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Thread: 476th Roadmap

  1. #1
    Retired Pilot Tex's Avatar
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    Post 476th Roadmap

    In light of all the recent activity surrounding DCS, we felt it would be beneficial for our existing members and those considering joining in the future to provide a roadmap of where we as a group are headed. We’ve received a large influx of questions, internally and externally, about future maps and future aircraft. This post will hopefully answer a lot of those.

    Maps
    As an organization that focuses on realistic simulation, the NTTR map will continue to be our training map. We will continue to use it for Initial and Mission Qualification Training. Since it is crucial for our training program, it will be a required DCS module for members to purchase. The Caucuses Map, which is included free with DCS, is our primary combat map but with the Persian Gulf Map release around the corner, we’ll soon be spinning up combat scenarios for that one as well. While the majority of our members have already purchased the PG map, it will not be a mandatory purchase. Future maps will be treated in a similar fashion as the PG map…available for our folks to develop combat scenarios but optional for purchase.

    Aircraft
    There is lots of buzz with the F/A-18 on the horizon, the F-14 close on its heels, the F-4 and coveted F-16 rumored to be a ways down the road. Probably the most asked question is, “Will the 476th be starting a Hornet squadron?” Short answer is absolutely! However, as mentioned in the maps section, we strive for realism so it will all depend on how the Hornet development progresses. At initial release, the F/A-18 will be limited to our 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at NTTR for members to begin learning the aircraft and systems. We have folks with real world Hornet experience and will rely on them to help us develop tactics, techniques and procedures along with all our standard documentation for our airframes. Once we have enough complete and the module is far enough along, we will establish a standalone F/A-18 squadron. An initial cadre of current members will go through the IQT course at which point we’ll open recruiting directly into the Hornet. Once the module is at the point where it meets our standards for realism and completeness, we’ll declare the Hornet squadron combat ready. The Tomcat, Phantom, Viper and any aircraft will follow the same iterative process.

    Pilot Quals
    The second most asked question (and expected to sky rocket to #1 internally at the end of the month) is, “How are we going to handle multiple aircraft qualifications?” For all current pilots in training, and any recruited in the future for the A-10C, you will have to complete the Hog MQT before you can start the qual in the Hornet. As mentioned above, until we activate the F/A-18 squadron, it will be available to all pilots in the 422nd. Once we have a Hornet training program, A-10C pilots may complete the F/A-18 qual (IQT and MQT) program and be qualified in both. Regardless of quals, pilots will only have one assigned squadron which will be their primary. However, pilots will have to meet participation requirements in all qualified aircraft to ensure they remain proficient. The same process holds true once we start recruiting directly into the F/A-18 and we have Hornet pilots who want to earn a qual in the A-10C.

    Joint Operations
    The 476th vFG has always had a vision of operating with other like minded virtual organizations in both training scenarios (such as virtual Red Flag and virtual Hawgsmoke) as well as combat scenarios. One of the challenges has been multiple branches but with the release of 2.5, we hope this starts to become a more regular occurrence. We’ve participated in missions with the 132d Virtual Wing, we’ve done joint training with their pilots, and we’ve recently been in contact with the 5 Virtual Wing Canada and hope to operate with them in the future as well. Any other virtual organizations interested in joint operations let us know, we look forward to that conversation.

    Hopefully that sheds some light on where we are going and how we plan to get there. We’ve been an active group since 2012 and are still growing. We hope someday to have a handful of combat ready squadrons. Slow-and-steady worked for the tortoise and will be our approach as well. We’d love to offer dates on when we’ll reach various milestones but it all depends on ED’s development and our internal development.
    Last edited by Tex; 20May18 at 17:48.
    “Rules are made for people who aren't willing to make up their own. " - Chuck Yeager

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  3. #2
    Retired Pilot Tex's Avatar
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    Just a quick update on our Hornet progress. Our F/A-18 initial cadre folks have been hard at work developing TTPs, writing checklists, and building the Initial Qualification Training program. We hope to run our first group of internal pilots through starting in the coming weeks. Once they are complete, we’ll be standing up our Hornet squadron and opening recruiting for the F/A-18.

    We’ve also gotten a few questions on A-10 recruitment. Currently we have 10 folks in the training pipeline. As we complete their training we’ll look to open up recruiting but it’s going to be a few months. What we don’t want to do is have so many folks that we can’t get them trained in a timely fashion.
    “Rules are made for people who aren't willing to make up their own. " - Chuck Yeager

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  5. #3
    Retired Pilot Tex's Avatar
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    Jul/Aug Update

    Another quick update to our overall road map. While some of our training materials and programs are for internal use only, we wanted to give interested folks and potential future members an idea of what we are working on and where we are going as a virtual flying organization.

    With the rapid development of our F/A-18 squadron, we realized we needed to grow and adapt our command staff. We now have two parts to our command staff. Group command manages the overall organization, development, and website for the 476th vFG. Squadron command manages the development and execution of their specific areas. Oliver and Hiccup are the new 76th vFS (A-10) leaders, Amy is leading the 510th vFS (F/A-18) and Trigger is the 65th vAGRS leader.

    Our Aggressor folks have been working on our A2A training program in parallel with the development of our F/A-18 program. They've developed a self-study course, designed to be accomplished with a stick buddy in either the F-5 or F/A-18. Once students have completed all exercises to a standard they are happy with, a checkride will follow with one of our 65 vAGRS pilots to assess the student and confirm OFBM, DFBM and High-Aspect BFM techniques are to standard. Once passing the course, pilots will be eligible to join the ranks of the 65 vAGRS as their secondary squadron.

