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A career in the Tamurin Air Corps


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---- Voice of the Air Corps ----

 

A career in the Tamurin Air Corps

 

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“Voice of the Air Corps”, a military newspaper, will cover the training of five young Tamurinians joining the Air Corps. Each of them comes from a totally different background, has totally different values and hopes and wants into a totally different branch of the Air Corps. But they’re all Tamurinians – and now they’re all pilots.

 

“Voice of the Air Corps” will provide you with inside information from the training facilities and from the progress of these young soldiers to introduce you to modern-day Air Corps training and the Air Corps itself. Also, our readers from outside Tamurin will get a view of who we are and what we do here.

 

Stage open for our five trainees:

 

Rekrut Daniel Dudenh?fer, 19 years old, a-level student, directly from school; upper class parents, aircraft enthusiast, member of the school sports team

 

“Hi, I’m Daniel.

My big goal at the Air Corps is to fly one of the new JAS-39 “Gripen” fighters. I’m just fascinated by the design of this aircraft and its huge power. They’re the top-line air domination fighters in the Luftwaffe and it would be like joining the elite.

I became an aircraft enthusiast when I first heard about the 1940s planes. This must’ve been an exciting age when the first jet fighters flew at the same time the last bi-planes were in service…awesome!

It was always my dream to become a pilot and I’m so thankful that I have the physical strength to do that.

I’m looking forward to sharing my training with all of you! Bye!”

 

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Rekrut Christine Stein, 18 years old, ended school at the age of 16 and began working as a mechanic for the civilian “Lufthansa”; has many pets and comes from a low-level peasent family

 

“Hi, I’m Christine.

Well, this might seem awkward – a girl as a flight mechanic and a pilot. Well, I’m just like the girls you know – I like flowers, I like romantic candlelike dinners…I’m just not that uninterested in engines and big machines. When I worked as a mechanic at the “Lufthansa” I was so envious of the pilots – they got to fly the really cool aircrafts and I was cleaning the engines…

Well, I couldn’t stand that so I joined the Air Corps. My big dream is to fly an F-111 heavy fighter/bomber one day. That would be really, really cool.

So, I am going to see YOU soon!”

 

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Rekrut David von Greifenau, 21 years old, great-grandfather was a duke in northern Tamurin; ended school at the age of 16 and made a three-year-education to become an engine mechanic; worked for two years for a race-car team; plays golf;

 

“Hi, just call me Daniel, will ya?

Well, this “playing-golf”-stuff might make you nervous, but hands-down I’m a cool guy. My big dream is the A-1 “Skyraider” in the “Air Battle Corps”. Yeah, I know, it’s an old one and it’s just reserve for the A-9, the F-84F and the AJ Savage today, but she really kicks butt. Ya should’ve seen her when she bombed the hell out of the mobile divisions of the Imperials a couple of years ago…that was AWESOME. Just tug a new missile underneath her and BAMM! You’ve got yourself a cool tank killer.

Well, we’re all looking forward to this, so don’t keep me waitin’, will ya? See ya ‘round!”

 

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Rekrut Reinhard Schleemeyer, 20 years old; a-level-student, began studying aeronautics and quit after one semester to join the Air Corps; science-fiction freak, bought his own car from saving money since he was 12 years old

 

“Good evening. I’ll make this short, you’ll get to know me better really soon. I’m, as it says, a very careful and cautious scifi-freak and my big dream is the E-2C “Hawkeye” Command & Control-aircraft. I don’t care if it’s the navy or the air force model. I visited a Luftwaffe exhibition when I was fourteen and when they showed the technology that is inside one of these, I was deeply impressed and reminded of…well, “Knight Rider” and “Battlestar Galactica”. Amazing! Since then I’ve been working hard to be able to join the Air Corps…and now here I am!”

 

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Rekrut Bruno von Ulmen, 26 years old; a-level-student, studied “aeronautics and spaceflight” and worked as a designer for spacecrafts at the “Arrabar Space Center” for two years. He’s a space enthusiast, coming from a middle class family.

 

“Hello.

Well, I feel a bit left-out here. All these guys are making their way to the “Air Corps” as in “Air”, while I’m going “out there”. I want to fly the OG-1 spacecraft.

I know, there are only very few spots open and you don’t get to fly very often AND they’re all looking at the OG-2 today, but the OG-1 is still a single-seater and used for many, many research projects, like high-speed or high-altitude.

I’m always a bit left out since I’m five or six years older than…everyone. Well, being a designer for spacecrafts is nice and neet, but you don’t get to fly your own machines. I couldn’t stand that, so I left and joined the Air Corps.

Hope you’ll enjoy what you read.”

 

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Next week these young men and woman will begin with their basic military training!

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Basic military training

 

This is “Voice of the Air Corps” and we’re covering the training of five promising recruits in the Tamurin Air Corps.

 

The last couple of days “our” recruits have been out there on basic military training, something every man and woman has to undergo before joining the Air Corps. It’s the same drill every soldier in the Army and the Navy has to do before the specialization training. The basic military training is a twelve-week infantry drill during which the soldiers learn to use all weapons of the Army: Assault rifle, submachine gun, machine gun, pistol, anti-tank RPG, grenade and knife. They’ll be trained to fight enemy infantry, artillery, light tanks and main battle tanks. They’ll also be trained in basic military discipline and basic military life. These first days were filled with weapons’ drill, a first three-day-maneuver in the forest and basic military life like ranks, discipline and the chain of command.

 

Our soldiers experienced a very long 18-hours-day beginning at 5 AM and ending at 11 PM. After six hours of sleep they’ve been woken with whistles or metal trashcan drums – on the third day their Lieutenant threatened his NCO’s with death if they ever did this again (the Lieutenant sleeps in the same floor as his soldiers wink.gif ). Since then the NCO’s use a very loud “Company – WAKE UP!!!”.

Their day begins with sports training for 30 minutes, then washing, making the bed and cleaning up. After a very short breakfast (~ 10 minutes), the captain of the group talks to the group, saying something about today’s training sessions and their performance in yesterday’s training sessions.

Then the first training exercise begins and ends at 9 AM. A short break (~ 10 minutes) and then another training exercise until noon. Lunch break (~ 15 minutes) and then the next training session. A short break at around 3 PM and then the next session until dinner (6 PM, 15 minutes). And the next drill until 11 PM. This hard day will keep up for the first three weeks and then slowly descent to an 8 hour-day (7 AM to 5 PM, breaks at 9 AM (30 minutes) and 12 AM (60 minutes)).

 

We had some time to talk to our new soldiers.

 

Daniel: “I am so tired, I could fall asleep right now. But it was great. Yeah, I know, this must sound weird, but I thought it was really great. Really working like a soldier, out there in the mud with the others and the weapons and stuff…

The only thing that bothers me is the fact that I don’t need this to become a fighter pilot. Shouldn’t I begin flight training ASAP? OK, perhaps if get shot down one day I’ll need some infantry skills, but I’m sure you could cover that with some specialized training for pilots, don’t you think?”

 

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Defense against all sides – tamurinian soldiers during basic training

 

Christine: “You think you’re in a nation where men and women are equal. And still you’re treated like “the girl”. I’m not the only woman in this group, but it really bothered me. OK, I’m not as strong as the guys, but I, too, can carry a machine gun, dammit! I want this more than these guys and I deserve to get the chance to show that.

Anyway, I’m hungry. Maybe we can talk about this later?!”

 

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Train to move under fire close to the ground – “going” through the mud

 

David: “Yo man, that was AWESOME! I felt like Rambo, although the Serg wasn’t too cool when I walked around with the machine gun on my side…man, the guy should loosen up a little, it was just a little fun.

I’m a little disappointed, we didn’t even get to fire one of these…just with some kiddy plastic bullets that just go “blob” and that was it. I just wanna shoot a couple of live ammo ‘round, a little bam-bam here, ya know…how am I to learn blowin’ stuff up when I’m not allowed doin’ it, here, ya know?

