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SKYBIRD:
Dale Brown’s Ops Report
Copyright © 2004, TDPI

OFFICER EFFECTIVENESS REPORTS: Replies to ReaderMail@DaleBrown.info

22 December 2003

Mr. Brown,

First I will say that I am active duty Navy and have been in the Middle East since February. I was with 1st Marine Regiment and now at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Anyway, I have very much enjoyed your books and even took my old copy of Old Dog to Iraq (unfortunately got shredded in a RPG attack). But I was wondering if you have ever thought or been approached about making some of your books into movies. I would have little doubt that they would do well. Just a question/suggestion. Thank you and have a Happy and Safe Holiday.

I hope YOU had a safe holiday! A replacement copy of Flight of the Old Dog is on the way to you at the address you gave me.

I’m constantly searching for opportunities to turn my novels into features or TV movies or mini-series, but my first priority is writing the novels. Eventually I’m sure it’ll happen, and then the entire list will be heading to the big screen.

I remind myself that it took almost 50 years for “The Lord of the Rings” to be made into a feature, even though it was the true “counter-culture” book of the Sixties.

23 December 2003

Dear Mr. Brown,

I just finished reading Wings of Fire. While I enjoyed it, I found the role of the nine year old, Kelsey, hard to swallow. I realize you deal in fiction and what the future of warfare may become and that is why I enjoy your books. However, while I realize there are nine year old geniuses, I have trouble believing they could play the role you gave to Kelsey in this book.

Although there are extraordinarily gifted nine-year-olds in the world, I will admit that Kelsey Duffield’s character was probably a little over the top. But she has turned out to be very popular despite her hard-to-believe talents.

30 December 2003

Dale,

First off, I have read all of your books - except your latest two (just saw those - going to go get them) and loved them. I too am an Air Force aviator. I flew Gunships and Shadows in AF Spec Ops, then recently moved to AMC flying the new J model 130 - furloughed from Delta air lines also. I have always thought about putting pen to paper while on airline layovers or sitting in a Q at my reserve base. First off, I don't think it would be kosher to try to get published while active in the reserves for security reasons - but not sure? Got any words of advice on a place to start - an author to read that helps guide aspiring writers - anything? Thanks a bunch. Fly safe and keep the books coming!

Sounds like you have tons of stories with your background. I've always wanted to do an Air Force special ops series.

I tried once to get "Flight of the Old Dog" approved by my wing commander, but he refused because I referenced names of actual bases and supposedly revealed certain capabilities of the B-1 and B-52 that might have been sensitive information. I asked for specifics but never got them. I changed some of the names but ended up putting my manuscript aside until I got out of the Air Force.

Plenty of writers have managed to get approvals while on active or Reserve duty--Larry Bond, Harold Coyle, Mike Farmer--so it's doable. It might be easier in the Reserve world. You should speak with a public affairs type or your commanding officer.

The best book about a writer writing about writing is Anne Lamott's "Bird By Bird." Don't let it depress you. She did the Sixties Haight-Ashbury thing to the hilt and barely survived it. But she's a gifted writer and tells a lot about a writer's inner struggles.

But the best advice for aspiring writers is to WRITE. I started out writing for the high school newspaper, then the college newspaper, then freelancing, then the base newspapers. Every byline is a credit that you use to sell your next piece. Build up enough credits, and it makes it easier to sell the novel when you start shopping it.

Have you started a book? How far along are you? Nothing will happen unless you start, then FINISH it. Let me know where you are and I'll give you some hints on where to go next.

Fly safe and Happy New Year! GBA, Dale...

31 December 2003

Hi,

First I would like to say for a thirteen year old girl (i mean me) I love your books even though my friend would kill me if she knew I even thought about the air force. Okay now on to big stuff, first why did you have to kill off Perse "Powder" Talcom, make Captain Stockhard think of leaving the air force, and have Captain Freah decide to leave? I think the only reason I read that series was because of Freah, Bree, and Powder ( reading about him swearing the f-word 2 times in sentance). Oh well I will most likely still read it. Oh and I love Patrick Mclanahan, he has guts. I'm still confused on what some of the abreviations are I now a few like SOB, which i won't write.

