OCU Monthly update

Once you have completed your basic flight training and passed any required check flights, you move on to the OCU where you will learn how to use the aircraft to fight.
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Roon
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OCU Monthly update

Post by Roon »

It has been brought to my attention that the OCU has a very small prescence on the Forum and that to all passers by, the OCU looks dormant. It hadn't occured to me that this would be the case, but now I can see why that would be the case. So, here's the first update of the OCU in the last month or so plus some information on what we do and how we do it.

Our weekly timetable is;
Mon Syllabus coursework with Instructors
Tue Mission
Wed Carrier/Range/Bounce/A2A refuel/Live ATC (when available) training.
Thur Mission or Mission testing
Fri Free evening, whatever you ask for (or a night off).
Sat Formation bounce training/ A2A tactics
Sun Mission/Training

A mission is normally between a 6 or 8 ship low level ground attack consisting of a multi-part package with 2 or 4 SEAD/Sweep aircraft out front with the bomber package following on. Pairs fly in line-abreast at 1Nm and thirty second split between pairs. Each Pair is lead by a qualified Pairs Lead, each 4 ship by a qualified 4 ship Lead etc up to the 8 ship Lead at the front. The mission is flown radar silent and zero comms until we are picked up by Red Air, at which point we go hot and a pair will detatch to engage/protect the formation - the rest target progress. Our missions are flown in all weathers and visibilities so that we can practice full instrument Case 3 from time to time. All missions are TOT (Time On Target) dependent, with fuel calls etc. We mostly use dumb bombs (slicks and retards) in auto, as the TGT is too hard to see at low-level and high speed! We regularly use loft attacks too.

This last month we have flown eight full mission sorties and twenty training nights. New guy Ewan has completed Ground School, CV (Basic flying, circuits, RIAB etc) and Formation Trng which qualified him to join normal missions as a wingman. His first two missions have been a deep-end experience but he's learning fast and doing well.

Our current strength is 21 pilots with 5 Instructors (all of whom have passed the OCU) and progress can be seen on the OCU/Sqn page on the RAFAIRUK website.

In addition to our syllabus subjects, once you complete the OCU, you go to 41Sqn on promotion and enter the Leader Upgrade Course under the beady eye of Will (our Sqn Boss, mainly because he was OC41Sqn in real life, so no argueing with that is there?). We are also developing our CCS/CAS procedures in conjunction with Kees and Jase who are both experienced ground troops who have used ECAS in anger. We are testing the CAS phase actively and it should be incorporated into the Sqn training soon, bringing a new type of combat into our clutches.

I am currently working on a complete rewrite of our OCU course material and making it downloadable directly from the Syllabus. This means anybody can use our training materials for their own Sqns should they wish. It contains the same info but with more detailed explanations and better graphics. I have started to include all the .miz files too, so that you need only change the aircraft to use it for another type.

That's it for May but bear in mind we've been doing this for at least the last two years. We have a high rate of start/drop out - it isn't easy by any means - and the pilots that we have now have all put the time in and earned their place in the formation. It is a humerous and tight-knit bunch who will go the extra mile for anyone that is struggling. If this has given you a better look into the OCU/41Sqn and raised your interest, come and talk to us in the OCU briefing room on Teamspeak.
Sometimes stuff is supposed to fall off....sometimes not.
I still can't be sure which... :?

Officer Commanding F18 OCU
Wing Commander Ade Rhoney - RAF Air UK
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Alien
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Re: OCU Monthly update

Post by Alien »

That is a good read and appreciated, my long haired general thinks she's a DCS widow now and I'm lucky enough to get on twice a week :lol:


Thanks for the update.
Squadron Leader Shane "Alien" Cowan - RAF AIR UK Xl (F) Squadron

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Roon
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Re: OCU Monthly update

Post by Roon »

Monthly Update for June

Another good month on the OCU with good attendence and progress with the SOP and Lesson rewrites.

We have flown 12 mission flights this month with a minimum of 6 ac per formation with varied success and 14 training nights.

We have a mission called WMD's at Jarhom which consists of an 8-ship formation flying low-level from Kish to Jahrom. The weather is a challenge as the cloud hangs over all the hilltops leaving us "letter boxes" between the hills and keeping us low-low to avoid climbing into cloud and having to abort and alert enemy air to our prescence. There are three major "bounces" within the mission, 2 pairs of F5 on the entry and 1 pair of Mig29's on the exfil. This mission is designed to test wingman autonomy (to remain formated on his Lead but with authority to change his formation position to cope with the conditions) forcing him to decide whether to come into arrow, a shorter line abreast or go half-fightng wing for red air without being told to do so. This reduces the load on the Leader, who can concentrate on the tactical situation, navigation, TOT and RedAir.

