Tornadoes Can Be Messy – BMS 4.33 AAR by “Manic”

Our Tornado squadron was tasked to take out a bridge north of Kunsan; apparently the North Koreans will be needing this….

This BMS 4.33 AAR was written by guest writer “Manic” – we hope you enjoy it….

BMS10

I knew better than to drink from the “Campaign Pond” with so little stick time. The fire hose is sure to be on, and all I have is my sippycup. The following was a dynamic campaign generated mission from Day 1 of Iron Fortress, Korea.

The Brief:

Our Tornado squadron was tasked to take out a bridge north of Kunsan; apparently the North Koreans will be needing this. Located here, near what appears to be a lot of angry red dots (several North Korean divisions), massed for a push toward Kunsan. How hard could it be?

BMS01
Target: Seosan Bridge

 

Intel:

Recon photos indicate that, being somewhat isolated, it shouldn’t be too hard to spot the target; few distractions about to muck up our Mark 1 Eyeball Target Acquisition Feature. (Did I mention I’m still on Chapter One of avionics & weapons employment? No guts, no glory!)

Not much to it. Just so happens the photorecce boys flew by here recently, giving us some good images. Should increase my SA at the popup.
Not much to it. Just so happens the photo-recce boys flew by here recently, giving us some good images which should increase my SA at the popup.
BMS03
I wonder if that big arrow will still be there when I hit the perch?
BMS04
The HQ generated flight plan isn’t too horrible. We’re going to mend it a little though.
  • Problem 1) SA-2 battalion just south of target. HQ has generated a few SEAD/DEAD (and CAP) packages to sanitize the local area just prior to our ingress (the thin black route lines here). Hope those guys studied!
  • Problem 2) An entire armored division is camped out just to the east. They probably have a lot of pointy things to throw at me. Best stay away!

The plan is to skim in at treetop level, from the south, as fast as my pony will go (and that’s pretty fast!). Popup, acquire, pickle, then get out of there. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy.

Mission:

Startup, taxi, and takeoff went fine. Lot of other flights getting on with their business. Hopefully paving the way for us! Air Traffic Control seemed to be well in control; constant radio chatter back and forth. They even used the parallel runways, one for departures, one for arrivals. Nice.

I don’t speak a lick of German, beyond ordering a beer (which everyone should know how to do in any country) yet they let me fly one of their very expensive toys! What a great bunch of guys.

Fence Check

Man there’s a lot of buttons in here. Think I’ll go with the “put the thing on the thing” delivery mode. Drop’em all at once too while we’re at it, spaced kinda close (bridge ain’t that big).
Man there’s a lot of buttons in here. Think I’ll go with the “put the thing on the thing” delivery mode. Drop’em all at once too while we’re at it, spaced kinda close (the bridge ain’t that big).

Fence Check. Lights off. ECM On. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Gives me peace of mind. Steer points came and went. There goes Kunsan AFB (wave as you go by). Lotta noise from that RWR thingy. Crossing the FLOT. Time to get low. Get fast. Some guy’s in my ear yacking about MiGs departing east of me. Go faster. Whip those ponies! Weeee…..

So far, so good. In fact, I was doing just fine thank you (navigating, pushing buttons, not running into anything or anyone) until they started shooting at me! Get lower! Go Faster!

Rats, I’m already 4 point something from the target. Where is it? Climb! The chicken-scratchin’ on the HUD says I’m pointed at it. Or did I mess that up? Yes, I was playing with the cursor earlier, I admit it. But I swear I put it back where it belonged. I did.

Arrrrgg. That dang RWR is making a lot more noise now. How do I turn that off? Finally, there it is! The bridge! Kinda ugly in person.

Roll over, pull (did I set all the switches up right??). Pull harrrrddder! The thing…is…on…the…thing. Mash the button. Lot of explosions off to my right. No time to take pictures…don’t have enough arms & hands for that. Probably that armored division engaging someone. Me?

Of course I have to LOOK BACK and see. Watching stuff blow up is, well, just fascinating (As Bevis would say, “hey, fire”). Booyah! I’m a hero! Laid that string of bombs right across that sucker.
Of course I have to LOOK BACK and see. Watching stuff blow up is, well, just fascinating (As Bevis would say, “hey, fire”). Booyah! I’m a hero! Laid that string of bombs right across that sucker.

