Fast jets, and even more Brylcreem than the Spitfire boys...

Moderators: Board of Directors, Command

Post Reply
Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:02 pm
Location: aka AV8R


Post by Bubi » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:24 pm

This thread will be dedicated to communication what time proven and new best practices are recommended as SOP such that everyone will be on the same page technically, tactically,and communications wise. Adherence to these are the best insurance that everyone's time isn't wasted and improves the quality and quantity of game play, as well as increasing the immersion fun and pucker factor. Now we aren't internet police here, nor would we want to be, but this is a set of rules or best practices we all would benefit from... Including incorporation of RL SOP where practical and sensible.

Topics will include:
- software and mods (keys to stability)
- bandwidth, ports, and connectivity
- communication tools (TS3 and IVC)
- hosting and joining Comms window (and exiting) protocols
- controller preflight checks
- 2D GUI, recon, loadout, and Data Cartridge setup
- launching into the 3D world protocols
- Rampstart: datalink, yardstick, and Comm channels (checking in and tactical freqs)
- In flight Comms brevity, fence in/out, status checks, formation expectations
- post flight exiting and debrief

It is my intention to include inputs on these topics by the more experienced BMS pilots, so that this is a community effort. Once we have compiled the original and basic list; then we will open it up for general discussion.
"Train as you fight, fight as you train"

Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:02 pm
Location: aka AV8R

Re: S.O.P. - Standard Operating Procedures (best practices)

Post by Bubi » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:46 pm

Brevity Codes:

