I thought a long time before answering.
“You do realize you are setting up another potential Bay of Pigs fiasco?” I asked.
“There will be Presidential pardons for everyone involved, use of Airfield 479 and ground communications with the Doppler radar tower there and triple expense payment,” I added.
Airfield 479 was a secret airfield used by the CIA for its clandestine flights. It was ten miles north west of Laredo International located in an area of restricted airspace. It was built during WW2 for B29 training, and had long wide concrete runways that were still maintained even thou the base was closed in 1950. There were two large hangars and one small barracks left and a fuel farm; all the rest had been destroyed.
I knew about it because some of the CIA flights that JBG flew landed there to pick up the freight. I also knew U2 and SR71 spy planes had used it in the past.
“Why AF479 and the Doppler?” Ben asked.
“I believe because of the distance the buyer is flying to La Jarita to make the purchase; possibly to the same airport that the Prince’s plane was found. The Doppler will give advance warning to the ground operation if that is their plan. AF479 because it is twenty miles from La Jarita with plenty of smuggler roads along the border in that area,” I replied.
“There are lots of things that have to come together. With the information we have it is still a needle in a hay stack,” I said.
I took the paper out of the folder signed, dated and wrote the time on it. After folding it I placed it in an envelope and handed it to the President.
“That’s my resignation; if things go smoothly you can give it back on Monday. If not, you can use it to cover your collective asses,” I said as I stood to leave. “I have lots of things to do and set in motion. I will need the Secret Service to carry me home; my men are not going to have time.”
Ben and Frank both looked at me, smiled and nodded.
Back at Section 12 I sent a text to the girls, “VCATS ASAP.”
The second text was to Andy, “Leadership team to command center VCATS ASAP.
First was the girls and that took some convincing that we should get involved. They were convinced that it was worth the risks at the end.
Next were Andy, Bill and Ed. I let Robert explain everything before I said anything. Then I explained what I knew and the agreements I had made. What followed was one massive planning session. Lorrie sent orders to Robbie to get two of the C5s ready and both Blackhawks. They would be loaded in one C5; unloaded, made flight- ready at AF479 and ready to fly to the rescue if the plans collapsed in the field.
The auto repair shop was told to drop everything, get the 12 Humvees checked out; they were going. And then put batteries in the six Toyota trucks we had had taken from the cartel three months ago and check them out; they were going.
The ops team was to get the new and the old gun drones checked out and ready to go along with two that could drop bombs.
Dad was given the task to find all the camouflaged ATVs that he could at the local dealers and get them delivered today. If they were not camouflaged, spray paint would take care of that.
Vicky had someone looking for all the Mexican flags she could find. Mexico’s military had lots of Humvees; Bill’s idea was to put a Mexican flag on the radio mast making them look like one of theirs.
Everything that made them look like US military was gone anyhow, other than they were a Humvee. Part of the d-mil process we had to do was remove all numbers and unit information. They were now strictly desert camo painted.
The Toyota pickups still had Mexican tags on them and would fit the part.
Andy was still working on the numbers of how many men he would have, I had given everyone time off after South Africa.
I closed the VCATS; there was little more I could do for now. When I finished and opened the door there were a dozen Secret Service men and ladies there and my heavy vest was on the table. The low talk and whispering stopped; I guess some secrets cannot be kept in the basement offices after all; I wondered which one they were whispering about.
Frank, Eric, and Art had come to the office while I was on VCATS.
“Looks like you have completed politics 2.0 on the fast track without telling anyone. That move caught all of us by surprise but given the circumstances it was the right thing to do, something that none of us thought about,” Eric said.
“What time do you want us to pick you up in the morning? I’m in charge of the convoy detail for you,” Greg Archer asked.
“I’m not sure and won’t know for at least sixteen hours. After South Africa I sent all the OPS on vacations; if we cannot get enough back I will go on the mission as an OPS team member. You have to have boots on the ground to win. Vicky is going and so are several from the IT group to run communications,” I said. There were plenty of widened eyes.
The Secret Service had me back to the house in an hour; they drove fast but not as fast as my men did.
Greg drove me into the garage and was getting ready to walk out to one of the other vehicles to return to Washington when I stopped him.
“Please call all the men and ladies to come here. I have something I want to say,” I said as I was taking off the vest.
“I don’t know how the weekend will go; there are a hundred different ways this can go sideways. If it does I may not be back or back in good standing. I want to thank all of you for everything you have done to protect me and help me learn the ways of Washington. Thank You,” I said and then shook hands and gave each a hug; screw political correctness.
Five minutes later I was standing in the command center with Robert looking at the latest developments, not that there were many. On the other hand the big meeting room was filled with activity. Whiteboards were on stands everywhere with information being updated. Computer screens had more information.
Vicky was at one whiteboard, checking off items as they were completed. Six of the Hummers had been completed with all the maintenance items checked.
So far Dad had ten ATVs delivered with ten more on the way. That would be enough vehicles to carry everyone into the desert and more than enough room to carry the drones and equipment.
One C5 was finished and the two helicopters were being loaded in it. The pilots and loadmasters were assisting. Ahead, between and around the helicopters were a couple of Humvees and ATVs.
Things were ahead of schedule for such a short lapse of time. It needed to be; the plan was to be in Texas by dusk and navigate to the site using night vision equipment. The last mile to the airfield would be by teams on foot. The night vision equipment would help locate any sentries sent there by the cartel.
The biggest holdup was getting the team members to Morton.
Everyone not busy was made busy loading clips and belts for the drones.
I went back to the command center and looked at the State Department’s fancy Google program and studied every foot from AF 479 to airport to La Jarita. When I finished I then did a ten mile search around the La Jarita airport looking for anything that could be an issue.
Still not satisfied, I went back to the La Jarita airport and looked at it in big magnification and then in the infrared mode. Satisfied there was nothing there tonight I closed the screen and went looking for Robert.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.