Sting of the Viper Net
CT Sideways, Publisher
Sunday, July 14th, 2019
The nature of ARMA 3 and its interface makes it seem like a fighting force can simply drag and drop its forces to conduct maneuvers like in a game of Total War. However, this is simply not the case. To coordinate movements, allied forces rely on a network of radio communications using a protocol that has recently undergone a significant update.
This protocol is Viper Net. Introduced in preparation for deployment of Mynock, Viper Net is a means of organizing radio traffic between infantry and any of their supporting elements. This week, 501st News Writer CX-X Shnuffles tunes in to RTO HQ to get the low-down on the new task frequencies. The following material is collected and paraphrased from CI-O Roadboy.
CI-O: “The task frequency system or the 'Viper Net' was created to accommodate for the introduction of Mynock onto a frequency, and instead of having more callsigns on one frequency, RTO HQ designed a system where different ground units would have their own assigned frequency to be able to call in support without clogging up radio traffic for other callsigns.”
CX-X: What’s changed?
CI-O: “The 'Ground to Support' freq or '35' (once Ground to Air) now works with the Section RTOs within Mynock and the Razor Forward Air Controller. Their tasks is to assign vehicles, air or ground, to ground units’ own frequencies.
For example, hypothetically, Avalanche 1-1 requests extract for a squad and a few HVTs on 35, so Razor FAC would assign one LAAT to their task frequency on 35.1 so that they could communicate further to carry out the tasking without clogging up the traffic on 35 itself.“
CX-X: How does the new radio protocol better incorporate Mynock? Are you satisfied with said changes?
CI-O: “I am very satisfied for the changes made to better incorporate Mynock, as it means the inclusion for everyone to be able to play. I've always been one for getting everyone involved and not making anyone sit on the side bench to wait.
As an ex-Lightning pilot, I can recall occasions where there were enough LAATs to supplement the ground forces within fun ops or operations however CAS or other Lightning taskings weren't required, forcing me and my wingman to sit and wait for the situation to arise where we would be needed. I don't want anyone else to have to do the same in this day, the 501st has come a long long way since those days, and it's time to not cut anyone out.”
CX-X: As it stands now, are you satisfied with the changes made? Additionally, what changes would you like to see if any are necessary further down the road made towards improving Viper Net?
CI-O: “As it stands, RTO HQ is happy with the results. Obviously there are still tweaks to this day, but we don't think a more efficient system could have been introduced. I'm proud of those who put the time and effort in to make the system the best it could be, and to be patient with the updates and changes to best suit everyone. It wasn't an easy run, but it was accomplished.”
Mynock has designed their gun batteries to best accommodate the members manning those vehicles to ensure everyone is playing the game, while this also simplifies the understanding of how many shells will be landing on target as its always a multiple of four, there's no grey area anymore. This means that all four artillery guns in the battery will be utilized without anyone having to wait around to get their turn to shoot, instead all members are involved at all times.”
Brave UTC Cadets storm the beaches
WE’RE IN FOR SOME CHOP
CX-X: How long has the concept been in its "trial phase" so to speak? Additionally, when was the idea first drafted and by whom?
CI-O: “The trial or test phase for this system was for a good matter of months, with lots of tweaking and changes being made as each week went by with the feedback from RTOs, Razor and Mynock units. The idea of a new task frequency communications system was drafted by myself in the early months of 2019 if not earlier when Mynock was in mention, and this was discussed among RTO HQ members at the time and also went through development stages with Razor, and Captain Klein who also had ideas of how it could be programmed to run.”
CX-X: Has the transition been smooth?
CI-O: “The transition at first was far from smooth, as the ones who were testing it had to be nearly dropped into the deep end, although we did try to cushion the blow of this transition as best we could to help them understand what was going on and how to use the new system.
The introduction of the task frequencies has brought along new challenges for the RTOs and members of Razor to tackle, as they're unseen before and bring communication to a much larger scale.
The benefits of the task freqs have allowed the RTOs to expand their skills, and it has allowed for a large scale communications system for multiple callsigns to be contacting each other for different purposes without clogging up a single freq, allowing for smooth communications for everyone.”
VECTOR LOCKED IN
Though wholesale departures from established doctrine are rare, the establishment of Viper Net was a much-needed exception. Now, Avalanche forces can call upon more than just Razor for support tasking.
The unit showed that it was capable of reorganizing to handle the challenge, and deploying Mynock has paved the way for the addition of ground-based infantry support assets to come. CI-O Roadboy will take us out:
CX-X: What should we expect to see from Mynock now that we have opened the door further for them to provide armored support?
CI-O: “We should expect to Mynock to grow into the unit as they have been doing, with as much support for them being provided by our staff as possible to make their lives easier as well as ours. I look forward to further development with the new detachment and expect great things from their staff.”
Avalanche HQ -
"Avalanche HQ is currently looking for a person to fill the vacent leadership position left by a fatal bird attack on one of our most senior leadership members." - CC Player
Avalanche 1 -
Siffy (CR-C to CT), Fluorite (CT to Sr. CT) and Saprez (CT to Sr. CT), Alistair (Sr. CT to Vt. CT) and Biscuit (Sr. CT to Vt. CT)
“Avalanche 1 is doing great and looking forward to the next set of operations!” - CS Legia
Avalanche 2 -
“We have a lot of new blood who we want to make experienced” - CS-M Crisis
“"It is believed that if you deprive Lava of tea for several days he'll go insane. We'll find out soon…. Look ma, I'm in the news letter!” - CS Ricochet
“Razor has opened a 4th Flight. We’re excited for new leaders and new pilots.” - CX Scuba
“Mynock is currently working on the final draft of our SOP, we’re doing great.” - CS-M Verax
“Fancy is wrong. TF2 is a good game.”- CP Delta
“Onyx is doing well, there will be some up and coming changes as we work on improving.” - CI-P Brennan
DID YOU KNOW?
