PATCH BARRACKS, Germany — Having recently toured several major military installations, the Supreme Allied Commander and head of US European Command Gen. Curtis Scaparotti expressed bewilderment at the exquisite tidiness of every work-center he has visited.
"The realization hit me on the way back from Ramstein," Scaparotti was overheard telling his enlisted aide. "There has to be a pattern here."
According to sources, the head of EUCOM appeared "baffled" at how every time he went into a building or office to greet the assigned personnel, their areas were spic-and-span.
"I walked into Tod's office the other day to say hi; he was practically standing at 'attention' when he shook my hand," Scaparotti said of the USAFE-AFAFRICA commander, Gen. Tod Wolters. "And his desk was immaculate — not an out-of-place pen or sticky-note to speak of. That's not counting the dozens of other commissioned and enlisted personnel I said hi to whose work-centers were spotless.
"I'm starting to think they planned this behind my back," he added.
Witnesses say Scaparotti told his awestruck deputy, Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, about how he tried sneaking onto the flight-line at Aviano Air Base late at night, expecting to surprise the mechanics at work, only to find them cramming the F-16s into the hangars before nervously addressing him. Their maintenance equipment was nowhere to be seen.
Shrugging his shoulders, the army officer of 40 years expressed optimistically that one day he would get a chance to see his subordinates "actually getting real work done."
At press time, a RAND Corporation study showed that police-calls increase by 68% whenever a VIP is scheduled to visit.