Following recent events we are in the process of upgrading our training programme. This was felt necessary as Saturdays have tended to get a little haphazard after our war. Its time to tighten up again and T/Os will be working on a new schedule which will be posted every week. The T/Os should be expanding their already important role within the squadron with a possible OTU type training structure being implemented. B Flight T/O Dupradier has sent in an excellent and very detailed set of RW guidelines which I've posted in HQ under Tips and Tactics. I highly recommend taking a look at these especially if you've not flown in a 'live' war mission. This should make communications easier between pilots who've not flown together much, which did prove problematic during our recent war.
Also up is new guidelines for Resignation procedure in 'Rules' sent in by Destroyer. These include a much needed 'cooling off period' which seems like a good idea.
B Flight Leader Oz, has taken the initiative by setting up Flight training against Llv 34 during the week, which is a great idea and will give pilots some practical experience of flying against real Axis pilots. Sadly though, he reports that response amongst B Flight personnel has been minimal. Please contact Oz or post in forum to notify him of your availabilty for these sessions. Don't let Oz's hard work go to waste!
Other news is that Fighter Command has taken off! The European Air Force have joined as '10 Group' and we now have 8 sqns total in the organisation. We now await the formation of an Axis group to fly against. Please visit the site as much as possible to keep an eye on events. Following last saturday's joint training with other sqns, I'd like it if T/Os could contact their counterparts in other sqns and work out a schedule, time and place for the next one.
We also need to get our Wing Leaders etc sorted out in 11 Group, but this will be posted on the FC site.
I will be out of town this weekend and may not be able to make it to training. I shall see you all sometime next week.
Well chaps, the weekend EAW Marathon has ended and I am sorry to report that the T/O was NOT 'Made to Touch His Toes'. As you can see from the above illustration, the X/O was made to touch his toes instead.
The insanity commenced at Training (10.00am EST) and continued unabated until 7.15am the following morning. We flew the whole day/night without HUD display, which I have to say, was VERY interesting. I've never done this for long periods but it does bring several very authentic factors into the game;
1. Evasive manouevres work...you can lose your attacker.
2. You stall a lot less (probably because you rely on feel rather than visual clues).
3. Camouflage works! It is extremely hard to spot distant aircraft and silouette becomes a major factor. Also, to some degree it lessens 'altitude advantage' as its easier to spot aircraft up high against the sun.
4. Aircraft can sneak up on you until they get very close.
Apparently some of us have been flying with no hud for a while which I was unaware of. If you've not tried this I highly recommend it. Its like a whole new game!
Anyway, myself, SSGF and Oz flew all night against and with several pilots. Here was the final tally;
SSGF - 137
COMP - 103 'Made to Touch His Toes'.
21 hours of continuous flying, eating and smoking heavily. I'm knackered. Thanks chaps. Until the next time.
S! all. As we all know Herr Findley has been talking trash nonstop in anticipation of his 24 hr marathon tomorrow, where he claims he's going to better all-comers in flying skills and sleep deprivation. I urge all 609ers to 'Make the T/O touch his toes' and teach him some simple humility and respect for his elders and betters. Until tomorrow Herr Findley!
The Birthday celebrations continue with the much-needed formation of another section in A Flight. After a long and honourable stint with Blue Section, Shredd has at last got his own and now leads Orange Section. S! Shredd and well done. We know you'll do a great job. With him goes Zorro as 2nd element leader. These chaps should be formidable. Jerry watch out!
As Blue Section replacements we have our new pilots Lane (as Kos' wingee) and Soju (as Beef's wingee). My apologies to these two who were not mentioned in dispatches when they passed evaluation. A S! then from us all and very well done!
We now have 32 regular pilots, with 2 in reserve and several posted as MIA. Lets all make the effort to keep in touch with our Sections and continue to have a team that knows each other. I think the war really brought us together. Maybe they'll be another on the horizon soon....who knows?
