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ROSS BRANNAN

brannan_ross_bk_sahara brannan_ross_bk_latakia brannan_ross_bk_iranian brannan_ross_bk_caspian brannan_ross_bk_ethiopian
 
Full Name: Ross Brannan
Nationality: American
Organization: U.S. Army
Occupation Other - Enlisted Soldier

Creator: R. G. Ainslee
Time Span: 2018 - 2019

ABOUT THE SERIES

Ross Brannan is an ELINT analyst.

That term refers to Electronic Intelligence, defined by the NSA as " information derived primarily from electronic signals that do not contain speech or text". For those wanting to surround themself with even more acronyms, it is divided into three basic 'branches': TechELINT (studying radars, beacons, jammers, and navigational signals), OpELINT (determining what capabilities any particular nation or organization possesses), and TELINT (intel derived from the intercept, processing and analysis of foreign telemetry).

Brannan knows this stuff extremely well. He was well trained in it by the U.S. Army Security Agency and is just about to wrap up his stint in that armed forces organization specializing in ELINT when we meet him for the first time. While there is no doubt he is happy with his expertise and capabilities in the field, he is less than thrilled with the couple months of his time still remaining and hoping for approval of his early-out request. He had some vacation time in Europe planned before heading to a new gig in Arizona working in ELINT but as a much better paid civilian. The year of this introduction is 1973 and the pay for enlisted was not very good (still isn't, IMHO).

That vacation will have to wait, though, as he is picked for a particularly harrowing one-last-assignment which will turn an analyst used to being a ways back from the action to someone having to do his intercept work while dodging bullets and evading enemy capture, which is all definitely not what he was hoping.

That experience will set the path for his new career, part of an elite group of intelligence collectors working as a joint task force named Raven One. "The Raven One mission, initiated by the Secretary of Defense, bypassed the lower levels of authority, and was approved in a matter of days by the president's national security advisor. Experts from the DoD, such as Brannan, would work with operatives from both NSA and CIA to get as close to the action as they can to gain the information needed back in Washington.

BOOKS

Number of Books:5
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2019

The author tells us in an introduction that the first book written in the series had been The Ethiopian Intercept. In it protagonist Ross Brannan is a civilian working as an expert in Elint. He later penned The Latakia Intercept which deals with the days just before his enlistment came to an end so he considers that adventure to be a prequel.

The fourth book, The Caspian Intercept, is marketed as A Raven One Team Thriller instead of A Ross Brannan Thriller as Brannan has just a minor role in it.

I recommend reading in the order listed below.


1 The Latakia Intercept The Latakia Intercept
Written by R. G. Ainslee
Copyright: 2018

September 1973.
Sergeant Ross Brannan thought he had it made, only three months to go on his enlistment. Fed up with the Army, the prospect of a civilian job in Arizona is the answer to his dreams. A puzzling assignment to an airbase in Turkey unravels his plans. The mystery heightens when it appears an old CIA acquaintance is directing the operation. The mission: monitor Soviet naval activity in the Eastern Mediterranean. The web of intrigue expands when a notorious shadow warrior of the Cold War arrives on the scene."
buy from Amazon

2 The Ethiopian Intercept The Ethiopian Intercept
Written by R. G. Ainslee
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1978.

"Somali forces invade the eastern Ethiopia. The Soviets support the Ethiopians as their principal ally in the Horn of Africa. A Cuban defector reveals the arrival of new air defense system. The Pentagon brass wants to know: What is the new system? Is defector J. Andrew Marsden involved? One man has the qualifications to find out. Ross Brannan. He reluctantly volunteers to fly a covert mission in the SR-71 spy plane over Ethiopia. Following a ditching into the Indian Ocean, Ross lands on Lamu Island, Kenya and finds himself the target of an intensive manhunt by Cuban operatives. He must rely on his instincts and training to survive and reach safety with critical data from his Ethiopian Intercept."
buy from Amazon

3 The Iranian Intercept The Iranian Intercept
Written by R. G. Ainslee
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1979.
"Rogue scientist J. Andrew Marsden escapes from prison in Mexico. NSA sends Ross to Nepal to interview a woman who may have worked with Marsden on a ground-breaking air defense concept. The trip was sold to Ross as a routine mission, in and out. But he knows he's Yoyo, like in you're-on-your-own. What could go wrong?" Maybe a trip to Iran just as that country heads to revolution.
buy from Amazon

4 The Caspian Intercept The Caspian Intercept
Written by R. G. Ainslee
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1979.
"When an Iranian technician reveals the existence of an unknown intercept tape, the Raven-One team is sent back to Tehran. But things are about to get worse, radicals take over the American embassy.
A powerful enemy reemerges and seeks to stop the team in their tracks. Raven-One team operative Jack Richards is taken hostage and Amadeo Ruiz is forced to navigate through the chaos and barely escapes capture. Follow Amadeo as he flees through northern Iran with an enigmatic Italian woman. Who does she really work for?"
Note: this is billed as A Raven One Team Thriller - Ross Brannan has a cameo role in it.
buy from Amazon

4 The Caspian Intercept The Caspian Intercept
Written by R. G. Ainslee
Copyright: 2018

The year is 1979.
"When an Iranian technician reveals the existence of an unknown intercept tape, the Raven-One team is sent back to Tehran. But things are about to get worse, radicals take over the American embassy.
A powerful enemy reemerges and seeks to stop the team in their tracks. Raven-One team operative Jack Richards is taken hostage and Amadeo Ruiz is forced to navigate through the chaos and barely escapes capture. Follow Amadeo as he flees through northern Iran with an enigmatic Italian woman. Who does she really work for?"
Note: this is billed as A Raven One Team Thriller - Ross Brannan has a cameo role in it.
buy from Amazon

5 The Sahara Intercept The Sahara Intercept
Written by R. G. Ainslee
Copyright: 2019

The year is 1980.

"Ross Brannan is back and out for revenge — determined to hunt down the traitor, J. Andrew Marsden — at any cost. The Škorpion Brigade , a band of German terrorists , teams up with Libyan Dictator Gadhafi and rogue ex-CIA operatives in an explosive plot to obtain nuclear materials.
Marsden is rumored to be in Libya. Ross and a multi-national team are dispatched to find Marsden's base of operations. In an instant the mission is compromised, and Ross is propelled on a roller-coaster ride across Africa."
buy from Amazon

MY COMMENTS

In the world of spy fiction, most of the intelligence collection we follow is HUMINT - men and women with boots on the ground learning what they can by whatever means they must. After that there is a fair amount of SIGINT - people mining intel from the signals bouncing all around the place. Not that many deal with ELINT - learning what you can from the electronic emissions which, if you think hard enough, can tell a grunch. 

This very enjoyable series deals with the last one and does so well enough an old SIGINT fellow could pretend he understood. Well, actually I understood but don't ask me to explain it back at you.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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