Can’t keep talkin’ to ya, buddy, have to pull an extra duty…Serg wasn’t too cool, ya know? Machine gun extra drill…sounds cool, maybe he’ll allow me some shootin’ up, now, don’t ya think?”

 

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Cleaning the weapons – a soldier’s most loved task

 

Reinhard: “Food…water…sleep…no, first water…

<<drinking>>

Water…nice in your throat. But I really HATE it now on my clothes…I tell you: The worst thing in the world is to sleep in wet clothes in a wet tent on wet hay – and it still rains. I had wet socks a whole day before I had a chance to change them.

The first day we did some weapons’ drill for like three or four hours. I was lying on the ground for the whole time. It was raining the whole damn time. When I got up, a huge wave of water came out of my arm sleeve…

You know, you think you know the military from the TV commercials or the movies – all wrong. I’ve seen needle printers here – needle printers!! Some stuff was used during the first Civil War, I’m sure – my great-grandfather might have eaten with the same spoon as I am now. Some of this stuff is so ancient, it should be in a museum…”

“Voice of the military”: “Maybe they don’t give you the state-of-the-art-tech, so you can’t destroy the new stuff.”

Reinhard: “Maybe, but how should I destroy a spoon?! OK, many of my buddies have lost stuff, like knives, first-aid-kits…one even lost a part of his weapon, man, he got soooo much trouble…but there was also this other guy, running around with the machine gun like Rambo…weird kid…but strong. This machine gun weighs eleven kilograms – without ammo!! How can he hold it with one hand?! I have no idea…now I’m gonna go eat.”

 

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Outside in the forest – tamurinian soldiers in a battle camp

 

Bruno: “Oh man, I feel soooo old around these guys and gals. Should’ve done more sports before I joined. When they’re running I’m almost always the last runner…kind of embarrassing…but I’m really doing what I can. But I can’t keep up. After a couple of minutes my lung hurts like I’m breathing fire…

I hope this is over soon. I really don’t see any reason for me to do this. I’m gonna be a spacecraft pilot and I don’t think that I’ll meet someone out there I could or should harm with an assault rifle. If I had wanted to do that, I’d’ve joined the Army. Just think about it: A spacecraft pilot doing basic infantry training. The space program should be pure civilian, not this mixed crap.

Well, I’d like to talk to you a little more, but I’ve got to eat something and then clean my shoes, my clothes and my rifle. There’s an equipment check in one hour and everyone who isn’t clean enough for a parade will do silly stuff all night…”

 

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Clean for the parade – eventually it’s gonna be over

 

Our next report will cover the end of the military basic training of our five pilots-to-be. This is “Voice of the Air Corps”, Alaghon.

 

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The end of “basic military training” for our five pilots-to-be

 

Today is the last day of “basic military training” for our five pilots. They all passed and their next goal is to pass the medical assessment.

 

But let’s look back at the events of the last couple of weeks. Each of our soldiers had to pass the basic training, each of them had to face personal fears and threats and each of them had to extend their limits. And in the end they all performed in a huge battle exercise.

 

Daniel didn’t face too many problems. His background of school sports helped him to adapt quickly to the conditions in the Army. “I never had any problems with my physical fitness or strength. There were certain other new things – like the military way of doing things, drill, discipline, … waking up in the middle of the night…well, nothing major. I’m very eager to get my hands on an aircraft, so I hope this doctor stuff doesn’t take long.”

Daniel scored 2nd best in his bataillon with the assault rifle, 3rd with the machine gun, 7th with the pistol, 11th with the sub-machine gun, 14th with the hand grenade and 17th with the anti-tank RPG. His superiors talked well of him:

(Sergeant Thalbaum): “A fine soldier. He would’ve been a good infantry soldier. I think he’s wasting his talent as a pilot – but well, at least we’ll have one less pilot to rescue. He can do that himself.”

(Captain Friedmann): “He was deputy group leader. Just the best recruit of the group is promoted to that. That speaks for itself.”

 

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During a battle exercise

 

Christine had other problems. As the only girl in her group, she had to fight against prejudices from the others. After the first week she was frustrated with it, but the second week gave her the opportunity she needed: “We were drilling ‘First Aid under fire’. I was assigned as medic and had to help a fellow soldier. The Serg said that I was too far above the ground and thus an easy target for the enemy. I told him that I had to be that far above the ground to treat the soldier. He laughed and said: ‘Well, then you’ll have to carry him behind this wall, don’t you think?’ He was making fun of me, my size and my strength. I was angry, so I grabbed the ‘wounded’ and carried him behind the wall. Everyone, including the ‘wounded’ was so stunned that they kept their mouth shut for quite a while…”

After that Christine was the “power girl” of the group and performed well. She scored 4th with the assault rifle, 7th with the machine gun, 15th with the pistol, 12th with the sub-machine gun, 22th with the grenade und 34th with the anti-tank RPG.

(Sergeant Thalbaum”): “She did well and I guess she also purged any prejudices against female soldiers in our bataillon.”

(Captain Friedmann): “And again we loose a good infantry soldier here. I’d have liked her to become a machine gunner, but…again, these pilots just drop-by shortly to get away soon…”

 

David had a huge problem: David. From day one he was a nemesis for his superiors. It was unable to predict his actions and his answers, he was always good for a surprise. He broke rules whenever he wanted and was going for “special effects” and “publicity”. During machine gun firing he stood up, grabbed the machine gun and fired “Rambo”-like. He didn’t hit a thing, nearly lost control over the weapon and was incarcerated for 21 days.

He also changed the flag waving over the barracks one morning – the tamurinian flag came down and a custom-made A-1 “Skyraider”-flag got up. Another 7 days of extra work in the kitchen. During hand grenade training he tested a new way of throwing the grenade, nearly killing himself and destroying part of the test facility. Another 14 days of incarceration, 1000 credits penalty and a court-martial deciding whether he could remain a soldier.

Well, David’s plus was his high motivation and his skill. Even with his chaotic behaviour, he scored 1st in machine gun, anti-tank RPG and hand grenade, and his performances in all other training sessions were brilliant as well. According to the numbers in his record, he was the best soldier – according to the written statements, he was a menace.

(Sergeant Thalbaum): “He is difficult. Anybody dealing with him will have problems. The main problem is – he’s damn good.”

(Captain Friedmann): “If he hadn’t beaten the division record in machine gunning, I’d have thrown him out. When he adopts discipline, he’ll be a hell of a battle fighter.”

 

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During a battle exercise

 

Reinhard is disappointed right now and hopes that things will be better in the Air Corps. Our tech-kid and scifi-wiz was hoping for a high-end adventure and got a low-tech drill. “This stuff here is so ancient – my grandfather had better electronics in his home.” The plastic and metal-weapons and the very simple communication and transportation devices were not something he expected.

“You know, in war movies from Vanarambaion or Akiiryu or even the ones from the SSSS, everything is high-tech there. Really, really high-tech. And the TV broadcasts from Tinian or from Tarragat Island show us state-of-the-art supertech. And this?! Old crap. Correction: Rusty old crap…”

Reinhard performed poorly with the weapons. He scored in the lower third of the bataillon and he nearly failed to pass with the pistol. “The damn thing always shot into the grass while I was aiming at the head!” Only with the anti-tank RPG did he achieve an average score.

(Sergeant Thalbaum): “Reinhard is not a soldier. He’s a civilian in weird clothes. He’s not able to become a pilot. He’ll drop out soon.”

(Captain Friedmann): “It’s difficult, the concept of ‘citizens in uniform’. Reinhard is a perfect example. He’s a soldier if he has to. But if he doesn’t, he’s a civilian. It’s difficult for other soldiers to accept this and that’s where he’ll have problems for the rest of his career. The tech-thing is not that important.”

 

Bruno, the last of our batch, was fighting age and his patience. He lost his nerves when he was ordered something he thought was “irrelevant crap” and shouted at a Staff Sergeant, arguing and not backing down. For that he was incarcerated for 7 days and had to pull extra duties. The fact that the NCO was four years younger than him was also a problem.