I’d love to look at the video BUT I FORGOT TO TURN ON THE CAMERA! I even left a note-to-self, at the top of my mission cheatsheet; tied a string around my joystick too. In my defense things went a little crazy there for the last 20 nautical miles. Maybe next time. No problem, the Intel guys will figure it all out. They’ll buy me drinks tonight too! And I still have enough gas to get back. No embarrassing, bogus, manhood deflating emergency call from me today. Disco!

RTB was a sleeper. RWR thing calmed down a bit. AWACS guy was yacking about MiGs in the area. They’ll never catch me. No idea where lead went. Last I saw he was circling circling above the area. He did have a nice stereo in his room. Maybe I’ll get that after he’s gone. And his girlfriend…

Debrief / Hero To Zero:

The debriefing was going well, in my head. Just why, exactly, does the CO want to see me? Odd. Could it be the made-for-CNN video of the “perfect strike” I made (hope not, cuz, well, uh…)…

BMS09
Uh-oh! Wrong bridge. Apparently, instead of creating a roadblock for the North Korean horde coming to steal our iPhones or some such, I’ve created an (ahem) ‘obstacle’ of sorts, for our guys.

Not that we plan to go North. Right? We don’t do that stuff. I mean, hey, it would’ve been toast at some point anyway, ya know? Strategic Importance you say? Naw, can’t be. What do you mean you’re taking my keys away? Back to training? Me? Hey….

Conclusion

What I learned*:

  1. Never, ever, let the AI lead a flight. At least not when you’re trying “to do harm”.
  2. Use the Recon feature. A lot. Zoom out. Spin it around. Imagine your flight path into the area (and out while we’re at it).
  3. Take copious notes.
  4. Don’t forget to turn on the camera (AVTR default key “f”).

* These would seem to apply to the “high tech” attacks too; LGB, TGP, LMNOP….

Even though you’re looking through a gizmo, at a presumably safe distance, you still need to visualize the target area have a good mental picture of it. Those shiny things can break. Your cursor can get all catty-whompus on you. Etc, etc.

Oh, and number 5: Practice. A lot.

Check Six

“Manic”

PS by “Manic” – The images were slightly touched up for this AAR. I wanted to make them less ‘clean’.

Notable Replies

  1. Fun read! I would have indeed loved to see a video of this flight. Haven’t seen any Falcon Tornado videos but plenty of people seem to be liking the F/A-18 since there are a few videos of this aircraft in Falcon.

  2. Another thing you can do to make sure you hit the correct target is recon the target and set it as the steer you are referencing. If you want to get really crazy, you can even make it a computed popup attack using your ICP VRP to target and PUP to target fx. More on that later if you like. It may only work for the 16, does the Tornado have an ICP?

  3. @EinsteinEP is going to love that…! I remember seeing that option on the UFC…but never took the time to learn it…

  4. jross says:

    I think that, or something like it, was available already (4.32), though via a 3rd-party app. Memory is fuzzy on that but I do recall trying it once. May have been Mission Commander?

  5. jross says:

    @w_lloughby
    Yeah I did that (steerpoint target mark thing). I think I was ‘messin’ with the cursor and didn’t hit the Cursor recenter/reset/clear; was moving way faster than I usually do near the target (overshot); they were unloading on me = distractions.

    When I popped up I was basically clueless cuzz the target marker wasn’t where it was supposed to be (was in a rice paddy somewhere). Jinked too much (?) Then hit the first bridge that looked available…cuzz they all look alike? Going back.

    I’ve honestly done very little campaign flying (even though that’s why I love Falcon - crazy). Ninety-nine percent has been KOTAR Round-robin’s just trying to get ‘proficient’ (AR, formation flying, working through the systems, etc). The “real” battle was, on this route anyway, crazy.

    Check Six
    Manic

  6. Thats funny …If you want me to, Ill remind you what to do…you can reference the USAF Basic Employment Manual for some background on it too. Its the VRP to PUP and PUP to Target info you get from the weapon delivery planner…and yes I can relate to popping and getting disoriented when you roll back in. if you follow the ICP to HUD cues its a breeze …even at 550 KCAS. It is a challenge especially if you include the brevity calls, “pop” “in” and “off” while running your CMS program. But just imagine how disorienting that has to be in real life, nothing and than the roar of a fighter overhead dropping flares, and the next thing you know the earth is shaking form the fragmentation of the MK82’s finding their targets. If you want let me know and I will talk you through it. maybe even fly it with you in FO or something. Cheers.

    -Nuts
    8th VFW

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