ABORT: Directive commentary to terminate. Applicable to a specific attack maneuver or entire mission.
ACTIVE: An onboard radar self-guidance mode of an advanced AAR like the AIM 120
ALPHA CHECK: A request for bearing and distance to a given point. Generally used to confirm navigational accuracy
ANCHOR: 1.) Begin an orbit at a specific point or location. 2.) A refueling track flown by a tanker aircraft.
ANGELS: Altitude expressed in thousands of feet. Angels 20 means 20,000 ft.
AS FRAGGED: Perform the event as briefed or planned.
BANDIT: Known enemy aircraft. Only used when the contact is confirmed hostile.
BEAM/BEAMER: Descriptive terminology for an aircraft that maneuvered to stabilize between 70 degrees 110 degrees aspect. Can be used to describe your own action. Example: stab 11 beaming North.
BELLY CHECK: Directive commentary to instruct recipient to roll over and check for bandits underneath him.
BENT: Inoperative or “bent” system. “Stab one one gadget bent”
BINGO / BINGO FUEL: A predetermined fuel quantity that is required to safely return to base.
BLIND: Lost visual contact with appropriate friendly aircraft. Generally means that the wingman lost sight of a flight lead. The opposite of this is VISUAL.
BOGEY: An unknown radar/visual contact.
BOGEY DOPE: A request for information about a specific target or threat. Generally directed toward GCI/AWACS or other flight members.
BOX: Groups/contacts/formations in a square, as viewed on a radar display or from above.
BRACKET: Indicates geometry where aircraft will maneuver to a position on opposing sides of a given point / target, either laterally / vertically/ or a combination of both. Basically, it is a relatively short-range pincer maneuver.
BREAK: (Up/Down/Right/Left) –Directive to perform an immediate maximum performance turn. Assumes a defensive situation that requires immediate action.
BREVITY: Denotes radio frequency is becoming saturated/degraded/jammed and more concise/less R/T transmissions should be used.
BUDDY SPIKE: Illumination by friendly AI RWR.
BUG OUT: Separate from the engagement and head for a safe area or home.
BULLSEYE: A pre-briefed reference point. It is used to describe your position or that of the target.
CLEAN: 1.) No radar contacts, i.e. your radar scope is clean. 2.) An aircraft configuration without any external stores or tanks.
CLEARED: Requested action is approved.
CLEARED HOT: Ordnance release is approved.
CLOSING: Bandit/bogey/target is decreasing its range.
COLD: 1.) Attack geometry that will result in a position behind the target. (lag pursuit) 2.) Pointed away from the anticipated threats.
COMMITTED/COMMIT: Intent to engage/intercept.
CONTACT: Radar/IR contact; should include bearing, range, altitude (BRA), Bull’s-eye, or geographic position information.
CONTINUE: Continue present maneuver; does not imply clearance to engage or to shoot.
COVER: Directive R/T to assume supporting role and responsibilities.
DEFENSIVE: (Spike/Missile/SAM/Mud/AAA) – Subject is in a defensive position and maneuvering with reference to the threat. If not explicitly stated, threat is assumed to an air/air threat.
DRAG/DRAGGING: (Direction) – Bogey/Bandit maneuvering to 60 degrees or less aspect. Can also describe your own actions.
ENGAGED: Maneuvering with respect to a threat or target in order to kill or negate an attack.
EXTEND: (Direction) – Directive to temporally depart the immediate “fight” location gain energy, distance, time, situational awareness, or a combination of all. The intent is to reengage as soon as desired parameter is achieved.
FADED: Radar contact is lost or has “faded” from your radar display.
FLEET WET/DRY: Transitioning from flying over water/land.
FENCE CHECK/FENCE IN/FENCE OUT: Set cockpit switches as appropriate to your location. Generally means to arm up weapons as you enter enemy territory and safe them as you proceed back to friendly airspace.
FLANK/FLANKING: Target with a stable aspect of 120 degrees to 150 degrees.
FLOAT: Expand the formation laterally within visual limits. Used to initiate a “bracket” or to force a commit from a trailing bandit.
FOX ONE: Simulated/actual launch of semi-active radar guided missile. An AIM 7 Sparrow.
FOX TWO: Simulated/actual launch of an IR guided missile. An AIM 9.
FOX THREE: Simulated/actual launch of a fully active missile. AN AMRAAM/Phoenix.
GADGET: Radar or sensor equipment.
GIMBALL: (Direction) – Radar target of interest is approaching azimuth or elevation limits of your radar and you are about to loose contact.
GORILLA: A large number of unknown contacts that appear to maneuver to a common objective.
GROUP: Radar Contacts that appear to operate together within approximately 3 Nm of each other.
HARD LEFT/RIGHT: Directive call to initiate a High-G, energy sustaining turn. Generally used when entering a fight offensively. A ‘break’ turn is used for a defensive situation.
HIGH: Target altitude at or above 30,000 feet MSL.
HIT: A Radar return on the Radar scope (A/A).
HOLDING HANDS: Aircraft together in a coordinated visual formation.
HOME PLATE: Home airfield.
HOT: 1.) For an AI intercept ‘hot’ describes geometry will result in roll out in front of target 2.) Pointing toward the anticipated threats in a CAP (A/A). 3.) Weapons employment authorized.
IN PLACE: (Left/Right) – Simultaneously maneuvering the whole flight in the specified direction.
JOKER: Has had several definitions 1.) Fuel state is such that the mission can continue to the target via scheduled route and RTB, but with little or no reserve. 2.) Fuel state is such that the entire mission can be flown and all the ordnance carried all the way back to home plate. Generally used when the target is obscured by WX and Higher Headquarter directives preclude jettisoning bombs prior to RTB.
KILL: Commit and kill specified target.
LADDER: Three or more groups in trail formations. It appears as a “ladder” on the radar display
LINE ABREAST: A side-by-side formation.
LOCKED: (BRA/Direction) – Radar Lock on. DOES NOT ASSUME SORT OR TARGETNING responsibilities are met unless specifically stated.
LOW: Target altitude below 10,000 feet MSL
MEDIUM: Target altitude between 10,000 and 30,00 feet MSL.
MERGE/ MERGED: 1.) Bandits and friendlies are in the visual arena. 2.) Radar returns have come together.
MUSIC: Electronic radar jamming.
NO JOY: Lost or no visual contact with the target/bandit; opposite of TALLY.
NOTCH: (Direction) – Radar missile defensive maneuver to place threat radar/missile near the beam.
PADLOCKED: Aircrew cannot take eyes off target without risk of losing tally/visual.
PAINT: Friendly AAI/APX interrogation return.
PICTURE: Situation briefing given by AWACS or GCI that provides a general tactical overview.
POSIT: Request for a position report.
PRESS: Continue the attack; mutual support will be maintained.
SEPARATE: Leaving a specific engagement.
SHACKLE: A weave or a single crossing of flight paths in order to regain formation geometry.
SHOOTER: Aircraft that will employ ordnance or “shoot”
SLOW: speed of less than 300 knots.
SNAP: (object, destination, location.) – An immediate vector to the requested target or geographic point.
SORTED: Pre-briefed criteria has been met insuring each flight member have separate targets.
SPIKE: RWR indication of AI threat.
SPITTER: (Direction) – An Aircraft that has departed from the engagement.
STACK: Two or more groups with a high/low altitude separation.
STATUS: Request for an individual’s tactical situation; generally described as “offensive,” “defensive,” or “neutral.”
STINGER: Formation with single Bogey/Bandit in trail.
SWITCH/SWITCHED: Indicates an attacker is changing from one aircraft to another.
TALLY: Bandit in sight; opposite of “NO JOY.”
TARGET: Specific sort responsibility
TRAIL: Formation of two or more aircraft following one another.
TRAILER: The last aircraft in a formation.
TRASHED: Missile in flight has been defeated.
TUMBLEWEED: Indicates limited situation awareness, no tally, no visual, a request for information.
VEE/VIC: Vic formation, single aircraft in the lead and an element in trail.
VISUAL: Friendly aircraft in sight; opposite of “BLIND.”
WALL: Three or more groups in line abreast/side-by-side formation.
WEDGE: Tactical formation of two or more aircraft with the single in front and two line abreast behind: Same as a “Vee” formation.
WEEDS: Very low altitude.
WINCHESTER: No ordnance remaining.
"Train as you fight, fight as you train"