“You know, in school you’d have kicked this guys butt for what he was saying and you’d have laughed over his ‘order’. Here you have to say “Yes, Sir, thank you, Sir!” and run. The guy is a stupid moron and I have to follow his orders. This isn’t right. This guy isn’t able to use a broom without a manual and an instructor and he gives me orders about guns and grenades.”

Bruno adapted to the situation and managed allright. He performed in the average of the bataillon, just grenades and pistols gave him some headaches – but in machine gunning and long-distance running, he was able to achieve very good results.

(Sergeant Thalbaum): “What he has to learn is this: Rank is everything that counts. If he gets that into his so well-educated head, than he’ll do fine.”

(Captain Friedman): “Bruno is not a bad soldier, but a very impatient man. I hope he’ll get over that or he’ll suffer greatly in the Space Force.”

 

Next time, we’ll cover the events of the medical screening. Soon after that our pilots-to-be will be able to fly for the first time. This is “Voice of the Air Corps”.

 

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Medical assessment, physical and mental fitness training

 

A modern-day pilot has to be a physical and a mental fitness monster. To withstand 9 G-maneuvers in a fighter-jet, to hold a heavy bomber in the air when the hydraulics are off or to hold your lunch when turbulences shake your helicopter you have to be tough and strong.

 

The times when 55-year old veterans flew half-drunken into a new mission with their old-style piston-engine fighters are definitely over. Modern-day pilots are younger than 45, stronger than a boxer and can withstand more stress than a politician. Every pilot is qualified to become an astronaut – that’s how high the stakes are.

 

Our five cadets faced the biggest challenge on their way to the cockpit. Let’s see how they did.

 

Daniel, out future fighter-pilot, managed to pass all physical tests. His background as a sportsman helped him with that.

“I’m as fit as anybody.” he said. “Now I have the proof. Swimming was a little closer than I’d have preferred, but it worked out allright.”

His problems were more on the mental side.

“The psychological tests were really hard. We were put inside a dark box with almost no light and they tried to scare the crap out of us. I knew it was just a test, but after eight hours in that thing your nerves begin to break…I mean really break. The next eight hours were horror – the many sounds, the pipes releasing strange gases, the shaking – the box really shook and that damn loud clock ticking…when I got tired, I was on the brink of killing someone – but I managed to get through it. At some point I didn’t care…and after 28 hours it was over. I passed with a great score when I felt that I was about to be kicked out…

I saw a guy running out of that place, screaming and throwing things around…well, I did better than him…”

Daniel passed the tests and managed to improve his already good scores during the final training sessions.

 

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When you see this, you failed the mental tests

 

Christine again faced her “girl-issue”. But this time, she really shook it off.

“I was with some guys from basic training there and they already knew me well enough. When the first “girl”-line came, I was determined to show them.”

The doctors and trainers later told us, that Christine was the cadet with the most powerful will to pass. “I’ve never seen a soldier with a stronger will. She treated every test like her own personal life-and-death-battle. The look on her face – I guess when they want to make a photo for wikipedia called “determination”, it would be the look on her face during the training sessions.”

Christine achieved good scores in her physical tests and top scores in the mental tests.

“I focused on my hate against those guys trying to play “big muscle-boy”. That brought me through all my tests. And, I admit, I also thought about the moment when they came out of the box, all crying and asking for mommy – I always pictured me standing next to them, laughing at them and asking: “So, what’s next?””

If her physical scores didn’t impress her trainers, the psychological tests did. “We put her in the box for 28 hours with three guys. After that time, the guys came out, all crying, shaking and dropping to the floor. She walked out, no sign of weakness, and asked me: “OK, what did you plan next?” I was speechless.”

Her friends gave her the call sign “Nerves of Steel” or short “Neos”. Christine likes it: “That’s OK. Maybe I’ll keep it.”

 

David was the major surprise for everyone. His trainers and the NCO’s were betting that he’d fail here. But David proved them wrong.

“Ya know, I know that I’m the bad guy here. Never comin’ on time and stuff. But ya know, I’m not that stupid. I know when it’s time to do somethin’.”

His trainers are still shaking their heads: “The first day he came half-drunken. After basic training they all got a couple of days off. He was on a drinking-tour and not sober yet when he came here. So, we gave him G-Forces-test first.”

Surprisingly, David passed the G-Forces-test, pressing the “STOP!” button at 9.2 G’s. When he was sober later, he did the test again and achieved 9.35 G’s. He had several problems during some of the tests, but managed to pass them in the second or third attempt.

The surprise was even bigger when he performed fairly well in the psychological tests.

“Everyone was scared of the ‘box’. Well, if ya wanna be scared, play “Alien vs. Predator 2” or “Doom 3” alone at night – this will scare the *BEEP* outta ya, man! The little box was a cute fun-place compared to that, I tell ya.”

David also got a call sign “King Chaos”. He loves it and has already written it on his training suite and uniform.

 

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G-Force training – the hardest test for your stomach

 

Reinhard, the tech-kid, had a very hard time. He barely managed the physical tests and the mental tests were even closer. It is our opinion that his enthusiasm and deep commitment to his dream were the deciding factor to get him through this.

“I was never very good when it came to sports. I can run fairly well, but my condition really sucks. I have some strength in my legs, but not in my arms. Swimming was horrible. It took me days to pass swimming. I think I drank half the water instead of swimming through it.”

His trainer: “Reinhard is the perfect example what happens when you don’t train your body – you may look good and tough enough, but in fact you have no power, no strength available when you need it. He wasn’t like other cadets who were bored or just didn’t want to pass. We could see his willpower – it was just that his body didn't play along.”

In the end Reinhard managed to pass with 50,4 % of the points – 50,1 % are needed. And just when he thought it couldn’t get worse, he faced “the box”.

“The ‘box’ is my own personal hell.” he later said. “It was hell on Earth. I was out for two days after the first session. Yes, you heard right – my ‘first’ session. I didn’t pass, I guess I had 5 % of the points necessary. I did the ‘box’ four times before I passed. Everytime they changed the whole program, I guess they made it harder so I couldn’t adept. But I did and I managed it.”

His trainer: “I’ll tell you a secret. Nobody did the ‘box’ four times out of free will. Reinhard is incredible – such a strong will. I guess he’ll fight many more battles, but in the end he’ll make it.”

 

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And they keep running and running and running and …

 

Bruno, our oldest candidate, faced different problems. Again his age was a problem.

“It’s ridiculous – you see a 19-year-old chap running away like a weasel and you feel like some old truck barely moving at all. It’s really depressing.”

Bruno forced himself to perform better and in the end he did – but at the price of long recovering times.

His trainer wasn’t very fond of this: “You know, he forces himself to do top-level-scores in running and other tasks. And he achieves these scores. But after that he lies on the floor for like an hour, unable to stand up. I told him ‘Bruno, you’re doing fine. Give your body the time to adapt.’ And he said: ‘I don’t have time for that.’ If he wants to become an astronaut, he’s gotta develop more patience and give himself a break sometimes.”

Bruno barely passed the physical tests, but performed great at the psychological tests. “I have a little more life experience and I guess this was the time it paid off.” He laughed. “The ‘box’ was hard, but doable. I can understand why so many failed at it, but it isn’t that hard when you constantly remind yourself that nothing can happen to you. That brought me through it. It sounds easier than it is, but it’s doable.”

 

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Physical fitness – for some more challenging than psychological fitness

 

In the end, all our cadets received the news that they passed.

“Now I’m going to drink something on that”, David said.

The other cadets are more worried with the next step – theoretical flight lessons. “Again something to stall us”, Bruno said, “I wanna begin flying! Flight theory, what can that be? ‘Please don’t fly with our multi-million-credit-machines against trees and mountains’? Man…what a waste of time!”

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Flight theory

 

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How exciting...theory lessons...