    Finally, as Snoopy announced last week here we now have an F/A-18 squadron IOC. Recruiting will open soon (real soon, not DCS "soon") so stay tuned to our recruiting page. For our first class, Amy will be looking for both US & EU timezone folks with previous BMS/A2A/Fighter experience who can learn rapidly and help contribute to further developing the program.

    As always, have a look around in our public downloads, feel free to hop in on our Discord channel or post in our general forums to say hi and ask questions.
    Last edited by Tex; 28Jul18 at 23:11.
    “Rules are made for people who aren't willing to make up their own. " - Chuck Yeager

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  7. #4

    KOVIC


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    Since it’s been over a year since we posted an update concerning the 476th vFG roadmap I thought it time with the Viper appearing on our hard drives “soon” here’s an update for the rest of 2019 and 2020.

    Maps
    As we’ve stated before the NTTR is still our primary map for Initial (IQT) and Mission (MQT) Qualification training. With the 510th starting qualifications for carrier operations both the Caucuses and Persian Gulf maps have been used as “deployed” training locations for carrier qualifications. As to combat operations, we are currently running Operation Georgia Storm (a persistent mission) in the Caucuses and Operation Vanguard Anvil (set of multiple missions building of the results of previous ones) in the Persian Gulf. We are very excited for the upcoming Syria map and Snoopy has big plans for that one, specifically populating Insirlik AB in Turkey to mirror the set up there from his 2015/2016 real world deployment. Other members within the 476th have created various combat missions in both the Caucuses and Persian Gulf.

    Aircraft
    • A-10C Warthog. The A-10C remains steady and mature within the group we expect the introduction and addition of the F-16C within the 476th vFG the A-10C flight hours may take a slight hit but we have many pilots who plan to continue to fly the A-10C exclusively or maintain duel qualifications. We already have some pilots that are dual qualified in the A-10C and F/A-18C. Although the A-10C program within the 476th is very mature and doesn’t require a lot of background work to develop training and documents we’re always looking at how we can improve our training program, what follow-on training we can provide, and just improve our pilotage skills.
    • F/A-18C Hornet.The Initial Qualification Training for the Hornet has been “complete” for some time now, Air to Air Mission Qualification Training is fleshed out nicely but always evolving. MQT will be comprised of two blocks. An Air-to-Air block and Air-to-Ground block. Currently the 510th pilots are hard at work validating and refining the A2A Block and will move on to the A2G block once that’s completed. Although it adds a lot of requirements to the training we felt it was best to create two distinct phases of MQT to allow pilots to focus on one prior to moving to the other. We’ve also had limited discussions on making the squadrons for duel role aircraft specialized in Air to Air or Air to Ground but we’re still in the infancy on that discussion. We were happy to hear ED’s change of heart on the Super Carrier module and its impact on MP servers. Although no decision has been finalized the Super Carrier module will likely be a required module within the 476th vFG but only for Hornet pilots.
    • F-16C Viper. A handful of members have been working hard on being able to “quickly” stand up a Viper Squadron within the 476th vFG. We know that this aircraft being introduced into DCS World has the community excited, even if there is some frustration on how it could impact development of the Hornet. So far we have developed the following items; F-16C Initial Qualification Training, 476TTP 3-3.F16 (specifically the chapters that outlined procedures for IQT topics), and 1F-16C-476-CL-1, F-16C Flight Crew Checklist. Like in the past outside of our internal training requirements we will release our documentation to the community. We’ve selected what real world USAF Fighter Squadron we’ll be adopting for our F-16C Virtual Fighter Squadron but we’re not ready to make that public yet. We’ll announce that similar to how we announced activation of the F/A-18C Hornet squadron the 510 vFS ‘Buzzards.’ Once internal members validate F-16C IQT course we’ll open recruitment.

    Both the F/A-18C and F-16C will also be added to the aircraft that are used within our Virtual Aggressor squadron within the 476th. Last thing on aircraft, we are still open to adopting current and future modules into the 476th but it’s all depended on current members being interested and wanting to actively work on developing required documents and the potential to recruit enough pilots to actively fly within the group.

    Pilot Quals
    Really no change from what Tex originally posted. We’ve got a handful of pilots who are dual qualified now in the A-10C and F/A-18C. The biggest thing that needs to be clear on this topic is that when a member is recruited for a particular airframe we don’t allow them to be qualified on another airframe until they have completed all required training for what they were recruited for (IQT/MQT). Additionally, the more airframes someone is qualified on the higher the minimum requirement participation is. So far we haven’t ran into any issues with pilots meeting this requirement, and don’t anticipate it in the future but it’s something we want to make our members, current and future, remember.

    Joint Operations
    Although the 476th has always had a vision of operating with other likeminded virtual organizations outside of occasionally participating in operations hosted by the 132d we haven’t hosted or participated much. One reason was the various tools to simulate real world radio operations within DCS. With ED stating they’re working on an internal VOIP system and with more virtual organizations adopting SRS we’re hoping this will change going into 2020.

    We’re quickly approaching our 8 year anniversary in 2020 and our goal is to continue building what we started in 2012 and be a contributing organization within the DCS World Community.

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