The office staff were recording all the major channels. I picked a couple and fast forwarded to the good parts – the Governor and Lt. Governor being led away in cuffs and shackles.
Then there were the pictures of the homeless and rioters being loaded in Army trucks by the hundreds. I hoped all the planning for processing was enough and successful.
In the Oval Office the first thing I wanted was an update on the USS Wilmington. By now there should have been some kind of preliminary report on cause, damage and injuries.
I was just getting ready to call the Chief of Naval Operations to find out when he came in with General Ingram. I guess the Navy was a little unsure about meeting me alone.
”The Tehran has sunk with the loss of over one hundred sailors, according to the Iranian media. Several Iranian boats picked up survivors just before she foundered and exploded in a fireball,” the Chief of Naval Operations said.
”Do you know if it looked like they got everyone off before the explosion or were they still picking up sailors?” I asked.
”The Iranian boats had withdrawn before the explosion,” he said.
”Sounds like a planned event to me,” I said.
”Our thoughts exactly. It was in the shipyard for months and on and off in dry dock. I hear through channels they are begging Russia for a replacement,” General Ingram said.
”Did the Wilmington have the upgraded control room or did it have the problem prone touch pad controls?” I asked.
During the Obama administration the Navy was forced to upgrade all Navy ships to a digital a touch screen format control room, years before they wanted to go in that direction. There wasn’t any long term testing in the field to work the bugs out of it.
As a result there had been four collisions at sea in the Pacific and dozens of incidents and near misses that weren’t reported. The old fashioned ship’s wheel and mechanical control station had been removed and replaced with a touch screen computer and electronic controlled servos in the engine room.
It was intended to reduce the number of men in the engine room and on the bridge and to reduce maintenance.
It all worked well on a display in theory; in reality it was a mess. With the ship rocking and rolling with the waves it was nearly impossible to hit the right place on the screen to control the ship, plus the computers
took time to correct incorrect inputs by the operator. When in close quarters and instant responses or corrections were needed they didn’t happen in time.
Then there were questions that maybe the Chinese were interfering with the GPS signals causing some of the problems and collisions.
”The Wilmington had manual controls so there were no computer errors involved. Looks like the Tehran just kept steering into the Wilmington until there was a collision,” the Chief of Naval Operations said.
That ended the meeting and I spent it reviewing the speech I was going to give in Las Vegas tomorrow. The rest of the family was flying into Andrews and from there Air Force 1 was carrying us to Nellis Air Force Base.
By Friday evening it was clear they were going to need more disaster tents than initially thought. The whole operation was going to be a lot bigger than we thought in both tents for the homeless and the arrested rioters. The numbers of homeless had been terribly under-estimated.
The Generals were estimating they were going to need two hundred more tents for the now eighty thousand plus that were going to be detained or arrested.
The Generals had flooded the riot areas with troops – ten thousand to be exact – and they were making arrests. Another ten thousand were picking up homeless with another two thousand doing the processing.
Three thousand were assisting FEMA in setting up the disaster tents. They were big farm show circus-like tents made to hold seven hundred and fifty army cots. They were only going to put five hundred in each tent to allow a little more space between bunks and included a plastic crate for personal belongings.
When a homeless person was brought in he was assigned a processor who carried him through the complete process. First to the barber, a military style crew cut and then facial hair gone – shaved. The barbers were from the military boot camp induction group. One close haircut for everyone – no bullshit allowed.
From there to the showers – five minutes max. Coming from the showers he was issued a storage box for personal items. Two pairs of socks, underwear, tee shirts, two short sleeves shirts, two pairs of shorts, two pairs of pants, a pair of flip flops and one pair of tennis shoes. He was also issued a disposable razor, tooth brush and tube of toothpaste.
One set he wore and the other set went into the box. Next he went to identification. There the processor filled out the identification form on a computer. Name, last address, next of kin, last place of employment, doctor, social security number and photo. The photo was the reason for the haircut and shave and it collected a multi-point facial scan. Otherwise all bums looked the same.
He then issues a camp number that was put on all his clothing and on a strong wrist band that would require heavy-duty cutters to remove. The final step was fingerprints and DNA sample taken by an FBI specialist. The fingerprints and DNA were run through the crime system. Some of them were going to end up in rooms with a lot more bars.