 

Flight theory classes:

• Air law

• Instrumentation

• Mass and Balance

• Performance

• Flight planning & monitoring

• Human performance & limitations

• Meteorology

• General navigation

• Radio navigation

• Operational procedures

• Principles of flight

• Communications

• History of air combat

• Modern air combat

• Weapons systems

• Electronic combat systems

• The tamurinian Luftwaffe

• …

 

“Oh sweet Jesus.” Bruno said when he read the schedule. “Is there something we don’t need to learn?! This is gonna take ages to go through!!”

 

“Actually no!” a voice behind him answered. Bruno turned around and looked at an muscular young man with a very athletic body. He couldn’t have been older than 20, but he seemed much older and his voice was as booming as of an old General. But his eyes betrayed him – still young, fresh and very alive, Bruno thought. How his own eyes might look?

 

“These classes will be finished after six weeks. You shouldn’t think about them as all-covering classes, more like very rash crash-courses.” the young man said.

 

“Good, I prefer that very much.” Bruno answered. “By the way, I’m Bruno.” He offered his hand.

 

“Daniel.”, the other man said, shaking his hand.

 

“I’m applying for the Space Force. I want to fly an OG-1.”

 

Daniel’s eyes widened. “Oooh, ambitious.”, he said. “Very few spots open, as far as I know. And the ones that are picked don’t get to fly very often.”

 

“That’s right.” Bruno answered, “but I’m willing to take my chances. What are you up to?”

 

“Classic fighter pilot, but I want in one of the JAS-39 squadrons.” Daniel said. When Bruno raised his eyebrows, he continued: “Yeah, I know – look who’s talking here about “ambitious”. Only the best are allowed to fly the JAS-39. But I want to be one of the best. I will be.”

 

“Let’s join forces, shall we?”, Bruno proposed. “If we join our forces we might get ourselves through that and kick the rest out.”

 

Daniel smiled. “I’d like that. Allright, forces are joined. Let’s kick some butt.”

 

“Butt kickin’, yeah, that’s somethin’ I’m always in!” another voice echoed. Bruno looked around and saw another young man, a little smaller and less muscular than Daniel, but about the same age. His uniform was in a dreadful state, chaotically arranged and ready for a wash. His brown eyes had a comedian-like shadow and his blonde hair was as chaotic as his uniform. “I’m David, future battle aircraft pilot. I’m gonna kick some real butt while you’re up there looking at the stars or lookin’ at me doin’ some real work, ay, Danny?”

 

“This is David. I met him during the medical exam. We’ve been a team since then.” Daniel explained. “We’re the D&D-dreamteam.”

 

“Well, now you’re D2B – Bruno is part of the team.” Bruno said.

 

******

 

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These are the "weapons" of our future pilots for next few weeks

 

“Excuse me, can you help me? I think I’m lost.”

 

Who the hell is this, Christine thought. A young nerdy kid in flight school? Well, he looked that way. Glasses, (OK, Christine thought, maybe I have some prejudices, but these kind of glasses? These must be from “Nerd Inc.”, the “Special Geek edition”) weak look, compact body…and his weird voice…

 

“I’m a pilot-trainee, not an info table.” Christine answered sharp.

 

This must’ve left an impression. As all other people this guy was judging Christine based on her looks: Small, sweet, hot, and soft blue eyes. They never got how powerful she was before it was too late.

 

“Gee, sorry, I was … erm … just…” the nerd tried to say.

 

“What-what-what?!!” Christine answered.

 

“I’m … erm … also another … erm … pilot … I mean, in the future … erm … maybe … erm, could you help me? Where are the … erm … classes?” The geek was beginning to sweat.

 

“You wanna become a pilot? What airplane?”

 

That question seemed to trigger something. Within an instant the geek became secure. This seemed like his topic. “An E-2C “Hawkeye”, the “eye in the sky”. A super high-tech electronic sky monitoring aircraft with the latest sensors and detection technology. As close as an airplane can get towards a spacecraft. A flying supercomputer with two powerful turboprop engines and capable of flying at…”

 

“Wouh, calm down, man! I get it. Recon. Nice. You can show me then where I have to drop my bombs.” Christine slowed the geek down.

 

“Bombs?”, the nerd asked. Then it came to him. “Ah, a future fighter/bomber-pilot, right? What’s it gonna be? Tornado?”

 

“No, man, the real fighter/bomber, the F-111.” Christine said. It always impressed people that a small person like her wanted to pilot a huge aircraft like that. “I wanna do some real damage.”

 

“Cool. I can understand that.”, the nerd said nodding. There was a weird moment of silence. Then the nerd took the initiative. “I’m Reinhard.”

 

“I’m Christine.”

 

“Nice to meet you, Christine. So, can you tell me where our classes are?”

 

user posted image

 

When they joined the Air Corps, they were surely not expecting fighting THIS...

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Beyond flight theory

 

Daniel, David and Bruno easily passed “Flight theory”. Well, David was nearly expelled from the classes since he disturbed everyone else most of the time, but he managed to get through. After that, the easy part began – deciding.

 

“We already know what we want to do”, Daniel said to the officer. “You don’t have to tell us about the branches.”

 

The officer, a nearly retired NCO of the Army Air Corps, raised his eyebrows. “Well, well, well, three wanna-be hot-shots eager to climb into the cockpit I see.”, he answered with a dark and rusty voice. “And they already know everything. Well, what can I tell you then?” He was clearly mocking them.

 

David grew angry. “I can’t imagine what you can tell us about the Air Corps. From my point of view it looks like you haven’t been in a cockpit for a long time, assumin’ you’ve ever been in one.”

 

The NCO turned very seriously within a microsecond and his voice got cold and calm. “Listen closely, my boy. I have more than 5000 hours in cockpits. I’ve been flying for the last fourty years and I retired from active duty last year. I have 1500 hours in combat sorties, dropped 7652 bombs, have confirmation on 16 destroyed tanks, 43 trucks, 162 small vehicles, one damaged destroyer, four destroyed trains and 8 air-to-air kills. I scored better in my visual and reaction tests than the 19-year-old sucker they brought in last year and I was only retired from the cockpit because of some dumb-ass law they passed in the parliament. And if you ever talk to me in that tone again, the only plane you’re gonna fly is a paper-made kindergarden flyer. Got that?”

 

David was white like the wall behind him. “Yes, Sir.”

 

“That’s a little better. So, where do you hot-shot sucker wanna fly? Let’s start with you, Mister Bigshot.”

 

“Battle, Sir.”, David answered.

 

“Battle, gee!” the NCO shouted. “At last one good thing comes from my retirement – I don’t have to see you every day. Next bigshot, what about you?”

 

“Space Force, Sir.” Bruno answered.

 

“Space Force, nice. Not many planes there. I hope you like playing with paper flyers like your son. At least you look old enough to have one. Next bigshot.”

 

“Fighter, JAS-39, Sir.” Daniel answered.

 

“Gee, these kids, always top-of-the-line. A Tornado isn’t good enough for you, is it?”

 

“No, Sir.” Daniel answered. “I want to fly with the best in the best airplane.”

 

“And you think you have it in you to fly with the best?”

 

“Yes, Sir.”

 

“We’ll see about that.”, the NCO said sharply. “I’ll write you down for the JAS-39. You seem to have the guts for it. And now move! There’s more future bigshots waiting. Dismissed!”

 

user posted image

 

Flight school of Tamurin

 

*******

 

“Are you a couple?” the NCO asked. He was an old flyer. Christine noticed the markings on his jacket – battle aircraft, iron cross first class, special republican cross, civil war medal, national medal in silver…this man did see some action in his active career. And the iron cross first class showed that he was a top scorer in the battle air corps. Someone to be respected.

 

“No, Sir.” Christine answered. “We’re just colleagues.”

 

“Good.”, the NCO said. “There’s no making out with your colleagues, got that?”

 

“Yes, Sir.” Christine answered.

 

“That question was also for you, soldier. You have a hearing problem or what?”

 

“No, Sir.” Reinhard answered.

 

“No, Sir, what? ‘No, Sir’ you have no hearing problem or ‘No, Sir’ you didn’t get that?”

 

Reinhard began sweating. “Sir…”

 

“’Sir’, what? Do I confuse you, are you afraid? Answer my questions, soldier!”

