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McBumLuv
2008-12-30, 19:50
As having played both as an SL and a pilot on numerous occasions and having practiced and been victim to both proper and improper use of air support, I am writing this guide to set some basic rules that I suggest you follow when calling in for air support so that you ensure both your squads safety, as well as that of the plane and its pilot. Note that while this guide is focused much more on having fixed-wing air support, most of it can easily be interchanged with any other form of CAS requiring a target painted by a lase.

This guide will work in cohesion with my guide on providing proper air support, found here (https://www.realitymod.com/forum/f141-aircraft-tactics/50907-mcluvs-guide-providing-efficient-air-support.html#post882960).


CHAPTER 1: DISTURBING THE PEACE

In most games, you should expect to be confronted by enemy contacts when running a proactive infantry squad. At any moment, if you find enemy targets, are engaged by them, or they find you, you must follow basic rules when confronted. First of all, identify your targets if you have the chance. Nothing is worse than an unknown enemy, and simply calling in air support on unknown contacts will endanger both you and your support. While this would seem like a rule that even the simplest of people should follow, I've seen it ignored quite often. Once you have identified your targets, you must make some decisions on whether you should/should not engage, and whether you should/should not call in air support. I will outline what I choose to do when confronted by the following enemies, based on a fairly ordinary squad with a Heavy AT:

Infantry - Depending on their danger (how close they are, how many they are), I will often ask any support, air or otherwise, to take them out with a gun/rocket strafe if they aren't accompanied by any threats to the support, such as AAs or enemy planes.
Light vehicles - Unless preoccupied with more important targets, I will call in air support on the target unless accompanied by any threats. in the latter case, I will simply notify the team of it's whereabouts and direction it's headed or try and engage it depending on it's threat to us.
Armour/APCs - At this point, I will immediately call in for air support and lase targets in order of danger to the plane, then in order of danger to my squad if there are more than one contacts.
AAVs - If combined with armour, I try to get my HAT to take these threats out first so that air support can take out the armour without fear of any threats. If I am out of HATs, I will attempt to notify the entire team, and request other support unthreatened by these assets.
Jets - As soon as I've seen an enemy jet, I immediately notify the rest of the team so that the provided intel might help in taking down these dangerous contacts.


CHAPTER 2: CALLING IN AIR SUPPORT

Now that you have established what you are facing, have decided whether or not to engage, and have decided to call in air support (which you have, otherwise skip this entire chapter), you must now effectively communicate your targets so that air support might be able to help you. There are 5 things you must do.


Name all the targets in the vicinity.
Tell the air support of any threats seen within the last five minutes (an air superiority fighter seen five minutes ago can be as much of a threat to your CAS plane as a plane seen as you are typing).
Give the air support the coordinates of the targets, so that a properly running air support squad can mark the area.
Name which targets you will designate first.
Suggest a route by which your support can approach safely if there are any threats.


While this may seem like a lot, doing so nearly secures the safety of all involved and allows you to go on with your objectives once the contacts are taken care of.


CHAPTER 3: AWAITING YOUR SUPPORT

Here's another subject that should be common sense, but can be fatal to any otherwise successful run. Now that your CAS is incoming, check your map and stay in verbal communications if possible. You now need to determine when to stick your lase. Once you've painted a target, the lase should stay on it for 30 seconds. You want to set the lase a few seconds before the air support is inbound, or roughly when they're 1000 meters away. This will allow time for you to send the laser target on its way, and, if unsuccessful, to abort the run. Failing to do so can and will create the following consequences:



Less ordnances available for later runs, especially with Air superiority Jets carrying only one bomb. This'll mean more refueling runs, and thus a much greater delay between runs, a fatal combination when pinned down by armour.
Doing a second run means you're support will be passing over the enemy a second time. You've lost the stealth you thought you once had against that unknowing AAV, or you've alerted one that you didn't notice.
A stray 500 lbs bomb is a danger to everybody. Often seeming to overshoot targets, they can either target a badly placed laser, or may fall "dumb" onto friendly positions.

*NOTE* When sending a laser target bow, only click ONCE. I cannot stress this enough. Even if your laser isn't completely stickied to the vehicle, it can still get killed be a hit just to the side, and if not, then the pilot can at least get a visual confirmation of where the target is at. If needed, simply abort the run and wait again to release.

*NOTE2* If you resend a laser too late (as the ordnance is on the way or just before that), you will experience disastrous consequences. From personal experience, I've gunned in the Cobra on Muttrah where an inexperienced squad leader requested CAS on his painted target, but as we approached and fired the missile he relazed and the Hellfire followed the target box (now in flight and a few meters from the SL), which ended in around 6 teamkills and us losing the game by very few tickets.