User avatar
Pilot Officer
Pilot Officer
Posts: 1598
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:21 am
Location: France


Post by Miki » Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:27 pm


REF : TO BMS1-F16CM-34-1-1 Chapter 1.4, page 34.

To know the assigned addresses, check the order of the flights in the package in the BRIEFING page.
First flight in the package will be assigned addresses 11-14. Next flight will be 21-24 and so on.

Those numbers will reflect each element of your flight and should be automatically initiated for you by the game.

To maintain situational awareness (SA), at least each flight leads of the other flights in the package will be entered.
Then, if able, each flight elements, then each wingmen.
The leader of the package will tell you how to set the different slots.



FURY1 (own flight) addresses will be : 31/32/33/34 - we will have the four aircraft of the flight -
We will then enter :
COWBOY1 flight : 11/12 - we'll have SA on the entire flight -
FALCON1 flight : 21/22 - we don't have enough slots to enter the entire flight, so we'll set only flight lead and element lead -

With ICP((Integrated Control Panel) select LIST => E(DLINK) => SEQ (using DCS - Data Command Switch) to change the page frome A-G DL to INTRAFLIGHT.
Check that each of your own flight (#1 to #4 in this case).
Navigate with the arrow and enter each desired number in the availaible slot. Press ENTER each time.

After DATALINK initialization, you should have this in your MFD :
=> COWBOY1 & 2 in front, own flight, FURY1 & 2 offsetting southeast, 3 & 4 flanking southwest in trail 10NM, and FALCON 1 at the back of the flow.
Note that we have only FALCON1 1 & 3, 2 & 4 are missing in the DATALINK as we don't have a slot for them.


Flight leader will be the DATALINK master, and will initiate the DATALINK once airborne.
CONTINUOUS (CONT) MODE will be used.

In case of leader missing (ground abort, system failure, aircraft shot down, etc.), #3 of the flight will be the deputy and will take the DATALINK master role in charge.
Then it will be #2.



User avatar
Pilot Officer
Pilot Officer
Posts: 1598
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:21 am
Location: France

Re: S.O.P. - Standard Operating Procedures (best practices)

Post by Miki » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:16 pm


REF : TO BMS1-F16CM-34-1-1 Chapter 1.3, page 31.

TACAN stands for TACtical Air Navigation.
You can consider it as a VOR/DME, but for military use.
I will depict here the use of the TACAN in Air to Air mode.

TACAN uses radio signals set into 126 channels, and two bands, X and Y.

You can select the channel and the band by two ways:
=> using AUX COMM on the left console, if CNI (Communication, Navigation and Identification) switch is set on the BACK-UP position,
=> using ICP (Integrated Control Panel) of the UFC (Up Front Controller).

Using AUX COMM speaks by itself.
So let's talk about the second and main method.



ACESS : Using KEY 1, T-ILS on the ICP of the UFC.
CHANNEL SELECTION : Enter the channel in the scratchpad (from 1 to 126), validate pressing ENTER.
BAND SELECTION : Change X or Y band by entering 0 in the scratchpad, validate pressing ENTER.
MODE SELECTION : Using DCS (Data Command Switch) right (SEQ).

The main purpose coupling two TACAN is to have range information between different aircraft.
The channels between the two coupled aircraft need to be 63 apart. The two aircraft needs to use the same band and be in Air to Air mode.


