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Books by Tom Kovach

Dec 2006
Slingshot

Aug 2008
Tribulation: 2008

About the author

Tom Kovach lives near Nashville, is a former USAF Blue Beret, and has written for several online publications. In December of 2006, he published his first book, Slingshot. Tom's second book, Tribulation: 2008, was released in August of 2008.

Tom is also
an inventor, a horse wrangler, a certified paralegal, and a former network talk-show host. (He would like to lauch another talk show -- perhaps on your station.)

One highlight of Tom's career in the Air Force was serving on a protection detail for US President Ronald Reagan. Tom has also run for Congress (and might run again).

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January 2009

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Main

Monday, 01 December 2008, at 0104 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

December 1st is CIVIL AIR PATROL Day

Six days before the Japanese Empire conducted the surprise attack upon the American military bases around Pearl Harbor, civilian and military leaders culminated three years of pioneering discussions by creating the Civil Air Patrol.

Who?

Sadly, that is the reaction of most Americans.  During the post-Vietnam days, many young Americans learned to look down upon military service.  (Sadly, many of them were taught that outlook by their parents — many of whom were alive to raise families because they had dodged the draft a few years earlier.)  And, if people looked down upon professional military service, imagine how much more the "Me" Generation looked down upon unpaid, volunteer, para-military service.  Yet, even during the darkest days of the Jimmy Carter administration, teenage Americans became CAP cadets.

Those that joined the Civil Air Patrol during those anti-military years of the late 1970s became part of a rich history of patriotism and service.  In the mid-1930s, during the early days of the aviation industry, forward-thinking leaders of government, business, and industry conceived of a way that civic-minded aviators could serve their country and advance aviation safety.  The concept took the best aspects of the Army (remember, at that time there was no separate Air Force) and volunteer organizations such as the Boy Scouts, and put those aspects together in an aviation framework.  Although the Civil Air Patrol is the volunteer civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force, the CAP is actually older than the Air Force that it serves.  (The CAP was founded in December of 1941.  The USAF, evolved from the Army Air Corps, became a separate Armed Service in September of 1947.)

From the very beginning, the primary mission of Civil Air Patrol has been air search leading to ground rescue.  But, even as that important mission was being organized, our country was suddenly plunged into World War Two by the attack upon Pearl Harbor.  So, simultaneous with all the other war-related activities in America at that time (Victory Gardens, food rationing, gasoline rationing, young men leaving family farms to join the military, women going into factory work to replace the men that went to war, etc.), the volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol managed to create the first nationwide search-and-rescue network and create war-specific missions such as the Coastal Patrol.  And, keep in mind that these volunteers did this with their own money — buying their own uniforms, their own field gear, and — yes — even their own airplanes.

During World War Two, the Coastal Patrol missions of the Civil Air Patrol spotted 143 Nazi submarines off the United States coastline.  The CAP Coastal Patrol observers were credited with "assists" in the Navy's sinking of dozens of those enemy submarines.  Eventually, these volunteer, civilian pilots (nicknamed the "Flying Minutemen") were allowed to carry bombs aboard their aircraft.  Aircrews of the CAP Coastal Patrol actually sank two Nazi submarines without assistance!  They also used their bombs to damage other submarines that were later destroyed by the US Navy.

Other wartime missions of the Civil Air Patrol included courier flights of documents, material, and medicine.  The CAP also provided aerial towing of gunnery targets.  (Keep in mind that the artillery crews on the ground were students!)  And, during that time, the CAP also grew and improved their search-and-rescue (SAR) capabilities.  Those capabilities included developing the CAP Ranger Teams that conducted the ground rescues of lost people spotted by the aircrews.  Information gathered from various CAP SAR activities nationwide was consolidated into the development of the Hawk Mountain Ranger School.  (In the past, I've received angry e-mails from some former members of USAF Pararescue, who have tried to belittle the pioneering role of the CAP Rangers.  I've replied to several former PJs by telling them to research their own history, and write me back if they could prove me wrong.  Not one has ever written back.)  The original CAP SAR teams were developed in the early 1940s — building upon techniques by pioneering aviators before CAP was officially founded.  The Air Rescue Service, the parent organization of modern Pararescue, was founded in 1946  (although they trace their roots to a 1943 mission on the China-Burma border).

