After a long night of explanations and comforting and more explanations, along with a big breakfast, I went to my office to start my day.
When I opened my email I wished I had gone to the gym instead. There were hundreds of new ones since I had looked on the flight back.
I began with those marked important and spent a couple hours finishing them up before I needed a break.
Ching Lee sent me all the pictures she had taken while I was disarming the vest, including several close ups. I looked them over and saw nothing unusual, then sent them to Ben-David.
The gym was quiet for the first time in months. All the training was done with all the embassies staffed to the contract levels. The regular gym customers were making the best of it.
The only training scheduled would be the new staff for KCC. Jason was meeting with the current employees next week. Hopefully all the current employees would stay on; I had worked with them for several years and they worked together well as a group.
I drove to Morton Field to see Lorrie. I spent time going over the flight issues that appeared last night. Not that it surprised me, but Lorrie had been looking for a while. She called it part of her long range planning.
Lorrie handed me a folder of aircraft she had researched over the last couple of months that were immediately available for purchase. Her first choice was on top followed by the second. Then she had the data to prove her needs and possible revenue streams to make it work.
I asked if she has asked Robby’s opinion. “This one,” she said as she handed me the spec sheet from the top of the folder. Along with the spec sheet was a distance chart from Morton Field. It would do everything I thought we would ever need; but then I thought that when we bought the Bombardiers and again with the C130s.
I asked about the money and was surprised that it was no more than the price of a new G550. It was three years old and still showed 0 hours on the logs. I wondered how anyone could spend that kind of money and just park it on the tarmac. Everything deteriorated just setting and also lost value.
I understood why and how the Saudi broker did it when we bought one of the G5s; they had hundreds of billions of petro dollars to play games with and no taxes.
This plane was in California; the land of crazy taxes, laws and fruitcakes. Maybe the fruitcake part explained it all; a fruitcake with money.
Marcy had looked at expanding by adding several sites in California, but quickly decided against it last year. She found out the taxes were 10 times higher than any other state and that California had the highest rate of missing rental cars in the nation.
They were driven across the border never to return. Mexico was off limits to repo men or recovery teams.
I took the spec sheet, plane info and broker info with me. I would meet with Marcy this afternoon so she could get the ball rolling.
I talked with Lorrie and the airport restaurant manager about tomorrow afternoon’s party. We were going to use the big agency meeting room for it. All four of the Iowa National Guard C130s that had been in Africa were coming back tonight and early tomorrow morning. The two that were doing the freight run would do their last run tonight.
General McVee was flying in with the twelve other crews that had done flying for us. All eighteen Iowa air transport crews had flown to, from or around Africa in the last 10 weeks. They had flown enough hours on our nickel to meet their time requirements for another year.
The four C130s we owned had been inspected and recertified for another year while the Guard was flying freight runs for us. They had given our pilots a break that we used to get the pilots recertified.
Tonight the C5 would be back from Thailand; it was another secret flight for the agency. Tomorrow and Sunday it would be inspected and loaded for the flight to Kampala. I was initially worried that much of the flight would be a waste.
Now that was not the case, we had 100,000 pounds of canned food, 10 crates of medial equipment and thousands of doses of medicines for the good doctors. Plus we loaded the chopper I was going to leave in the hangar at Entebbe.
Phil, Robin, Rachael, Bob, Gordon, and 10 of the RRT (including Andy) were going, along with Vicky and me. The 10 had been instrumental in building the tables and things for the Nimule camp. They wanted to be a part of the humanitarian mission again. Andy insisted that we take security personnel so that worked out.
We were taking two mechanics who were going to reassemble the chopper blades and test it, plus inspect the one assigned to the Kampala embassy. Then they were taking commercial flights to do annual inspections on our other 407 helicopters that were close by; they were due – as were others – soon.
When I went to her office Marcy was meeting with Robert Alderman the ex IRS special agent who we hired to help us with taxes. There was no better time to get into deep financial planning. There were a little over two months left in the year. He monitored the revenue streams and gave advice on how to offset taxes, reduce taxes and how to flat out spend money to avoid taxes.
Robert was not happy; unless we did a lot of things in the next two months, we were going to have one whopping tax bill.
The revenue from the first full weeks with all the embassy staff in place just went past his desk and blew the lid off his earlier projections. That, along with the freight contracts and all the extra revenue from the C5 flights, was just too much all at once. That was just for two months; these contracts were for years.
I thought we had done plenty with the purchase of the last C130, the 45 Black Hawks, the purchase of the gun club and buying out all the houses of the whining-crying development across from it. But I was wrong. The gap between revenue and deductibles was too great. The meeting lasted an hour and then we had out regular meeting.
It was a lively meeting with tax man Robert explaining things again and giving us options to think about. There were decisions to be made in the next few days.
We did make one decision, we were going on vacation to one of the Florida houses the week after Vicky and I came back from Kampala.
We did our normal Saturday routine; wash clothes, clean the house. We finished in time to have plenty of family time and time with the boys. I could see I was really going to miss them when Vicky and I were going to be gone for weeks at a time visiting all the embassies.
It was 5 PM when Frank and his wife showed up with a pickup load of things for us to deliver to Ambassador Dansky. I went with Frank to Morton where we unloaded the things in the hangar and labeled them to go on the C5, while his wife stayed with my girls and the boys. The C5 was closed up for the night, most likely for the weekend.
I figured that Frank wanted to talk and he did.
“There are going to be new agency supervisors and teams at all four of the colleges. When we began the investigation into Randolph I thought we had an isolated problem. That is not the case and that is why NSA was at Minneapolis. I have much bigger problems than that at several agency sites.
“The administrations diversity program has bitten us in the ass; they simply sent me people. I was not allowed to check them out and was told to use them. It is a good thing that I could send them where they could do the least amount of damage.”
“After you gave us the break, NSA was able to follow the leads to the complete gang of spies; again I have to thank you,” Frank said.
“Has the Air Force decided what is going to happen with the C5 when the time is up?” Frank asked.
“No, but Major Culpepper has not been on any of the last flights. He has been deer hunting the scrub brush or to the gun club nearly every day,” I replied.
“I hear that there is an active discussion going on about some kind of contract with you. Apparently that door was opened in the initial discussion with you. I am supporting that potential contract every chance I get; our arrangement is working so well I don’t want any changes,” Frank replied.
Back at the house, supper tonight was one of our low key favorites – homemade subs and soup. Jenny had cut into cubes some of the deer meat that Jason had give us and was making homemade vegetable and deer meat soup.
It has been simmering all afternoon to give it flavor and making everyone hungry. There had been plenty of sampling as well. Jenny had made a 5 gallon pot so there would be leftovers for tomorrow night’s supper. Homemade soup was always better the second day it was heated.
Frank and Madeline joined us for an early supper and stayed for a couple of hours.
Frank and I had several private talks about many things. The future working with the agency looked promising, both in flights and other clandestine endeavors. The agency had been following our embassy assignments with interest. I was sure that was nothing new.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.