The Protectors® Podcast

#428 | Dale Brown | NYT Best Seller | Veteran | With AM Adair Co-Host

May 31, 2023 Dr. Jason Piccolo Episode 428
#428 | Dale Brown | NYT Best Seller | Veteran | With AM Adair Co-Host
The Protectors® Podcast
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The Protectors® Podcast
#428 | Dale Brown | NYT Best Seller | Veteran | With AM Adair Co-Host
May 31, 2023 Episode 428
Dr. Jason Piccolo

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Dale Brown, NYT Best-Selling Author & veteran, joined The Protectors® to talk about his new book WEAPONS OF OPPORTUNITY, his writing research, AND a really cool topic that I knew less than nothing about; The Civil Air Patrol.  Thank you AM Adair for co-hosting!  

Support the Show.

Make sure to check out Jason on IG @drjasonpiccolo


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Show Notes Transcript

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Dale Brown, NYT Best-Selling Author & veteran, joined The Protectors® to talk about his new book WEAPONS OF OPPORTUNITY, his writing research, AND a really cool topic that I knew less than nothing about; The Civil Air Patrol.  Thank you AM Adair for co-hosting!  

Support the Show.

Make sure to check out Jason on IG @drjasonpiccolo


Unknown:

Hey welcome back to the protectors podcast we are back episode form 20 something right now but have another nother excellent author actually have two authors on today but you know I'm gonna give Dale his kudos Dale has been a New York Times everywhere for so long it's such an incredible author and I'm also joined by am Adair my awesome co host you've seen her around here and she were talking about retirement before this but hey Dale, welcome to the show. Thank you very much for having me. That's a bad thing when you get people were like around our age is not will not our ages. But like people who were in a retirement stage were like, Let's talk about retirement. What is it really like? Because I'm two weeks into it. And I'm like, not really retired. I mean, I still have to write I still have to do other stuff. But yeah, I think well, you can say you're retired when your schedule is yours. That that's that's pretty fair. And Dale, I don't think you've ever been retired. Have you been writing for so long? And so many incredible books out? How many books do you have out now? Weapons of opportunity is number 31. And and I've also co authored other books with the Dreamland series and other series. All total I probably have probably have 50 novels out there. Yeah, well we're talking about today is Dale browns, weapons of opportunity. A Nick Flynn novel. The protagonist names are the best things ever. Nick Flynn, strong character name, I love it. Let's talk. Let's talk about the book because I want to get into a topic I really am very fascinated by but weapons of opportunity. What's What's the premise was our protagonist, his main goal on this one are weapons of opportunity. He's a third in a series of the Nick Flynn novels. Nick Flynn has started a feud with the Russians back back two books ago, when he was he was still in the Air Force. He was he was involved in a special operations mission that that went wrong. So he was banished to to Alaska to up to a to a radar site in Alaska. And he at the same time the Russians were out. We're we're probing American air defenses in that area. So now, our next lesson has joined a a a paramilitary. So soldiers are fortunate out of it called the a quartet directorate, which dates back to World War Two. And now he's doing missions for them. So this is what their feud with the Russians still still goes on. He's he fought the Russians in, in Arctic storm rising and now he's he's fighting it with weapons of opportunity. Now, where are we going to see the protagonist? Or we're going to be like South America. We're gonna be in Eurasia. Or where's he at this time? Yeah, all the above. Started started in Alaska. It's, it's now moved to the United States. It's moved to Mexico. It's I've moved to the Middle East. So So I've gotten Nicklin running around the whole world. stamp that passport. Exactly, has almost like a bond esque feel to it. Like you have a Spectre and then mi six feel a little bit. Where did you get the idea for for the director of the Quartet. He was doing a little research about, about special operation stuff during World War Two. And it came across the actual name of quartet Directorate. And so I decided to abscond with the name and take it from there. Now, they're still still based in the United States based in Florida. But I stole the idea and I want to keep on going so far. It's it's done very well. But but the whole Nick Flynn idea was was I wanted to sort of get away from the, from the high tech, military aviation stuff that I've been been writing for the past 32 years. So NIC Flynn was the answer. And that's exactly what I wanted him to do. I wanted him to be the more of a Jason Bourne James Bond tech character, which is completely different than than the Air Force military guys that I've been writing about for so long. You know, what the GWAS and everything else has been going on for the past 20 years the Air Force really when you get into the Air Force, special