Strike Group Reagan-The Author Interview
We are preempting our regular Sea Links post for a few hours to give you something special! In a rare treat for New Wars, here is our first ever blog interview! It is especially gratifying for yours truly because Harold C. Hutchison, author of Strike Group Reagan is someone whose writing we have admired for several years, from Strategypage.com, his own blog, and now he has a new book!
Will you briefly describe the plot of Strike Group Reagan?
Pretty much it is the response of a carrier strike group to a crisis – and it is the tale of how American military personnel proceed to deal with what goes on during that response. In particular, I focus on a fighter pilot with the air wing on USS Ronald Reagan, Lieutenant Renee Patterson; her sister Angela, a student studying abroad who is in the line of fire; and Rear Admiral Kevin Bradshaw the commander of the carrier strike group.
What inspired you to write this story?
One big motivator was the sense that I could do better than Hollywood. Strike Group Reagan started out as a screenplay, and I decided to turn it into a novel. Most Hollywood films portray the military very poorly – the latest is Brothers, which pretty much paints the returning vet as a PTSD sufferer who’s nanometers away from snapping.
The best portrayals are films like Independence Day or Transformers, when they’re fighting aliens or Decepticons. Even after 9/11, practically nobody did anything real – you had Donald Bellisario with JAG and NCIS, Lionel Chetwynd doing DC 9/11: Time of Crisis, and that was it.
The selection of a carrier strike group responding to a crisis was a natural. Every President since FDR’s first question is, “Where are the carriers?” In Operation Enduring Freedom, the first major asset in the area was USS Enterprise (CVN 65) which was quite appropriate in the sense that her predecessor (CV-6) launched the first attacks in response to Pearl Harbor, the last time we had been attacked.
So, I wanted to focus on carriers and how they are America’s first responders in a foreign crisis.
As mentioned in the publisher’s review, how like “events taking place around the globe” is this book?
Think of it this way – we had to evacuate Americans from Lebanon in 2006. We’ve also had a major maritime crisis off Somalia. In the 1990s, we had to deploy carriers to crisis points across the globe. Of course, there was also 9/11, and how carriers have been on the front lines of the war on terror ever since.
Any particular message within the storyline that you would like to convey to readers concerning the terrorism issue with Strike Group Reagan?
That the people serving in our military are heroes. They are America’s best, and they accomplish so much – often overcoming obstacles. They face some of the world’s worst, and they’re all volunteers.
Tell us a little about your background.
I grew up in a Navy family – my dad was in the front lines during the Cold War (he did a deterrence patrol on a ballistic missile submarine). I was looking into military service, but my medical history ruled it out.
What else have you written and anything in the works for the future?
I am working on the sequel to Strike Group Reagan. When I have spare time, I have also been sketching out other ideas.
Thanks so much Harold C. Hutchison! Sounds like an exciting book, relevant for current events. Anyone interested in purchasing Strike Group Reagan can do so at the publisher’s website, and at a very reasonable price I noticed.