Book 2 Chapter 175

I was up early 0400; I just couldn’t sleep. The cook fixed me pancakes, eggs over easy and two sausage patties. A couple of agents joined me drinking coffee.
On my desk was the box back from the FBI. Inside the box was a letter and papers with signatures – lots of signatures.
”To the honorable President Jones.”
”I know you are very busy so I will try to keep this as short as possible. My name is Chief Petty Officer Stanley Hastings. I serve on the USS Fordson. I know you have been highly distressed at all the problems getting my ship into service, as we all have been.”
”At the last sea trial the engineers and technicians found the solutions to most of the problems and they have been repaired. We are waiting for new sea trials to confirm the repairs.”
”The reason for the letter is our brothers on the Hammann have been attacked. Being former military I’m sure you know an attack against one of us is an attack against all of us.”
”Other ships at the Navy docks have received orders to go to sea immediately to avenge the attack on our brothers in arms, many are leaving in the morning fully armed – eager to carry the fight to the enemy.”
”We can launch planes and recover them, our pilots are the best, they can deliver weapons on the target. Please, please allow us to join the fight to avenge the attack on the Hammann. No ship can call itself a warship while tied to the dock when it is needed at sea.”
It was signed by Stanley Hastings and four thousand six hundred of his shipmates, including Rear Admiral Bramble, Captain Horn and one hundred and twenty pilots.
I would take no action until I talked with the Chief of Naval Operations and the secretary of the Navy. They were coming in early every morning now.
Frank dropped off the latest satellite pictures. We went over them one at a time. The analyst had circled several items of things that had changed since yesterday. From all appearances they were hardening several missile sites where they did testing. More Chinese antiaircraft radars and anti aircraft batteries were brought in. Plenty of cruise missiles would take care of them.
China was their go to supplier now that Russia was out of the picture. It was a match made in heaven. Iran was selling them oil at a discounted price – pennies on the Rial – for what the market value was in exchange for weapons made with slave labor.
It was almost a joke, what neither Iran nor the Chinese knew was that Russia turned over to the CIA the manuals on the latest Chinese missile systems, including the coding systems for the controls.
Before all the turmoil between Russia and China they had worked together on the anti-missile systems China had sold to the Iranians. The engineers had exchanged detailed design plans.
Experts were pouring over the data and had already found and were working on exploiting its weaknesses, sending the data to the Air Force and the Navy.
My early visitors were the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Ingram and Chief of Naval Operations Miles Browning lll who was the naval component of the joint chiefs and Admiral John Paterson, the liaison between Newport News Ship Building and the Navy.
The Chief of Naval Operations gave me an update on the departures of Navy ships from the East Coast and West Coast ports and ships at foreign Navy bases. We needed to leave some ships at scattered bases in case there were issues that the Navy had to handle. Those ships would be frigates and other ships.
I asked about the Fordson and the repairs and modifications since the sea trials. Admiral Paterson went down the list of items that were faulty from the first sea trials and the list of those that were repaired.
Then he went down the list on the last sea trial and all the ones that had been fixed. The numbers were considerably better. He highlighted that there were no longer any critical items that had not been repaired. The shipyard was confident that those systems would pass at the next sea trial.
Critical systems are those that create an unsafe or hazardous situation that could jeopardize the ship in combat or its ability to deliver weapons to the target. Radar was just one example, propulsion was another.
For any fighting ship that included the ability to move weapons from the magazines to the guns or planes that were to deliver them. Or in the case of a carrier – launch and recovery systems and the elevators to move aircraft from the hangar deck to the flight deck. All of those systems had failed multiple times in the sea trails of the Fordson.
”Newport News Shipbuilding is fully confident they have fixed all the major problems,” Admiral Paterson said for the second time.
”Can the remaining items be repaired at sea if the repair teams are on board?” I asked.
I slid the box with the letter on top of the sheets of signatures to General Ingram. It only took a minute for him to read it and look at the stack of signatures. He slid it over to Admiral Browning.
”I think we can arrange a make or break sea trail for the Fordson,” I said.
”I will write a letter to Chief Petty Officer Hastings since his letter was to me. I’ll need you to help write the correct orders and send them to the right places,” I added.
Connie typed it on official presidential stationery:
Dear Chief Petty Officer Hastings,
I have received your letter and understand your desire to avenge the attack on the USS Hammann. I have the same desire X one hundred. I have been informed that your ship – the USS Fordson – may be past the builder’s bugs and ready for another sea trial. This one will be under fire – a real chance to prove the USS Fordson is ready to take her place on the high seas. A warship earns it worth at sea. The orders are being prepared as I write this.
Duty calls me in a different direction now but you must know that if I could I would be standing beside you and your shipmates on deck, but I will be there in spirit. Those words that you hear whispered, ‘One more launch, one more missile, one more bomb,’ that hand on your shoulder will be mine, let’s go, we can do this. Know that I am standing with you.
A quick summary of the orders The Fordson will receive are:
Fill all tanks with fuel, fill all stores with provisions, and fill all weapons magazines with the latest most advanced bombs and missiles in the US arsenal.
The Fordson is to depart Norfolk Navy Yard in three days receiving her aircraft and then proceed east at flank speed.
The USS Fordson and escorts are to join up with the USS Thomas and USS Stennis as part of task force 67 under the command of Fleet Admiral Scott.
Task Force 67 will then proceed into the Mediterranean then transit the Suez Canal into the Indian Ocean and assemble with other elements of the US Navy.
Task force 67 will make a footnote in Navy history for having the oldest active aircraft carrier- the USS Thomas – and the newest aircraft carrier – the USS Fordson – in battle. May history look favorably on their performance together.
Sincerely Roberta J. Jones
President of the United States of America.
There was a modern computer process for cutting ship’s orders. Years ago they were hand typed with carbon copies for multiple departments. Today it was drop down boxes for the ship, the destination, place of departure, dates and times. Also in drop down boxes were the orders for all the things needed, fuel, food, all the gibberish was automatically installed and a comment box for special instructions. The Admiral’s aide was finishing up as was I.
Copies were sent to the escorts and harbor tugs were all notified of the departure times.
The letter to Chief Hastings would be transmitted to the ship through a secure link for immediate delivery with a note for it to be read over the ships PA system for the crew. It was sent a few moments later and would be there in a just a few minutes. The written one would be delivered by mail for a keepsake if he wanted.
I spent all day Tuesday being briefed for the G8 conference in Madrid Spain. Secretary Dean and I covered the minutes from the last four meetings. Then I learned about current State Department positions and why they were our positions. After that, I got the joyous pleasure of formulating positions for the next meeting in six months.
The meeting was Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday evening I had another fund raiser to attend and the family was joining me. This one was in Arkansas.
Tuesday night Air Force One carried me and my full staff plus Secretary of State Dean and a few other people to Spain for the G8 Conference.
Madrid was filled with protesters protesting everything from the environment, social issues, global warming, global cooling, cows, pigs, lambs, subways, cars, bikes, health care, taxes, wealth and war. If it could be protested, they were here.
The political protesters were here in abundance, all with a different gripe. There were the anti-American groups, anti-European groups and anti-Israel. According to the intelligence groups there was a big protest by groups aligned with Iran planned for tomorrow against the United States and me.
There were those that only came for the protest parties and abundant booze and drugs. Then there were others that came just to start mayhem.
The Spanish police, Special Forces and troops were patrolling the streets to keep the roads open and the protesters from blocking the main highways.
The Spanish government tripled the amount of security for the attendees. I brought double the amount of Secret Service and CIA teams. I was concerned but not worried.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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3 Responses to Book 2 Chapter 175