Additionally there are a plethora of ground units along the route sending streams of tracer our way if we aren't paying attention. This tests our awareness and threat management, forcing us to deviate from route, call the threat to those following ("Enfield 3, triple A, 16 miles from waypoint 5") and avoiding the triple A called by those ahead of you - all while formating, navigating, keeping a lookout for redair and watching the TOT. On top of all that, it's a loft attack - 620kts, pull up to 30deg at 6Nm, release, next waypoint, waypoint designate, release 2nd GBU38 and try to stay below cloud and not get shot in the arse. If you break into the cloud, you can't get back down until you find a hole or you look at the map and try to find a valley with a suitable altitude that you can safely get down into. Then get back onto route and time, in formation again.

We acheive a different result nearly every time, which demonstrates that our reactions to situations change with the position that we fly and the discipline of those flying. Maintaining cross-cover is the biggy, separate from your wingy and you'll die. Abandon your wingy and he dies. Fly and fight as a pair is the answer and permanent pairing has made a large contribution to our recent successes. Flying with the same pair allows you to learn how your wingman flies and reacts until you begin to know what he will do in a given situation and can pre-empt that, keeping the cross-cover and winning the engagement. That is now our policy in missions - constituted pairs (qualified and experienced Lead with a junior wingman) who fly together in every mission, the improvement is very noticeable and our result for this month!

The rewrite of the SOP's and Lessons has progressed with Night Flying and Case 3 being posted on the syllabus - only a few more to go and the whole course will be available to all from there.

Ewan has almost completed Instrument Flying this month and has completed Night Flying. Mark R has begun Case 1 with Ewan and both are making good progress. The Flight Lead program is going well under Will's tuition, dishing out FRAG's to potential Leaders for them to plan and brief, then lead the formation in question. We have two going through 8-ship Lead, four going through 4-ship Lead, so that's moving along nicely.

That's about it for this month, keep flying!!
Sometimes stuff is supposed to fall off....sometimes not.
I still can't be sure which... :?

Officer Commanding F18 OCU
Wing Commander Ade Rhoney - RAF Air UK
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Re: OCU Monthly update

Post by Roon »

So here we are at the end of July and another OCU/41Sqn update.A quieter month, what with lockdown ending/starting/stumbling/not being able to make it's mind up.

Two new recruits with a third on approach, 15 training nights and 7 mission nights (not including Tuesday nights with RAFAIR), we've had a good month regardless.

I have been involved assisting Andrew with the new Mission Night system, and, on first run it looks basically sound and suits pretty much all concerned. There are some creases to be ironed out, which we are working on, but the Sqn plannng is good and briefing improving all round. It's movimg the group in the right direction - giving the Sqn Cmdrs control over how they plan their given tasks, choose their tactics and brief that information to their team in an effective manner and integrate that into the overall picture with all the Sqn's. It does up the workload at Sqn level, but it also brings advances in group planning, working out fuel calls, loadouts, radio frequencies, RT and a variety of tasks not seen in the old system. I really think that RAFAIR is moving up a level and this is only possible as the result of the support we get from all the members, thanks one and all.

Back to OCU. Ewan has completed Instrument Flying and Night Flying and is well into Low-level Nav, Coops has joined us and passed CV1. We've all had to learn to calibrate our HMD's now, which we still have to remember to do as part of the routine start...I forgot last time out. Ooops.

We are working on a joint training program with 3(F)Sqn to fly together and share tips a couple of times a month, which is going to be very useful for both Sqn's. We're starting out this Sunday with the F16's out front of our bomber package as SEAD and Sweep to clear the way. The F16 is ideally suited to these tasks, being such an agile jet, leaving us to haul the rocks to the glasshouse and break the windows!

Phase rewrite has slowed a little with all the other projects on the go, but the new Carrier Phase, Case II and III are done and on the syllabus as links to download. Well that's it for July but there should be plenty of things to update at the end of August. Keep flappin' them wings...
Sometimes stuff is supposed to fall off....sometimes not.
I still can't be sure which... :?

Officer Commanding F18 OCU
Wing Commander Ade Rhoney - RAF Air UK
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Re: OCU Monthly update

Post by Roon »

August update.

A steady month with a dozen mission flights plus a couple of group Tuesdays, keeping everyone up to speed with their low-level slkills. The last Tuesday mission (Degzich? or similar) was a wicked valley run across the grass to avoid the SAM systems and into the sun with lousy lighting conditions - a real white knuckle ride. I topped a rise and was so keen to get back down low that I barely had time to see the power lines pass over my head! Almost took a position working for the local power company... A coule of the boys weren't so lucky and did a bit of gardening on the way home. Sad, we knew them well......

