Wednesday was laid back from the beginning, but we were all up at our normal time. Without the trip to Washington we had an unrushed big homemade breakfast. I was not going to Washington for the rest of the week; I was going to work for JBG.
I worked with Lorrie’s group helping get things ready for Saturday’s air show. Lots of things were arriving including some antique aircraft. I was corrected; they were called vintage aircraft. They were very clean and shined up. I know they were better than the day they left the factory.
At two I needed to leave to meet the shrinks. Doctors Rich and Moore had been working on the profile that I assigned them. Today was report day; I hoped they could tell me what made the man click.
The meeting lasted two hours and gave me what I needed. The next part of the plan required help from the Mossad ladies. They would be back on Monday and be a part of the team that was going with us to the Pact Countries and to Paris in the last week of July.
Thursday was more of the same; moving things around, helping Lorrie and boy sitting. Well, they weren’t sitting; little Robert and Jacob made every step I took. If I picked up something they had to help as best as they could. They worked – played with me all morning.
After lunch they crashed on the sofa in the living room and fell fast asleep. Lisa was shaking her finger at me, “You over worked those poor boys – shame on you!” She was smiling as she said it.
I went by the way of the tunnel to see Robert before going back to Morton.
“The link is still active. General Kedar is still burning about the Harrisburg failure. He is now sending communiqués to someone that we have identified as Sabir Mahmoud in Oklahoma City. I think that is the next target city.
“Looks like more organizing to me, only one communiqué a day but none to any other sites. The number of general broadcasts is up. I think they are checking their communications for leak.”
“On a different note the last of the working girls are leaving France next week. So far all of them have been identified. Ben Smith is sending me all the data for our files. I’m expecting a new method of communication with this group. I would not believe the General would share his communication secrets with ISIS,” Robert said.
“The General is still following his schedule; there was another confirmed entry yesterday,” Robert said.
Back at Morton while Lorrie was breast feeding Sara, the flight was scheduled to the Pact countries with several days in France. We were all going but in two different planes.
Then we were splitting up with Lorrie, Jenny and Ching Lee coming home and Marcy, Vicky and me flying on to Kampala, Polokwane and Windhoek, depending on my meeting with the Angel of Death. I still had not told the girls what was going to happen and was not going to.
Friday was a blur; all day was spent at Morton. The only break was a VCATS call to Portugal with Biff. Vicky and I assigned Biff the job of manager of the new JBG European Head Quarters renovation.
Every day there were dozens of pictures of the buildings, barracks and housing. The more we looked at the layout and the pictures, the more pleased we were of the purchase.
Biff had several contractors fixing things that needed to be done to stop weather damage to the site. Four full time maintenance people were hired and equipment bought so they could work.
Twenty men in the training group that had excelled were sent yesterday to Portugal to fill security positions at the new site and fill Biff’s manpower shortage. When manpower levels were sufficient their training would be completed at either Loures or Fort Smith.
The security fence and gates had been repaired as was the security post. All windows were to be replaced with triple pane thermal windows. They were thirty years old and many were cracked. Heaters, furnaces and air conditioners were repaired and made operational or replaced. All the buildings were being scrubbed cleaned and fumigated.
Biff had chosen the building for the site command center – it was the same building the Portuguese military had used. It needed freshening up and modernization. This site was going to be used as the central JBG European site connected to all the Pact countries.
There were three very large satellite dishes that we were going to use for telephone, internet and other communication services. They were to be restored and operational before our visit. Communications cables to all the buildings were being replaced with new high-speed capable fiber optic or new copper wire.
Luckily all buildings were connected with buried conduit making the installations easy. Security cameras were being installed in all the nonresidential spaces.
The concrete landing pads were to be replaced with a new slab and markings. As soon as the automated doors on the hangars had been checked out and the cables replaced on the doors, the helicopters were to be moved and the hangar lease at Lisbon International would be canceled.
Saturday morning started with excitement; at 0600 things were hopping at Morton. The final preparations were well under way. All of the vintage aircraft that had registered had arrived and were parked on the tarmac. The north/south runway was used for the arriving aircraft until noon.
There were plenty of vintage aircraft; B24, B17, the only flying B29, several P51s , a Corsair, an F4F Navy , a TBM torpedo bomber, an F6F carrier fighter and a dozen more.
The crew of the B29 had set up a display by the plane with chairs. We walked with Crash out to the plane. Over time we had replaced Crash’s uniform and the flight jacket he lost in the fire that almost killed him and me. I had also replaced the missing medals. Living in Washington circles paid dividends at times.
Crash walked us out giving us an explanation of everything we could see under the plane.
There was a chair for Crash so the war stories began almost immediately. I placed a transmitter that went to a recorder on Crash. I wanted to hear those war stories when I had time.
Crash didn’t know but he was going to do one more flight in the cockpit of FIFI – one of the last two flying B29s. Lorrie would have promised them the world if they had known how badly we wanted it here. As it was she paid for all the 140 octane AV gas to get it here and we had to fill it when it left, plus a donation to their organization that kept historic war birds flying.
At 0900 the gates opened allowing the visitors to view the planes. The vintage war birds, one of our C130s, a C5M, a Huey, a 407, a Blackhawk, G5, Cessna 55, and others were open for display.
People were starting to arrive – a lot of people – many carrying lawn chairs who staying for the long haul. I figured a good crowd but was surprised at the numbers.
At 1100 the other Hueys brought the National Guard guys in for a fire fight with some bad guys with blanks until the bad guys surrendered, then they set up their recruiting station. After that the war birds were fired up to make their fly over then they parked on the tarmac just further back.
At 1200 on the nose the Blue Angels made their high speed appearance and performed their amazing air show.
I knew there was a military coordinator in the tower controlling the military arrivals.
During the show I felt a tap on the shoulder, “Great crowd!” I turned to see General Ingram and the rest of the joint chiefs.
“Yes it is, thanks for all the help,” I said.
One of the General’s aides was monitoring the tower to plane communications.
The next fly over were current military. A pair A10 Warthogs flew over and did some maneuvers and actually landed and parked in front of the crowds on the tarmac. I loved the sound of those twin engines and the comforting sound of its rotary cannon winding up when I was on the battle field in Afghanistan.
The F22, F35, F18 and MV-22 Osprey all made fly-overs. Still the most impressive was a B52 bomber that made several low passes. All the external weapons pods were filled with ordinance of some kind to make it even more impressive. I remembered the sound of those eight engines saving my combat team’s ass more than once.
It was 1600 when the festivities were declared over and the crowd filtered away.
All the vintage planes had left. Crash was happy and so were we and had plenty of pictures. Crash’s flight was recorded and plenty of still pictures were taken. The B29 made several flights for paying enthusiasts – many were JBG pilots who wanted to be able to say they had flown in a B29. It was a once in a lifetime event for them.
Some clean up had to be done today for safety. Paper, hot dog wrappers and the like needed to be cleared away and boxed up securely. The same was anything else that jet engine exhaust could send flying or get sucked into the intakes.
Men from the aviation shop rode the runway several times checking for bolts, nuts and any other hardware that could cause potential problems.
The vendors carried their things away and what they did not want went into the dumpsters and roll-offs. It was 1900 when everyone was satisfied that all was clear.
It was definitely a hot tub wine cooler night that turned into holding, cuddling and intimate affections.
Sunday finished up all the odds and ends that closed this chapter on the JBG air show. Well, all except the ten pages of color pictures and interviews in the QA Gazette. Then there was the twenty second blip on the Washington and Baltimore news channels between the murder stories and the notoriously wrong weather forecast.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.