 

“I want to, Sir, but…I don’t know…” Reinhard was short of breaking. The NCO looked at him sharply, then his facial expression became mild.

 

“Son, if you want to stay in the Air Corps you’ll have to take much more than this. How did you pass the psychological test? What branch do you want, son?”

 

“Reconnaissance, Sir.” Reinhard seemed to have survived the little fight with the NCO, his sweat and his nervousness.

 

“Reconaissance!” The NCO looked closely at Reinhard. Then he understood: “A tech kid! Let me guess: Star Trek fan? Interested in computers?”

 

Reinhard was surprised. “Yes, Sir, how do you…”

 

The NCO waved with his hand. “Don’t ask. Experience value, son. Next, what about you?”

 

“Fighter/Bomber, F-111.”

 

“Nice. Don’t get lost in that aircraft, it’s huge.”, the NCO said with a devilish smile.

 

Christine turned red from her anger. “I can handle it, Sir.”

 

The NCO looked up and his face turned serious again. “The fighter/bomber-branch is male-dominated. You’ll have to take a lot more than a few dumb jokes. Learn to control your anger.”

 

“I will try.” she pressed.

 

“They’re not all bad people. They respect quality and hard work. Impress them and they’ll accept you. I know it.” the NCO said. “Allright, let’s move along, the next group of future-wannabe-heroes. Where do you wanna go, sweetheart?”

 

While moving away Christine heard the guy behind her saying: “I’m a man, not your sweetheart.”

 

The NCO answered. “Really? Could’ve fooled me, sweetheart. The Air Corps is not for whimps and whineys. And one word in your sentence should be ‘Sir’, even and especially when you are complaining. Got that?”

 

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Basic flight

 

Again a couple of newbies, Captain Homburg thought. Why do I always get the fresh ones? I'd so much like an advanced class again these days. They already know the basic stuff and you can make flight training really interesting. No, they have to get me here - with people whose maximum contact with flying was some flight simulator or a tourist trip in a 747.

 

Well, let's get this show on the round.

 

"Good day, soldiers!" Homburg shouted. A loud "Good day, Sir!" was the response. Captain Homburg, 47 years old, had been a flight training officer for the last 12 years, most of them time training newbies in basic flight. He did that because he was the best. The ones who passed Homburg’s basic flight almost never failed a course after that. He was the best. Everyone knew it – but he himself didn’t want to know it. Homburg was huge, at least 1,90 meters, slim, black hair, small beard and the eyes of a hawk.

 

After a short introduction he told the trainees about his career.

“I have been a fighter pilot with the Tornado since it was introduced back in the 80s. Before that I flew an F-4 for a short time. Since the 90s I was training pilots, with a short break during the war. In that time I was flying one of our P-51s with the Battle Air Corps. 56 sorties, 82 dropped bombs and a couple of kills on the ground. So, if I hear that you guys are mocking my aircrafts you won’t fly one.”

 

“OK, theory was yesterday. Today we start flying. Instruction officers will join each and everyone of you now in the first flight. Go to the hangars, they’re already waiting…except for you, Mister…Dudenh?fer. You’ll fly with me.”

 

*****

 

“You want to become a fighter pilot, JAS-39, right?” Homburg asked when he went with Daniel to the hangar.

 

“Yes, Sir.”, Daniel replied.

 

“Well, you will begin small. Everybody does. Even the best pilot in the world starts small. Be patient and accept the small steps you’re gonna take. This is the best advice I can give you.”

 

They went around a corner and entered the hangar.

 

“This is my training plane. And now yours as well.”

 

user posted image

 

Daniel looked surprised – but not in a good way. Homburg noticed.

 

“Come on, they told you in flight theory that you don’t start with Jets. You have to learn to fly before you can learn to fight at supersonic speed.”, he said.

 

“Well, I guess you’re right.”, Daniel answered. “Could you get me up to speed about her?”

 

“It’s a ‘Piper Cherokee’, a very reliable aircraft. This is the trainer version, so both of us can sit in it. It has a top speed of 235 km/h, but I guess we’ll keep it below 200 today. It can fly more than 1000 km and she goes up to 3350 meters. So, let’s try this, shall we?”

 

user posted image

 

*****

 

Flight school, internal document

 

Today’s evaluation:

 

1.) Daniel Dudenh?fer: 1.7 – good first flight, too fast when approaching the air field

2.) Christine Stein: 3.1 – Problems during maneuvers and landing, too fast, maneuvers too hard; Positive: Doesn’t lose nerves

3.) David von Greifenau: 5.0 – Tried a simulated attack run on the air field and nearly crashed the plane killing him and his trainer. We will try this one more time or order a psychological re-evaluation

4.) Reinhard Schleemeyer: 2.8 – Fairly well with minor errors on all tasks, but nothing major. Talks bad about the planes and their technology.

5.) Bruno von Ulmen: 3.2 – Tries too much too quickly. No patience. Has talent but needs restraints.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

OOC: To decrease the effort and make it more interesting, I'll concentrate on Daniel Dudenh?fer, the future JAS-39-pilot (fighter). The other ones have to be dropped.

 

Flight cadett Daniel Dudenh?fer was proud. He passed "Basic Flight" with a 1.3 (American: A-), a very good score. In the end he really controlled the "Piper Cherokee" and was able to perform more complex maneuvers.

 

Captain Homburg was pleased with him. Daniel could become a very good fighter pilot one day. And the nation needed good soldiers, now more than ever. Threats from the inside were becoming more dangerous every day and if outside threats occured, a good fighter force was necessary to protect the country.

 

Homburg had already recommended Daniel for the JAS-39-program, but first he had to show if he was really that good.

 

Homburg entered Daniel's quarters. Daniel jumped up and saluted: "Captain Homburg, Flight Cadett Daniel Dudenh?fer at his quarters, studying the 'Luftwaffe Training Guide II: Complex flight maneuvers', Sir!"

 

"At ease, Cadett." Homburg said and saluted as well. He sat down.

 

"Today, we will begin flying the F8F "Bearcat"." he said. "It's a late 40s-piston engine fighter, one of the best of the piston engine fighters ever. Its performance outclasses some early fighter jets."

 

"I'm excited about that, Sir."

 

"I warn you: This is a very powerful aircraft, nothing compared to the "Cherokee" you were flying until now." Homburg said.

 

"I will keep that in mind, Sir."

 

Homburg sighed. "I'll speak open to you, son. You have the guts to be a good fighter-pilot and you are smart, I've noticed that.

Tamurin needs good pilots. I guess you've noticed what happens around us. We may need good pilots very soon. So, use your time now. When it's getting rough, training will be the first to be cut. Do you understand?"

 

"Yes, Captain."

 

"Allright then, let's start..."

 

user posted image

 

And Daniel Dudenh?fer flew and flew...

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Menelassar sea, west of Alaghon

 

Two F8F-Bearcat were travelling with cruising speed (450 km/h) at low altitude (2000 meters) above the Menelassar sea. Captain Homburg was flying in the first, flight cadett Daniel Dudenh?fer was flying the second aircraft.

 

Several days of intense advanced flying training had a significant impact on Daniel. The F8F was a very powerful aircraft, indeed one of the best piston-engine fighters ever built. In a gentle dive, the aircraft was able to achieve 700 km/h, in a hard dive even more, 800 or 900. The range was very good and the maneuverability was fantastic.

 

Captain Homburg had pursued him for the last several days. First Daniel learned many combat maneuvers, formations and attack variations. Then he learned to evade and to shake off enemies.

 

And then they began fighting. At first, Homburg had no problem hunting Dudenh?fer down, but after several dozen dogfights, Dudenh?fer came around and in the end he was able to bring Homburg into some trouble. Homburg was still far superior to Dudenh?fer, but Dudenh?fer was showing great promise.

 

They were flying home with low fuel when they encountered two small vessels that were docking and exchanging cargo. Homburg looked down and thought about it. Maybe...

 

"Blue 2, this is blue leader. Follow me, we're gonna take a look at this."

