Search and Destroy

Wing flight planning and after action reports. Planning for other community flights too.
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Zeus
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Search and Destroy

Post by Zeus » Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:43 pm

Search and Destroy
Time: 30-Dec-2021 21:30z (06:30 LT)
NOTE: The clock will be running continuously and is synced to real Zulu time
Weather: Latest weather forecast for the area is as follows:
wx.jpg
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Briefing:
CIS forces have failed in their attempt to invade South Korea (think "Bear Trap") and have been forced to retreat. Most forces have left the peninsula however some valuable ground assets remain. This includes T-72s, T-80s, T-90s, a handful of SA-8s, SA-13s and most importantly, 24 mobile missile launchers (currently, a total of 86 primary targets scattered over approx 9,000 sq miles!). These assets are attempting to evade ROK and US forces by either running to a CIS controlled port hoping to get loaded on the last cargo ships or running north to the friendly arms of the DPRK. We cannot let that happen.

ROK forces have suffered significant loses, so bad in fact that they are unable to pursue these battalions. The CIS battalions are scattered across the eastern half of South Korea and while the ROK are unable to hunt them down, they do have the western edge of the box cutoff. This means the CIS troops have to either run north to the DMZ or run south to Pohang and board a cargo ship. That's all we know so that leaves a lot of ground to search.

Our mission is to depart Kadena and execute a massive Search & Destroy mission. We have launched two tankers (also from Japan) and an AWACS and HAVCAP from the USS Enterprise to support us in our efforts.

Our goal is to locate and destroy all tanks (16xT-72, 6xT-80, 14xT-90), missile carriers (12xFROG-7 & 12xSCUD-B), surface to air platforms (4xSA-8, 2xSA-13) and APCs/IFVs (20xBTR-80). As much as possible, avoid collateral damage to trucks and infantry; this war is in the de-escalation stage so let's try to keep it that way.


Additional ROEs include...
- Cargo vessels in Pohang port are NOT to be engaged
- Do not overfly DPRK territory
- Do not engage DPRK air forces north of the DMZ unless fired upon

Area of Operation:
AOO.jpg
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Threats:
There are no CIS air threats in the theater. The DPRK has some attack aircraft and a small number of old fighters but all are expected to remain in a defensive role at this time. Therefore do not provoke them into entering the CIS box or to attack our support assets.

SPINS
- Pilots are allowed to exit BMS at the completion of their flight (you don't have to wait for everyone to be done)
- Be sure to note your actual time in pit (everyone may have a different time logged for this flight)
- Once joining the 3D world, pilots may exit/rejoin once and only once to attempt to fix any controller issues
- Ground abort all non-human aircraft in your flight (prior to call for taxi)
- May only move STPT 4 to a point inside the Orange box (all other STPTs fixed)
- Mission will end at 0530z (be sure you are out of the pit by this time)

Loadout Restrictions
- Centerline fuel tank only (no wing bags)
- No more than two AIM-120s per aircraft

OOB
- 222th operating from Kadena
- 176th operating from Kadena

Mission Package
Bulldog6 - 4 x F-16CM-50s tasked with air interdiction (S&D).
Loadout: 6xAGM-65D, 4xGBU-12, 2xAIM-120C, 2xAIM-9X, centerline tank, Sniper and HTS pods

Spade7 - 4 x F-16CM-50s tasked with air interdiction (S&D).
Loadout: 6xAGM-65D, 4xGBU-12, 2xAIM-120C, 2xAIM-9X, centerline tank, Sniper and HTS pods

Satan1 - 4 x F-16CM-50s tasked with air interdiction (S&D).
Loadout: 6xAGM-65D, 4xGBU-12, 2xAIM-120C, 2xAIM-9X, centerline tank, Sniper and HTS pods

Viper1 - 4 x F-16CM-50s tasked with air interdiction (S&D).
Loadout: 6xAGM-65D, 4xGBU-12, 2xAIM-120C, 2xAIM-9X, centerline tank, Sniper and HTS pods

Beast6 - 4 x F-16CM-50s tasked with air interdiction (S&D).
Loadout: 6xAGM-65D, 4xGBU-12, 2xAIM-120C, 2xAIM-9X, centerline tank, Sniper and HTS pods


INI file will be available in the Briefing Room no later than 60 minutes prior to first flight time.

