All of us were at the office early; the boys decided they were hungry half an hour early this morning and let the house know it. Once fed and burped, they went back to sleep. They were now in Jenny’s office resting in their carriers.
I looked to make sure all the tickets had been purchased for the group on Monday’s flight to Africa and confirmed they were expected. This group was filling the manpower requirements at existing embassies that had choppers and Suburbans. Next week’s group of 80 would complete that part of the contract. That would be the last small group of trainees.
After that they would be big groups – 120 and larger – depending how fast they adapted and grasped the training.
Everything looked good for that part of our business for today as I closed out of the computer program.
At the Monday afternoon meeting – after I found out for sure what the Iowa Guard was going to do – Lorrie and I would plan the first flight for the C5.
Marcy, Lorrie and Vicky had spent time yesterday finding space to keep the choppers and Suburbans in at the airports we had picked as centralized locations, until they could be moved around by the C130s.
JBG was now the proud lease holder of 5 hangers in some not so savory places in Africa. At least they were at rather large airports, a requirement necessitated by the C5. The runway had to big and thick enough to hold the heavy beast.
Jack had helped Lorrie verify that those airports could land a plane that large.
Then I went back to the e-mails that I always seemed to be behind on. I was surprised to see an e-mail from Roger Gifford, president of New England Pharmaceuticals. It had been so long I had forgotten I had even sent the e-mail to him.
Dear Ambassador Jones,
I am terribly sorry to be so slow in getting back to you but your request had to go through channels before it was sent to the executive board. The board approved your request yesterday.
I am writing this e-mail to inquire if you could supply a list of additional drugs and medicines the DWOB may need at Nimule to include with the shipment.
It will take about 3 weeks for us complete and acquire the necessary federal approvals to ship the meds to you. We will need a US doctor’s ID number for the paperwork. I assume you have a doctor who you have been using for this purpose. Please respond as soon as possible with the numbers. With the approvals, we can kick this in high gear.
I called Ambassador Morrison; it was afternoon in Kampala. I asked him to call Dr Palermo and get an updated needs list. I would be back in the area in four or five weeks and that I had a promise of more meds for them.
Then I had a thought; I wondered if the Advanced Academics School would allow Rachael to go on a week long field trip. Then I thought about the two from KCC – Robin Parsons and Phil Jameson. I would see the two of them on Monday.
I had an email address for Rachael and sent her one saying to have her Mom and Dad call my cell ASAP. I would see Robin and Phil on Monday.
I had just finished up when Frank called to say he would meet me at Morton Field in 30 minutes. All of us went; the girls wanted to look at the inside of the plane again.
When we arrived I was surprised that the people we had sent to pick up the plane were working on Saturday. They had unloaded all the spare parts and equipment the Air Force had sent with the plane and were busy cleaning up the inside of the plane.
Adam was giving us a tour of the plane – now that we could walk around inside – when Frank walked up the ramp.
“Sure is a beauty. How long are you going to have it?”
“Long enough to get all the equipment to Africa for the embassy contracts,” I replied.
“In between those flights can you do a couple for the agency? We can use the Air Force but they ask too many questions for certain things we need to move and where they are going. We have some things in the works I would rather they not know about that are too big for the C130,” Frank said. Then he added, “And then we still have to pay the premium price after all the BS.”
“Well, that might be a problem because there is supposed to be an Air Force officer on each flight for evaluation purposes,” I replied, then I added “We don’t have any idea what the costs are going to be on operating this thing yet.”
“I’m sure after the first flight Marcy will have some kind of number. I bet she already has a SAP number (standardized accounting procedures) in the computer and charges against it,” he replied.
“You are right Frank, on both accounts,” Marcy replied as she walked to us. “Give me one more flight to average the cost and I can give you a number,”
“Don’t forget add-on charges,” he replied.
“Work out your schedule and give me the openings for at least two flights in time enough to get the load shipped from the depots in New York and Virginia,” he said.
“Have you made any progress with the DNA on any missing people?” I asked.
“So far we still have no more information about the DNA from Kampala, but we are still looking,” he replied, then walked away.
I met Adam at the ramp, “Monday, put together a load and plan to leave Tuesday. See what kind of combination of choppers and SUVs you can get in this thing. An equal load of each would be nice, but not a requirement,” I said.
“I think we can carry 4 choppers and 2 SUVs or 6 choppers or 10 SUVs. Don’t forget that we can carry 75 passengers at the same time,” Adam replied.
“That will work out great on the later flights; Marcy will love the savings. If we could cancel Monday’s airline tickets, I would put them on the plane with you,” I replied. “On the next flight you will carry passengers.”
“The agency wants two clandestine flights and they don’t want the Air Force Officer on there. Can you figure out a way to ditch him or does he seem to be one who can be told to keep his mouth shut and will?” I asked.
“He will follow orders, so you need to ask him to produce them, read them and see what he was actually told to do. He likes guns, hunting and fishing.”
“You might gain some points with him by sending him through the weapons training and hostage rescue; tell him his life may be in danger some of the places he will be going.”
“Well that really won’t be a lie; it looks like all of Africa is slowly going to hell in a hand basket,” I replied.
“Remember that most Air Force people who fight are in a clean war from 10,000 feet and above and 95 % of the force is in maintenance or logistics. We fly a war bird 4 hours and 6 men work on it for 10,” Adam said.
“Good point! I will send him through the weapons course and issue him a JBG ID card and Glock; I will also tell him to ditch the Air Force uniforms and gear; that it will only make him a target,” I replied.
“Where is he staying? Did you get a phone number from him? What kind of physical shape is he in?” I asked.
“202-555-1610 is his cell; he is staying somewhere in Washington. Major Brandon Culpepper,” Adam replied.
“Major Culpepper; BJ Jones of JBG. I understand you are the evaluation officer for our C5 flights.”
“Yes, that is correct.”
“I need you to be at 1001 Summers Road at 0700 Monday morning. There are some things that need to be done for our insurance company and legal department. HR and medical will also need a list of vaccinations that you have had that are current. There is also some training that we will require,” I said.
“OK, I will be there,” he replied.
“I would not come in your uniform; jeans or casual, something you can work in and don’t mind getting down and dirty in would be best. You may want to get out of the habit of wearing the uniform while you are with us. Some of the places you will be going, it would make you a target.” Then I added, “I will see you Monday morning.”
The rest of the weekend was golden, cleaning the house, a cookout for just us girls, with time in the hot tub and intimacy, and of course babies!
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.