Gray Matter Splatter soundtrack

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While writing the Deckard novels I am almost always listening to music.  Some people find it distracting, but it actually helps me concentrate.  As I was writing Gray Matter Splatter I was listening to some mainstays like THYX and Mind.In.A.Box but I also discovered some great electronic music compilations put together by DJ Evanstar.  Here are a few of them that I particularly liked:

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The weapons and gear of Gray Matter Splatter

Today I wanted to take a couple minutes to run you through some of the weapons, gear, vehicles, and technology featured in my new novel called Gray Matter Splatter.

Seizure grenade

The seizure grenade is real, something being developed as one component of a much larger secret program.  Sadly, you can’t see a demonstration outside of some fictional video games.

Visual disruption laser

U.S. Navy Chief Fire Controlman Kevin Barnett, assigned to the guided missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), uses an LA9P nonlethal visual disruption laser to deter a simulated small boat attack during exercise Joint Warrior 2012 April 17, 2012, in the Atlantic Ocean. Joint Warrior is a United Kingdom-led multi-warfare exercise designed to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare participating crews to conduct combined operations while deployed. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katerine Noll, U.S. Navy/Released)

U.S. Navy Chief Fire Controlman Kevin Barnett, assigned to the guided missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), uses an LA9P nonlethal visual disruption laser to deter a simulated small boat attack during exercise Joint Warrior 2012 April 17, 2012, in the Atlantic Ocean. Joint Warrior is a United Kingdom-led multi-warfare exercise designed to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare participating crews to conduct combined operations while deployed. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katerine Noll, U.S. Navy/Released)

They are called visual disruption lasers because lasers that blind people are illegal under the Geneva convention, as they maim.  Interestingly, lasers that kill are a-okay though!

Carrickfergus

The fictional Carrickfergus which our heroes use as a modern day pirate ship, authorized by letters of marque, is largely based on a real life US military experimental ship.

Arctic submarine

One scene in the book was inspired by arctic submarine operations.  You can take a peek at one of our subs breaching through the arctic ice in this youtube video:

Semi-submersible ship

Semi-submersible

The bad guys in Gray Matter Splatter make their getaway in a semi-submersible ship.  These are hardly anything new as everyone from the US Navy to drug traffickers utilize semi-submersible craft, however the fictional ship in my book is quite a bit bigger than anything you’ll likely find in real life.

SEAL torpedo

Yes, the SEALpedo is a thing, and you can read up on its development in this story from Fox News.

Crossmatch

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As our heroes race across the arctic to try to identify who the villians are, a bio-metrics gathering device manufactured by Crossmatch is particularly helpful.  You can read more about the device here.

PenCott “Snowdrift” camo

In Gray Matter Splatter, the mercenaries of Samruk International make extensive use of PenCott’s Snowdraft camo scheme, which also appears on the book cover.

snowdrift

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Petzl ice axe

One mean looking ice axe.  Of course, the mercs in Gray Matter Splatter get a ice axe kill in the book.  You can check out the real thing on the Petzl website.

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Assault snow shoes

I did not even know there was a such thing until I started the research phase of Gray Matter Splatter.  Suffice to say I learned a lot while writing this book.

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Iveco Assault truck

Last but not least, the Samruk International assault truck makes an appearance in Gray Matter Splatter, although the arctic is hardly the appropriate environment for these vehicles.

assaultruck

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Gray Matter Splatter Released Today!

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From New York Times best selling author and Army Special Operations veteran Jack Murphy comes the next installment in the Deckard mercenary fiction series.

The high Arctic is a region untouched by war.

Until now.

A mysterious weapon is stolen from a Russian facility by an equally elusive foe. With America under attack, the only chance to recover the weapon falls to Deckard and Samruk International in what quickly becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse in the Arctic Circle.

Their enemy is technically savvy, sophisticated, and cunning, staying a step ahead of Samruk at every turn as they race across the tundras of Russia, Alaska, Canada, and beyond.

With the numbers ticking down, Deckard makes a desperate final push across the frozen waste while the enemy triggers their final attack: a blow that could knock Western civilization back a hundred years and give birth to a new empire.

Available today in paperback and ebook editions!

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Gray Matter Splatter (Deckard Novel #4) now available for pre-order!

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The 4th novel in the Deckard series, Gray Matter Splatter, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com with a release date of August 24th.  I’m super stoked to be able to get this one out to the readers and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

From New York Times best selling author and Army Special Operations veteran Jack Murphy comes the next installment in the Deckard mercenary fiction series.

The high Arctic is a region untouched by war.

Until now.

A mysterious weapon is stolen from a Russian facility by an equally elusive foe. With America under attack, the only chance to recover the weapon falls to Deckard and Samruk International in what quickly becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse in the Arctic Circle.