Support (on station for approx 8 hrs):
AWACS - Sentry3
Tanker - Copper7 (northern)
Tanker - Texaco3 (southern)
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Nick » Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:14 pm

Nice one!

Haha, "Search and Destroy" is called a "de-escalation stage". Didn't know that. :mrgreen:

Will wear a special shirt this time.

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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Buttons » Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:39 pm

Looking forward for that sweet intel from the 22:00z flight
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Zeus » Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:25 am

Buttons wrote:
Wed Dec 22, 2021 5:39 pm
Looking forward for that sweet intel from the 22:00z flight
It will be interesting to see what the 2D looks like for the later flights. Will you start seeing things on the map now that our pilots are flying in the area? I would expect so but only time will tell.

At present, my plan is to stay in the pit for the duration to provide FAC(A) / spotting once I've exhausted my weapons. I will also try to provide updates in this thread while in the pit but expect those posts to be short radio bursts and not long-winded novels.

Attention Bulldog6 flight - 22:00z
The BMS clock will start at 21:35z which is only 5 minutes before pit time so be sure to arrive early. Server will be up around 21:15z
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Zeus » Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:42 am

NOTAM - ALL MISSION PILOTS

While most MP connection SOPs remain in effect for this mission, please meet with your flight in TS and join the server as a flight to conduct your IVC check at least 40 minutes prior to your scheduled take-off. Once IVC check is complete you are immediately cleared to join the Azure's Online Game to begin reviewing the map. That will give you 20 minutes to brief before having to commit to the pit. Remember, the clock will be running and cannot be stopped so give yourself / your flight plenty of time.

Once committed to 3D, you are allowed one, and only one, rejoin. This is a precautionary measure to try to ensure stability of the session; once we get some experience doing these types of flights, we might be able to relax this however per SOPs you only have until 10 minutes prior to planned take-off to resolve any sim-related issues. Also note that we have seen an increased number of instances where BMS will not let you kick an AI pilot out of a seat on rejoin. So be sure to do all your controller checks prior to that initial commit.

For this mission, pilots are allowed to exit the 3D world at any time post-flight. That includes flights that end with RTBs as well as KIAs, etc. Be sure to capture your flight time from the BMS debrief page (log from time entering 3D...typically 20 min prior to t/o...until exit event).

No additional flights should be fragged. Again, we are starting slow and will likely try the "frag as needed approach" in a future long-duration mission.
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Buttons » Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:45 am

We can find you on the fac(a) freq?
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Zeus » Fri Dec 24, 2021 12:34 am

Buttons wrote:
Thu Dec 23, 2021 1:45 am
We can find you on the fac(a) freq?
Yes, I'll be there or monitoring AWACS (assuming a clear picture I will jump to FAC channel if I hear friendlies in the air).
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Buttons » Fri Dec 24, 2021 8:33 pm

SPADE-7 flight:
I did a quick time breakdown going backwards as one does.

23:15Z-Takeoff (speed of heat)
22:55Z-In the pit,jet start, troubleshooting (1 back out per SPINs), and taxi (20min)
22:40-Intel Analysis,Brief, Q&A (15min)
22:35Z-TS then IVC checks (5 min)
22:30Z-The latest Buttons will show up, probably be there earlier

I was thinking about doing FAC(A) stuff w/ Zeus, please send me a PM any comments/concerns, we can accommodate anything. I'm guessing we can do some mark point passing, and take it up from there.

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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Derk » Fri Dec 24, 2021 10:05 pm

Good point Buttons. I too was thinking 45 minutes prior to take off time to show for IVC check. This will be my request for wingmen in my flight.
20 Ramp Start
20 min 2D intel (set route, PPT's, chk threats)
5 cushion for unforeseen changes (IVC/BMS issues

Search and Destroy plan would benefit with having a FAC(A) for sure, but D/L won't work to pass mark points if flights are in different packages (most likely the case). Lat/Long coordinates though radio calls would work. Just need to set standard FAC freq. (233.8 - right?).

Available FAC may want to inform the lead for the next scheduled flight:
- On station times
- General location (due to distance limitations for comms)
- Confirm FAC check-in freq
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Zeus » Sun Dec 26, 2021 11:27 am

Derk wrote:
Fri Dec 24, 2021 10:05 pm
Search and Destroy plan would benefit with having a FAC(A) for sure, but D/L won't work to pass mark points if flights are in different packages (most likely the case). Lat/Long coordinates though radio calls would work. Just need to set standard FAC freq. (233.8 - right?).
FYI - for this particular mission, the flights are all in the same package (one of the reasons I limited it to 5 flights). However, that may not always be the case especially if we do this and allow "frag your own flight" rules.

