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Developing TG Air Strikes

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  • [AAR] Developing TG Air Strikes

    I would like to start with sorry about the delay's for posting this but on the bright side I've been taking some notes and seeing great improvements.

    First I would like to start with the reason for developing this SOP for a Platoon based Air squad. It is for the purpose of offering our Platoon Operations a new support element that can be both tactical and effective at supporting our goals of base captures and denying reinforcement to enemy maneuvers while enabling any willing member to work these squads not just a select group of pilots, Something to keep in mind in these AAR's. Again I'd like to thank all who have been working in these squads and platoons for this goal and I would like to say that its becoming a noticeable difference from our first iteration.

    On Friday the first, we ran for the most part a squad of pure Reavers in what I would describe as single point strikes called by the PL. In these runs we could see that our strikes when called and setup accurately did indeed remove the target but the turn around time was painfully slow and the reorganization took some effort to begin with. A few notes I would remind others of is that when the strike beings all pilots MUST fly in hit the target unless tasked with a over-watch mission (an SL designated AA reaver) and ALL immediately fly out even the over-watch. When this happened it could be seen that we lost few if any pilots or aircraft. What we came to conclusion on for this strike is while effective the turn around time (which has improved) is still of little strategic effect so this style is best used for a heavily populated, extreme need situation, so 96+ or heavy AA setups.

    With Sunday's setup also began where we found that the use of one or two Liberators could tank-bust and take a better hit and removed the need of a pure over-watch reaver. Another tasking we found for the smaller battles (equal to superior populated zones) was a revolving strike a PL is not required to call specific target though always helpful instead the lead aircraft is best used to call targets as it moves in to strike with others staggered off from him (left, right ,up, or down) where they to can strike after a "Q" spot occurs, this is followed by long loops out from the target zone and back in keeping momentum up until targets are not longer easily located or Air assets become targeted/needing ammo, then all aircraft again move back to a designated rally point for reload/repair announcing when moving in or out of target zone for PL's knowledge.

    On Monday we did some reinforcement of the "Heavy Air" with Liberators screening Reavers. With the thanks of several members it has been determined that the Breaker Rocket seems to win out over the Hornet when it comes to massed damage and range, though I may argue that in some of our short ranged armor strikes the Hornet may still win out due to shorter times on target, also that switching from your rockets to your primary while reloading allows for maximum gunnery time (reload when your dead or gone) while the Hyena from the Liberator can be doubly effective at both gun runs and AA coverage on the way out. Leading in with the Lib and the Reavers can easily see the target and escape when AA focus's our harder to kill aircraft. We also began greatly reducing our turn around and targeting as the squad members are getting used to the training expectations.

    Overall I still believe that these Air Squads can become an asset to TG's platoons. Survivability is up and Airstrikes are gaining confidence among our leaders. I would like to thank all of our members in being in or around these squads the last few days and it will continue to be a pleasure to help rebuild something to place back in our PL toolbox. Something of credit that we in the air have noticed is that in these air groups we have come into contact with several notable air outfits and while taking a good beating when unprepared we are getting where we can give then something to think about before they come hitting us, in several instances now we are even chasing out enemy air while maintaining ground strikes a great plus.

    I would love to hear feedback from any of the others who where able to help in these platoons as differing perspectives can find ways for us to improve our current setup. Also hearing some of your personal favorite parts always makes for a great memory!

  • #2
    Re: Developing TG Air Strikes

    Well said.

    Big iteration for me is that because of the fragility of air squad staying power it likely suffers the most from lack of cohesion and discipline. That said make sure you follow the flight plan to the T. If the order is to hit the target despite the two Scythes on your tale and the flak in your face, then do it without hesitation. You may lose your craft but if the flight fails to take down the intended objectives then any losses and the time spent were in vein.

    Many of us saw Star Wars episode IV towards the end and the guys about to drop torpedoes were getting lit up and ordered to stay on target only to get destroyed in the process. This and many other examples conditions us to scatter and flee when we are being engaged. But the reality is the guys we need are the ones that follow the order to the best of their ability and stay on target. Call me crazy but i'm convinced the force is not with us. All we have is our wing men and the objectives.


    • #3
      Re: Developing TG Air Strikes

      Thanks for giving this a shot, Cain! Wish I was available to lend a hand. Here are my thoughts:

      I feel that reavers need to peel off the moment effective fire hits them; they're too fragile to tank it, and too valuable to waste. They should re-engage immediately once it stops, assuming they haven't taken too much damage; time spent effectively evading flak keeps it off of other pilots during the gun run.

      Turnaround time is a problem with precision strikes; a way to approach this might be to split the squad up into fire teams and rotate them so that you almost always have one up. Most of the time, a full squad of Reavers is overkill for a single target; 3-4 can kill a Sunderer in a single run. Better defended or priority targets can use large groups of Reavers as necessary. There's also just practise and procedure that goes into this; the better we get at it, the quicker the turnaround can be.

      There's some strategic advantages as well that outweigh the the turnaround as well. For one, you aren't in the hex contributing to population. You're also demanding a strong AA response but not around to get shot by it, essentially draining enemy force strength by forcing them to scan the skies for you. Finally, even with low contact in the battle an appropriately savvy spotter can zero you in on the most important targets. When I tried this way back when, the real value came in supporting defensive fights because the strike team could surgically remove the most important enemy Sunderers, causing the attack to collapse.

      Something else that came of that is that the strike squad is only occasionally valuable to the rest of the platoon; in the absence of high priority targets inaccessible to ground units the utility is limited. I figure it's far more valuable as a strategic rather than operational asset as a result. The strike team can get anywhere on the map in short order, the spotters can usually get there as well (or just delegate it to on-site attack markers from allies) and there's almost always a defensive fight where the strike team can be of use.




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