Thursday, March 13, 2008

NATO Summit Prep

How many people does it take to prepare for a visit by the President, the First Lady, and the Secretaries of State & Defense? Apparently, a trillion. And to do this while avoiding the toes of the other 50 countries who have delegations coming to the NATO Summit in Bucharest the first week of April requires a great deal of diplomacy.

Fortunately for me, I have been given a fairly small task as site officer for one piece of the visit. Forgive the vagueness, I promise to write a more interesting and detailed post when the Summit is over. For now, I'm learning all kinds of fascinating information related to a presidential visit, including a whole new batch of tedious acronyms. And I learned that the different kinds of podiums that travel with the president (I've discovered 3 so far) each have their own code name. The standard podium is nicknamed "Blue Goose."

I've also learned how much the media love to speculate and how wrong they can be. It's amusing to read about all the "alleged" unofficial activities that President Bush will undertake while in Bucharest.

Over the next few weeks we'll welcome a gazillion Secret Service and Diplomatic Security agents, White House advance teams, military personnel, and young interns eager to demonstrate their importance. I'll attend a lot of meetings and spend a good deal of time living out of a suitcase. Thousands of man-hours go into a visit of this magnitude, not to mention millions of dollars. I hope it's worth it. Or, at least, I hope I can get a tour of Air Force One.


Ed in Brigantine said...

Heath, nice post. I tried to find your comment on my baghdad Dust Storms post, but your comment was not on the blog, though my gamil account told me you had posted something. yes, many Bucharest hands come to Baghdad - but it is not just the B thing. Enjoy the summit - if you come to Baghda, bring some rich, velvety, chocolates from Casa Capsa confectioner's shop. Numai bine, EGS

Anonymous said...

I am going to name my coffee-maker "Lavender Lily."


Anonymous said...

It is Thursday 3/27 and tomorrow is opening day for softball. It just isn't the same without you on 2nd, but somehow we're persevering! Yes these old legs are still showing at least some of those young whipper-snappers how it is done!! Might as well while I still can. . .

In looking at the news how the Green Zone is getting hit the past couple of days, please keep your head down when you get there. We all want you back in one piece!

Anonymous said...