So to pass mark points in this mission we will just need to be on the same VHF (most likely FAC(A) will ask individual pilots to jump to his VHF momentarily to pass MP then return to their original flight VHF) and FAC(A) will need to know your IDM channel.
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Zeus » Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:57 am

UPDATE

Less than 20 hours to go before the first flights commit to the 3D world so a quick bump on this topic is in order. Please remember the following items for this mission:

1) The clock will be running, so be on-time / early to your briefing.

2) The BMS clock will match the real world clock (Zulu time) and is set to start at 2130z

3) Using Derk's math above, you should probably show up 45 minutes before your scheduled flight time.

4) The only valid targets are the 86 targets identified in the briefing - do not just randomly target vehicles as they are likely carrying troops exiting the battlefield according to the rules of the ceasefire. Only enemy combatants choosing to try to get those 86 high-value assets either back home or to their buddies in the North Korea are valid targets.

5) You are free to take any loadout you like just be aware that the enemy vehicles are likely all on the move. You may also carry only a centerline fuel tank; no wing bags. You may refuel as often as you like - please remember to clear the tanker properly so its ready for the next guys.

6) HQ asks that all flights post some sort of debrief in this thread to convey any major target strikes or locations / directions of enemy movement that later flights may find valuable. (No ACMIs, but pics or lat/long info would be great)

7) Enjoy, have fun!
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Buttons » Thu Dec 30, 2021 11:25 pm

Spade 7-1

Had some issues with the hardware, TrackIR quit working around the EOR at a pretty inconvenient angle for flying. Restarting TrackIR didn't resynch it to BMS, so I had to leave and come back. Upon reentering 3D I blew up, pretty sure the plane was moving into something solid on the ground.

Switched over to Satan 1, I'll talk Derk into letting me lead it and get some #1 seat time. BirdDog is leading Spade 7

Some Feedback....think about putting the flight before yours into the Datalink, they'll likely be in the air with you.
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Nick » Fri Dec 31, 2021 1:00 am

GREAT MISSION!
Here are some screenshots:

This enemy SCUD Launcher was the first target we found - location was immediately shared within our flight:
https://i.imgur.com/7KaUZ99.png

The first 2 midair refuelings:
https://i.imgur.com/2R7B34B.png

Archer on my wing - Zeus' island below:
https://i.imgur.com/SAO6Q2F.png

STAC refueling in the turn:
https://i.imgur.com/6dmgcXI.png

T-90 - nice target:
https://i.imgur.com/Nbmyjmx.png

Another AAR together with Zeus - here at the boom:
https://i.imgur.com/OqM47lt.png

Flight Lead has still some weapons left:
https://i.imgur.com/lBQqZAK.png

"Rifle":
https://i.imgur.com/lVcAji5.png

Nearest homeplate at the FLOT:
https://i.imgur.com/l5ZnLXb.png

Touchdown:
https://i.imgur.com/tegemy9.png

Bulldog6-2 parked:
https://i.imgur.com/Ey9YR3G.png

Overall Debriefing:
https://i.imgur.com/X9rJ68Z.png

Event List (FT=2h40m):
https://i.imgur.com/f2FQkpH.png

GBU-12:
https://i.imgur.com/CX75dVl.png

Mavericks - some misses here - although good locks and inside the keyhole - fuze failure ... LOL ;):
https://i.imgur.com/5Vi16yz.png

I wish you all a happy new year, health and happiness for 2022!

See you next year,
Nick
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Buttons » Fri Dec 31, 2021 5:11 am

Satan-1 Debrief:
That was some EPIC stuff! I have a whole new perspective on some of those 6-8 hr missions you hear about in a tac aircraft. We did great, 3xAAR's which included cutting the queue in front of Beast (thank you gents).

Lets start out with thanks to Bulldog flight for killing a bunch of air targets, and passing some ground concentrations to us. We did mostly hit what we were after, but there was a truck next to a SA8, and trucks aren't as resistant to 500lbs explosives as you'd think they are. We did have a controller issue DNF one of our guy which was more than the air defense guys on the ground were able to accomplish.

This was one of those special missions you remember for years and years, and I'm just happy to have been able to fly it with you guys.