By then the processor had made a decision – was the individual sane or needing mental evaluation – determining which tent they went to. They were assigned a bed number and walked to the tent. At the tent it was explained to them what they would get and what was expected of them and what would happen if they didn’t.
There were two thousand processors and five hundred computer terminals. Criminals and rioters were processed the same way with the exception that they went to tents designated for criminals.
All tents were separated and surrounded by razor wire strung on steel posts two rows high and had a guarded gate for access. Each tent had a portable ten stall outhouse and a ten stall shower that were pumped empty as needed by a contractor. The water was supplied by black pipe from fire hydrants. There was a cafeteria tent for every four tents; food would be served in shifts, cooked by military cooks.
Women got to keep their hair and were issued sports bras to eliminate
so many different sizes, along with ladies garments. They also had a different set of tents.
Portable laundries were brought in. They were forty foot trailers with two rows of apartment washer/drier combinations and a big generator and propane tank to supply very hot water to kill germs.
There were others that had big commercial driers and washers to handle the mass amounts of clothes, towels and wash cloths.
The soldiers had to be cared for too. Once the barracks was filled with soldiers – there were ten thousand bunks in barracks for military training at the camp – tents were put up for the rest of the soldiers, minus the razor wire and food tents. Soldiers could eat in the regular base cafeterias.
The soldiers were going to work in twelve hour shifts. It was determined the bunk houses would be shared by both shifts; simply change the sheets and pillowcases.
Just how good the advance planning was, would be determined in a few days. The advanced planning with FEMA had been going on a year with thousands of military cots and blankets in warehouses waiting for the next hurricane or natural disaster. This would be a test of everything.
But the first day had progressed better than anyone anticipated.
In the cities – as the homeless and rioters were picked up – the state highway and city workers were disassembling the cardboard and popup tents and placing them in dump trucks and dump trailers for disposal. Everything was to be considered trash.
The city workers were scooping up feces and trash. The streets were pressure washed with a heavy chlorine and soap mix to disinfect the sidewalks and walkways. It would have to be done twice to get a thorough cleansing and to get rid of the stench.
The public urinals the cities had placed on the streets – the Generals ordered removed. Obstacles placed by residents as well as rioters were also removed, the streets opened up for traffic. Junk was removed, burned cars and trucks removed. In a few days the streets would be clean and accessible for the public to use without fear.
It would have taken weeks for the cities to do this. But with martial law it was instantly ordered and someone found a contractor to do it. Besides, there was a transportation division at one of the nearby Marine bases. They were experts at moving big immovable objects. Shot up trucks and tanks required the best and the military had it. There were several large trucks sitting on the streets, burned to a crisp.
To make matters more or less complicated, ICE had picked up two thousand illegals trying to make it out of the state, some near the Nevada, Oregon and Arizona borders. There was also a steady stream of cars crossing in Mexico, many more than on a normal Friday.
In San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angles ten thousand illegal’s had been detained. Those with criminal records and those that had been deported previously and returned to the US were going to JBG’s new prison in the security zone. There was no need to send them to Mexico; they would only come back.
It would take weeks for things to return to anything called normal. It would take months or years for some of the damaged buildings to be replaced or repaired.
Washington and the media were anything but normal. The screaming from Congress and protesters could be heard if I opened the door, so I didn’t. They were out front of the White House.
The rest of the family landed in the grass just before dark. I had changed the plans; originally they were going to meet me at Andrews tomorrow, but we wanted to spend another night together. We planned a nice dinner and evening.
The girls were keyed up about Las Vegas tomorrow. Mindy and Jake came with them; they were going to go with us. The White House had found sitters to go with us who could watch the little ones while we were at the convention center.
One last thing I did before walking to the residential area was to check the reports from California. The second shift of soldiers was working now. The first shift had collected thirty thousand homeless and ten thousand rioters. ICE had ten thousand illegals detained to be deported.
ICE had changed policies, they were now taking facial scans, DNA and fingerprints and checking them against criminal records. The ten thousand would be returned to their home country in a couple days, a process that had been sped up by martial law.
I hoped that by the end of the weekend some of the soldiers could be sent home.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.