When I stopped by Morton on my way to KCC, the G5 that had been in Minneapolis last night was parked on the tarmac in front of the terminal. Today’s pilot was performing the walk around and pre-flight inspection as it was being refueled.
The rest of Andy’s men were in the restaurant finishing breakfast with their gear stacked on a cart. I had stopped by to check the logs to see what time the G5 landed.
I was glad to see that it had landed 2 AM; that meant that Andy had done everything that I had told him to do without problems. That was confirmed when I received a text from Frank that his men had taken possession of Randolph at and all the materials at 2. He added, “THANK YOU.”
I had just opened the door to my Suburban when I changed my mind; instead of getting in I grabbed my portable office and go bag. I was going to Minneapolis to pow-wow with Andy and to make sure that Eric’s Midwest counterpart did not try to dump a load of bullshit on Andy.
I began the necessary calls because of the changes in plans; Patti to tell her she was in charge today and then Ching Lee. I wanted to know if Ching Lee wanted to join me and possibly bring a couple of her administrators along for a field trip.
I held the flight until Ching Lee, Penny Werner and Alexandria Williams – who were two of her administrators – arrived. Ching Lee had her go bag and a computer case with her and she was berating the two for procrastinating on putting a go bag together to keep at the office.
A go bag was a simple thing to put together, two or three pairs of panties, bras, socks, a sweatshirt and sweat pants, a couple tops and – in mine – a pair of cargo pants for all the pockets, jeans, good slacks and a top with a jacket.
The flight had barely gotten off the ground before I was on the State departments video system. I had only intended to chat with Ambassador Bernardi for a general update on the Nimule refugee camp.
When the control panel lit up that I was on the system, I was paged for chats for the entire flight. All of them were from Africa where we were in the process of finishing up the chopper deliveries and embassy upgrades.
The SUVs met us at the airport and carried us to the security office. Andy was in the meeting room at the security office doing his thing. I knew what his thing was; I had been through it so many times with him by now.
On the first day he took all we knew and put it on paper; then had a complete tour of the site. Andy liked to do two checks on something like this; one was a drive-around to see the object as someone driving a car would see it. Then he would do a complete walk around tour of the site.
Once all that was done, he merged all three together, then each day there were adjustments on any new information.
I asked the duty desk who was in the meeting with Andy “The team leaders with Sherman and his assistants. Do want me to notify them you are here?”
“No, we will wait,” I replied.
Ching Lee, Penny, and Alexandria each took a cubicle and began working on their computers while I worked on my smarter than smart phone. I sent a text to Robert to ask if there were any updates on any activity for today; if so, to email them to me as I was in Minneapolis.
There were three pages with sections of things highlighted that Robert thought was important enough that it was stamped with the top secret stamp.
After I read them I knocked on the door and walked in, “Good morning men how are all of you today?”
I walked to Andy; he was seated at the end of the table, “Here is today’s intel report.”
Ching Lee – with Penny and Alexandria – had followed me in with coffee and a plate of donuts, “Does anybody need a refill?”
After a few minutes of general talk, “We have some work to do so back at it boys,” I said as waved the girls out then closed the door behind me.
I went back to working on embassy problems that would be over in 20 days, and yet were just beginning. I spent the time on VCATS mending fences and answering questions that had been forwarded to me by Vicky and Cindy. A lot of the issues centered on expanded security requests.
There were 9 South American embassies with the smaller JBG teams. These were teams of 6 men or less. They were not covered in the African and Asia security expansion and were slowly becoming concerned about events happening near them.
South America was not yet a hot spot for terrorism; the most immediate problem was kidnapping for big money payouts. The terrorism potential was growing daily.
South America was being seen as a gateway for refugees from the Middle East and Africa as a railroad into America through Central America. Those counties wanted nothing to do with the refuges, period.
If they arrested them they had to feed and house them until a decision was made on where to ship them and who was going to pay for it. The convenient thing for them was assist them on their route as fast as possible.
The terrorist problem was being dumped on them by the UN and the US trying to force them to accept a considerable number of refugees from the war torn Middle East as permanent residents; of course there was always the promise of UN aid packages loans and other goodies.
Many of these quickly became disillusioned because they were expected to become working citizens of the host country, when they actually expected a lifetime of free food, housing and whatever else they wanted.
Europe was quickly finding this out the hard way; gang violence, rape, murder. Thousands of refugees were simply walking away from the refugee centers, not waiting on the governments to find suitable places for them. There were even riots demanding more free services.
I had messages from ambassadors at six embassies that did not have JBG security. That wanted me to contact them ASAP to discuss security. The first I called was Paraguay and I was put straight through to Ambassador Jodi Stevens. The Ambassador wasted no time beating around the bush.
“How do I get JBG Security at my embassy? The cartels are getting braver; just last week there was an attempt to kidnap the Brazilian Ambassador’s family,” he asked.
“The process I’m sure you know; you have to start with Victor Edmonson and Amy Lockerman. I think the form to request security changes is SD 44099b/2013, which was the updated one after the Morocco incident.”
“When a request is approved, that is one of the forms I get that is accompanied by an approval letter and budget authorizations,” I replied.
“I called and talked to my section chief, he did not say anything about official forms. Hey, you were right – I found it along with several others that are older along with instructions,” he replied.
“Fill it out and send me a copy when you sent it through. I see Victor several times a week; I will follow up a few days later. What made you think to call me?” I asked.
“I called Ambassador Bernardi; I knew he would have some thoughts after what took place there. He says you are the best at what you do and that you have resources of your own that may help. He couldn’t stop talking about the things you did there,” he replied. Then he added. “I’m not the only one concerned; JBG comes up often in our conversations. I will send the others the form numbers. Thanks for the info.”
That answered the question as to why there were six where I had no people on my call list. I finished the list making sure I spoke to each ambassador. I did not want anyone to say I did not return calls.
I was as helpful as I could be but it was not going to make any difference. The senate had put a cap on the number of people the State Department could sub-contract from JBG and we were at that limit now.
Unless someone was kidnapped, killed or seriously injured in an attempt, I doubted they would get any more security.
I was through the list, getting ready to start on the next project when several men came in. I could tell before they even opened their mouths they were from the local DHS office.
They had watched too many cop shows; long overcoats – it was 70 degrees out – and a cocky attitude that came in the door almost before they did.
“I’m DHS special agent Otto Kline; I’m looking for Sherman Rommel or Andy Reddick.”
Larry Forester was working the security desk. I remembered him from training; when he made a decision it took overwhelming facts to change it.
“They are in a staff meeting; they should be out in a few minutes,” he replied.
“I don’t care what kind of meeting they are in, I want to see them now.”
“I will send them a text that they have visitors,” Larry replied.
“I’m not waiting on any text; I will just interrupt the meeting,” he replied as they started for the door.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof Read by Bob W.