A deputy undersecretary of the Air Force is scheduled to participate in a paintball game in which one team seeks to protect the president while another seeks to assassinate him, according to a memorandum obtained by WorldNetDaily.
The sanctioned exercise for Air Force servicemen and family members is set to take place Wednesday, Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving. It is organized by the International Affairs Division located in Rosslyn, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.
According to the memo, Deputy Undersecretary Willard H. Mitchell has approved the paintball games as “approved duty” on the day before the holiday.
“After regular is completed, we will have the ‘Protect the President’ game,” said the memo to everyone in the International Affairs Division by Laren Watanabe. “(Mr. Mitchell has bravely volunteered to be the president.) For that event, ‘the President’ (Mr. Mitchell) and his secret service detail get a 10-minute head start to hide in the paintball field. Mr. Mitchell will be unarmed, but his protective detail (made up of flag officers, the division chiefs and selected others) will be equipped with the better paintball markers and unlimited paintballs. They are immortal – hits on the protective detail don’t count (simulating body armor). Everyone else is a potential assassin. There may be as many as 60 of you depending on participation. But each will have no more than 20-30 paintballs (depending on the numbers) and a hit on you by the protective detail eliminates you. The assassins will also have a limited amount of time to accomplish their task (TBD depending on the numbers). If Mr. Mitchell is hit with a paintball within the time limit, the assassins win. If not, the secret service wins.”
Some recipients of the memo questioned the wisdom and sensitivity of the exercise – especially at a time of sniper activity in the Washington area, the terrorist threat and the imminence of war.
“These people appear to be out of their minds,” wrote one. “The waste, fraud and abuse aspect is self-evident. The bad taste and judgment factor is off the charts.”
Paintball is described in the memo as “the most rapidly growing ‘extreme’ sport in the world.”
“The object of the game is usually to accomplish some kind of task such as locating/securing a flag and then advancing it into the opposing team’s starting circle WITHOUT GETTING SHOT,” it continues. “If you get hit anywhere on your person or equipment (paintball gun) with a paintball that breaks, you are ‘out’ (dead) for the rest of that game. Games vary in length from five minutes to 20 minutes depending on the format (open field vs. dense forest vs. building complexes) and you are resurrected at the end of each game. One of the main reasons that paintball is so popular is because you DO NOT have to be young, fast, athletic or good-looking to play. What does count is quick thinking and deviousness. (Age and treachery can overcome youth and skill.)”
The Secretary of the Air Force/International Affairs Division is a unit of 200 people reporting to Mitchell. Prior to assuming his current position, Mitchell served as the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for program and budget, the Air Force’s principal deputy assistant secretary for financial management, and in senior executive positions where he was responsible for international business development for Lockheed Aeronautics Systems and Teledyne Industries International.
The International Affairs Division focuses on national military strategy goals – to create, advocate and facilitate USAF policies and programs that support U.S. national security objectives through international political and military affairs, the $108 billion foreign military sales program, education and training, cooperative research and development, and related matters, in concert with U.S. government, foreign and industry partners. In addition, Mitchell’s department oversees the release of Air Force classified information to foreign governments, individuals and international organizations.