Air Battle Force
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In military circles it's known as Air Battle Force—an air combat unit of the future, under the command of aerial warfare expert Major General Patrick McLanahan, capable of launching stealthy, precision-guided firepower to anywhere on the globe within hours. And now McLanahan and his warriors have their first target.
Driven from Afghanistan, the parasitic forces of the deposed Taliban regime have decided to feed on a new host—an isolated, oil-rich Central Asian neighbor that's ripe for the conquering. The battle for control of the world's largest oil deposits has begun, with unsteady alliances forming and opposing forces set to collide. And now a handful of American commandos half a world away, aided by McLan-ahan's unproven robotic warplanes, will have to triumph against overwhelming numbers in a war that nobody—including "friendly" forces at home—wants them to win.
one. "It's been great working with you again--although this cockpit is sure as hell different from the last one we went to war in." He paused, looking at the satellite imagery and analysis data being presented on the supercockpit display in front of him. "Wonder what the general is going to do?" "I don't see he has much choice. He's got to withdraw," Rebecca said. "Nine regiments--that's as many as a hundred and twenty aircraft, if the regiments are fully staffed. We're outnumbered twenty to
Mace murmured. He noticed Rebecca stifling another smile. "Why doesn't he taxi up to the hammerhead?" "He's okay for now," Rebecca said. Into her commlink, she spoke, "Bobcat Four-one, Alpha, clear me in for last chance." "Roger, Alpha, radars down, brakes set, cleared in." "Alpha's coming in." They started their slow drive around the Stratotanker, looking for open access panel, preflight streamers pulled, landing-gear downlock keys removed, serviceable tires, and to be sure the flaps were
DALE BROWN hand the power, charisma, and energy Kevin Martindale possessed. Their goals meshed perfectly: William Hitchcock wanted political influence, and Kevin Martindale needed financial backing for another run at the White House. "What's up?" Martindale asked. "A potential shit storm in Turkmenistan," Hitchcock said. "Let me guess: The Russians are squawking that you're moving too quickly, and they want you to give up some of your fields. No problem. After what my Night Stalkers did to
to them, and they took it. But that's exactly who I'd like to bring with me." He nodded confidently at Hitchcock, trying to hide his feelings of dread. "Don't worry. I'll start the ball rolling from here--the threat of my coming to Turkmenistan should force Gurizev to cooperate. If necessary, I'll go to Ashkhabad and explain the facts of life to him. As for the Taliban, just be prepared to offer them some 'protection money,' and they'll leave your pipelines alone. Of course, the fact that we're
clear," Patrick said. "I'm taking full responsibility for this test. Your career won't suffer if it fails." "I'm concerned about this wing, not about my career." "Then that will be a first, " Patrick said acidly. "Now, I strongly encourage you to keep your opinions to yourself unless asked directly for them. Is that understood, Colonel?" "Yes, sir, " Long shot back. "Loud and clear, sir." Rebecca and Patrick finished their Form 781 logbook review and crew briefing, then began a walk-around