Both organizations serve vital functions, and many PJs were CAP Ranger cadets before they joined the Air Force.  The Air Force also conducts Pararescue Jumpers Orientation Course (PJOC) for selected CAP cadets.  (Keep in mind that the active-duty PJ instructors get paid to be there, but the CAP cadet students in this PJOC video pay to be there, and buy their own uniforms and basic gear.  One of my goals if ever elected to Congress is to provide funding for CAP members' uniforms and equipment, as the Canadians do for their Air Cadets.)  Just as the Hawk Mountain Ranger School was created to standardarze SAR procedures within CAP, the PJOC helps recruit and motivate those cadets that can become qualified as instructors at their various Wing-level schools in their home states.  The PJOC is one of the most sought-after cadet activities, and the selection process is designed to ensure the continued high quality of the course.  The Air Force also sees the value of the PJOC as a recruiting tool for the next generation of Pararescuemen.  Both organizations work together Stateside; only Pararescue operates overseas or in combat.  Because of the expense of operating Pararescue helicopters, CAP light aircraft are often used to fly grid searches.  The CAP aircrews will then radio their findings to mission headquarters, which might dispatch a Pararescue helicopter crew to the area.  Pararescuemen are trained to a much higher degree than CAP Rangers, but the CAP has also saved thousands of lives throughout its history.

The Vietnam War was "drawing down" in June of 1974, when I became a cadet.  My best friend in high school recruited me.  He was the "cadet commander" of the local CAP cadet squadron.  (Cadet squadrons have a two-tiered command structure.  Adult officers supervise all operations, but cadets have their own internal rank structure.  Both follow the Air Force model.)  In August of that year, my friend was also the cadet commander of the NY Wing Ranger School, which was located at a remote site known as Thunderbird Land-Rescue Training Center.  The "T-Bird" school followed the Hawk Mountain model, and used the Pennsylvania Wing Ranger Manual for curricula.  Hundreds of cadets passed through T-Bird in the 20-year history of that school.  Subjects included physical conditioning, obstacles, land navigation, survival, field sanitation, basic and advanced first-aid, various forms of communication (hand signals, radio, signal panels, mirrors, etc.), marksmanship, basic climbing, basic rappelling, etc.  Training was provided by people with SAR experience, and culminated in three-day "survival hikes" with minimal food or gear.  The survival hikes included timed cross-country navigation objectives, coupled with realistic SAR exercise scenarios.  The PJOC was developed after the Thunderbird School was shut down, due to NYC-area parental complaints that the school was "too tough" on their children.  (I was a staff instructor at the time, and heard some of those complaints -- from parents who claimed that they were only "sending their boy to camp".  But, those parents had signed about a half-dozen forms that stated the intense nature of the school, which had a fifty-percent washout rate every year of its existence.)

The CAP cadet program has been the foundation for many successful military careers, and successes in civilian life.  During the 20-year history of the T-Bird school, only six cadets ever earned the rating of Expert Ranger.  The first was Dick Cole, who went on to become a civilian Emergency Medical Technician.  The second was Don Carter, who became a CAP cadet squadron commander, an instructor at the T-Bird school, and an IBM engineer.  The third was Ted LaPlante, who went on to become a B-52 wing commander and later a senior staff member at The Pentagon.  (He was once part of a Time magazine cover story.)  The fourth was Charlie Hayes, who went on to become a reactor officer on a nuclear submarine, and later an instructor at a nuclear power plant.  The fifth was Dick Van Patten, who went on to become a C-130 navigator.  I was number six.

