No sooner was
The warm reception my first novel has received is gratifying, and I’m told readers appreciate the authenticity of the action and especially the inside politics of squadron life with real people, all of them flawed, as all of us are.
I am in debt to those who helped me research the geostrategic situation of the area in which this novel takes place and suggest improvements to the rough manuscript. My War College classmate Rear Admiral Vince Atkins, U.S. Coast Guard, was instrumental to my understanding of the region and the pol/mil interplay of the many and diverse state and non-state actors involved. My trusted shipmate Captain Will Dossel, USN (Ret.) provided valuable story edits and detailed knowledge of threat systems that serve to enhance the realism of a plausible future scenario. Captain Kevin Hutcheson, USN (Ret.), a loyal friend since flight school, freely shared his thoughts on the moral aspects of warfare, the subject of his remarkable and well-researched doctoral thesis. A friend and squadronmate for almost as long, Captain Bill Johnson, USN (Ret.), contributed numerous edits that forced me to reassess the meanings of my passages and tighten them down for greater impact. Admiral Tim Keating, USN (Ret.), another trusted shipmate and friend, provided fascinating insights into the exercise of national power and high level command and control. Captain John Stevenson, USN (Ret.), my flight lead and mentor of many years, offered his thoughtful suggestions on leadership topics and kind encouragement to keep going and tell a story that needs to be told.
Fellow author and friend Kevin Lacz, a former Navy Special Operator, was free with his time and most helpful on how Special Operating Forces could play into scenarios I was contemplating. Shipmates, thank you for your assistance and friendship.
Two trusted agents, Chandler and Count, were key to my ability to insert the cockpit realism of today’s naval aircraft into the flying scenarios when my experiences from the last century fell short. Thanks guys.
My superb editor and faithful friend Linda Wasserman of Pelican Press Pensacola did another outstanding job in editing this novel. Her love of and devotion to the English language is evident, and that coupled with her extraordinary attention to detail is a winning combination.
The genius of Jeff Edwards and his micro publishing labels Stealth Books (and the newly-launched Braveship Books) was not completely evident to me when I joined his stable of authors. An outstanding and accomplished writer, Jeff saw the possibilities of the digital revolution where an independent author could succeed while writing the book he or she wants. If you like naval genre fiction, Jeff’s USS
My family, led by Terry, has been supportive of my hours of solitary toil spent writing and editing. This is the same love and devotion she gave me during my years in uniform, allowing me to serve as I did. Without question Terry and spouses like her that kept the home fires burning served/serve our country and society. To paraphrase another noted naval aviation novelist,
Military leaders seek responsibility and take ownership. Flaws found in
CAPT Kevin Miller USN (Ret.)
Glossary of Jargon and Acronyms
1MC — ship’s public address system
5MC — flight deck loudspeaker system
20mm — Twenty millimeter cannon round, the size of an FA-18 and CIWS bullet, also known as “twenty mike-mike.”
AAA — Anti-Aircraft-Artillery; Pronounced “Triple-A.”
Afterburner — FA-18 engine setting that provides extra power by igniting raw fuel creating a controlled overpressure. Also known as “burner,” “blower,” “max,” or “light the cans.”
Air Boss — Officer in Primary Flight Control (ship’s control tower) responsible for aircraft operations on deck out to five miles from ship.
AMRAAM — Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AIM-120)
Angels — altitude in thousands of feet. “Angels six” = 6,000 feet
ARG — Amphibious Ready Group
ATFLIR — Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared. IR targeting sensor placed on fuselage mounted missile station.
AWACS — Airborne Warning and Control System; aka E-3
Bandit — confirmed enemy airborne contact; also known as ‘“hostile.”
Bingo — emergency fuel state divert from ship to shore base.
Bogey unknown airborne contact
Bolter — tailhook flies past or skips over arresting wires, requiring a go-around for another attempt.
BRA — Bearing, Range, Altitude
CAG — Carrier Air Wing Commander; formerly Commander, Air Group
CAP — Combat Air Patrol
Cat — catapult
CDC — Combat Decision Center
CG — Guided Missile Cruiser
CIWS — Close-in Weapon System; surface ship 20mm gun primarily for terminal airborne threats.
CO — Commanding Officer; in aviation squadrons known as “skipper;” on ships, “Captain.”
COD — Carrier On-Board Delivery. The C-2
CPA — Closest Point of Approach
CVIC — Aircraft Carrier Intelligence Center
CVW — Carrier Air Wing
DCAG — Deputy Carrier Air Wing Commander
DDG — Guided Missile Destroyer
EP-3 — signals reconnaissance variant of P-3 Orion aircraft, aka
Fire Scout — popular name of MQ-8C unmanned helicopter.
Flag officer — admirals
FLIR — Forward Looking Infra-Red. Targeting pod that detects heat contrasts. Aka ATFLIR.
Fox — radio call associated with firing of air-to-air missile with type. “Fox-2” =
Fragged — as planned or previously assigned. “Proceed as fragged.”
Fulcrum — NATO code name for MiG-29 series aircraft.
g — the force of gravity. “4 g’s” is four times the force of gravity.
GPS — Global Positioning System
Gunner — squadron ordnance officer; typically a Chief Warrant Officer specially trained in weapons handling and loading.
HARM — High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (AGM-88) used to home in on radar energy.
Helo — helicopter
HS — Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron
HSC — Helicopter Combat Support Squadron
HUD — Head-Up Display. Glass display in front of FA-18 pilot that depicts aircraft and weapons delivery information.
ICS — Inter Cockpit Communication System
IP — Initial Point
ISR — Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnai ...