Alien traders, frustrated with dealing with politicians and officers, hire on a pair of enlisted sailors to see if regular folk have more sense than suits. Peters and Todd, both US Navy enlisted personnel, are sent "TDY" to help set up spaces for the Navy squadron that an enterprising Captain got the traders to take along.
The alien spaceship, our boys realize, is a surplus carrier, and while the aliens may be pretty good traders, it's clear that they don't know much about maintenance, nor do they have any microelectronics technology. Though its obvious from the start that the two groups have a lot to offer each other, the military hierarchy can't get out of its own way long enough to make it happen.
Fortunately Peters and Todd's orders are just vague enough to give them enough rope to tie things up in a nice package for both parties, if they don't hang themselves first.
Temporary Duty is a pretty good read, and considering the price it's a great value. With a bit of work this could have been an excellent first book, or actually, it could have expanded into a very solid trilogy, but as it is the story lurches sideways halfway through the book rather than resolve the very real conflicts that the author has set up.
Temporary Duty is self published, and its rough edges make that no surprise. If Ric had worked with an editor, or more seasoned author, he would have come out with a book that hung together better, but even as it is, there's a lot of good there.
Keep writing Ric!