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    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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