I spent 17 years in Civil Air Patrol, and 16-plus years in an Air Force uniform.  At my first "permanent" Air Force base, three former cadets met and we founded a CAP cadet squadron.  From that base, I also went "permissive TDY" back to T-Bird as an instructor.  Later, I became a deputy commander of my original cadet squadron.  At my last base, I became commander of a cadet squadron that was in the group commanded by my old high-school friend Charlie Hayes.  One of my cadets from that squadron went on to become a medic during Operation Desert Storm.

During my Air Force career, I tried to join Pararescue, but did not make the grade.  (Their school is nicknamed "Superman University" for good reason!)  I was able to do most of the things that they do -- including freefalls from ten thousand feet, sometimes on chopper loads that included PJs -- but I could not handle extreme Nap-of-the-Earth flights without vomiting from somewhere deep within my boots.  Watch a passenger go weightless inside a helicopter, not far from the ground, halfway through this NOE flight video.  At one point, the helicopter also does a complete barrel roll.  That is the sort of gut-wrenching flying that gets PJs into, and out of, battlefield hot spots.  They really are "a breed apart".

The Civil Air Patrol has a rich history of volunteerism and patriotism.  The CAP still provides important functions.  Those include air transport of human blood and organs, radiological monitoring (this was critical in the response to the Three-Mile Island nuclear incident), earthquake damage assessment, and the ever-present SAR missions that made CAP famous.

Speaking of famous, one of the many famous former CAP cadets is Nashville music superstar Aaron Tippin, whom I've interviewed a couple of times.  He was a commercial charter pilot before he was discovered as a musical talent.  He told me that his strong voice comes from singing over the sound of the tractor engine while working on his father's farm as a teenager.  (Aaron's father retired from the Air Force as a colonel.)

Tom Kovach in studio with Aaron Tippin

Sadly, the lamestream news media has chosen to focus annual attention on another anniversary that has been allowed to overshadow CAP Day.  Modern civilians are only told that the 1st of December is "World AIDS Day".  In the past 20 years since the inception of a day to commemorate political lobbying in favor of a disease, less and less news coverage has been given to Civil Air Patrol Day.  As a result, many Americans — especially high school students — do not even know that the CAP exists.  Civil Air Patrol Day was a legally-recognized anniversary in America for 42 years before "World AIDS Day" was even conceived.  So, the next time someone gets in your face about AIDS activism, simply remind them that the 1st of December has been, and will remain, Civil Air Patrol Day.


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Thursday, 02 October 2008, at 0710 hours
Central Time -- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

The smoking guns of Islam

Having studied foreign languages and cultures, I'm often ashamed of the "ugly American" attitude.  I saw it a lot when I was stationed in Korea for a year.  But, even though I try to be culturally aware, it still amazes me how much information is right before our faces, but we don't see it because of our myopic American view of the world.

Such is the case with certain dates on the Islamic calendar.  Those dates are the "smoking guns" of Islam.

During my investigation of the Flight 800 disaster (Wed, 17 Jul 1996 -- an airliner exploded in midair of the coast of Long Island), I became aware of just how seriously the Islamist terrorists consider their calendar when planning their attacks.  And, from their viewpoint, that makes perfect sense.  Their calendar is based upon their religion.  And, their attacks are part of a jihad -- a never-ending religious war to convert the entire world to Islam.  Therefore, they view their attacks upon America as religious events, and plan them accordingly.

We ignore that point at our peril.

Several years ago, I wrote a column (that, alas, did not get published) in which I correctly predicted the date of a terrorist attack three months in advance.  The only thing I used to do that was the Islamic calendar.  And, in retrospect, we might have been able to predict (and prevent?) the "9-11" attacks if our government would have used this same lens to examine terrorist trends.  (But, of course, using the Islamists religion against them would be "politically incorrect".)

Consider this.

On the 9th of January, 1991, US Secretary of State James Baker met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz.  The talks broke down.  Baker returned to the United States with his report.  Three days later, on 12 Jan 1991, a joint session of the United States Congress approved a "resolution on the use of force" -- the closest we have come to a Constitutionally-required "declaration of war" since December of 1941.  Three days after the resolution passed, the sun set on the last day of Operation Desert Shield.  When the sun rose the next morning, Baghdad had experienced the first "thunder and lightning" of Operation Desert Storm.

