People, Places & Planes: The Night Stalkers

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Recurring Characters
Major Emily Beale DAP Hawk pilot, the first woman of SOAR
Captain Claudia Jean Casperson Little Bird pilot
Major Mark Henderson DAP Hawk pilot, commander of the 5th Battalion D Company
Chief Warrant Lola LaRue CSAR then DAP Hawk pilot
Captain Kara Moretti RPA Avenger (drone) pilot
2nd Lieutenant Patricia "Trisha" O'Malley Redheaded Little Bird pilot and chaos demon
Captain Justin "Cowboy" Roberts Chinook pilot
Captain Archibald "Archie" Stevenson III DAP Hawk pilot
Flight Crew
Sergeant Connie Davis DAP Hawk Crew and Master Mechanic
Sergeant "Crazy" Tim Maloney DAP Hawk Crew and Gunner
Sergeant Keiko "Kee" Smith DAP Hawk Crew and Gunner (Top Sniper)
Master Sergeant "Big" John Wallace Master Mechanic and DAP Hawk crew chief
Colonel Michael Gibson Delta Force's #1 soldier
Lieutenant William "Billy" Bruce SEAL warrior, then Delta Force
Other Personnel
Frank Adams Head of President Peter Matthews Secret Service Protection Detail
General Edward Arnson Commander of HMX-1 (Marine One), Mark Henderson's Uncle
Daniel Drake Darlington III Chief of Staff for Peter Matthews, eventually VP for Zachary Taylor
President Peter Matthews President of the US, childhood friend of Emily Beale
General Brett Rogers Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Dilyana "Dilya" Stevenson War orphan rescued by Archie and Kee
Zachary Taylor Vice President of US, eventually President
Recurring Characters: BOOKS 8-11
Captain Danielle Delacroix Chinook pilot
Chief Warrant Zoe DeMille RPA Avenger (drone) pilot
2nd Lieutenant Sofia Gracie RPA Avenger (drone) pilot
Lieutenant Rafe "Yank" Grant DAP Hawk pilot
Lieutenant Manfred "M&M" Malcolm DAP Hawk pilot
Major Pete "The Rapier" Napier Chinook pilot and commander of 5th Battalion E Company
Chief Warrant Patty "Boston" O'Donoghue Little Bird pilot
Lieutenant Mick "The Mighty" Quinn Little Bird pilot
Other Personnel
Lieutenant Commander Luke Altman DEVGRU SEAL
Lieutenant Nikita Hayward DEVGRU SEAL
Colonel Cassius McDermott Commander of the 160th Night Stalkers
Sergeant Drake Roman Chinook tail gunner
Places & Book Club Questions
#1 The Night Is Mine Bati Air Base (fictional)
#2 I Own the Dawn Bati Air Base (fictional)
#3 Wait Until Dark Bati Air Base (fictional)
#4 Take Over at Midnight Bati Air Base (fictional)
#5 Light Up the Night Somalia
#6 Bring on the Dusk Azerbaijan
#7 By Break of Day Israel
#8 Target of the Heart Shanghai / Hangzhou, China
#9 Target Lock on Love Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
#10 Target of Mine Roatán, Honduras
#11 Target of One's Own Senegal & The Dakar Rally (Argentina to Peru)
#A Washington, DC
#B Fort Campbell, KY (at top of B) / 160th Night Stalkers HQ /
Fort Rucker, AL (at bottom of B) Flight Training and base for 5E
#C Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA putative home of the 5D
Dakar Rally from Buchman's "Target of One's Own"

The Dakar Rally Route Map 2012 (Fictionalized for Target of One's Own)

Book Club Questions
These questions range back and forth over The Night Stalkers series as a whole.
1. Emily Beale is the first woman to break the "glass ceiling" to become a pilot for the 160th Night Stalkers. Have you been or known anyone who faced a similar challenge? Was the effort met with success for failure? Try to step back and discuss why.
2. To "get ahead" in a man's world, women must often chose a "role" to play. Read the first four books and consider their roles: 1) Emily Beale - simply be the best, taking on the man one-on-one, 2) Kee Smith - sex as a weapon to get ahead, 3) Connie Davis - taking on the meek "little sister" role even though she's the smartest one in the room, and 4) Lola LaRue - the chaos demon striking out in every direction. Discuss the roles you've taken or seen.
3. Military teams, especially the more elite teams where service isn't for a few tours but rather a career choice, are held together by the "found family" of the team. They become so close, that departure from military service can be either a culture shock or wholly unthinkable. Discuss "found family" in your lives and what is unique about those bonds.
4. Emily Beale, in her own tough way, becomes mother to each successive heroine in the first six books. She goes on to do this in several other series after she leaves the military. Discuss the roles we take among our friends: guide, mentor, student, acolyte, confessor...
5. In the real world, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (The Night Stalkers) take on two fairly distinct roles. The first is relatively straightforward, delivering elite troops into precise positions at precise times--and getting them back out. The second role is clandestine operations. They were named "black-on-black" missions for the purposes of these novels. It often involves penetrating deep into countries (both enemy and ally) for the advancement of American interests. Discuss this second role and how different people feel about these actions.
6. Dilya is a war orphan rescued in the second novel who continues through much of the series. She exemplifies a far wider crisis that is spanning across all nations. It is driven by famine, war, genocide, and sometimes actively created to use as a weapon against another country. It's can also  be driven by the desire for new opportunities and a better life. Rather than discussing existing border and refugee problems, discuss what you would do if famine, war, genocide... came to your town--tonight, while you were sleeping.
Planes and Other Aircraft
MH-60 DAP Hawk


Do Not Piss Me Off! (now only in black)

Told you not to piss me off!

M-60 Little Bird

Delivering US 75th Rangers

Trisha's "Killer Egg"


MH-47 Chinook

Delivering yet more elite troops

Or SEALs in a boat