The family was waiting at Morton along with two little boys and I was glad to see all of them. I hugged every one of my mates and kissed them. I knelt down so I could hug them. I picked them both up for a double hug.
”Can you take us backed to the fort for more treasure hunting?” RJ asked.
“Yes tomorrow afternoon after I go goose hunting with friends and I will take you on Sunday too if you want, unless we find something more fun to do,” I said.
We went home even though there were reporters trying to ask questions. At home – after settling down and unpacking – my mates and I went through the tunnel to the meeting room in the basement.
I took the General and the Admiral carrying the football and the codes along with three Secret Service agents – Greg Archer, Damien Carter, Graham Tull – with me.
They were the first Secret Service agents I had befriended. They were a lot like me and we got along very well. I told the rest of the agents they could meet us in the gym in an hour.
”This is the break room, the bathroom is the next room down the hall.”
Then I directed them into the command center.
”This is the JBG master command center. The duty men today are Amos Black and Tom Folsom. For you that don’t know, all one hundred and eighty US embassies are provided security by JBG. One can monitor the security from here on the screens on the front wall.”
”All fifty two colleges that JBG has security contracts are on the left wall along with the other installations JBG supplies security to. If you see something on one of the embassy screens Amos can move it to the big screen and isolate what you want to see.”
”The ones on the right are our training centers and the Hormuz Straight installations and the two prisons in the security zone.’
”Sergeant Schulz had the best quote of all for anything down here. ‘I see nothing. I know nothing.”
”Pick a seat and watch the video. When I am finished I will come and get you. I will be across the hall if you need me,” I said.
I was going to be President for a year; I had to be able to trust the people that were always close to me.
My mates filled me in on all the things I had missed this week. Marcy and Jenny were flying to Thimble Shoals for the directors meeting on Tuesday.
They were taking twenty five bars. They were bringing back one thousand coins on this trip; our first shipment.
The bank had minted ten thousand so far. All of them were sold to investors and brokerage houses except the ones for us.
Andy was coming over in fifteen minutes with the latest on Mexico and the Strait of Hormuz.
I listened while the girls talked about everything. The rental houses in Florida were filled and many booked out for weeks. The ski lodge in Colorado was suffering from too much snow but the place was booming. The one in the Alps that we’re connected with was prospering as well.
Deep Water Cay was filled full with the temperatures still freezing on the east coast. Lorrie had even rented the cottage she had reserved for us because there were so many demands for them.
Since the Oklahoma incident the colleges had been quiet. We were all glad of that with Mexico still going strong and growing. Now with the Strait heating up we didn’t need to add a third problem into the mix.
Andy joined our meeting, ”In an hour we will VCATS with Commander Purcell. They are still cleaning out the British ammo dump. He found some interesting things that may be helpful and wants your input. Other than that, they will be finished on Monday. ”
”The personnel are onsite at Mirbat, other than the crew for the ships. The Blackhawk helicopters arrived several days ago. I have them paired up with the two Blackhawks and two 802 Air Tractors. The dry docks will be finished and operational in a few days.”
“There are extra people at Mirbat for security because of the British personnel there doing the disposal. There are two hundred men there.”
”At Dubai there are two 802s , two Blackhawks and twelve ships. The docks, dry docks, fueling sites and barracks are fully complete and staffed with one hundred and eighty men.”
”At Masqat Oman there are two Blackhawks, two 802s, twelve ships, dry docks, barracks and one hundred and eighty men.”
”At Ad Damman, the Saudi Arabia docks, there are the barracks, two 802s, two Blackhawks, twelve ships and one hundred and eighty men,” Andy said.
”I was going to assign the twelve ships to Mirbat but now I am thinking they should go to Dubai and Masqat because of the actions of the Iranians,” Andy said.
”When will the six from the US arrive in Israel?” I asked.
”They arrived today,” Andy said.
”By chance does the Israeli manufacturer have any more finished that can be sent with the group?” I asked.
”I can find out Monday,” Andy replied.
”I would divide the twelve as you think and have the last six be based at Mirbat,” I said.
”On Tuesday Mexico is going to sign the contracts for patrols in the Gulf. The cartel is hijacking or robbing the support vessels for the off shore platforms. There have been thirty hijackings in the last month. The contract calls for six boats with possible expansion to twelve.”
”I want to take the next six from the Texas manufacture for that contract, if you think it will not upset the apple cart,” Andy said.
”With those that are on the way we will have forty four ships there, plus the twelve more next month. I don’t think six will make any difference,” Vicky said.
”I agree. Have you found dockage for them?” I asked.
”Yes. Tampico, Veracruz and Campeche,” Andy said.
”Campeche puts you closer to the drug kingpin you were looking for,” I said.
”Yes, extra men will be going there,” Andy said.
”All sounds good to me,” I said.
A chime went off on Andy’s watch.
”Aaron is in a position to do an MTAC if you can join in,” Andy said.
‘‘OK, let’s move over to the command center,” I said.