First of all, I apologize about the 4-letter words. Many of us grown-ups use them because we hear others use them, because we like seeing the reaction from others when we use them, or just because we’re excited, scared, or nervous about something and can’t think of anything smarter to say.

I have noticed that there is less swearing going on in the military these days. Four-letter words almost seemed a normal part of spoken language years ago when I served, and I’m glad to see it on the wane.

People die, especially in battle, and it’s important to show that. It is not normal or expected for everyone to live on. The same holds true for staying in the military or any career field: their commitment to their ideals change, their goals change, their priorities change. It’s important to show that in every story too.

Thanks for reading!

12 January 2003

Dear Dale,

I was perusing the internet, checking for any new releases by my favorite authors when I stumbled upon a reference to "Plan of Attack" by none other than Dale Brown! I immediately logged on to your website to confirm this information and, much to my satisfaction, I found that you had, indeed, written another novel. MAHALO! I abandoned your website for Amazon.com and pre-ordered the novel just minutes ago. I am so excited that I'm not sure how I'll be able to wait until May!

In any case, this is the first time I've ever emailed you and I was hoping you could spare some time to answer a few of my questions?

Q: Who is your favorite author and why?

I don’t really have a favorite author, but I enjoy books from a great variety of writers: Stuart Woods, Stephen Coonts, Richard Bach, even Georgette Heyer.

Q: Which of your novels is your favorite and why?

The three novels in which I took the most chances: “Flight of the Old Dog,” “Day of the Cheetah,” and “Plan of Attack.”

Q: Hypothetically, who would you vote for -- Martindale or Thorn?

Definitely Martindale. I created Thomas Thorn to be everything I would be afraid of any American president doing or believing in—isolationism, withdrawal from the global society, disengagement, laissez-faire. Thorn’s ideology may have worked in eighteenth-century America, when Europe was tearing itself apart, but not in the twenty-first century.

Martindale has his flaws, but he’s a leader. That’s what America expects of its presidents.

Q: Theoretically, could General Elliott have survived his fate in "Fatal Terrain?"

Theoretically, yes. Actually…

Q: I've wondered why General Saint-Michael hasn't had a cameo, is it reasonable to assume that the events described in "Silver Tower" take place in McLanahan's future reality?

Jason Saint-Michael will be back, and not just in a “cameo.”

… Please keep up the good work, I look forward to reading and re-reading your novels. THANK YOU!

Thank YOU!

26 January 2004

Do you think the American Military can overcome the Kimchees, I'm starting to think that the way the war went in Iraq,it would be much harder to combat in N.Korea.

A victory against North Korea would be difficult, but not because North Korea is stronger or better than the U.S., but because the consequences might be unacceptable.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a totalitarian military state that is virtually closed off from the outside world and has been on a hair’s trigger for war for over fifty years. The military pervades every facet of its society, not just for defense but as a way to control the people and spread Communist ideology. Its stated goal is complete domination of the entire peninsula by force of arms—not peaceful co-existence, reconciliation, or even reunification.

I believe we could destroy any of North Korea’s nuclear, chemical, biological, or missile facilities with relative ease. North Korea has a large defense force and is in a constant and high state of preparedness, but with a few exceptions its weapons are old, most are obsolete, and shortages of food, fuel, and spare parts has reduced the Korean People’s Army’s training level, efficiency, and overall effectiveness.

The problem: it is generally perceived that the North Korean leadership is unstable and unpredictable, and the smallest punitive strike or even a defensive reaction to a North Korean incursion or accident could lead to an all-out war on the Korean peninsula, possibly with biological, chemical, and even nuclear weapons. Triggering a large-scale attack on Seoul, South Korea—easily within missile and even long-range artillery range of North Korean forces—is something the U.S. doesn’t want to do unless the threat is truly imminent.

It is highly unlikely that North Korean president Kim Jong-il would allow the U.S. the luxury of six months of mobilization and preparation before attacking like Saddam Hussein did before Operation Desert Storm. North Korea threatens war on the South and on America almost on a weekly basis. We have canceled joint U.S.-South Korean military training exercises many times over the years simply because North Korea thinks it is a prelude to war and threatens to attack—and we take their threats very, very seriously.