CHAPTER 4: EXTRA COMMUNICATION

This chapter is written as an extra step to further help your situation. While it's not necessary, or possible often, it does provide you with much more flexible options. Using external VoiP programs, such as TeamSpeak (TS), Ventrilo (Vent), or the recently adopted Mumble allows you to stay in constant communication with your support. Any immediate commands, such as those calling an abort to the run, are immediately voiced to the pilot, rather than hoping for them to see your ingame text message within a small amount of time.

These applications facilitate your job by allowing you to call off most important information, and many of the key details, much quicker than otherwise, as well. Plus, they get the pilot's immediate attention, rather than a chance that they see the small messages. However, they in turn should not be over used. I encourage any potential spotter calling in CAS to list the most important details, such as the Coordinates followed by keypad, over the ingame text. This allows pilots to get the most important information right in front of them. You can still tell them what coordinates the target is at through VoiP, but seeing a quick coordinate on screen cuts a lot of necessary, and possibly confusing, communication. "D6kp3" is easy to type in, is clearly seen, stays on screen for a while, and is easily understood.

Remember, that while these programs are great and allow much more information to travel through, they are only as useful as the spotter is. I'd much rather have all important information typed in within a minute over the bare minimum communicated within a few seconds over VoiP. But, be that as it may, they are undoubtedly advantageous when you understand the principals of requesting any support.


Chapter 5: Advanced use of GLTD

If you want to get above the basics and become more proficient with your weapon of doom, you should read on. GLTDs have as we now multiple uses already, but using them to their best efficiency is what you want to do. First of all, you'll want to learn how to lase moving targets, especially at a distance. Because the ingame GLTD is limited in speed, you won't be able to send it at the vehicle and hit it at the speed of light. So, what do you do? You lase the ground infront of the vehicle.



Lazing the ground a few meters in front of a vehicle is strangely more efficient that lazing where the hull aught to be by the time the lase reaches it.
Even if it lands right on the ground before the target arrives there, I've often seen tanks drive over the lase and pick it up on it's tracks.
You will get a better indication of how long it takes to get to the target, because if you aim above the ground where the hull aught to be, it may overshoot and land several hundred meters out, giving you a warped sense of it's speed.


Often times you are forced to laze moving targets, either because you have a small window of opportunity or becaues there's no chance of them stopping within your view.

Now, onto even more advanced (and often unnecessary) tidbits. Taking out an FOB is often easier said then done. For whatever reason, bombs seem to fail to detonate if there is a lase on the FOB itself. Make sure you laze next to it so that it works.

Next point is a very big point you can and should make use of when the opportunity arrises. Bombs don't distinguish between friendly or enemy lases (unless they are stickied to vehicles, in which case they become either friendly or enemy). Therefore, if you send a lase next to an enemy tank, the enemy bomb will have a chance of hitting it over their own lase. You can use this in multiple occasions:



Seeing an enemy spotter and lazing him. If he is lazing, you can expect the bomb to be coming fairly soon, and bombs are rather freeminded ordnances that don't necessarily go where the pilot wants them to go.
If you yourself are being bombed (for instance at an FOB by North Village), you can save yourself by lazing a few hundred meters away , and the bomb will have a chance of avoiding youand going for that, or at least of becoming confused and landing elsewhere.
If you lack any of your own airsupport, you can always use the enemy's own against them.

Just remember, that while you can employ these yourself, so can an experienced enemy spotter. Look around to see if they are lazing any of your friendly assets from time to time, and do your best to divert the course of those ordnances.

If you see any tips that you would prescribe and that I've left out concerning the calling in of air support, please post them. And tell me how you liked my guide ;)

EDIT1: Chapter three added in.
EDIT2: Chapter four added.
EDIT3: Note in Chapter three added.
EDIT4: Note2 in Chapter three and Chapter five added.

Cptkanito
2009-02-17, 13:00
Its a bit late :sad: but i like this guide. Most people don't even do this, they just shout "Lazing Target" and we're just like "ye man, where is it?!" So ye good guide man...

P.S. You spelt Chapter wrong hehe

McBumLuv
2009-02-20, 20:22
Heh, you're right, and it being a bigger font certainly doesn't make it subtle :mrgreen:

Thanks for the input though. Often I find that it is possible to get teamwork on servers without TS, Vent, or mumble. It only requires a proactive action on either end, and then cooperation. Unfortunately, I've sometimes found some pub squads who just can't be bothered, or are just vanilla playing "every man for himself, so long as I get teh assets". Luckily that isn't true for the most of pr :p

Jjjootjohn
2009-02-20, 21:10
I played a few rounds of Kashan while in a squad with the A-10/F-16 pilots....