I moved the agents and the ball carriers off to the side. Andy, my mates and I took the seats in the center in the camera view.
”Amos, page Dubai,” Andy said.
A moment later Aaron was on screen.
”I must be special with all the bosses looking at me or was it something I did wrong?” Aaron said.
”You’re good. I will let you tell the bosses what your guys want to do,” Andy said.
”The teams have been doing some brainstorming and researching on their own. They noticed that a couple of the Iranian boats had diving gear and limpet mines on them. They suspect and I agree, the intentions was to have divers place the mines on the bottoms of tankers in the anchorage.” Aaron said.
”As you know a lot of the men there are former Navy Seals or Army special forces. All have been trained to be frogmen. They asked if you would buy the equipment so they could inspect the undersides of the tankers every day for magnetic mines,” Aaron said.
”Send Andy the list and where it needs to come from. We will get it and fly it over. Make sure it is a complete list of everything you need,” Vicky said.
”The next thing is we found two hundred of these at the former British post at Mirbat,” Aaron said.
We were looking at a series of pictures. The item looked like a small drum I had seen somewhere. Then I remembered where I had seen something close. They were sixteen gallon drums usually carrying grease or heavy lubricating oils, but these had a different top on them. In a close-up picture of the top was the giveaway.
There were two control handles with a numbered semicircle and a t- handle. They were small depth charges used for training or – early in the cold war – they were used to notify a suspected sub it had been detected and was a warning for it to move out of the area away from capital ships.
At the beginning of the cold war they were still trying to prevent an accidental all out nuclear war. Later on as the cat and mouse games grew more sophisticated, the idea of notification for calm and prevention went out the window.
The two handles in the semi-circle set the depth and the t-handle was pulled to allow the timers and pressure fuses to work. These carried fifty pounds of TNT, about one quarter of what a WW2 depth charge carried – and a lot of weight to make them sink at a steady rate.
As they sunk, the change in water pressure made them explode at the depth set by the two handles.
They looked to be in great condition and should have been. The bunker they were in was built under desert sand – hot and very dry. There was no moisture to cause them to deteriorate.
We talked at length about any value they would have in the operation there. Aaron brought in a couple of former Seals into the discussion with the commander of the Ad Mammam base.
”They can be used against suspected divers in the water. At settings of fifty feet or more the shock wave will incapacitate or disorientate a diver over a hundred feet away.”
‘‘If you believe the Iranian fast boats have dropped off divers or a sub has dispatched divers, we can lay down a spread around the tanker and any divers will surface. With the water so clear here the helicopters and 802s can spot a shallow submarine discharging diving teams,” Ike Gardner said.
Captain Ike Gardner was Aaron’s base commander at the Ad Dammam base in Saudi Arabia. Ike had been a decorated Navy Seal.
Captain Gabriel Booth was commander of the base at Masqat Oman and Captain Edgar Arnold was the base commander at Mirbat Oman. They were the leaders of the Middle East contract and they all joined on the MTAC conversation. Another hour on MTAC finished all that was needed.
A test rack was going to be built on one fast ship and the charges tested. If they passed the test more racks would be added to a few ships. The British would be told to leave them, we would handle disposal – one, two or more at a time.
By the time we finished it was nearly supper time. One more call from the lobby delayed it.
Duke Justice and Clarence Hallworthy were at the receptionist asking if they could see one of us for a minute. I had them taken to the meeting room next to my office. We had been in the basement long enough.
”Good to see you. How is the county doing these days?” I asked.
”Over all – reasonably good, but there are some shortages. Actually we came to see if you could help with the winter fuel oil program for the needy again. The cold weather has lasted longer than usual and hit the program hard.”
”We have depleted all the state and federal funds we can get. You have helped for the last couple years – would JBG be able to help out again this year? We have gotten small contributions from a couple other companies but are way short of our needs,” Duke asked.
I looked at my mates, they all nodded.
”Just have the truck see the guys at the fuel farm. You have a choice this year, kerosene or low sulfur number two fuel oil. Get what you need – same as last year – just keep it anonymous,” I said.
”Kerosene covers it all. We are thinking ten thousand gallons will be needed at the most,” Clarence said.
”That’s fine,” Lorrie said.
With that the work was done for the day. The only debate was what to do for supper. The Secret Service was pushing for us to hire round-the-clock cooks and kitchen staff.
The agents worked 24/7 and needed hot food and coffee. Without a twenty four hour kitchen we were placing them under a handicap. It was a security risk for agents to leave and find food.
The Secret Service would pay and make whatever changes to the house so a twenty four hour kitchen wouldn’t be a distraction to the household.
I didn’t want it, the girls didn’t want it, but I knew if I was going to be able to spend as much time home as I wanted – it was going to happen.
Tonight’s supper was pizza, JJ’s favorite. We ordered a variety, enough to have leftovers for the night crew.
I had to chuckle. If this were at the White House and a pizza truck rolled up, the media would be broadcasting that impending doom was about to happen.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.