operations, wings and the guys on the ground and the guys and girls in the air and the guys girls on the ground, I should say as well, but it's definitely changed my perception from being like a 90s army guy and then why me g white as well, but the 90s Air Force to me was like the cush it was like the best Escape you could possibly ever get, you know, when you when you're talking about the deployment for them, you're talking about, hey, you know, what five star hotel you're gonna stay in. But you know, there's one thing Desert Storm was a perfect essay Desert Storm was a perfect example of what the Air Force was capable of doing. And it was just incredible to watch those guys in action. Just mean, a month and a half worth of combat. And they were in their elements they were they were in control the skies, they were in control of the the airfields inside of Iraq and was a great demonstration what what the US Air Force can do and all the coalition aircraft also. But the Air Force was the tip of the spear and it was they did a really terrific job. So this could have been kind of fun for you is kind of Yeah, like you said, You've been waiting in the Air Force world in the heavy tech world for a very long time. So it's such a change had to been challenging, but I imagine it was a lot of fun exploring a new character. It was it was a lot of research and a lot of you know, just pondering what the next character is going to be what what Nick Flynn was going to was going to be and I wanted, just like Jason said, you know, he's it's a strong, very strong protagonist name. So I thought I stuck with that. And I didn't, I was hoping you wouldn't get too corny or too, too crazy. But, but, but the other readers loved the name. They loved the whole concept. They really liked that, that, that Nick is not in the airforce anymore, because they were afraid that that I would kind of go back to back to the old world. So so they're really happy with the with the Quartet Directorate. And they're, they're having fun with Nick Polana. Get I get great comments from the readers now. What they want to see out of him next. They don't want we don't want him to get get so high tech like, like Patrick McClanahan did so so I'm going to go tamp it down a little bit. But I still like the high tech stuff. Nick is going to be we have to read through the weapons but but I love doing the I love doing the high tech weapons. And the high tech vehicles, especially with Nick's thing is is high tech vehicles. And he saw I'm having a I'm having a great time with him. I love the feedback from the readers. And it's it's really egging me on now. Now, do you have your like your go to people for doing your research? Like I got this Air Force guy over here? I got this special forces person over here and how are you doing your research for especially for Nick? Well, the database for Nick isn't as extensive as the ones for the Air Force, I've got a I've got a huge list of names. But the Air Force guys, I had to be really careful to get feedback from them all the time, but I have to be careful not to use that feedback from from any particular person. If he if he gives me a tip or it gives me some some information to be very careful to go through the public affairs people and do it from the from the bottom up rather than from from the top down. So that, you know, like I said the database for Nick Flynn's characters, isn't that extensive yet, but, but this is the only book three of the Netflix series. So so I'm working on that the list is growing. But like I said, I get a lot of feedback from readers and from from experts, I hope they're experts. And I just want to be very careful about staying away from classified information. And what we stay away from the whole classified world, I was very careful to do that. The Air Force stuff, you know, back then everything about the B 52. And especially the nuclear missions were were all classified top secret, even even the way the landing gear and the the B 52 folded up was classified. So I got to be really careful with that stuff. I'm very careful not to write about nuclear conflict. Although I got away from that, now that I'm more more well known in the Air Force and with Air Force Public Affairs, so I felt pretty good with the plan of attack going into the nuclear comm combat storylines with Nick Flynn. He's a developing character at the same time I'm developing my contacts with with him to see that's actually an interesting point. How do you like what kind of due process do you have to go through to have your storylines bedded storylines I haven't had to have the storylines vetted what I what I really concentrated on was the technology with the year craft with the organization of of units and things like that, but, but not really what the storylines? No, actually. And actually, no one's ever asked me for any kind of clearance for the storylines, it's up, they, you know, before 911, it was clearance to visit units and visit bases and things like that I was a first civilian to actually fly in the B two stealth bomber, just because I asked him and bugged him for for six months to do it. And the flight lasted all 15 minutes, but but after about six months of work, but but but just you know, before 