But, from an Islamic point of view, the war began on the day that the talks broke down.  From the point that Baker and Aziz failed to negotiate a peaceful resolution, the Islamic mindset is that the two countries were at war.  The resolution from Congress was, in the Islamist mind, a mere rubber-stamp formality.  On the Islamic calendar, the talks broke down on the date 22 Jumada t-Tania 1411.  Now, fast forward to the date 22 Jumada t-Tania 1422.

Or, on the Gregorian calendar, 11 September 2001.

But, as I began to write in my never-published book on the "9-11" attacks, (the title was Business as Usual, from the post-attack speech by President George W. Bush), that date was also the 60th anniversary (on the Gregorian calendar) of the groundbreaking ceremony for a building that was one of the engineering marvels of its day:  The Pentagon.  And, keep in mind that Osama bin-Laden is a civil engineer by training and by trade.  (He comes from a family of civil engineers; one of the wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia.)  One of the key sentences from that book was, "Osama bin-Laden is not a stupid man; he is an evil man."  The terrorist mastermind took into account -- albeit, from an Islamist viewpoint -- a date that should've been a resounding insult to Americans.

Apparently, bin-Laden underestimated our lamentable American penchant for historical nonchalance.

So, let's see if we can spark some interest.  Put on your thinking caps.  Follow the dominos.  Lets see if we can learn to avert disaster.  We must learn the lessons of history, or be doomed to repeat them.

Recent news from WorldNetDaily reports that terrorists have apparently accuired the capability to build a thermobaric bomb.  So, you might ask, "What is a thermobaric bomb, and why should I care about it?"  To understand the future of terrorism, you need to look to the past.  And, to understand what happened last month on the ground in Pakistan, you need to understand what happened last decade in the air off Long Island.

The type of thermobaric bomb described in the above-linked WND report was, by American munitions standards, fairly crude (but effective).  The bomb in Pakistan apparently used an aluminum powder to create a cloud of flammable dust immediately ahead of the blast wave from the bomb.  When the bomb's fireball caught up with the blast wave, it ignited the dust, and created an even larger explosion.  This is the same concept behind the fuel-air MOAB -- nicknamed "the Mother of All Bombs", in mocking reference to Saddam Hussein's threat to give the United States "the mother of all battles" if we invaded Iraq.  (Historical note:  after his capture by American commandos, Hussein received "the mother of all trials" in an Iraqi court, which then sentenced him to "the mother of all hangings".)

The official myth of the Flight 800 disaster is that a "random spark" in the center fuel tank caused the airliner to be cleanly cut into two major sections by a jet-fuel explosion.  The fact that jet fuel is not explosive (except under very specific condidtions) seems to have escaped FBI investigators, who were busy looking for a way to save President Bill Clinton's political skin in an election year.  The fact is that Flight 800 was brought down by a missile strike.  (Actually, the 747 was hit by three missiles, according to a detailed engineering report that I have in my possession.)  One of the missiles that intercepted Flight 800 contained a type of fuel-air explosive in its warhead.  The presence of oxidizer-pellet shrapnel in the bodies of crash victims proves this point.

So what?

The recent bombing in Pakistan was apparently the work of al-Qaida.  Why would they attack their Muslim brothers?  Because, from the Islamist viewpoint, Pakistan was a traitor.  In the current (never-ending?) war against terrorism, Pakistan has cooperated -- albeit reluctantly at times -- with the United States.  The hotel that was bombed in Islamabad was owned by an American company.  (And, not just any company.  The hotel chain's founder, J. Willard Marriott, was personal friends with President Ronald Reagan.  Terrorists had a lasting fear of "President Ray-Gun", who ordered the Navy F-14 jets that bombed Muammar Qaddafi's tent.)  The terrorists wanted to send a message to their betrayers.

The message was in the date.

