Book 2 Chapter 168

Monday I left early for the White House – good bye was a little harder this time. But at least I had no more visible hickeys, although there were one or two more. They were coming over Wednesday for another fund raiser. This one was in Kentucky.
I went through the normal updates looking for anything unusual. Things in the Middle East kept bouncing around as always.
For Russia the first shipment of frozen beef and pork had been delivered on Saturday. It was delivered to the Russian markets on Sunday to lines of waiting old Russian ladies. Another hundred tons was being delivered tomorrow.
So far the joint basing had few problems. The bombers had made two mock runs towards the China border, unnerving the Chinese. Their ambassador tried to get into the White House on Sunday to see me. He did meet with State Department Director Dean.
I had a meeting with Dean at 1400 to hear the grievance and demands.
I had a lunch meeting with the Secretary of the Navy and the DOD representative from Newport News Ship Building. My salad was just placed on my desk when General Ingram brought them in.
”I’m pleased to be able to tell you that the USS Thomas is going out for final shakedown exercises tomorrow, repairs and modifications are done from the first shakedown. It should be smooth sailing.”
”It will be joined with the USS Fordson – the engineers have given up on correcting the problems at the dock. At the dock most things worked perfectly, but at sea everything seems to have a mind of its own. Every engineer that has any part in this fiasco is going,” the Chief of Naval Operations said.
”The USS Stennis is going on the first post overhaul shakedown run at the same time,” he added.
”We were wondering if you would like to go along,” the Chief of Naval Operations asked.
”It would be too much of a distraction for me to be on the Fordson. Too many engineers would be getting their asses kicked or walking the plank off the stern,” I said.
”I will go on the Thomas, is the air group going to be aboard and doing launches?” I asked.
”Part of the air group will be flown aboard and launched as a final test on the catapults and arresting systems. The Navy will fly you back to Norfolk and the ship will continue to work on various skill drills,” the Chief of Naval Operations said.
”The ship will leave the dock at 0800,” he said.
”Who is the Captain and the Rear Admiral on the Thomas?” I asked.
”The Rear Admiral is Montgomery Scott and the Captain is Leonard McCoy – two excellent men with great records,” the Chief of Naval Operations said.
”I’ll have the Secret Service and the press office make the necessary arrangements,” I said.
Secretary of State Dean was standing at the door as we finished.
He handed me a translated letter from the Chinese government and read out loud his copy for emphasis as I read along. They were demanding we remove our ships from Russian naval base and the planes from the Russian air base. Having our ships and planes there would severely damage our international relations and could greatly affect trade.
Their presence would affect the stability of the region and could affect stability of international decorum. They also announced that an official complaint would be lodged at the UN and a motion to condemn the military move and the treaties that were negotiated in Washington.
The letter continued – the Arctic treaty was in violation of international code of ethics and international well being because the treaty was negotiated outside the influence of the UN. It was also a violation because the bounty of the Arctic region was not shared worldwide.
”What happened to sharing the bounty of the South China Sea with the nations that bordered the sea? You claimed every damn inch of it and tried to strip every nation of any claim,” I thought.
The United States actions were meddling in Asia proper; that could lead to regional war, the letter continued.
That was an interesting statement considering the US and Russia both had veto power, so the threats of any UN action were a nonstarter.
Secretary Dean and I talked for an hour and formed a letter that told them diplomatically that the United States and Russia were capable and had written treaties that we were both committed to and didn’t need the UN or anyone else to do it for us. On the other items the US and Russia would work together as often as was necessary. Regional stability was assured with our joint cooperation on many matters. We diplomatically told them to go fuck themselves.
A few hours later it broke on the intelligence reports that there was a critical shortage in natural gas in China, causing some industries to be temporarily shut down until a replacement energy source was located.
I could just imagine the scrambling to decide which factories received what little gas was available. A six foot high pressure pipeline carries a lot of gas.
That thought on my mind when the red phone started ringing.
”Good even President Orbatch, are things better in Russia this week?” I asked.
”I wanted to call to tell you again that we thank you for the quick shipments of frozen foods. The first arrived on Saturday and another shipment arrived this morning at the airport. It was the frozen chicken today. It is being divided up and shipped to different cities as was the beef on Saturday,” he said.
We talked about how well the joint basing was going and the bomber flights. Both the US and Russia were using the flights to gather intelligence on the Chinese military response to the flights. China was always doing the same on US and South Korean territories, now it was our turn. Turnabout is always fair play, I was told.
We talked about the upcoming G8 meeting and agreed to meet privately to review the progress of the missile and bomb reduction and have a private dinner.
The afternoon went quickly. I had one more meeting today with Bob Smith of the terrorist task force. He wanted to review the latest intercepts from the gulf.
All of our sites on the gulf had three CIA and three other intelligence people in them. Sometimes there were three additional men there, they were either Army intelligence or NSA.
I spent an hour with Bob going over the latest intel. It was the same as the summery that I received from Robert two days ago. But Bob’s group always had a little different slant on things.
This time they were in agreement, Iran was getting ready to heat things up. They had planned a diversion in Africa to draw attention away from Iran proper to allow positioning of troops and equipment. The question – was what was the diversion and when would it start?
I went up the elevator and to the Oval Office to close out my desk. Then I started to walk to the kitchen for a fresh cup of coffee before going to my living quarters. I was intercepted in the kitchen by Troy.
”Madam President, have you got a few minutes to look at something for me?” he asked.
”Sure,” I said.
I stepped into the cafeteria to a surprise birthday party.
My mates and the kids had been snuck in the delivery entrance for the kitchen while I was down in Section Twelve. My staff, the people from Section Twelve, the Joint Chiefs and their aides and the White House security detail along with the military security detail were waiting. I was surprised – I thought the small party at home had the issue covered and we had tried so hard to be low key with it.
There were small gifts that the staff had bought, trying to make my day easier or go smoother. The gift that I liked the best was from the military security group. The military security group were men and ladies from the four services. They worked every day in dress uniforms; they rotated duty every day on all shifts.
They gave me camo uniform pants and shirts – the real military issue from the Quantico base store. They had it simply monogrammed on the name line with ”CIC Jones. ”
After the work day, when I went to the private living quarters I always changed out of the best clothes into something I could relax in. That usually was JBG gym shorts and tees or my old marine camo clothes that were showing signs of the years of wear. Some were so old one could barely read the SGT Jones on the shirts. I would have the laundry wash them tonight and wear them tomorrow when I went on the Thomas.
The kitchen had prepared several large cakes and had buckets of ice cream; it was a nice party. I got to see my family once again today and say another good bye.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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2 Responses to Book 2 Chapter 168

  1. Joe h. says:

    Fantastic πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘

    Having the chief engineer & the medical doctor of the enterprise 1701A as part of the story line in name only was a nice touch.

    Please keep up the great work you are doing for us jack.

  2. I wondered if anyone would pickup on the name connection. Thanks for the note, Jack

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