THE PENTAGON — An entire Joint Planning Group (JPG) died from asphyxiation after a planner and a future operations officer sucked all the oxygen out of the room during a half-hour argument over the meaning of the phrase “direct support,” sources confirmed today.
“Our first responders were on the scene within ten minutes,” said Fort Myer Fire Department Spokesman Scott Fuller. “But first they had to conduct mission analysis, Course of Action development, and preparation of a Rescue Commander’s Estimate in PowerPoint.”
Sources reported that this took more than two precious hours, and by then, many of the 45 service members in the room were deceased.
“We did find several people still breathing,” said Fuller. “But when we questioned them about the difference between constraints and limitations, their answers were incoherent. What’s more, none of them displayed any disruptive thinking capability.”
According to witnesses, during the oxygen-sucking debate no one noticed the J1’s manpower representative slipping from his chair, unconscious.
As an air quality meter began beeping, the one invited intelligence officer pointed to it. He talked about the known unknowns of air quality, but was cut off by at least 10 operations officers. They loudly complained that intel never gives actionable information — right before they clutched their throats and suffocated.
At that point, several lower-ranking personnel sensibly made for the doors, sources said.
It’s uncertain if they were suffering oxygen deprivation or merely using “potty break” as an excuse to get away from a JPG that was going nowhere. Their bodies were recovered near an exit door, just inches away from the life-giving civilian air that could have saved them.
The Joint Staff Force Protection Office did tweet the dangerous situation with the hashtag #JPGdying. But everyone who’d ever been in a JPG assumed that meant it was yet another unproductive session, and did nothing.
Officials said the bodies of the planner and the future operations officer were found entwined in what some thought resembled a snake fighting a mongoose. Others assumed it was a lovers’ kiss.
Interment for the deceased will be held at Arlington National Cemetery next Saturday at 0900, except for the intelligence officer. At the request of his family, he will be buried in a pauper’s grave at an unnamed location.
“We always thought he was pararescue, or even a 9J0 — a prisoner,” his distraught mother told Duffel Blog. “We never knew — we never knew he was that.”