North and South Korea are technically still in a state of war—a cease-fire was signed in July 1953 but not a peace treaty—and there are over one million troops arrayed along the Demilitarized Zone, plus thousands of tanks, artillery pieces, mortars, machine guns, and mines.

So the answer is: yes, we could fight and win a war in North Korea—but the consequences may be completely unacceptable.

29 January 2004

Started reading wings of fire on Friday, big mistake. I ignored my wife and dog the rest of the weekend. Great Work! Couldn't put it down and finished at work Monday. Keep up the good work. I will read AirBattleForce next. thanx again,

Thank YOU!

31 January 2004

Hey!

Things are good here. The new job is great. I made more decisions in the first two days than I have in the last 6 months. The Squadron Commander said "I want you to run the squadron so I can command the squadron." I'm involved in every aspect, to include operations, of the squadron and have 12 staff officers to help out.

Securing the [upcoming constitutional] elections would be no problem. We've handled at least a dozen similar missions already. We've secured banks during the new currency switch-over and secure all important political and infrastructure sites. The Iraqi security forces (police, civil defense and army) are starting to come online and are making a difference. The populous is becoming very supportive and providing more information everyday. We would secure voting locations, political rallies, provide advice on how to set things up, etc.

Oh by the way, we got hit by mortars last night in our base camp. Four 82mm rounds resulting in two minor casualties. We didn't have air coverage up but the radar did pick up the point of origin. We got there after the guys split and only found their tracks and a spare fuzed round they left behind. Hopefully, this won't become a trend. Other units have got hit by the "Mad Mortarman" for weeks every day.

Say hello to everyone and give them my love.

-Jim Brown
Executive Officer
1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment
"War Eagles"

Hey bro: Congratulations on the new position!

For everyone’s information, I occasionally bounce news items off my brother to see how various thoughts and opinions jive with what’s actually going on in Iraq. I have generally found that standard news media report just the ugly, deadly, difficult aspects of the conflict and don’t report enough of the positive. While that may sell advertising time and space, it doesn’t portray a complete and accurate picture of the job our troops are doing in Iraq.

Jim’s comments are not official in any way.

One news item talked about the United States announcing that the Army can provide security for elections in Iraq now, instead of later on in the summer as previously reported, and that this announcement was meant to try to persuade the Sunni and Ba’athist insurgents to stop their attacks or else the U.S. would let popular elections be held, which would most likely result in an overwhelming victory for the Sh’ia majority.

Other news items talked about the possibility of earlier than expected withdrawals from Iraq, especially heavier armored, artillery, and infantry units, to be only partially replaced by light infantry, light armor, and more special operations outfits.

Click here for more on Plan Of Attack!

[AMAZON.COM]
Get Plan Of Attack At Amazon.Com!

Plan Of Attack (MAY 2004)

The unthinkable is about to happen in this high-flying novel of adventure and suspense.

In Air Battle Force, Dale Brown introduced U.S. Air Force aerial warfare expert Major General Patrick McLanahan and his air combat unit of the future. Armed with a force of these robotic planes, the general and a handful of commandos were secretly deployed to the oil-rich nation of Turkmenistan to stop a Taliban invasion. And though the Americans won the battle, the war is far from over....

To punish McLanahan and his fleet of robot warplanes for their audacity, Russian president General Anatoliy Gryzlov decides to do the unthinkable: a sneak attack on America-unlike anything ever believed possible-that devastates her strategic air forces.

McLanahan has collected information that not only foretold the Russians' daring plan, but also gave him the data he needs to plan a counterstrike that could stop the Russian war machine dead in its tracks. But Patrick is no longer in charge of Air Battle Force, and the Russian sneak attack has left the embattled U.S. president with few options: retaliate with every weapon in his arsenal, even if it triggers a global thermonuclear war, or to a cease fire on Russia's terms...

...or listen to a disgraced and discredited young bomber commander's long-shot plan of attack.

"The novels of Dale Brown brim with violent action, detailed descriptions of sophisticated weaponry and political intrigue... His ability to bring technical weaponry to life is amazing."
--San Francisco Chronicle

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