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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:382
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667898230

Incident at Aviano

The Story of a Very Brave Man

by Kip Cassino

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This book cannot be tidily pigeonholed into a single genre. In part, it's a military thriller based on a 1965 nuclear incident at Aviano Air Base that wasn't publicly reported. In part, it's the biography of Dan Cassino, a military officer who joined the nation's nuclear weapons program from its earliest days and played a central role in the 1965 incident. In part, it's a history of the Air Force nuclear weapons program through 1965. Finally, it contains an alternative history—envisioning the world that might have been if the Aviano incident had gone horribly wrong.
In November 1965, a young, alert pilot inadvertently activates a nuclear weapon. The weapon is mounted on his jet just off the tarmac of the flight line at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The next twenty-four hours pit Lieutenant Colonel Dan Cassino and his team of specialists against a powerful adversary: a bomb that can kill and injure thousands, devastate the northern Italian countryside, and possibly destroy the NATO alliance. A NEST (Nuclear Emergency Support Team) from New Mexico is on its way to help, but their journey will take hours the bomb may not allow. Cassino's personal history as an Army Air Corps navigator in World War II and an Air Force nuclear warrior in the Cold War led him to this fateful November weekend. Two timelines play out: one where the bomb is disarmed, and one where it isn't. This novel is based on the true story of the 1965 Aviano Air Base incident.
About the author
Since his birth in New York City, Kip Cassino has travelled much of the world. He has run micro-tool factories in Israel and Hong Kong, studied art in Munich, and assembled nuclear weapons in South Korea. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Villanova University and is a Vietnam veteran. Cassino has worked construction, been a soldier, written for newspapers, and performed market research during a professional career that spanned five decades. His articles have appeared in publications as diverse as The New Times, Smithsonian Air & Space, Entrepreneur, and Ad Week, and he has been interviewed by Meet the Press, BBC, and VICE Magazine. He has written science fiction for Analog and numerous technical industry analyses for Borrell Associates, where he served as executive vice president and chief forecaster for more than a decade. He was awarded the Research Award of Merit by the Newspaper Association of America in 2008. "Buddies" was awarded a Golden Palm Award for best mystery/thriller by the Florida Writers Association in 2021. Along with Helen, his wife and life partner for far too short a time, Cassino retired to write in Tucson, Arizona. Since her untimely passing, he has moved to Boca Raton, Florida and lives with his wonderful daughter Charlene and her family. He continues to write as he marvels at the vitality of nine incredible grandchildren.