FATHER : depicts the TACAN system
"Falcon 1, FATHER SWEET" means the TACAN is working well.
"Falcon 4, FATHER SOUR" means the TACAN is out of order or get no information.

YARDSTICK : directive call to use a briefed channel/band
"Falcon, YARDSTICK 1" is a call from the leader to the entire flight to set the channel/band associated with briefed TACAN plan, number 1.



In this example SNAKE is a flight of 4.

We have two TACAN plans that have been scheduled and briefed by the leader :
=> YARDSTICK 1 will link SNAKE 1 with 3, SNAKE 2 with 4 (both pairs will be linked)
=> YARDSTICK 2 will link SNAKE 1 with 2, SNAKE 3 with 4 (inside pair will be linked)

Here is what you will have on the DED :


The distance between the two linked aircraft is 2.7 Nm (see bottom right of the DED).


=> You can set more than two aircraft coupled but only the range between the nearest aircraft coupled will be shown.
=> You don't have any bearing information using TACAN in Air ti Air mode, only a range.
=> KC-10 tanker (and only KC-10) is using inboard more complex TACAN that can give you RANGE and BEARING.
=> Upper channel is 126. That means if you want to link two TACAN based on 64 or more, you will have to subtract rather than add 63.


To prevent any muddle in the use of the TACAN, YARDSTICK plan will be done in accordance with the number of the flight in the package and will based on the same IDM number than the leading aircraft.


COWBOY 1 flight is the first one, and will use IDM 11+ and a YARDSTICK plan based on 11.

COWBOY 11 will use 11X for YARDSTICK 1, 11Y for YARDSTICK 2.
COWBOY 12 will use 74Y for YARDSTICK 1, and will keep 74Y for YARDSTICK 2.
COWBOY 13 will use 74X for YARDSTICK 1, and will keep 74X for YARDSTICK 2.
COWBOY 14 will use 11Y for YARDSTICK 1, and will change to 11X for YARDSTICK 2.

FALCON 2 flight is the second one, and will use IDM 21+ and a YARDSTICK plan based on 21.

FALCON 11 will use 21X for YARDSTICK 1, 21Y for YARDSTICK 2.
FALCON 12 will use 84Y for YARDSTICK 1, and will keep 84Y for YARDSTICK 2.
FALCON 13 will use 84X for YARDSTICK 1, and will keep 84X for YARDSTICK 2.
FALCON 14 will use 21Y for YARDSTICK 1, and will change to 21X for YARDSTICK 2.

FURY 1 flight is the third one, and will use IDM 31+ and a YARDSTICK plan based on 31.

FURY 11 will use 31X for YARDSTICK 1, 31Y for YARDSTICK 2.
FURY 12 will use 94Y for YARDSTICK 1, and will keep 94Y for YARDSTICK 2.
FURY 13 will use 94X for YARDSTICK 1, and will keep 94X for YARDSTICK 2.
FURY 14 will use 31Y for YARDSTICK 1, and will change to 31X for YARDSTICK 2.


Take-off will be executed with on YARSTICK2, coupling aircraft inside the same pair (1 with 2, 3 with 4).
Then, as wingmen have rejoined their respective leader, flight lead will call for YARDSTCIK1, IOT make easier the situation awareness between the two elements.
If needed during the flight, on leader order (that may follow a request from a wingman), the flight will change form one to another YARDSTICK respecting the briefed plan.

Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:02 pm
Location: aka AV8R

Re: S.O.P. - Standard Operating Procedures (best practices)

Post by Bubi » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:24 am

Yardstick Application Note:

Systems can be used in more than one way, usually to address different use models and purposes. The navigation radios can be set up in different transmitter/receiver pairings or couplets to provide different range measurements, hence the term "Yardstick", which is a ruler in NM between aircraft (A/A mode) or between aircraft and base (T/R mode).

To expand on what was illustrated in the previous A2A TACAN post, navigation is done with either a ground or airborne reference. The previous dual band example used both X and Y bands in one flight. The purpose of doing this is to use different reference bands, one for each element within the flight. This is primarily an element 2-ship yardstick focus.