911, things like that were really possible. Nowadays, it's the units that I want to talk to are either are either deployed or getting ready to deploy or coming back from deployment. So it's really difficult to to get onto a military base. So the internet is always great. I'm really careful about the sources in the internet but but but the internet is great. And I still have a very large group of people I can call on for for basic information. And then like I said, do the the bottom up vetting for that for Nick Clegg, we'll have to see how it goes. I think you have a subject matter expert right there with am you know, she's, she's got a great background. I definitely put you guys in contact when you get off of here because some interesting, interesting career wise, but Dale, this is this is a topic I want to talk about. This is a topic I want to learn about. I am 50 years old, and I know next to nothing about the Civil Air Patrol. So let's just start from beginning what is it similar Air Patrol is a civilian volunteer arm of the US Air Force. We we look a lot like the Air Force we are regulations are structured just like the the active duty a regulations. The Civil Air Patrol was was chartered back on December 1 1941. And it was made part of the Air Force by by Congress in 1947. It's we have about a 65,000 senior members and about 30,000. Cadet members. Civil Air Patrol has the world's largest fleet of single engine Cessna airplanes. We have 550 single engine airplanes. And we're the seventh largest air force in the world. We have not just the powered airplanes, but we have gliders. We have unmanned aerial vehicles, we even have balloons now. So it's, we do missions. Usually assigned to us by the by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. So we get get our missions directly from the Air Force. And the the they've started out really a search and rescue missions. With the electronics and with the with the technology that's been going on, they've been a search and rescue pretty much done electronically. Now. If a person has a digital cell phone, that can pretty much be picked up anywhere in the country. So it's Search and Rescue is not our primary job anymore. Now we do do a lot of photo reconnaissance aerial photography, with the flooding going on here. In Nevada, I expect to get the call any day now for from counties and the state to to have us photograph the water going across highways, flooded fields, things like that. So so that was a big back in the floods in 2017. We were flying one or two missions a day for for probably two weeks for for for different county agencies and with the state. And I expect to get the call here anytime but our guys our mission pilots, like myself, we're all trained to Air Force standards. But but but the difference if the Air Force had to go out to fly some of these missions where the county or the state, they for helicopter, they paid $5,000 an hour to do it. Civil Air Patrol can do it for$135 an hour, and they get the same quality of photographs, because we trained to Air Force standards for for photography, things like photography, search patterns, things like that. So, so we're, we're the volunteer arm of the US Air Force. That's, that's where we get most of our missions from. And it's a really great volunteer organization. It's, it's my squadron has about about 55 members altogether. 30 senior members and 25 Cadet members It's a really great organization to volunteer organization. senior members can be 18. And up, there's no upper limit to the age limit. You know, cadets can can join at age 12. And they can go, they can go up to age or a team. All the cadets are guaranteed once they join and get their orientation stuff. They're guaranteed five power orientation flights, and five glider orientation flights. And after that, they can pick up their of their pilot training. After that we've got got two cadets right now going through through pilot training. And since I've been in the, in the in Civil Air Patrol, we've had, in fact, we have one member in the squadron right now who's uh, went through similar patrol getting, getting his different qualifications. So he's got his private pilot's license, his commercial pilot's license, and his is certificated flight instructor license. So, Ivan is just incredible. But that's the kind of thing you can do in the Civil Air Patrol. Plus, along with the flying stuff, you can learn about communications, you can learn about a ground search our operations, we have ground teams, we can, we can send out on searches, or you can fly a drone, we rely on drones a lot, especially with the situation going on right now. Where we, we can drive up to a to a scene where they want photographs. So we'll take the drone will fly over a flooded field or flooded roadway to to let the other county recede, know the extent of their flooding. So we can do a lot of things that the sheriff's department can't do. And they would we horribly expensive for the for the Sheriff's Department or the Air Force to do so. So that's a nutshell the Civil Air Patrol. It's a great organization. Like I said, anybody can join, we would love to have you. And there's so many things you can learn so many things you can can take advantage