You can pack someone up in a manned E-web and deploy them elsewhere.
It’s been one full year since CT Sideways, CS-M Crisis, CS-M Verax and a former CS played Left 4 Dead 2.
501st News opinion doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinion of the entire community. If you’d like to help the news team, you can in many ways, including but not limited to, signing up for the news team, submitting an article, posting a piece of media or getting publicity for an event. For those interested, please contact either CT Sideways or CP Sense for more information. Your voice matters, let it be heard. We’re currently looking for journalists to collect stories, media and content and story writers to write articles. Also please consider donating to the 501st to help pay for server costs and help keep this community alive and well maintained. Photo credits: CT Sideways, CW-P Archon and CT Swanny. Extra graphics by: CT Daku and CT Shifty
Chief News Editor: CT Sideways
News Editor:CP Sense
Writers and Journalists: CT Daku, CP Hoodoo, CT Momentum, CT Stone, CX-X Shnuffles, CT Lucky and CT Ruse
The Zeta Meta
CT Sideways, Publisher
Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY
Zeta Company is available to members who have completed UTC. For all you hopefuls out there, we have breaking news on some big changes coming to Zeta.
When word reached the 501st news team of the recent reforms undergone by Zeta Company, we shipped our very own CT Ruse off to the far corners of the galaxy to find out more.
THE RESERVIST EXPERIENCE
CP DELTA, COMPANY EXECUTIVE OFFICER:
When you finish UTC, all you gotta do is fill out the Zeta application form and join the Zeta discord. Links are in my TS channel and in the main discord. After joining, Zeta applicants request their tags and search for the Zeta squad that best matches their availability by asking around or by reading the descriptions of the section rooms in TeamSpeak. Once they get into their squads they’re all set.
Zeta is here to make sure people can have a place to go. We encourage people in Zeta to go to Avalanche squad trainings so they can get themselves slotted. It’s not our job to get them slotted, it’s up to them if they get slotted or not. How long someone stays in Zeta completely depends on the trooper. Some people leave for Avalanche the same day they join Zeta. We also make sure that people in Zeta get trained in their Zeta squads so they are still on the up and up.
I think that in my limited exposure to Zeta and in regards to their Ops. I think the people in Zeta are fine, they are good people, all good troopers. I think I may have had a bad experience in the Zeta Ops because what I have seen is that people forget about their training in UTC. I don’t have full spectrum there, but that's my view of Zeta at the moment.
Zeta's a good place to provide a more casual environment for our cadets to grow and learn while allowing them to build better relationships with others. Through monthly check-ins, members are encouraged to take the initiative to be responsible for their own activity, giving them a chance to mark their place in the unit.
If their intention is to join Avalanche, they have the opportunity to try out with different squads to find the perfect fit. Though it may seem tedious at first, this process helps to create a stronger trooper.
CP FANCY, COMPANY COMMANDER:
I'll be 100% with you, this interview couldn't have come at a better time. We're trying to fix up how are sections work so they can mimic Avalanche times. That way Avalanche can go to specific sections of Zeta for its reserves. Section 1 will most often work with 1st Platoon and 4th Platoon, and Section 2 will most often work with 2nd Platoon. Section 3 would help 3rd Platoon. 4th Section is the home for our lower activity members and personnel who cannot attend Avalanche functions. We are also making it easier to set up Zeta members with Avalanche squad leaders.
These concepts were lost in the development of Zeta due to the growing process, and now we are reorganizing to reflect that now. I think this is a good change but it’s a lot of micro managing and a lot of data manipulation as well. At the end of the day people will hopefully say that the end result helped them save time and make processes more efficient.
Zeta serves the general infantry and as we are Reservists first and foremost, we needed to make a few changes to Zeta so it was less of a "holding area with training" to a Reservist Company. Avalanche NCOs and their leaderships have taken the helm in the training of personnel once they leave Zeta and enter the infantry. This led to the removal of our original Zeta company policy number 2, which was you have to be a trooper to transfer out of Zeta and were required to remain within Zeta for one month after UTC before you could transfer. Now, Zeta is more narrowly focused around providing Transfers and Reservists.
Zeta hasn't really had a straight direction up until now. We had been trying way too many things at once. Outside of doing their check ins once in a blue moon, people were just sitting around, waiting for something to happen until they got moved into Avalanche. We are working through this currently to give Zeta a better direction. We have a better command structure. It’s 100% getting better.
We have 15 open spots in Avalanche, and if it was entirely up to me we’d get people in them. Number 1, if you have lower activity, then we have a home for you. Those people that can’t make it any of the Avalanche times have a place here in Zeta.
Number 2, we make sure that people are trained as they wait to get slotted in Avalanche overall. There are multiple Zeta squad and section operations in addition to actively reserving. We have had the occasional Zeta op as well.
And yeah, you can say that there is not much to do in Zeta. With the coming reorganization of Zeta, we are putting our foot down and we are saying: whatever you consider the old Zeta to be, this is what Zeta is now.
And remember to not be toxic, especially CP Fancy.
FROM Z TO A
Having a fifth person is critical to the Avalanche fireteam dynamic. The team is still above half strength with one wounded and one to stabilize. This is not the case with four or three members. Having a healthy pool of active reserves means waving good-bye to the possibility of deploying with an under-strength squad.
When a Cadet reserves in Avalanche or the other elements, they are bringing value to the table. