A day early. I think the internet will be overloaded tomorrow.
I went back to Robbie’s office where I explained tomorrow’s flight, the arrival of the two Iowa Guard C130s next Monday and the need for two mechanics to accompany each plane.
“That means the numbers of completed choppers will drop,” Robbie replied.
“Call Sikorsky; I know they have a world wide maintenance system, tell them you need 10 techs for 6 weeks to come here to help you keep the numbers up. If they don’t give you a satisfactory answer, call me; I will be in my office,” I replied.
I went to the office; that would be the last place the major would turn up as that would be to get his ID cards. I had one international call to make while I waited on him. I left word with HR that I wanted to see him ASAP.
I closed the doors to my office, connected my VCATS and placed an international call.
“Ambassador Dansky; Ambassador Jones – it’s good to talk to you again,” I replied.
“We have missed you at our galas; you are so charming and added spark and flare to the evening. Not to mention that you made all of us old men wish we were younger. What can I do for you?” he asked.
“I’m looking for information on the Saudi Royal family and I can’t think of anyone more qualified to answer the question than you or your intelligence people. Have any members of the family, children or grandchildren gone off grid or gone missing in the last few months?” I asked.
“That would be in Franks bucket as you call it.”
“LOL – you have heard about the bucket.”
“Yes and the crumbs and blind mice. It is refreshing to hear how different generations name some of the things that we do.”
“I do not have access to Frank’s bucket. I only get alerts related to embassy security. Everything else I have to develop on my own. I don’t really need the whole bucket, I just need Africa and the Middle East where I have men stationed. I think your geographic location demands you have the latest Intel there is. ”
“I have approached the topic delicately but after Snowden, wiki leaks and the Clinton fiasco, I don’t think it will happen,” I replied.
“Snowden has been an embarrassment to your government as well as Clinton; unfortunately, there is much more coming,” he added.
“I am really surprised that as much as you have been involved in thwarting terrorist activity, your organization does not have access – especially when so many third party people do.”
“I will have my Mosad officer investigate the question for you and I will do some checking on my own,” Ambassador Dansky replied.
“Are you coming back to Africa soon?” he asked.
“Yes, in 5 weeks; I chose Kampala as one of the central locations. Our C5 is going to drop off a load of Blackhawks and Suburbans. Our C130s will disperse them from there. I have rented a temporary hangar at Entebbe.”
“I am also going to bring more supplies for Nimule along with three students from local schools who may be interested in humanitarian careers. I am going to try to be there in time to attend the Gala for old time’s sake. I assume I have an invitation to attend,” I replied.
“You have an open invitation to attend any time you want,” Ambassador Dansky replied.
I had just finished the call when the Major knocked on the door.
“You wanted to see me?”
“Yes. First, how did you make out today?”
“I thought you were trying to kill me until the gun club, and then I realized you were just out to humiliate me. Do you really require all your security employees to score 95 on that test?”
“Takes all the fun out of it if you shoot the wrong person or get shot,”
“No doubt about that.”
“What exactly are your orders?” I asked.
“I am to observe flight operations and if I see reckless operation, including potential damage to the plane, property or crew, I am to shutdown the operation.”
“I am to make no records of any cargo or destinations unless there is something that requires shutdown for documentation. I do understand that you work with other government agencies that may require confidentially,” he said.
“They are finishing up loading the C5 now; it’s leaving for Lusaka Zambia at 0400. Adam is at Morton if you want to check in to coordinate things for departure.”
“We do have rooms if you want to stay overnight on the island instead of driving to the western shore. The JBG ID card you were issued will get you into most JBG areas and you can charge meals at the gym or the airport restaurant to the card.”
“There is another flight Friday to South America and another one Tuesday to Africa.”
I had just finished with that when Robbie called to say he had no success with the Sikorsky service department. They would send us no people and the service manager had an attitude.
“Give me the guy’s name,” I said, that I wrote down on my pad.
I researched Sikorsky to confirm that it was owned by Lockheed. How convenient, I thought; their headquarters was listed as Bethesda, a hundred miles away. I had a VP’s name in my file from the two 130 rehabs in Canada.
Clyde Hausas answered his cell and remembered me, and then he began the normal sales conversation and asked how happy we were with the two C130s.
“I’m quite happy with the C130 but I am terribly unhappy with one of Lockheed’s other business divisions. So unhappy that I want you to give me the name and phone number of the corporate level head of the customer support division for Sikorsky,” I said.
“Alexander Pope, VP customer service, 310-555-1999” was the name and number.
“While you are at it the guy in charge of Sikorsky,” “Johnson Black, Senior VP, 405-999-6050”
“The president of Lockheed?” I asked.
“310-555-1800, Joseph Kane.”
I started with Alexander Pope and explained to his secretary who I was and what I wanted. I suggested that she write my name and number down in case the call was lost. The elevator music was still playing 10 minutes later when I clicked off the speaker phone to kill the call.
The next number was Johnson Black. Again, I explained the difficulties I was having to a secretary and she started the tale about how busy Mr. Black was.
“Well, if Mr. Black is too busy I have one more number I can call; a Mr. Joseph Kane I believe he is President of Lockheed Martin your parent company.”
“Let me take your name and number in case the call gets dropped and I will check on how long it will be before Mr. Black can talk to you.”
I guess she thought she had put me on hold; I could hear the complete conversation. “Look this person up on Google.” Followed by, “She is? Check out JBG then.”
“Go find Mr. Black and do it now”
After a couple of minutes of waiting “Is Mr. Black back in his office yet? I have a VIP call waiting for him.”
“Ms. Jones; Mr. Black will be with you in a couple more minutes, he is on his way to his office now.”
“Ambassador Jones, Johnson Black; it’s good to hear you are back in the States again and well. That was quite a scare we all had while you were there. How may I be of help to you?”
I explained my need for Sikorsky repair technicians and then reviewed my issues with the Sikorsky service department, it employees and the dead ends as I went up the ladder.
“I can understand why that would be upsetting. It should not be happening in our company’s new customer first structure. Since I have taken over, Sikorsky customer service and parts have become our number one priority. Some parts were on back order for 18 months; only in extreme cases are back orders over 10 days now and service is in 5 days or less,” he said.
“We have 17000 employees; I can see no reason why ten technicians cannot be sent to assist you. Give me the list of people you talked with and I will follow up and call you back,” he said.
The fecal material was about to run down hill, from the tone of his voice. My experience with that was it tended to stink and stick to everyone it touched.
I had just finished with the call when I was paged that visitors were on their way up to see me.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.