of in Civil Air Patrol. Okay, I think I just found my next opportunity. No, we, you know, we there is so much I never thought about, like the reconnaissance and like drones. You know, there's a lot of veterans, a lot of prior service getting out that, you know, want to become drone pilots, they want to get licensed, they want to do what they want to get back. And when I think like the Civil Air Patrol, I think well, well, okay, you're, there's gonna be a few pilots here and there. But then you think about the logistics and all the other support personnel, and primary personnel, like when you got the search and rescue when you had the photography, when you have the reconnaissance, there's a lot of different opportunities there. Absolutely. And, and not just the flying stuff, like I said, but what if you want to get into to our communications, you want to get into to a ground search teams, it's, it's a great opportunity for anybody who thinks or they're unable to fly, they can they can fly a drone, they can, they can lead a search team, you know, they can lead a search team with a drone, things like that is the communication stuff is, is really terrific for people who don't want to don't want to go out in the field don't want to fly, but they want want to stay at headquarters, and they want to operate the radios, they want to want to monitor all those teams that they have deployed, it's a really great opportunity, check it out. I had no idea that was like no age limit, the idea of a 12 year old being able to get started and no cap at the top is phenomenal. So how would somebody get started, how would somebody volunteer, you can go to, to a ghost civil air patrol.com on the internet, and type in your zip code. And it'll tell you where the closest Squadron is. And then and then just go and visit a squadron. And you can just walk right in, you don't have to there's no permission or, or anything like that. Walk into the squadron when they're going to have their meeting, introduce yourself, especially introduce yourself to the to the squadron commander. And if you have a son or daughter, bring them to and they can join at the same time. But it's a it's a you have to attend three meetings. And then and then we have the membership committee meet. And hopefully by then you've met then enough of the of the membership committee and the and the squadron will get together we'll decide if, if, if we want to extend a membership application. And then we start the process you have to get fingerprints and fill out the applications and stuff. We send that all that into to a Maxwell Air Force Base to camp headquarters. And we start the process. Most of the training that you have to do for for level one takes about two months, three months out. 90% of it is online. So you can do it at your own speed. There's there's a few interviews with the squadron commander with other other people from I'm sure committee with the, with the, with the education committee guys. But it's a very easy process. Once you're in level one, you can start flying, if you're a pilot, you can you can start flying as a senior member, you can get your your pilot's license through Civil Air Patrol. But but once you get your, your pilot's license from any other agency outside, then you can use Civil Air Patrol aircraft and instructors to to get other ratings like a commercial like, like instrument ratings and things like that. So, so it's a great opportunity for, for, especially for pilots, even if you're not a current pilot, we can get you current, and then you can can start working on the other ratings like a commercial instrument. But it's a it's a terrific opportunity. But like I said, there's no there's no upper limit. One of the guys in my squadron, Russ, he's been in Civil Air Patrol for 50 years. And it's, we have another we have another member of my squadron who joined as a cadet, and, and he, he's been in Civil Air Patrol for 30 years. So it's, it's a really great organization, you have lots of opportunities to to advance to get get, get more rank, more responsibilities. There's, there's other others wing opportunities, there's region opportunities. So So the sky's the limit, really similar patrol, if you just want to flight I caution, you know, potential new members who think, you know, Civil Air Patrol must be like a flying club, and all you're going to do is is fly, we really don't want you to do that we want you to get active and involved in the squadron. Civil Air Patrol squadrons like any organization needs people to run it, the admin people and personnel people and, and instructors and trainers and things like that. So, so he wants you to get involved once, once, once I start the the application process with somebody, I pin him down and ask them what they want to do and Civil Air Patrol. If they say, Well, I just want to fly they actually that's what I first said when I joined Civil Air Patrol, you know, I'm a pilot, I just want to fly. Now, we really don't want you to do that we want you to get involved. Your rank up, you know, get different ranks, I think there was there was the issue with with me in the Air Force is that I didn't understand that the Air Force wanted me to get that master's degree and get the