down the list of charges that were so far associated with my venture to Kampala. They were going to be billed to the State department.
Labor charges – 3 million
Food – 200,000
East and west wall repair with add-ons – 300,000
Blast wall with add-on – 150,000
Medevac flight with add-on – 250,000
Special equipment skid steer, truck, trailer – 150,000
Blackhawk charges 7,500 per week for 52 weeks – 390,000
Jet A fuel charges to date – 110,000
Drone & special weapons charges – 200,000
EIT group charges – 115,000
Misc expenses cash – 100,000
2 armored Suburban – 104,000 each annual
5 million in charges to date; and we did not have the medical bills yet.
Then a crazy thought hit me; that was 27,000 for each terrorist killed – that’s actually pretty cheap. The drones and missiles the Air Force was using to kill one or two terrorists at a time were a million a piece.
“Its thoughts like that that will drive me insane and to sleepless nights,” I said to myself.
I was glad when the meeting ended; I had a headache from all Marcy’s numbers. My mind was occupied in other places; I was wondering if there was a way to speed up the chopper numbers. I did not want to put pressure on Robbie’s group. Pressure leads to mistakes and that was not acceptable with aircraft.
Then came the highlight of the day; home, boys, hot tub and boys. I still was not caught up on giving them hugs and kisses; their little smiles had become infectious and they were happy to see me. At the sound of my voice their eyes were wide open.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
Thanks for my meds; again another mind blowing chapter. It pains me to say, but waiting for my meds is like seeing the Christmas presents under the tree knowing I can’t open them until Christmas that are several days away.
As I wish Upon a Star – My Wish is that this story never ends.