Training wise, Chris has joined us and is progressing with Gareth - they've completed Formation and are now active on all OCU/41Sqn missions - and have both passed Instrument Flying 1 & 2. Good going as IF2 is a nasty peice of work - thick cloud, cross winds and a complicated entry to the circuit at Tiblisi. Low vis all the way down to 500ft on Finals, crabbing in. If that doesn't cause you to pull up a mushroom in the middle of your seat, you're either an expert or clueless!!

That's it for this month, new shortened format as I've noticed that nobody reads them anyway...
Sometimes stuff is supposed to fall off....sometimes not.
I still can't be sure which... :?

Officer Commanding F18 OCU
Wing Commander Ade Rhoney - RAF Air UK
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0405 Andrew
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Re: OCU Monthly update

Post by 0405 Andrew »

I'm sure there's lots that are reading but don't want to mess up your tidy monthly update. So please delete this when read!

Personally I find it very interesting, and I'm glad you all enjoyed the last mission.
0405 ANDREW
Executive Officer, 60 Squadron
"Andrew, you are right"
Flyco: 28 Jul 2021, 12:50
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Roon
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Re: OCU Monthly update

Post by Roon »

Here we go again...another monthly update for the OCU and 41Sqn.

The way we are going, there will soon be a flood of pilots moving over to 41Sqn. New guys coming in, more experienced guys nearly ready to move on as Limited Combat Ready (LCR) having completed their training. Most already have a considerable amount of experience, having been flying Ops since the end of Formation 3. Once on 41Sqn, under the guidance of Will, they'll get turned into Flight Leaders and Instructors - QWI's, QFI's and IRE's etc. The pool of knowledge will grow in breadth and depth from there. It's been three busy years getting these foundations laid, but the results are speaking for themselves and I hope many more people benefit from it over the coming years.

This month has seen us fly 12 mission nights and 12 training nights, and I'm happy to say that most of the missions were 12 ships and all the places were filled rapidly after every notice went out - the OCU/41Sqn 12 ship is back! Also with Gareth, Dave, Chris and soon Lewis moving through the course, we'll be needing more Leaders to absorb our Rooky wingmen! To that end, I'm chuffed to welcome Russ back after a gap month or two swanning around the beaches of South Wales getting frostbite and eating lava bread. Welcome back mate. Also Mike has started his Pairs Leader Upgrade with Will and is progressing well and making it look easy.

The arrival of a working version of the Integrated Air Defence System (thanks Chris!) has provoked some discussion of taking the SEAD role in the same direction as our bombing - full range. To help visualise the myths and legends around SEAD and explain why it is mostly done by specialists in the Real World, I put together a light-hearted explanation of the principles for the OCU and 41Sqn, to give an insight into radar and radio in the SEAD arena. I'll attach it here for any interested parties to have a look.

Well, that's about it bar the fact that we will be hosting a visit from another fast jet pilot on Sunday for his first taste of DCS using my rig (VR + 6 DoF platform), hopefully we will persuade him that flying with us is worth his while! Bruce was Sqn Ldr OC A Flt on 16(R)Sqn Jaguar OCU while I was there and would be a fantastic addition to our team. Fingers crossed, I know the boys will be coming along to welcome him with a formation on his wing - just don't let Yogi shoot him down lads, it's his first look!!
Attachments
Radar and SEAD.pdf
(70.19 KiB) Downloaded 17 times
Sometimes stuff is supposed to fall off....sometimes not.
I still can't be sure which... :?

Officer Commanding F18 OCU
Wing Commander Ade Rhoney - RAF Air UK
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Re: OCU Monthly update

Post by Roon »

This update will be a touch on the light side as I've been out for a fair chunk of the month.

Course progress is going well, with Mark making strides towards passing the course soon. Good effort Mark!

Our new Campaign is close to ready and with any luck will kick off in the next two weeks. Our F16 oppo's have shown an interest and we'll be using them as a full-on multi-role Sqn this time, not just as Sweep or CAP - time to put them to work!!

No new recruits this month, so just as well with me being off. Having said that I have just finished a mission with the boys (8 ship ) and did well enough to call myself match fit again, so normal service will be resumed soon.

Several mission nights have been run in my abscence and training on the server has been as per normal but I don't have numbers this month. That's all for this month...
Sometimes stuff is supposed to fall off....sometimes not.
I still can't be sure which... :?

Officer Commanding F18 OCU
Wing Commander Ade Rhoney - RAF Air UK
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