SSGF has challenged me to a 20 hr EAW marathon which, like an idiot I agreed to. But on the stipulation that he has to buy the film 'Battle of Britain'. Then he'll get a chuckle out of me and Raptor going 'Repeat Please' and all will be well with the world.
Yesterday was one of the really memorable Saturday training days with around 20 or so pilots turning up and joining in the fun. Relent handed out several very well deserved promotions. I don't have time to mention all of them here as most regular pilots got one due to long service or their conduct in the war. It occured to me that at last we seem to have a large sqn of pilots who've been around for a while and know each other. This has been nearly on the cards so many times during the last year, but never actually materialised as someone would leave or lose interest. I hope I'm not jinxing things but this is quite an achievement.
I am very happy to announce that Toffo got his wings this weekend by unanimous agreement from T/Os and staff. Welcome aboard Toffo!
Other big news is that Scarlet suggested making Oz both B Flight Leader and Yellow Section Leader due to his supernatural (sorry Oz - couldn't resist it) talents in the air. We're sorry to see you leave this post Scarlet and many thanks for your sterling efforts with our European Flight over the last few months. We know that Oz'll be a great replacement though, but dont let him lure you into any marathon training sessions; I didn't sleep a wink the night before training so I had a nap for a few hours after we were done. I made dinner, pottered about a bit, watched tele, read for a couple of hours and went online again at 10pm. Lo and behold -who do I see at Kali but SSGF and Oz, still flying. They had gone right through, possibly breaking a EAW online record by flying for 15 hours straight. At one point the following amusing exchange occured;
OZ -Well, its been 15 hours....I really should go to bed now Brian. The suns coming up.
SSGF -Aw...c'mon Oz...make it 16.
OZ -Oh ok then...let me just get a coffee.
And off they went again. SSGF can be very persuasive at times. In another amusing incident during the week, Myself, Pick (oh ok...'M.Raptor'), Rel and Zorro were all flying P38s. Somebody shot one of my wings off and I bailed out. After hanging in my chute for five minutes I checked my plane through the F9 and, in one of the wierdest bugs I've seen, it continued to stay airborne, though looping and diving and twisting all over the place with smoke pouring out of both engines. After a while it became evident that the bloody thing just wasn't going to crash so I asked Rel to shoot its other wing off. This he eventually did, though with great difficulty as it was weaving and diving still. No joy. Apparently only a flesh wound, the stubborn and by now wingless wonder zoomed into the heavens again. At this point Rel decided to ram it but just then, the noble craft pointed its nose downwards, hitting the foam releasing me from my predicament. The upsetting thing was that it flew much better without me, nearly finishing off both Rel and Raptor.
Here's the Skipper's report;
It's been a great year in 609 Squadron - I hope you agree. We've come a long way, learned a lot of new tactics, and shown that we can adapt to changing conditions - especially in a war environment. We have a lot of changes yet to see with the various flight models out there, and possibly some inter-squadron training/practice war sorties with the new Fighter Command structure that Compans has proposed. Hopefully we'll be able to work it out with the other squadrons and agree on a single flight model so we can focus our training - using whatever is decided on.
It's time for some very overdue promotions in our squadron. I'd like to once again commend all of those who participated in our war with NJG. You've all shown tact, class, aggressiveness, teamwork and a "can do", "never give up" attitude. The Command has agreed on a list of promotions for many of you. Most who participated in the war have really matured, and we'd like to reflect this with rankings more appropriate for your hard earned skills. Most of the promotions are one grade, but some are two grades for exceptional service. Of note:
Shredd - from Pilot Officer to Flight Lieutenant for war experience and leadership in war;
SSGF - from Flight Sergeant (actually Trn-Off) to Flying Officer for leadership and aggresiveness in war;
DaveHaze - from Flight Sergeant to Pilot Officer for war experience and aggressiveness in war, and our undisputed war ace with a 6/1 record;
Scarlet - from Pilot Officer to Flight Lieutenant for war experience and leading B flight;
Congratulations to all pilots who have earned these long overdue promotions. S! S! S!
Thats it for now.
New banner (an image link for other sites is complete (see above). If you would like one of these for your site or to send please e mail Compans and I'll send one out. S!