  1. typo says:

    I know it’s been a while since I’ve replied, which I expect is why you wanted to test me with something that so few would likely catch. Anywho, to set your mind at ease, I am still following and have just not seen anything worth nit-picking about for a while. I’m not really sure this is worthy of report were it not for it being so obviously a test. 😉

    At the introducions of her early visitors you identified them as “… Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Ingram and Chief of Naval Operations Miles Browning lll….” That’s a copy/paste by the way so, regardless of how the site’s messaging system my reformat my reply, the following is how I see the text in the Samsung browser on my Andoid tablet. You may need to view the original Chapter text where it is displayed on-site to see whether this is an issue you’d need to be concerned with.

    If I look closely at the first letter of the General’s last name, it is clearly a capital “I” (“eye”) having serif bars fore and aft (as it were) at both the top and bottom of the letter. However, in the CNO’s name, where one would expect the same character (capital “I” (“eye”)) to be repeated three times to represent the Roman Numeral three (“III” to be read as “the third”), I see the characters having a serif at the top ONLY fore and NOT aft – making them likely the numeral one instead of a capital “I” (“eye”). This would be correct ONLY IF he was indeed the ONE HUNDRED and ELEVENTH, as opposed to being just “the third,” of that name in his family (which seems extremely unlikely).

    Congratulations on a very worthy test for the presence of nit-pickers in the audience but, rest assured, that I (at least) am still enjoying this wonderful saga of yours. There just hasn’t been any nits needing to be reported in the last seceral months. 😉

    Now, having gotten that out of the way, there is something else worth mentioning in the text of her reponse to that crewman’s letter. You have her saying “I have the same desire X one hundred,” which is a rather odd construction. I’m guessing the “X one hundred” is meant to mean somthing to the effect of “only 100 times more so.”

  2. Peter says:

    Love the story since Chapter 1 of Book 1. One little thing on this chapter. You mentioned going to the G8 conference I Spain

    I spent all day Tuesday being briefed for the G8 conference in Madrid Spain

    But then later you said:

    Rome was filled with protesters protesting everything from the environment, social issues, global warming, global cooling, cows, pigs, lambs, subways, cars, bikes, health care, taxes, wealth and war.

    Last I looked Rome was in Italy, not Spain LOL, Think Rome should change to Madrid

    Keep up the goods work, looking forward to the next Chapter

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