It was total chaos, not because of the pilots, but because of the guy who called the targets. He would either just say tank to the right of me, or complain that his lases weren't getting hit, because we didn't know where the hell they were located at. He never gave us any keypads, or any reference points, even after us asking about 20 times for every time he called for targets, for a keypad, or something to relate to. So the A-10 pilot is searching though mountains to find a small speck of armor, and he gets brought down by AA, which wasn't called out by the guy who was calling the targets.

I hope this guide gets in the hands of the people who were spotting :D nice guide

McBumLuv
2009-02-22, 18:48
DB provided a great example of an SL requesting CAS yesterday. We used Mumble for SL-to-SL voip, and whenever he had a target, he'd type the coordinates in teamchat, send a lase, and tell us of what the target is in Mumble.

Good job :)

Hitman.2.5
2009-03-08, 18:53
Yeah i am pissed off at the idiots totting a sniper rifle or leading a squad abusing me because i didnt hit there target. and when they lase i ask in team chat what co' ord are you lasing in and *Vawumph* it goes straight over there head and then they say its in front of me and now you cant tell which way they are looking with out a bearing. and then when they get killed they abuse you and say that they should be in that asset because they can do better.

On a more crutial point they first thing THE SPOTTER MUST, MUST LOOK FOR AND MARK IS ANY AA (AA emplacement, ManPAD or AAv) if not and I am providing air support I simply will not come in. This is why I prefer to have a Spotter/SL in my squad.

Hitman.2.5
2009-03-08, 18:54
For efficient CAS requesting, team talk is perfect may not Be accurate to the second but its pretty damn good if you know what your doing.

Ghost1800
2009-03-09, 19:38
Name all the targets in the vicinity.
Tell the air support of any threats seen within the last five minutes (an air superiority fighter seen five minutes ago can be as much of a threat to your CAS plane as a plane seen as you are typing).
Give the air support the coordinates of the targets, so that a properly running air support squad can mark the area.
Name which targets you will designate first,
Suggest a route by which your support can approach safely if there are any threats.


While this may seem like alot, doing so nearly secures the safety of all involved and allows you to go on with your objectives once the contacts are taken care of.

As a spotter for CAS squads I can say this would definitely help me call in targets to the pilots when I'm not in visual range of it. A good example of this would be:

"Tank convoy, 2 tanks 1 gaskin, D6K9 headed NE, lazing Gaskin, approach from SE asap!"

A request like that will take top priority assuming there are no enemy jets up in the air and if my squad isn't able to engage that target I will usually at least give the courtesy of telling you why we can't ("A10 is RTB", "All air assets are engaging/engaged by enemy air", or "Hold on, we just got a report of enemy AA/air in that area"). If the target isn't destroyed on the first run I will wait for feedback from the ones requesting the support and usually have the crews try another run once the problem has been fixed.

Unfortunately what happens most of the time is I'll get a request like this:

"Enemy tank in B2, lazing"

This tells me squat. I don't know where in B2 this is, I don't know if there's anything else in the area, and thusly I have no good angle of approach to suggest to the pilots. If there's nothing else to do I will move myself over to a near location (as in myself, the spotter, who usually travels on foot) to try and give the correct information to my pilots so we don't lose a 20 minute asset. If for some reason I do approve the request if the target isn't properly lazed on the first run... that's it, your on your own until another squad gives me a reasonable report, the target is taken out by someone else, or you are mauled by whatever it is attacking you. You have to remember that an infantry squad lost is worth 3-6 tickets and maybe 10 minutes waiting for any kits lost. 1 jet costs 10 or 11 tickets and takes 21 minutes to get back in the air.

I would also like for people to remember that you cannot just laze a target and expect for perfect results within 2-5 seconds. An average attack run can take (at the bare minimum) 15-20 seconds to set up properly. There are times where you can get an attack in less then that, but that's because you got lucky and the pilot was already in the right location and facing the right direction.

McBumLuv
2009-03-09, 20:12
Thanks for the input, guys. I've added in two more chapters. The third was directly influenced by your post, Ghost, and is something that I forgot to mention, but is still an obvious mistake that I have to correct often. The 4rth is also an afterthought on the efficiency of VoiP programs.

Mack Impact
2009-03-09, 21:01
Excellent quide.. People that even consider holding the GLTD should have already read this.

Best experience on this subject is flying A-10 in Kashan, getting a random lazer in the field AND I did something so STUPID that it still haunts me. I went to look for what the guy was lazing, since the "Lazing target"-shouts were becoming too frequent. Dropped down from about 1500feet dropping flares only to see that he is lazing a convoy of Gaskins and to top it of he was holding the mouse button instead of clicking it.. Need I tell you more....