 

The two Bearcats flew down to 200 meters and made a slow pass over the ships. The crewmen didn't look too delighted and nobody waved.

 

"I saw sub-machine guns." Dudenh?fer said.

 

"Me, too." Homburg answered. "This is possibly an illegal transport. Maybe they're carrying drugs."

 

"Could it be an INELF ship?"

 

"Maybe. Let's make another pass. Try to catch anything that looks like a sign or writing. I'll take a closer look at the cargo."

 

The Bearcats turned around and made another pass. Homburg saw hectic activity on the two boats that confirmed his suspicion - this was an illegal transport. His eyes widened when he saw one of the crewmen carrying an RPG.

 

"Missile! Full throttle, get down, evasive maneuvers!" he yelled and broke right. Dudenh?fer broke left and got down to a few meters above the ground.

 

"It's after you!" Homburg shouted. Daniel looked behind him and saw the missile closing in rapidly. He broke right and climbed a little. The missile turned with him and was still coming closer. At about 50 meters, Daniel began diving rapidly towards the water and leveled the aircaft just about one or two meters above the water. The missile, much faster than the Bearcat, was unable to match this maneuver and crashed into the sea, exploding underwater.

 

"Great flying, son!" Homburg shouted.

 

Daniel was unable to answer. His heart was beating very fast and strong, his clothes were all sweaty and his breath was fast and shallow. It was just about now that he realized that he escaped death closely.

 

"You did great, son. Now, continue to fly straight. I'll catch up with in a few minutes."

 

"Wh..."

 

Daniel tried to speak and cleared his throat.

 

"What are we gonna do about them, Sir?"

 

"I've already called the coast guard. They'll deal with them. We'll climb to 2000 and monitor them from above, relaying the position to the coast guard. We can't do more and by the way we aren't allowed to. Training squadrons usually don't engage drug dealers armed with SAMs." Homburg answered.

 

Thirty minutes later a fast patrol boat of the coast guard intercepted the two boats who were trying to escape. A warning shot with a 127 mm-gun and several bursts of machine gun fire were enough to convince them to surrender. The F8Fs turned around and flew home.

 

They landed 60 minutes later, almost out of fuel.

 

After debriefing, Homburg said to Dudenh?fer:

"Remember what you've learned today.

One: Don't ever engage an enemy when you're unarmed (he smiled).

Two: Calling in reinforcements is not a shame when it means that you and your wingman survive.

Three: You have the ability to make fast decisions when necessary, think clearly and keep a cool mind under life-and-death-conditions. That means: You can become a fighter-pilot.

 

Now, I'm gonna get my ass kicked for getting you into that kind of trouble. I'll see you in the morning. Tomorrow we learn a little bit about using bombs and unguided missiles."

 

user posted image

 

Trainer and trainees - Tamurin Luftwaffe Training Corps

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Advanced flight training, final mission

 

General Bregenhorst entered the room and all flight cadettes jumped up. The General was an old-style fanatic and he was easily offended by anything less than total military discipline. The 72-year-old veteran was often called "dinosaur" or "fossil" behind closed doors, but nobody dared to mock him without extreme precaution. Bregenhorst should've been retired years ago, but he was always able to convince his superiors to let him work just a few years longer. But all things aside: His flight cadettes were the best!

 

He walked behind his desk and didn't bother to say "At ease!". These flight cadettes were able to stand for a few minutes.

 

"This is your final training day." he grumbled with his deep, rough voice. "You'll use live ammunition today and fly strikes against 'Enemy town'. There are enough targets for all of you.

 

You'll attack 'Enemy town' in squadron strength, all 108 aircraft. Each aircraft will be armed with one 500-kg-bomb and four unguided 127mm armor-piercing rockets.

 

Your goal is destroy 'Enemy town'. Each of you will have to score one hit with the bomb and one with a rocket or four hits with the rockets to pass. The combined score of your squadron will be noted in your flight certificate - so make it a good one.

 

Good luck and godspeed!"

 

****

 

Rallying 108 aircraft was a time-consuming process but the trainees managed to do it. The huge squadron of aircraft flew in perfect formation - they had trained this to death in basic flight.

 

A tamurinian squadron of 108 aircraft consisted of three groups of 36 aircraft each. A group consisted of three clusters of 12 aircraft each. A cluster consisted of three swarms of four aircraft. A swarm consisted of two wings of two aircraft. And a wing was a wing-leader and a wing-man. A squadron was sorted in altitude, width and length and the tactical formations were able to cover each other. The tactic was battle proven, although such huge formations didn't fly so closely together anymore.

 

Daniel Dudenh?fer was wing-leader and his wing was leading the E-cluster. 'Enemy town' was a model of a town that was held by enemy tank, infantry and anti-air forces. This simulation also included simulated flak - firework rockets exploded in black clouds. On-board sensors and computer controlled cameras evaluated the simulated damage. This didn't affect the result, but the trainee would find out how many times he would've been shot down.

 

The squadron flew 200 km through the country and arrived at 'Enemy town'. The F8F was heavily loaded and Daniel could feel the reduced power of his aircraft. Just before the target the squadron leader ordered the clusters to split up and surround 'Enemy town'. He wanted a coordinated attack from nine directions. Daniel was cluster leader and ordered the swarms at certain targets. The swarms then decided which wing should attack which target and so on.

 

Daniel's wing would attack a minor HQ of the tank bataillon and several tanks that were currently under repair. Daniel would attack first and his wingman after him.

 

When the signal for the attack came, all clusters attacked and began the shallow dive runs with best possible speed. Daniel was shocked by the mass of flak explosions over 'Enemy town' - there had to be hundrets of batteries! He aimed at the building, breathed out and dropped the bomb. He climbed fast and a second later the building behind him exploded in a huge fireball.

 

user posted image

 

Daniel hits the minor tank bataillon HQ

 

He quickly turned and headed for the maintenance area. He quickly targeted two tanks and fired his four rockets. One rocket fell too short and blew a hole into the ground. The second hit the tank turret and destroyed the tank. The third hit the other tank in the back and blew a huge hole in it. The four fell too far and exploded inside a maintenance building, setting it on fire.

 

Daniel cheered. He was successful and had passed 'Advanced training'! Now he turned left and covered his wing-man while he attacked his targets. His bomb fell a little short, but the building was hit anyway. He scored four tank hits and passed for sure as well!

 

After their attack runs they covered their comrades with strafing runs on the flak batteries as long as they had ammunition for their machine guns. After twenty minutes the attack was over, 'Enemy town' was finished and burning. The squadron returned.

 

user posted image

 

Daniel on his final approach to the airfield

 

The score was good, but not exceptional.

Of the 108 trainees 92 had passed, 16 flunked. 86 bombs hit their targets and 288 rockets had destroyed 288 tanks, trucks, jeeps, flak positions, trenches and other targets.

Daniel's aircraft was 'hit' at the right wing by a flak but it wouldn't have been a fatal hit. His wingman made even better - no scratch. Of the whole squadron 25 aircraft were hit, 4 of them fatal and another 8 serious.

 

On the ground, Captain Homburg greeted Daniel.

 

"Congratulations, Ensign." he greeted him. With the end of 'Advanced Flight', the cadettes were promoted to Ensign.

 

"Thank you, Sir. How was the inquiry against you?"

 

"Well, they decided that it was reckless of me to check out the drug smuggler. I am to be thrown out of flight training."

 

Daniel was shocked. "No way!"

 

"Oh yes." Homburg said. "I'll miss this."

 

"What are you gonna do, Sir?"

 

"Well, I'll rejoin the Battle Corps and climb into a Skyraider once again." he said. "Maybe they can use an old battle-horse like me. Maybe we'll meet in combat again - then it will be you who'll cover me."

 

"I'll hope so, Sir. My next stop is 'Basic Jet Training', let's hope this leads straight to one of the JAS-39-squadrons."

 

"Let's hope so. Now get moving - the General is gonna give his 'Final day'-speech and he's easily pissed..."