The bombing took place on the 21st of September (Pakistan time), and the hotel was apparently a known meeting place for American intelligence agents.  Back in Washington, it was still the 20th of September when the bomb exploded.  And, on the Islamic calendar, the 20 September 2008 came on 19 Ramadan 1429.  The 19th of Ramadan is a sad day on the Islamic religious calendar.  It marks the anniversary of an attack upon the first Imam, the prince Ali Abu-Hasan.  He was stabbed while praying in a mosque, and he died two days later.  (Interestingly, he was born on Friday the 13th.)  The attacker was considered a man that had access to the mosque; thus, a traitor to Islam.  That was the message:  Pakistan is a traitor to Islam.

As has been pointed out by intrepid investigative author Jack Cashill, the downing of Flight 800 coincided with National Liberation Day in Iraq.  On the Islamic calendar, Flight 800 was downed on 01 Rabi al-Awwal 1417.  Perhaps not merely coincidentally, 01 Rabi al-Awwal is also the annual National Day of the Islamic government of The Maldives.  If I were to research the official calendars of the "57 states" belonging to the Organization of Islamic States, I would probably find national holidays on all of them.  The date 01 Rabi al-Awwal is the start of the Islamic calendar.  It marks the Hijra -- the migration of Muhammed from Mecca to Medina.  To the devout Muslim, the Hijra would be an approximate equivalent of the Epiphany (the baptism of Jesus) to the devout Christian.

And, there is a definite message there.

The downing of TWA Flight 800 was, in the minds of Islamist terrorists, a "migration" of sorts.  The title of Cashill's book on the topic, First Strike, asserts that the missile strike was the actual beginning of a holy war against America.  All other attacks -- such as the 1993 vehicle bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center or the bombing of Philippene Airlines Flight 434 (which also affected the center fuel tank of a 747), both carried out by Ramzi Yousef (the understudy of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad) -- were merely "probe" attacks in preparation for the jihad.  And, given the dramatic increase in the severity of subsequent attacks, history has proven Cashill correct.

There is more -- much more -- to this connect-the-dots view of Islamist war against America.  For example, just prior to the downing of Flight 800 was the attack on the Khobar Towers barracks complex in Saudi Arabia (25 June 1996; 08 Safar 1417).  The Saudis were viewed by the Islamist radicals as double-minded for hosting the Americans that had attacked Iraq.  So, just like their counterparts 1380 years earlier, on the same date (08 Safar, at the Battle of Siffin), the Islamists attacked those that they considered to be "impure" Muslims.  And, if I can come up with this information while typing a blog (for free, I might add) in my home-office, imagine what I might discover if the government actually hired me to use my military experience to do this type of analysis full-time to prevent such attacks.

Then again, it might not work out if they "can't handle the truth"*.  For example, the government claims there is absolutely nothing suspicious about the sudden crash of an Alabama Air National Guard F-16 fighter on 11 Sep 2002.  The cause of the crash was a jet engine turbine blade that suddenly came loose during flight.  The crash and fire were made worse because the pilot could not jettison his external fuel tanks -- due to a faulty control switch that can only be accessed by removing the control panel inside the cockpit.  The switch had been routinely checked not long before the crash.  There is no evidence of sabotage -- because the unit commander never called in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) or the FBI to augment the crash investigation.  (The official crash report says so, and I have a copy.)  The jet belonged to the same unit as a young lieutenant named George W. Bush three decades prior.  That same unit, on the same day as the crash, did a flyover of the Alabama State Capitol to comemorate the "9-11" attacks.  Of course, the date and the unit are all "mere coincidence", and any talk of sabotage is merely "right-wing conspiracy mongering".  Right?  Of course, right -- just like it was "not an act of terrorism" when a Muslim college student suddenly drove his car onto a sidewalk and ran over more than a dozen fellow students ... while shouting anti-Israel slogans.  A mere coincidence -- just like when Flight 800 blew up all by itself ... on one of the highest dates on the Islamic calendar.

Mere coincidence, or are all these calendar anniversries the smoking guns of Islam?

 

*  Of course, one way to avoid being suddenly fired for telling the truth about Islamist terrorism is for me to get elected to Congress.  Hmmmmmm.


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