By Dale Brown
In army circles it is referred to as Air conflict Force—an air wrestle unit of the long run, less than the command of aerial war specialist significant common Patrick McLanahan, able to launching stealthy, precision-guided firepower to at any place at the globe inside hours. And now McLanahan and his warriors have their first target.
Driven from Afghanistan, the parasitic forces of the deposed Taliban regime have made up our minds to feed on a brand new host—an remoted, oil-rich crucial Asian neighbor that is ripe for the conquering. The conflict for keep an eye on of the world's greatest oil deposits has all started, with unsteady alliances forming and opposing forces set to collide. And now a handful of yank commandos part an international away, aided through McLan-ahan's unproven robot warplanes, must triumph opposed to overwhelming numbers in a conflict that nobody—including "friendly" forces at home—wants them to win.
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Is that your son, common? " Daren whispered incredulously. Patrick nodded. "Bradley James. i have been so busy the final numerous days, i have not been with him greatly. i could not stand being clear of him any further, so I instructed him we have been happening a tenting journey. i do know it is forecast to head under freezing this night, and he is acquired tuition, yet I did it besides. We cooked scorching canine and macaroni and cheese--his favourite convenience foods--we checked out the celebs via a telescope, and he conked out. " "You took your son out to the wilderness while you are engaged on a venture? " 18385_ch01. qxd 5/22/03 11:21 AM web page ninety six ninety six DALE BROWN "Couldn't ponder anything to do," Patrick acknowledged. He checked out his son and sighed. "I continually desired to take him out tenting, yet his mom did not enjoy the belief. He has a coarse evening if we do anything that we used to do jointly, so camping out appeared to kill birds"--he swallowed a section, then corrected himself--"I suggest, it looked as if it would healthy the invoice well. " Daren had heard whatever approximately a few nice tragedy in McLanahan's existence, yet nobody had laid it out for him, out of appreciate for the fellow. It evidently had anything to do together with his spouse, Bradley's mom. This used to be a truly surreal scene: a tender commanding basic, for my part tracking a massive undertaking being carried out in his high-tech unit, yet concerned--disturbed? --enough to convey his son out to the positioning in a sound asleep bag. How bizarre used to be this? "Anything i will assist you with, sir? " "I desire so. that is why I bought you assigned the following from the Pentagon," Patrick acknowledged. He ran his fingers wearily over his face and his short-cropped hair. "This isn't really an respectable wing undertaking, Daren. i have no budget--not one dime. i am stealing gas and flight hours from the wing already because it is. yet I promised the manager that i would have anything to teach him. " "I do not get it, sir," Daren commented. "Aren't you the commanding officer right here? " "Officially, Daren, i do not exist here," McLanahan admitted. "The First Air conflict strength used to be stood up the following, yet we do not have a undertaking. it truly is my task to construct one. The One-eleventh Wing is the single legit unit right here. My investment runs out September 30th of this 12 months. I talked the manager and SECDEF into bringing them the following to determine if we will be able to combine them right into a deployable strength, yet i haven't got a employees or the cheap. whilst the cash runs out, it closes down. " "Excuse me, sir, yet what precisely are you engaged on? " Daren requested. McLanahan entire typing notes, obtained up, checked on Bradley to ensure he used to be hot adequate, then motioned to Daren. "Come with me, Colonel. " Daren McLanahan out of the tent. He instantly observed the tall, android-looking determine status within reach, now sporting a 18385_ch01. qxd 5/22/03 11:21 AM web page ninety seven AIR conflict strength ninety seven large futuristic-looking weapon. "Excuse me, sir, yet what in hell is that? " "You suggest 'who,' " Patrick corrected him. "Gunnery Sergeant Matthew Wilde, Air conflict strength floor operations," Patrick responded. "Ground operations? You suggest, strive against floor operations?