 

Daniel smiled. "Yes, Sir!" He saluted and hurried away...

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TO: General Johannes Steinhoff

FROM: Michael Smith, five-star airforce general

 

Sir Steinhoff,

We have followed the development of your cadett Daniel intensively. This exactly is the reason for my visit. We are organizing a one month training for the best pilots of Italgria using the best aircraft we have. Our pride, the F22-A Raptor. Since we are allies and our nations are already working close together we thought we should invite Daniel to this month.

 

Your cadett Daniel is officialy invited by the government and by the militarz to join our F22-A Raptor training month.

 

Training will include simulated flight fights in the canyons of Italgria.

 

We hope you are willing to set him free to participate in this.

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TO: General of the Air Force Michael Smith

FROM: General Johannes Steinhoff, Chief of the Air Force

 

Thank you for this opportunity to exchange knowledge, experience and soldiers between our two countries. As Field Marshall von Steinburg has pointed out: Italgria is a key ally of Tamurin.

 

We will be happy to free Ensign Dudenh?fer from his duties and send him to your training program as soon as he has passed "Basic Jet Training" which should be soon (OOC: a couple of days real-time).

 

I would like to offer an invitation to one of your pilots for a similar training month in Tamurin on the JAS-39 "Gripen". We should also think about making this kind of exchange routine for the future.

 

Ensign Dudenh?fer will report to you as soon as possible.

 

Best regards,

General Steinhoff

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Basic Jet Training

 

There was no time to spare and no time for a recovery. 24 hours after the last day of "Advanced Flight Training" in an F8F "Bearcat" Ensign Dudenh?fer was relocated to another airbase in Central Tamurin for "Basic Jet Training". Here were fewer trainees. Only those who would fly fighters, fighter/bombers, reconnaissance aircraft or spacecrafts were put to "Basic Jet Training". In Dudenh?fers class 46 ensigns were hoping to pass - and anxious to meet their new commander.

 

It was a little man, perhaps not even 1.65 meters high. He had a weird-looking nose and weird hair - very unmilitary. His uniform looked kind of sloppy and his shoes were dusty. But nobody dared to mention that.

 

"I'm Colonel Weissenburg." he said with a high and calm voice. "Some of you might know me, some of you might not. To get you up to speed - this is me.

 

I am 58 years old and could've been promoted to Brigadier-General many years ago. I refused to be able to keep flying.

 

I have 6000 hours of combat missions, 42 confirmed air-to-air-kills and 262 confirmed air-to-ground kills. I've flown everything from F-86 "Sabre" to JAS-39 "Gripen". I've spent several days of my life in supersonic speed."

 

Weissenburg was a legend. There wasn't a living fighter-pilot of this era with more kills and more experience. He was offered promotion to General when he was 38, but he always refused to be able to fly. Generals weren't allowed to fly combat missions. If he hadn't refused, he'd have been promoted to Chief of the Luftwaffe by now.

 

"Learning will be hard, but it will be worth it. After that you'll join your squadrons and that way join the elite of Europa's air forces.

 

Your 'horse' will be the Alpha Jet. It's a subsonic basic jet aircraft, easy to get, highly maneuverable and your only hope of flying the real state-of-the-art fighters.

 

Your training begins now. Captain, divide those people into groups and begin flying."

 

Weissenburg left the room and the training began.

 

user posted image

 

Dudenh?fer in his Alpha Jet

Edited by Tamurin (see edit history)
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Basic jet training

 

That was a hell of a week, Dudenh?fer thought while dropping to bed.

 

Seven days, 37 sorties, 21 simulated kills and 7 simulated being-killed-situations. Hours and hours in the sky and behind the desk studying maneuvers, mistakes and tactics.

 

He always had to pull extra duties - each day while everyone else had to pull only one or none at all. They always came to him: "Dudenh?fer, we'd like you to participate in this one..."

 

Was he so bad?

 

Somebody knocked on the door. Dudenh?fer got up and cawed a "Yes?". He nearly lost his voice when he recognized Colonel Weissenburg with General Johannes Steinhoff entering his room.

 

He jumped up, saluted: "General, Sir, Ensign Dudenh?fer recovering from 18 hours of combat training today, Sir!"

 

"At ease." the General said. "Sit down."

 

While sitting down Dudenh?fer didn't understand. The General of the Air Force was in his room, together with the top fighter ace of Tamurin, his advisor and trainer.

 

"Well, Dudenh?fer - you passed Basic Jet Training." Steinhoff said.

 

Dudenh?fer was puzzled. "But Basic Jet Training lasts for three weeks." he said.

 

"Yes, but not for you." Steinhoff answered. "You did all required tasks in this week and you performed well. Didn't you ask yourself why you were picked for every extra duty?"

 

"I did, Sir, but..."

 

"Son, someone in Italgria was very pleased with your performance. Probably because of the initial "Voice of the Republic"-coverage. But it has to be something about you - and I understand why.

 

General of the Air Force Michael Smith of Italgria has invited you to participate in the first joint Italgria-Tamurin-Air Force exchange program. You'll fly with some of the best pilots of Italgria - and you'll fly the F-22 "Raptor"."

 

Dudenh?fer was totally surprised and shocked at the same time. He had always dreamed of flying the JAS-39 "Gripen" - but the F-22 "Raptor" was even a class above it - and the General of the Air Force offered him combat training on this magnificent aircraft.

 

"Well", Steinhoff said, "what do you say?"

 

"I....I....am totally....surprised."

 

"Do you wanna fly that thing?"

 

"Oh yes, Sir, who wouldn't?"

 

Steinhoff smiled. "Well, then pack your gear. You're flying tomorrow morning."

 

Dudenh?fer jumped up. "Yes, Sir. When will the car for the airport leave?"

 

Steinhoff knit his brows. "Airport? You're in the Luftwaffe, not in the Army. You'll take an Alphajet directly to Italgria. Contact the italgrian air defense when you reach the shore, identify yourself and they'll direct you to your airbase. Throw your gear in the rear seat."

 

He stood up. "And there's one more thing to do." He took off the rank insignia of Dudenh?fer's uniform and put on some new. "We don't want any senior NCO boss you around, do we, Lieutenant Dudenh?fer?"

 

Dudenh?fer smiled. "Thank you, Sir. I'm honoured."

 

Steinhoff shook his hand. "Show these guys what tamurinian fighters are made of, son!"

 

****

 

The next day, at 0630, a single Alphajet took off and headed north to the italgrian border, passing Miiros a couple of hours later.

 

user posted image

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It was 0830 when Dudenh?fer reached the borders of Italgira. Suddenly two F-15 Strike Eagleas appeared behind him.

 

Dudenh?fer was puzzled about what was going on? Did Italgria turn against its allies and kill one of their most propsective pilots? The only thing he new was that the Alphajet he was in, was saying Missile Locked. He abruptly turned left when two missiles were shot at him. After some loopings, dropping the anti-missile shells and disappearing in the canyons he tougth the situation was cleared and therefore fell into thinking why Italgrian planes would attack him and were they actually Italgrian pilots?

 

Suddenly the Strike Eagles appeared behind him again. This time they were not locking him but he also could not escape from them. When he already lost hope that he would get rid of them the Strike Eagles suddenly disappeared. And again the voice Missile Lock appeared. Again he tought this would be the end. After some loopings and some crazy manouvers the missile suddenly disappeared from the radar.

 

"Strange" Dudenh?fer was thinking.

 

Suddenly a voice came out of the Funkmelder.

 

"Dudenh?fer here is the general of the arifield you are assigned too. You mastered the warmup amazingly good. The missiles were just shown on your radar. They never existed."

 

Dudenh?fer was impressed of the technology that Italgrian Airforce worked with.

 

"Thanks Sir" Dudenh?fer replied

 

"You are ready to land. We will talk again on land. Over and Out"

 

"Roger!"

 

He landed and when he came out of the Alphajet he noticed some blue dots on his plain. The strike eagles that were following him did not only follow him but attacked him with blue paint.

 

The training began...