Thank you everyone who flew this, special thank you for all Zeus and all the folks helping him put this together. I can't say enough about how much goes into something like this, and how much we appreciate that time. Thank you!
Attachments
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4hrs 5 minutes, this thing needs some fabreze
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Refueling Wrench
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AAR # 1
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Zeus » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:33 pm

Bulldog6 Debrief

That was exhausting! I'll start off with the flight debrief and then share some MC comments. Bulldog6, flown by Nick, Archer, STAC and myself, was first off in a pre-dawn departure from Kadena. We made a quick boresighting run as we approached the coast then proceeded to seek out targets. Nick quickly located two battalions - one tank and one FROG-7 - so we each made a pass or two before heading to the tanker for our first refueling. Unfortunately, I had not planned our transition to the tanker well enough and we arrived with several pilots well below fuel minimums (1,500 lbs). So we each ended up taking 2,000 lbs to give us some breathing room and then began a second refueling immediately. (BMS lesson 1 - the tankers can now be immediately re-engaged once your last pilot is done...we essentially moved from right observation to left observation and then called the tanker again and were put back into the queue. No more getting out of the bubble or waiting.)
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After getting everyone topped off, lead element headed back to the original locations and sent second element to look north hoping not only to find more targets but also to help space out refueling. While lead element continued to work the initial contacts, Archer and STAC did find some new targets and as they began their attack they were jumped by MiG-21s. A brief dogfight ensued causing Archer to drop stores but the MiGs paid the ultimate price.
2021-12-30_173505.jpg
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Now low on fuel again we went off to refuel for a 3rd time with each element using a different tanker (and lead element refueling as two single ships). The tanker crews worked flawlessly accommodating our weird refueling patterns.
2021-12-30_181312.jpg
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After getting us back on station, Bulldog62 (Nick), who was now Dakota, decided it was time for him to RTB. Nice work getting all your weapons on target and surviving our initially poor AAR plan. Thanks Nick.

That left Archer to provide air cover and spotting duties for STAC and I. We continued to work targets in the central region until STAC was Dakota and then headed out. I still fuel, GBU-12s and a FROG battalion in sight when Archer requested to make strafing runs on these softer targets so I provided cover while he made a pass and took out two launchers. This left him a low on fuel so he headed off to refuel a 4th time while I waited to pass the location on to Spade7 as they come off the tanker.

I was approaching the tanker for my 4th refuel as Archer came off to provide more spotting for Spade and Satan before he finally headed back to base.

After refueling I returned to the northern portion of the box to ensure no one was getting close to the DMZ and found two battalions. Since the other flights were now either RTB or heading back to the tankers for refueling, I engaged with the two GBU-12s I had remaining. I found a T-90 stopped on a hill and planted a GBU-12 right through its turret (watched it on the TGP) yet there was no explosion. I made a second pass and watched a second GBI-12 impact dead center of the target and again no explosion.
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Now Dakota I switched to heads up and patrolled the border and within minutes was facing a 3-ship Mig-21 sweep. As I pressed in on them, they run to the west into Blueland but I chased them down killing 2 with AIM-120 shots. The 3rd decided he couldn't outrun me so he turned back and we got into a quick dogfight resulting in a gun kill. However this left me low on fuel so it was back to the tanker for a 5th fueling. On the way I handed off coordinates for the two battalions I had found to Satan.

After a quick top-off of the internal tanks I headed home for a nice touchdown at Kadena just 5-1/2 hrs after I had left. Whew!

What went well?
  • Everyone did a great job with the AAR
  • Everyone did a great job finding and selecting the appropriate targets (some collateral damage but hard to avoid)
  • Passing of target coordinates was fantastic
What could have been better?
  • I should have had a better plan for managing AAR
  • I should have checked to make sure I had the Air Refuel door switch in my fingers and not the Main Pwr switch after the first refueling! Yeah, power off your jet mid flight not good but recoverable (lost boresight, D/L setup and a few other things but eventually got it all back)
What would I do different?
  • I should have split the elements initially having one got to the tanker while the other did the initial target search. This would have made tanking faster and provided continuous coverage over the box.
  • If this hadn't at least partially been about flying an endurance mission, I would have taken less weapons (made just 8 GBU-12s?) which would have made the attack runs easier and required less AARs.
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by PopTops » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:44 pm

Any chance to plan the following S&D (after the coming one on 2 Jan) 2 hours earlier?
Grt
Happy newyear btw ;-)

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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Zeus » Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:32 pm

MC Debrief

The goals of the S&D mission were as follows:
  • Create an interesting, long-duration mission with the flexibility to allow pilots to join at different times
  • Test the ability & stability of tankers performing multiple refueling operations
  • Gauge interest of Wing members in this "long running" format type mission
Mission accomplished! Based on the feedback I have seen and heard, it sounds like this format is a winner, maybe not for every mission but certainly on the occasional basis to mix things up a bit. Some things I am taking away from this as lessons learned include...