squadron officer school and do all those educational things. Because Because as a captain, you know, without all those other stuff I wrote really wasn't promotable so So I sort of signed my own death warrant after that in Civil Air Patrol, we want you to do it and I encourage members to do that to to take advantage of all this training we can give you for free. If you're a pilot, we give you your your flight instructor for free. We don't charge for that. You have to pay the it's a discounted rate for the airplane. But you don't pay for the flight instructors. Obviously you have to get make sure they're available but because we really rely on our flight instructors in my squadrons Lucky's it would be we've got get I think we're up to 11 Flight Instructors now so we were really really fortunate for that but but yeah, you have to get really have to get involved with Civil Air Patrol. If you're going to say well I just you know I'm just going to fly or I'm just going to get a run the radios and it's probably not for you. completely honest. I in my mind, I pictured the Civil Air Patrol is like you know, a couple runways here and there like you know on a backwoods somewhere and there's some guys with a couple Cessnas and once in a while they get called up they slap on or BTUs and they do some flying. You know, check some things out I did not realize that like when you said it was like the seventh largest Air Force. There's 1000s and 1000s out there this is incredible. I never knew this opportunity was out there for you know, especially me I have teenagers and I have a 13 and a 15 year old and I'm like wow this is like this is something perfect. Hey, maybe they don't want to fly maybe they want to do something else and gain some sort of skill. This is credible. Or check out the if they think they don't want to fly. All new cadets get get five powered rides and five glider rides. The the a member of my squadron who who has as a flight instructor and commercial license, he he never even knew what a glider was. Until he got gotten Civil Air Patrol he was offered the opportunity to take a glider ride after that he was hooked. So it's so you never really know if you think that you want to fly but you get into the radio room. And you see all those radios up on the wall and and say well this is really cool, you know I thought that all they wanted to do is fly or they want to do is to do ground teams or drones. But then you get into the radio room and you and you look around and see all that stuff. And you say, Wow, that's what I've walked on. That's what I want. You just really have to get involved with the squadron. You know, don't focus on one or two areas, get the whole Civil Air Patrol experience. Go to the conferences, go to the go to the different meanings go to different squadrons. Check them out. And that's one of the really great things about civil air patrols. It's not just your one squadron. It's not just your one. You one group. But what can we get? Six squadrons in Northern Nevada. Others, there's another seven squadrons down in Southern Nevada. But but you can go and visit any one of them, when they're going to have when they're having a meeting and just check them out and see what other opportunities, what sort of personalities are out there. It's a wonderful organization. Well, I think I know where we're gonna be looking up after we get off here. Good. That's great. Dale, I really appreciate this. This is probably one of the most eye opening experiences for me when it comes to something not knowing, not knowing information. I think we can all say that. Absolutely. It was like my husband's been joking. He has one of the VR headsets and he's been playing a flying game. And he's convinced he's so good at it, that he could fly real. So this might be a good opportunity for him to actually see if he can, but it's fantastic. I do have a radio voice. Hey, Victor is 1654. Well, Dale, I really appreciate you coming on everybody. The book is weapons of opportunity and Nick Flynn novel by Dale Brown. And Dalat really serious has been great talking about Civil Air Patrol and about the book. Jason, thanks very much for having me on. I'd love to come back someday. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, we I believe me after I get a look at the Civil Air Patrol, and I take the kids over there. We're gonna have you back on for sure. All right. Great. Am Very nice to meet you. Pleasure. Pleasure talking to you, sir. Thank you and keep keep jamming them out. We see them everywhere. And we love it. That's, I mean, I'm here in Lake Tahoe. It's it's a great place. The snow we have 500 inches of snow last season. It snows finally over. And it's once we get past the flood stage. It's an absolutely beautiful place to work and, and you raise a family and and I'm really lucky for that. I'm lucky for the for the for the mindand squadron Civil Air Patrol. And I'm just having a blast. But what you talked about retirement. I don't want to retire. I mean, I'm just getting going. Let's see the same here. I'm not really retired. I'm just taking like a two week break. Just switching focus, that's all Exactly. Again, thank you very much for having me on the show. Thank you so much, Dale. Thank you