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General Fuller, commander of the "Aces"-Airfield, as it was called by some of the pilots, welcomed Dudenh?fer after he landed with a big grin on his face.

 

"Welcome, son." he said. "I hope our fake missiles didn't make you nervous."

 

Dudenh?fer saluted. "Lieutenant Dudenh?fer reporting for duty, Sir."

 

"At ease. Well?"

 

Dudenh?fer dropped his bag. "Well, at first I thought: 'Man, these Italgrians are real ... not very nice people that they lure me here and shoot me on sight.' But the F-15s didn't really behave like interceptors would. For example: Why come in visual range and fire after I had noticed them?"

 

"Well, an Alphajet-trainer doesn't stand a chance against an F-15-fighter, so we modified the attack and gave you a chance. Now, after this "hot" welcome, may I introduce you to your fellow comrades?"

 

****

 

After Dudenh?fer unpacked his stuff and made himself a little at home in his new quarters, he met his comrades in the mess hall. There was coffee and a little to eat for him.

 

Lieutenant Maxime Alessio was a young hot-shot pilot like himself - just got out of flight school with top grades, but no experience at all.

Lieutenant Sinistro Sforza, a good pilot but no combat sorties until now. He was eager for his first mission.

Captain Massimo Dangelo, an experienced pilot, around 30 years old. He had made some combat sorties and two kills. He was cool-headed and knew what to do and when.

Major Dario Volpe, the ace of the aces. 16 kills in 31 combat sorties and a very high number of destroyed ground targets. A man in his mid-thirties and a legend among the italgrian air force. Major Volpe had the highest kill-number with jets - and that in the modern time. Even Colonel Weissenburg didn't have 16 kills in the last 15 years.

 

After the General had introduced the men, he turned to Lieutenants Dudenh?fer and Alessio.

 

"Well, you two are new on the F-22 "Raptor". You'll begin with flight theory next morning and in the afternoon you'll have a first training flight. By the end of the week you'll be able to fly your first combat missions.

 

Now, take the rest of the day off. Get to know each other. Tomorrow the hard stuff will begin."

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Training Exercise 1

 

"Allright, people, listen up!"

 

As usual General Fuller wasn't making any small talk and came right down to business.

 

Dudenh?fer was tired. The last days were filled with more flight hours than he had ever experienced. The Italgrians were extremely skilled and their training was extraordinary. 8 hours of flight each day, 10 hours briefing and debriefing. Sunday he had only 10 hours of work to get some rest. That had been indeed necessary.

 

"Today we have our first 'Red vs. Blue' training mission. You'll learn to fight as a team. Only a team can win against a skilled and cunning enemy. I guess you've seen all these movies where hot-shots and lone-gunmen are flying around and killing everything.

 

Forget that. If you don't cover the back of your leader or you loose your wingman, you are dead. A stealth jet can be destroyed. Remember: You're invisible for radar. But if someone spots you visually you can be destroyed with an infrared missile shot at you from behind, a visually guided missile, unguided missiles and guns.

 

Fight as a team and you'll live. Fight alone and you and your team will die.

 

Situation today: Our airfield is about to be attacked. F-15 fighter/bombers are attacking, F-16 fighters are covering them. They'll be here in...six minutes."

 

Fuller looked into the eyes of the pilots.

 

"What the hell are you waiting for?"

 

A second later the five pilots jumped up and ran for the airfield, where their jets were already rolled out of the hangars.

 

****

 

Five minutes later the alert launch was complete and the F-22s were intercepting and climbing at the same time. Full thrusters and the hope to be fast enough.

 

Dudenh?fer had the 'enemy' already on his radar. Ten targets - six F-15 and four F-16. He thought about intercepting an F-16, when he heard Major Volpe's voice:

"Guys, what the hell are you doing? Stay in formation! Dudenh?fer, you're with me. Alessio, Sforza, stay close with Dangelo!!"

 

Dudenh?fer looked around and saw that all of them were flying alone. He looked for Volpe's aircraft and got closer. But it was already too later. A flashlight and a high sound indicated that he was under simulated fire from one of the F-16s. The F-16 was firing lasers from its cannonport and scanners were detecting these lasers on the hull of the F-22. The simulation computer processed the "impacts" and calculated the damage a 20mm-cannon would have made. Then the computer simulated the damage, resulting in a much more difficult maneuvering of the plane up to a fatal point.

 

The gun penetrated the left wing in several places. Dudenh?fer felt that his F-22 was pulling to the right and he wasn't able to stay in formation. He saw the F-16s passing him and turning. He tried to outmaneuver them but with a damaged wing it was impossible. One F-16 got behind him and fired a Sidewinder. The computer simulated the flying path. The F-16 was directly behind his engines and the Sidewinder was able to lock on. There was no chance.

 

"Sh..."

 

Dudenh?fer's airplane was destroyed in the simulation. Immediately the damage simulation was turned off he was ordered to drop to 500 feet and fly home. Dudenh?fer was angry with himself. Fuller had told them: "Fight as a team." They hadn't listened. Basic error.

 

****

 

"Let's look at the results."

 

Fuller was not angry or disappointed. He had expected that. He was talking and looking like a father who talked to his son and said: "I told you so."

 

"During the first five minutes, four F-22's were destroyed by guns and sidewinders. The fifth escaped barely."

 

Major Volpe was able to outrun the F-16s in a nearly suicidal supercruise flight on lowest level.

 

"None of the enemy aircraft were destroyed. The airfield was hit by a couple of tons of guided missiles and bombs and is out of commission."

 

He looked at his pilots and shook his head.

 

"We'll do that again right now. The enemy attack will happen in...six minutes and fourty-five seconds."

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  • 4 weeks later...

It was nearly a month now.

 

Dudenh?fer had dozens of simulated combat hours in the F-22 "Raptor" and gained a decent level of skill on it. He wasn't able to stand up against Major Volpe or Captain Dangelo, but he outskilled the other two italgrian pilots.

 

They did interception trainings, strike trainings, escort training and air cover trainings. From flight to flight he mastered the F-22 even better.

 

And today it all ended. On his last mission, he and Major Volpe flew against a simulated nuclear strike - several bombers, simulated by Boeing 747, were carrying stand-off-cruise missiles with 220 kT-nuclear warheads. The F-22's needed to speed up to maximum super cruise and locate very low flying aircraft.

 

And they made it: Over the Ice Ocean at 20 meters altitude Volpe destroyed three bombers and Dudenh?fer two. And none of them was able to fire its weapon.

 

"Well done." was the only thing Volpe said. And it was the first praise he made - to any pilot.

 

Dudenh?fer packed his gear and put it in his Alphajet, which now seemed like an old bucket compared to the F-22. He went back to his comrades and General Fuller for one last time. He hoped that he could one day return to Italgria and meet them again. Maybe, sometime in the future...

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TO: Tamurin

FROM: Italgria

 

We are glad to tell you that D?denhofer did a great job during his training month. We were surprised of how was D?denhofer adapted to the F22-A Raptor. He had some outstanding results and would like to already invite him for next years training.

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

Major Volpe left the Airbus A360 after arriving at an international airport in Tamurin.

 

Due to his outstanding training results he had been given three weeks of vacation by the head of the military, which he decided to spend in Tamurin. He took a small paper out of his luggage with a streetname written on it.

 

He took his rented car and started driving towards the south of Tamurin. He was surprised by how Italgria was similar to Tamurin in many ways.

 

After one hour of driving, he arrived at a rather small but extremely modern looking house.

 

He went towards the door and rang the bell. D?denhofer was written on it but what was he doing there?

 

Even D?denhofer looked astonished when he opened the door. Major Volpe infront of his house with red whine and some Italgrian specialities?

 

Apart from being an extremely good pilot Major Volpe was also a great cook which he would proove to D?denhofer pretty fastly.

 

They had a nice chat together and Major Volpe again gratulated D?denhofer for his great results in the training.

 

At 3 AM he left the house and headed towards his hotel.

 

"Pretty cool guy for a Major" D?denhofer tought.

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