Tankers are indeed very stable and can now handle a variety of refueling scenarios. The key things to remember include...
1) whoever is inside the 10nm bubble when the tanker is called will be put into the queue. So if #3 is at the tanker and #1 and #4 are 8 nm out and #2 is 15nm out and either 3, 1 or 4 call the tanker then 1, 3 and 4 will be queued up...but not 2. At least thats the way it seems.
2) you can refuel out of sequence (ex #2 then #1) as long as rule #1 above is obeyed - in other words, #2 has to be inside the bubble and call the tanker before #1 is inside the bubble.
3) You can "short fuel" and then immediately get back into the queue; you dont have to exit the bubble. I think the key is that everyone in your queue needs to finish and then after that last Y-3 you can (almost) immediately call for a refuel again. We simply moved from right to left and that seemed to be a long enough delay because when I called again we got cleared right back into the queue.

Another thing I took away from this is also related to refueling and that is that even though these tankers were relatively close to the action (I suppose I could have positioned them over blueland and made them a little closer), that was still a long enough haul that with only the centerline tank it felt like you had only a limited amount of time over the target. To me this felt very realistic but then again, I've never actually done that so what do I know?

We also learned that the sim is very stable...at least for this simple TE. Pilots can enter and exit whenever they please with little to no impact on the sim or to anything going on in the sim. Personally, I think as long as pilots aren't doing rapid rejoining we should be fine - in other words, the ability to rejoin should not negate the need to do proper control checks, etc. before initially joining. A single exit and rejoin up to T-10 minutes should be fine.

Personally, I also learned there is no such thing as "down time" when flying a mission like this. I was really expecting to have time to sit back, maybe put the auto pilot on, and wait for people to check-in looking for targets. Turns out, that with the limited amount of fuel we had, combined with lots of weapons and very specific targets, I found myself "working" almost the entire time. It made the time go by very quickly. In the future if I were to do something like this and want to provide targeting info, I would frag dedicated FAC(A)s because anyone doing A/G work will have their hands full doing that. Again, seems like a more realistic thing to do anyway.

If I were to make a mission like this again (and I most likely will) I would do the following:
  • Trim down the loadout - we didn't really need to carry all those weapons. That seemed to be the least realistic part.
  • Keep the centerline tank only fuel plan but also plan to AAR on ingress the first time
  • Frag dedicated FAC(A) if desired
  • Use the campaign engine if I wanted more action (ground and/or air). Note that the campaign might need to be modified to limit the # of enemy squadrons and types so as not to overwhelm the main mission. Similarly on the friendly side, modify & limit aircraft types (maybe just CAP type flights?). Using the campaign engine might reduce the amount of effort for mission maker and certainly increase the randomness of the play.
  • This also opens up the possibility of just tossing an existing campaign (Rolling Fire, Bear Trap, etc.) up on the server for a 24 hr window or something like that. My only concern with that is if we make the window too large will it disperse our flights so much that it will be like flying single player? Personally I like knowing there are other human pilots filling the skies around me so I would hate to have us spread out too thin.
Thanks everyone for coming out to support this mission and help me test out some new ideas. Hopefully this gives others ideas for missions as well. Happy Holidays!

Zeus
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Wrench
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Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:11 am

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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Wrench » Mon Jan 03, 2022 1:29 am

Thanks for the work you put into this Zeus.

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Buttons
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Re: Search and Destroy

Post by Buttons » Mon Jan 03, 2022 2:19 pm

In terms of trimming the loadout, I keep reading that they only put two mavs on the LAU-88s, something about scorching . That could be a realistic way of reducing weapons. I know we discussed swapping out the mavs due to the expected altitude employment and SA6/SA8/SA7/SA14 considerations.

When I use Mav's with a center line tank, I'll usually drop it to a single D model on 4/6 to reduce the drag by eliminating the LAU-88.
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