Big news on the horizon is that there will be several promotions throughout our Sqn this weekend. Rel has drawn up proposals and these will hopefully be awarded at Saturday Training. This is long overdue and your ferocious conduct in our recent war has led to many of these. As it'd be nice to consult Section Leaders before these come in to effect, please have a word with Rel or myself if you see us online. Good luck everyone and...very well deserved in advance.
Half of you have recieved your War Medals...if you haven't yet....fear not! They will arrive in good time. It takes a while to get these done and sent out. If you flew at all in the war, you WILL recieve one.
Following Blacksky's knock on the head last weekend, we heard from Goshawk that he did have concussion. Has anyone heard from him? We at 609 wish you well Blacksky and hope you've recovered.
Oz has now bribed a high-ranking official at German Telecom and is back and, by all accounts, kicking ass (kicking 'arse' sounds wierd so I had to use the Yank vernacular). I had hoped to get in a flight with him before he found his feet but alas, his rust was reportedly almost non existant. If I stop flying for two weeks I have to get my leading aircraftman to check for metal fatigue...Oz disappears for months and returns fresh as a daisy. Its either talent or the supernatural...maybe he's a vampire?
Destroyer wrote to me regarding his Publicity Officer status, telling me he's already started sending info to other sites in the form of a '609 package' with info, URL etc...Great job Dest. I have been thinking of doing a '609 banner'. Would you be interested in having this as an addition? Let me know. He also told me that he's setting up a site dedicated to sorting out which flight model to use for the EAW community. Great initiative Dest, as this is much needed. Incidentally...the 'RIP +' version of the A-4 has now been withdrawn again. As many of us have found, its almost impossible to stall...you can hang there at 35 MPH quite happily. So...remove this file.
I am trying to set up an inter-squad Training Day for some time soon. This will be amongst RAF Sqns currently interested in joining Fighter Command. It should be fun if it comes off and we'll be able to check out each other's skills and tactics. I'll keep you informed.
Thats about it for now. Try to make training tomorrow chaps...you may just be recieving an extra pip or stripe.
T's n B's
Lots going on at the moment. First of all, as some of you may have seen, I have set up a new site called 'Fighter Command'. This is a set of tentative proposals with the aim of linking up RAF Sqns to fight in unified wars against a similar confederation of German Sqds. So far I've had a pretty good response from EAW RAF Sqns. I need to know at this point how you all feel about this. If you get a few minutes please look over the site and let me know what you think (theres a forum at site). As I've reitterated ad nauseum at the site, Sqns will NOT lose their identity by being submerged in a larger organisation.
Another aim is to standardise how we score 'kills' as this tends to vary from squadron to squadron. There is a proposal for '11 Group'; -3 wings of 2 sqns each, with attendant Wincos etc...
A big task indeed but, if we try to follow the same principals we've adopted in 609 it shouldn't be too much of a headache. Once again, let me know how you feel about these matters.
I have updated the Roster kill score. As I mentioned last week, I will only update the scores of pilots who send me their new scores as its proving to be too much work figuring it out every week. SSGF and Viper sent me theirs so they've been updated.
Congrats to SSGF who has recently been promoted and now likes to hang out in the Officer's mess. I have not recieved confirmation of his rank yet...could someone send me this gen.
Me and Brian (guiltily) flew a couple of coop intercepts with NJG/88 last week which was great fun. Brian and I soiled the sqn name by ramming our B.17s, ( got the hang of it now Bri...). Its a great way to train as we may well have to do some intercept missions in future wars and gives you the experiance of flying as a Section (or 2 if the lags ok). GW mentioned I looked good in black leather too.
Theres been lots of bickering of late at Kali regarding whats fashionable and whats not regarding pet names. Apparently 'Y' is 'out' (ie 'Compy') and according to Shredd 'orama' is in (Comporama). MR disagrees with both of these and insists that prehistoric names are way cool (composaurus).
Anyway chaps...'blue skies' (nice to have you back Viper!).