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Target: NIMITZ by Gary Carter

Target: NIMITZ

by Gary Carter

313 pages
Retired naval officer Frank Warren quits his airline job and rejoins the defense department as a civilian. In the White House Situation Room, he challenges CentComís plan to thwart Iranís naval forces in the Persian Gulf. Surprisingly, the president adopts Frankís alternative approach, but both sidesí assumptions of the outcome are flawed.

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About the Book
Retired naval officer Frank Warren, now an airline pilot, is on the final day of a routine, four-day trip. On board is William "Will Call" Stimson, U.S. Navy (ret) who now works on Capitol Hill. Will Call and Warren, fellow commanding officers while on active duty developed a strong friendship during their command tours and remained close when each retired. Will Call Stimson knows of an opening in the secretary of defense organization and thinks he knows who the perfect candidate for the job is.

Will Call waits for the passengers to deplane in Atlanta and then surprises Warren with a warm handshake and a hug. They talk in the concourse where Will Call describes the position which Frank considers enticing. After a discussion with wife Mary, they decide to pursue this new opportunity and relocate to the Washington, D.C. area.

In the Pentagon, Frank learns administrative protocols from Denise Emerson, an attractive assistant who seems to live far beyond her means. Also working there are two individuals whom Frank met while on active duty as a student at the National Defense University (NDU). Rear Admiral Joseph Donaldson, ďJoe 2-starĒ in Frank's mind, was a commander and an early selectee for captain at NDU. An outstanding and highly regarded naval officer, Radm. Donaldson's meteoric rise through the ranks resulted in his Pentagon assignment as the Navy's director of air warfare. Also assigned to the Pentagon was Sharon Fleming who serves as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. She, like Frank Warren and Joseph Donaldson, was a student at NDU and was a war game team member of Warren's during their academic year.

Warren, Donaldson, and Fleming are again brought together by unusual Iranian naval activity in the Persian Gulf. In the Situation Room of the White House all three individuals contribute to the formulation of a response by U.S. military forces to acts of aggression demonstrated by Iranians. The original plan briefed to the president doesn't seem right to war planning novice Frank Warren. Warren challenges CentCom's plan and proposes an alternate strategy. Surprisingly, the president invokes Warren's proposal and orders it implemented.

In the Persian Gulf, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) anchors due to issues with her nuclear-powered propulsion system. USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) and USS Milius (DDG-69) perform guard duty while Nimitz strives to get their reactors back online. As Sunday morning dawns, a B-52 Stratofortress screams over the heads of Iranian and American sailors and a second flyover ends with an explosive display of firepower. Iran's small boats and two submarines return to Bandar Abbas and the conflict in the Persian Gulf is resolved without further incident.

Each side views the event through their own lens and each draws erroneous conclusions. Frank Warren's uneasiness with the lifestyle and disposition of Denise Emerson is well founded but uncorroborated. Denise surreptitiously provides Tehran authorities with intelligence information she can obtain during her normal work routine, motivated by the death of her parents who died when their Iranian airliner was shot down by a United States warship in July 1988.

Von Clausewitz's "fog of war" theory proves itself again as the United States and Iran continue their delicate balancing act with potentially deadly consequences.

 

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About the Author
Gary Carter A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Gary Carter served 25 years on active duty. He flew S-3 Vikings from four different aircraft carriers, served as navigator of USS Nimitz (CVN-68), and worked in the office of the Secretary of Defense. After his naval service he flew 757s and 767s for Delta Air Lines and is a Certified Flight Instructor. A board member of North State Writers, a branch of the California Writers Club, he and his wife reside near family in northern California where he enjoys coaching T-ball.

 

 

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