McBumLuv
2009-03-09, 21:13
Yup, added that in too. Seeing laser boxes flying around is never a fun experience :p

Hitman.2.5
2009-03-10, 17:47
I dont know if this has been suggested but who agrees that a JTAC kit was introduced i mean it could basically be like the rifle man kit but with a SOFLAM nothing special, limit it but dont put such an annoying availiablity time on it so you can still have your precious Ub3r 1337 wtf sniper kits but alos have a few of these kits so if your a one man spotting squad you dont have to take the sniper kit because some noob is in the Inf tac squad with a sniper rifle and you cant take the officer kit because you are on your own, so i see thuis appropriate and i just want to know your veiws on this before i post in the suggestion thread.

Oh BTW for those that dont know, JTAC means "Joint Terminal Attack Controller"

Ghost1800
2009-03-10, 19:19
IMO you should really be in the same squad as the pilots your designating for if you are trying to be an independent spotter.

SFOD_F HaXXeD
2009-03-10, 19:21
Yeah Mack, theres nothing worse than coming in on a laze only to have them relaze it so your bomb tracks the moving laze. AARGH.

Cptkanito
2009-03-25, 16:19
Bombs track any lazer, even the enemy lazes. So you have to be 100% sure which lazer ur gunning for so ur bomb doesn't go walkabout...

LudacrisKill
2009-03-25, 16:48
Can you make the end note in chapter 3 in size 100 font and make it flash different colours?

Most annoying thing ever, I usually dont trust a lase unless its done by my spotter or someone I know, its just too risky.

I even see clan members do it... on 3 occasions members from GCA couldnt lase properly... and they think they are the best clan. pfff

Cassius
2009-03-28, 10:56
What I do is I request air support,
tell the treath
what I want (bombing, strafing run
the location (grid Kpad)
And if it is important, for example because the target is next to a house or a hill, the attack direction
(NW meaning the fighter should be flying northwest on the run.)

In Teamchat it would look something like this.

CAS APC Bombing run G1 K5 NW

And I laze as the CAS approaches renewing the laze every 25 sec

tip laze for unguided weapons too, they see the laze marker.

isopharius
2009-03-28, 18:37
like the guide, might translate it to teach some friends




tip laze for unguided weapons too, they see the laze marker.


lazing helps alot for littlebirds strafing runs, can the copilots camera be used for placing markers efficiently?

McBumLuv
2009-08-01, 16:19
lazing helps alot for littlebirds strafing runs, can the copilots camera be used for placing markers efficiently?

Sorry for the very late reply, but imo, the co-pilot's ability to laze is pretty useless. It takes too much effort, is extemely finicky (especially in a moving vehicle), and the normal SL markers are much better in these cases for pointing out things of interest to the pilot.

Elektro
2009-08-15, 17:14
Remember that you are able to place " Fake lasers " if you spot that some one is trying to lase your teams vechiles. You can put a fake one, a little further or "on" the enemy himself, and hope that the CAS hits the enemy instead of friendlies.

McBumLuv
2009-08-15, 18:58
Remember that you are able to place " Fake lasers " if you spot that some one is trying to lase your teams vechiles. You can put a fake one, a little further or "on" the enemy himself, and hope that the CAS hits the enemy instead of friendlies.

Yup, that's what I tried to cover a bit of in Chapter 5. You can't put the laze "on" the enemy asset itself, since IIRC bombs won't go for "friendly" targets, and if you paint a laze on an enemy asset it will become a "friendly" target for the enemy team.

Anyways, I've had first hand experience, I believe everyone in the PRT has. :| :? :(

HangMan_
2009-08-16, 08:13
- Suggest a route by which your support can approach safely if there are any threats.


You also need to specify a route which will be safe for your squad. Always call in airsupport from Left-Right or Right-Left. If u have the jet coming toward u or flying over your head something is likely to go wrong... Mayb not the first time u try it but it will happen. And its not fair on the pilot if he gets done for TKing a whole squad wen it wasnt his fault....

HangMan

Dobson
2009-08-16, 17:53
Can you make the end note in chapter 3 in size 100 font and make it flash different colours?

Most annoying thing ever, I usually dont trust a lase unless its done by my spotter or someone I know, its just too risky.

I even see clan members do it... on 3 occasions members from GCA couldn't lase properly... and they think they are the best clan. pfff

Pfff your not the only one. Once on a map of Jabal I was confronted by a team of GCA idiots who wanted the attack Huey - fair enough they made the squad first... BEFORE 1:30 which was against the server rules. OK there was enough of them to crew a Huey fully and have one left for a spotter. So I tried bargaining that they could have one Huey and me and my friend would crew the other. The reply I got was: "GTFO DOBSON YOU NOOB!" so to end the story they managed to get both Huey's and ended up loosing one within the first couple of Min's and then proceeded to tk me and fling insults:?: Shame the admins wouldn't do anything :sad: That said I have had some good squads with GCA players.