Another paradigm is to use the dual band method differently. This is primarily a flight 4-ship and secondarily an element 2-ship focus. (The simple case being to just use the single Y-band, which is good for 90% of the time)
Y-band: wingmen to flight leader yardstick
X-band: wingman to element leader yardstick

This uses a single Y-band channel reference for per flight (4 ship - 2 elements). The purpose of this method is to provide all three wingmen a single yardstick distance reference to the flight leader. Which is helpful in four ship formations, so each wingman knows his range to the leader. The flight leader will see the distance to the closest of his flights wingman. The X-band is optionally used by element leader to his wingman if so desired.

Dual Band example: (yardstick1 on Y-band; yardstick2 on X-band)
Flight 1
Element1-lead (1): Chan 11/Y-band
Element1-wing (2): Chan 74/Y-band
Element2-lead (3): Chan 74/Y-band; Chan 11/X-band
Element2-wing(4): Chan 74/Y-band; Chan 74/X-band

Flight 2
Element1-lead (1): Chan 12/Y-band
Element1-wing (2): Chan 75/Y-band
Element2-lead (3): Chan 75/Y-band; Chan 12/X-band
Element2-wing(4): Chan 75/Y-band; Chan 75/X-band

Flight 3
Element1-lead (1): Chan 13/Y-band
Element1-wing (2): Chan 76/Y-band
Element2-lead (3): Chan 76/Y-band; Chan 13/X-band
Element2-wing(4): Chan 76/Y-band; Chan 76/X-band

In BMS, generally:
Y-bands 126 A2A channels are assigned to fighters, and tankers.

By now you might be asking yourself, why all the fuss with yardsticks anyways? Well the reason is because just like in WW2, flights and elements are a critical component in combat, and tactical formations are critical to integrity of the flight and survival. Distances between leads and wingies are what make up tactical formations. And they are based upon what turning distances are needed for SA and mutual support. Note the formation distances for modern fighters

"Train as you fight, fight as you train"

Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:02 pm
Location: aka AV8R

Re: S.O.P. - Standard Operating Procedures (best practices)

Post by Bubi » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:45 am


The F-16 has two modes by which to control the COMMS and navigation TACAN systems:
1. Up Front Console (primary mode)
2. Aux Comms Panel (Back Up mode)

These modes are selectable on the Aux Comms panel's CNI rotary switch. Upon entering the cockpit and turning on battery power, the pilot finds the CNI in the backup mode and remains there until the VHF radio communication channel is dialed in and a comm check is made. Once the flight's pilots check in, then they switch the CNI over to UFC (up front console). This switches over to the primary voice COMMS and navigational TACAN radios.


"Train as you fight, fight as you train"

Posts: 216
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:46 pm

Re: S.O.P. - Standard Operating Procedures (best practices)

Post by Cougar » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:49 pm

COMMS - Overview, Frequencies & Practices

Overview & Frequencies : refer to BMS MANUAL Pages 91 - 95

MP Practice & Deployment
Since UHF radio has better range characteristics, it is primarily used for communtication to ATC, AWACS, JSTAR, Tanker,...(see page 93). In the briefing screen, the respective AWACS frequency (if AWACS is airborne) can be found in the SUPPORT section (see page 194).
Our UHF default preset is "6" (PACKAGE1 in the fequency list, page 93), since other package and support flights can hear them. Proper BREVITY and RADIO DISCIPLINE are strongly recommended while in UHF use!

VHF radio has worse range characterisitcs, which is why it is primarily used for intra flight communication that (in general) does not require long range transmissions.
Our VHF default preset is "13" (TEAM in the list). since we are the only human package in our campaign, it does not mater too much. we use VHF for human-only and UHF to AI.

TOWER can be set to "15" since it is the first OPEN frequency slot (see page 93). After takeoff, report to tower you resume on own navigation and switch to UHF TACTICAL ("6").

Since we try to keep it as realistic as possible, we "talk" to all radio call recipients.
Example: requesting permission to taxi.
do not simply press T-5, use entire sentences over the UHF channel to request taxi, like:
"Aviano departure, this is fury3-1, 2-ship F-16 outbound (package #xyz), request permission to taxi to runway xy via taxiway xy (see NAVCHARTS). the press the buttons T-5 or use VAC. it is recommended to turn off "player voice" in the options menu.

Different colors of radio subtitles (assumptions only!)
GREEN: all calls on the TOWER frequency
RED: all calls regarding your PACKAGE or FLIGHT (wingman commands, awacs orders, tanker callouts,...)
BLUE: all calls on channels 1-14 (check ins/outs, RESCAP requests, AWACS / JSTAR calls,..see page 92)
"I have you now!"

Post Reply