The first order was VCATS to the office; it was a split screen with Vicky going first. I had Andy come sit in the front with us and listen.
”There are many things to tell you, so I will just hit the high points. The legal team say two of the contracts are not money makers, but are losing money every day. The odd thing is there are electronic deposits made to that island bank we stopped at on the way back from the first trip to Africa to six different numbered accounts. The deposits are made every thirty days.”
”By the way Andy – congratulations on the promotion,” the girls all said together. I had introduced Andy at the news conference with his new title.
”When Robert finishes up what his group is working on, he will look at it. His group has already found many questionable emails and texts between Black & Bear and six congressional people. I know you don’t believe in coincidences, neither do we. There is some very interesting reading.”
”The rest of the contracts – when they are renewed with the increases – will be OK. Lexi had found hundreds of double entries of charges against various accounts that need to be looked at. Lexi thinks there was a lot of money laundering going on.”
“Jenny’s group of lawyers looked in depth at the foreign contracts. They were well written and with strict requirements on both sides in both bonuses and penalties,” Vicky said.
Lorrie had all the updates on the property. ”There were no liens recorded on either and the owner was listed as a Delaware corporation with a Washington DC phone number that was in those reserved for government,” she said.
”The property tax on the Montana site was twelve cents an acre, with the property description as ranch and range land. The property tax on the fifteen thousand acres of swamp and bayou was sixty thousand dollars. I guess crawdads, gators, muskrat, and water moccasins added value,” she added with a laugh.
I wondered how the land was deemed private property. In Maryland it was the high tide mark – was Louisiana the same? It must be different there with the deeds listing the property as bayou.
It was here that Andy asked where we were going to get all the extra men for this contract, the France raid, the Pact plus potential South Africa problems.
It was then that we gave Andy a detailed explanation of our takeover of Black Bear, their manpower use and on call reserves.
Max announced over the intercom we were in landing mode at the Louisiana site.
The plane made a couple circles around the facility before landing. Max let the G5 coast to the end of the runway and then the turn on the big circle and taxied back to the terminal area.
Andy and the guards were the first ones out as two old jeeps came out to the plane. We had just stepped onto the tarmac.
Some rough looking man – apparently in charge – exited the jeeps with the others.
”Who are you, what are you doing here and by whose permission did you land?”
”I can answer those questions for you. I am Roberta Jones, Ambassador Jones to some people; President of Jones Business Groups. As of tomorrow I am your new boss, which includes approving your paychecks. That also includes ownership of this property so I authorized the landing. I am here to inspect this site.”
”I was always told first impressions were important. So far I’m not impressed. Let’s start the inspection with the office and command facility and then the rest,” I said.
Marcy was taking pictures of everything in every direction.
The office was a disaster, just plain filthy and trashy. No organization, no one in command here that gives a damn. That would soon change.
What should have been a command headquarters and executive offices were empty of anything of value. Computer screens, terminals and consoles were all gone, nothing but cables and outlines in the dust marking were they once had been.
I suspected our greeters had been helping themselves either own their own or possibly for Black and Bear.
The rest of the tour was not any better.
There were three hundred men in various barracks and ”quote” in training – if training was watching TV and playing cards. There were barracks for at least a thousand men. The barracks were in good shape.
The mess facility could sit four hundred at a time. I asked how much food was on hand for the training groups that would be coming.
”We have a week’s supply of canned goods, enough frozen pork and beef for three or four days,” the cook said.
I looked into walk-in freezers and coolers, they were operating and were cold at least.
”Where are the food deliveries ordered from?” I asked.
The cook wrote down three suppliers and what was ordered from each of them.
”Write me up an inventory of what you currently have and what your normal order quantities are. This place is going to be active again – for a while at least – and fax it to my office,” I said as I handed him a business card with the numbers.
There were two dozen special quarters for visiting VIPs. Those would be occupied starting Thursday. Everything needed to be cleaned.
That too was going to change very quickly. I had full intentions to make this place the jumping off point for Mexican operations and staging until the dirt airfields could be secured. Then most of the operations would be moved there.
We were told that most of the boats were inoperative, even though I could see heat rising from the engine compartments on a couple of them. Several cigarette speed boats that should have been at the docks, were not there.
There were decent repair shops with tools that should belong to us now.
The conversation was interrupted by a page to call Ben on MTAC. I had postponed the inevitable long enough as I accepted the page.
”Hello Ben, how are things in Washington today?” I asked rather coolly.
”Up to an hour ago quiet – not any more thanks to you, but first things first.”
“Have you made any decisions about the court session tomorrow, if I may ask?” Ben asked.
”We are still investigating working towards a final answer. Its 80% that we will go with the acquisition, the remaining 20% are points that we will want to discuss with the court and possibly negotiate better terms and conditions. Is that the answer you wanted to hear?” I said.
”I need to know when the inventory of the Black Bear was done? We just left the Louisiana site and it has been stripped of a lot of things. Either the employees are helping themselves or the inventory was fraudulent. That will be a major stumbling block tomorrow. You may want to send an FBI team there today with the inventory and find out what is going on,” I said.
‘‘It’s a lot better than no and I’m sure everyone will be pleased to hear it,” Ben replied.
“Now what the hell is this thing with the Mexican government?” Ben asked.
”Our agreement is with Mexpo Oil with the blessings of the Mexican government and the federal judicial system, giving JBG legal protection and operating license along with airspace operating authorization,” I replied.
”I knew you had an angle – the news conference opened some eyes and sore wounds. The chairman of the foreign relations Senate committee just released a statement that you will be invited or served a subpoena to testify about today’s agreement,” Ben said.
”That will be just the beginning; there won’t be enough fans to blow the shit smell out of Congress in a few weeks,” I said.
We flew to towards Morton; the longer we flew the madder I became.
”Tomorrow at the hearing I want to know who did the inventory for the court and when,” I said.
”Andy, I hate to use you as a clerk but I want some things done tomorrow while we are in court. Work with Cindy and her clerks and anyone else you need. I want a cleaning company or several cleaning companies found that can send as many people as possible to clean the seventeen VIP buildings on Friday from top to bottom. If anyone is in there, have their belongings moved to the general barracks.”
”The group that is in training at Fort Smith is nearly finished. Pick a hundred of the trainers and men who are the biggest, meanest and orneriest you can find. Get with Lorrie; I want them all flown there Friday morning to take control of the situation. Make damn sure they are armed and in JBG uniforms and let them know they may be there a while. Most of them will be staying in the barracks.”
”There is to be no more TV and playing cards during the daytime and none until that place is cleaned up spotless. Then find out just how physically fit they are Monday morning – put them through the paces.”
”Marcy will transfer all the pictures she took of the command and control center. Take them to the EIT group so they can set up a new communications center. I want it operating from there ASAP.”
”Get me a list of prospective candidates to be commander of that place. That commander will report to you for the time being while the transition is taking place.”
”Have EIT get with East Coast Security to get a camera system in place and add it to our command center link.”
”Lastly, we are going to change the name of that damn place,” I said.
Andy and the girls nodded in agreement.
It was five hundred miles from Cameron Parish Louisiana to the first dirt strip across the Mexican border, one mile from the pipeline. It would take one fuel stop for the Black Hawks and air tractors to make the trip.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.