Their enemy is technically savvy, sophisticated, and cunning, staying a step ahead of Samruk at every turn as they race across the tundras of Russia, Alaska, Canada, and beyond.

With the numbers ticking down, Deckard makes a desperate final push across the frozen waste while the enemy triggers their final attack: a blow that could knock Western civilization back a hundred years and give birth to a new empire.

Pre-order Gray Matter Splatter today on Amazon!

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Delta Force Operators Advise and Assist FBI During 1987 Prison Riot

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Some special operations missions happen with little fanfare at the time, but as rumors circulate within the community, they begin to take on a life of their own. One such instance was the Panama prison riot of 1994, to which members of 2nd Ranger Battalion were sent to respond, armed with axe handles to help subdue Cuban refugees who had revolted. Another operation that has entered into special operations lore also involved a prison riot and Cuban refugees, this time within the United States, in response to which members of Delta Force were deployed.

The role of Delta Force has never been publicly disclosed, with a vague reference in the New York Times in 1987 being the only statement on the topic: “The Pentagon sent a team of military experts in hostage rescue to Atlanta to advise the F.B.I.”

On November 21st, 1987, nearly 1,000 Cuban refugee inmates revolted against guards at a federal detention center in Oakland, Louisiana, taking 28 hostages in the process. Two days later, another group of 1,500 Cuban refugees rioted at a federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, taking 76 hostages. Both revolts were triggered by a State Department announcement stating that 2,545 refugees from the 1979-80 Mariel boat lift were to be returned to Cuba. During the riots, many of the refugees—felons and criminally insane deported by Castro to discredit then-President Jimmy Carter—opened up other cell blocks, which intermixed the prison population. A full-blown hostage crisis was underway.

Read the rest here.

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Underwater Demolition Teams blow up Nigerian Oil Infrastructure

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120713-N-GG400-022 MAMALA BAY UNDERWATER DEMOLITION RANGE, Hawaii (July 13, 2012) Navy Diver 2nd Class Josh Underwood, left, assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (NMDSU) 1, and Leading Seaman Sam Peters, assigned to the Australian Clearance Diving Team, set an explosive charge during the underwater demolition training portion of RIMPAC 2012. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the RIMPAC exercise from June 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jumar T. Balacy/Released)

A mysterious group called the Niger Delta Avengers has launched a series of strikes directed against underwater oil pipelines, putting a significant dent in Nigeria’s output of oil and appearing to tip the government into a economic recession.  The attacks, directed against Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and an Italian company called Eni SpA, are conducted by teams that descend underwater using diving equipment before employing explosive charges on the pipelines.  Demonstrating a level of sophistication beyond previous Nigerian militants, be they MEND or Boko Haram, the identity of these underwater demolition teams remains a mystery.

Douw Steyn is the author of Iron Fist from the Sea a book about the history of his former unit, South Africa’s 4 Recce which specialized in maritime special operations including attack diving.  Steyn told SOFREP, “The divers that do this operation are highly skilled and trained in the military or by instructors that left the military and know how to train individuals to became attack divers.”  Attack diving, a specialized skill employed by 4 Recce could be compared to the underwater demolition operations that Navy SEALs are trained for.

Underwater demolitions are complicated in nature due difficulties in working in a sub-surface environment, and require long hours of training and rehearsals, as well as mission planning, and reconnaissance.  “The target information is the most important information to have,” Steyn said “because with that information, you do your planning on what type of explosives, how many explosives and the depth of the charges. It also give you the specific place to put the bombs/mines, and of the weaknesses of the target the other point that will be planned in detail is the time delay on the mines, this is determined by the surroundings and means of transport the attackers are using [such as] small craft, submarines, and inflatables.”

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Italy’s 9th Parachute Assault Regiment, Dutch KCT, Danish Jaeger Corps, Greek Zetas, Swiss DRA-10 on European Special Operations

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While American Special Operations units are often written about and are part of the public discourse in the United States, the particular challenges faced by our allied SOF units in Europe tend to get overlooked if not disregarded.  From Lithuania to the United Kingdom, our European SOF partners have made a significant contribution to the War on Terror, some of them nearly stretched to the breaking point.  The purpose of this article is to discuss the specific challenges that some of these units face, and when possible, propose a few solutions.

Based on interviews with a half dozen European Special Operations veterans, each from a different country, it is SOFREP’s goal to educate and inform the pubic about military Special Operations and perhaps give some credit to our often neglected friends on the other side of the Atlantic as the war against terrorism evolves, changes forms, and perhaps reorients itself to once again face down not just terrorist organizations but also nation states such as Russia.

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