As soon as the girls and Cindy were seated, I handed out the report so everyone would be up to speed when Frank arrived and a serious conversation could be had.
As they were reading I watched facial expressions and eye contact, there were no changes I could detect. I guessed I would have to wait until Frank got here and we started talking.
“Sorry I am late; there was a stalled car on the bridge jamming up everything,” Frank said as he sat down.
I started the conversation to bring the girls up to speed. “As you know with the new state contract JBG has all of Africa and the Middle East. When I learned that, I had the EIT team expand the surveillance to all the embassies affected,” I said then continued.
“What you have read is about a planned attack on the Kampala Embassy that originated from a contact in the Prince’s computer. I turned this information to State, NSA, DHS and the Agency,” I said.
“I did not want another Morocco incident or for JBG to have to go in and reestablish security from the ground up. Since Morocco, there have been changes in policy and procedures when an imminent attack is suspected. Victor is here to fill us in with the latest update,” I said.
“When JBG forwarded this folder to us last week it was the first we had heard of an attack in the planning for Kampala. The CIA and NSA verified the information on Friday,” Victor said.
“In the past we would have closed the embassy and reopened it in six months, but now it could take years to get it reopened. The department feels BJ was right in the initial discussion that the terrorist would take over the building and use it for a propaganda bonanza and recruiting windfall. That would be totally unacceptable,” Eric explained.
“The administration is adamant that there be no more Benghazi type losses and wants all the state department people out but also does not want to close the embassy,” Victor said.
“After intense sessions, the Secretary and President arrived at this deal. The upgraded security contract for Kampala will go into effect immediately as soon as you can get your best people on site,” Eric explained.
“The next part of the deal is crucial and may be the hardest part for you to accept. The ambassador and staff are coming out; to keep the embassy official with an ambassador the Secretary wants to appoint you, BJ, to a 40 day term as an ambassador. They are going to say it is cross training as part of your contract expansion so you can see all the things that go into running an embassy,” Victor explained.
I thought Jenny and Marcy were going to fall into the floor. Everyone else was apparently too stunned to speak.
“You know I am not much of a politician and I doubt any better of a diplomat,” I replied.
“Then you should be able to learn a lot in 40 days then,” Victor said before he laughed.
“The Agency and the DOD has been directed to assist with any request you have. Lt. General DeMarcus has been assigned as your liaison from the DOD; he will accompany you back from the swearing in and news conference tomorrow at 2 PM at the State Department. He will be with you until leave for Kampala. You do have office space he can use until then?” Victor said.
“You seem to assume that I am going to accept this proposal,” I said.
“We knew you would. You have never backed away from a challenge; this is no different,” Victor replied.
“Andy received this file this morning; it was hand delivered. He and I think a lot alike so I think the plan will call for the truck being stopped as soon as it crosses the property line; the further away from the building the better. They may have armored it so I think Andy will want Stingers and Javelin shoulder fired weapons to make that happen and a few 50 cal with full armor piercing belts,” I said. Then I added “I want military grade full body armor for the entire team.”
“Just make a list and give it to DeMarcus,” Frank said then added.
“We are re-positioning several satellites to improve intelligence and communications.”
“By the way, you have carte blanche; bill everything and everybody at the premium rate, even for setup costs, even the administration fees. Do not hold back anything,” Victor said.
“That all I have for now, I’m going to find Allie and take her to the restaurant for supper. Is it OK if I take Alica along if she wants to go?” he asked.
“You may have to take all four girls; if you do, have them put their meals on my tab,” I replied.
After Victor and Frank had left, the real debate began and it was mellow to what I thought it would be, but it lasted for two hours before everyone was on board with it.
Jason stated that HR had started getting replies from the job postings that were on the military bases and some from the online postings.
“As soon as you get 35 good ones, hire them and get them here for training ASAP,” I said then added. “It would be nice to have them ready to go as soon as this attack does or does not happen, to get them in place at Kampala and then get us back on the training schedules.”
“I want the training of the embassy groups that are here stepped up; let’s go with 12 hour days for the rest of the week. That includes the Quito three, I want them back to their assigned embassies before the weekend is out and the RRT back so we can transport to Kampala on Monday,” I directed.
“I want Andy to have plenty of time to get things in tip top shape with time to spare.”
“Cindy, cancel the rest of the training schedule for embassy personnel for the next forty days and substitute the college training schedule. Vicky and Ching Lee may be able to help Ty, Herman, and Kathryn on the mat refresher if you need them, Jamie and her group should have no trouble with the weapons recertification; we had figured 3 days for the process,” I said.
I called Andy on VCATS and filled him in on all the developments. “I will send you a list in the morning so they can get started on it, boss. The things you asked for were right on but let’s take advantage of the offer and add to it while they are willing. Good night, Ms. Ambassador.”
Andy cut the feed before I could respond; he was wise. A few un-ladylike words were on the tip of my tongue. I will Ms. Ambassador him face to face.
I sent a text to Hanna, “Be at the State Department press room at two, if you have problems getting in call me.” I was sure Marley would be there.
Then another text to Bob Jackson and Mr. Nobles, “Watch the State Department news tomorrow afternoon. I will try to get with you in Wednesday morning to work out the issues and details.”
Then two emails, one to all JBG embassy supervisors: “VCATS conference call at 10 EDST. The second was to all the college security directors; “SVOL conference at 9 AM EDST”. I wanted all of them to hear about the embassy expansion and the 40 day cross-training from me and not the media.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.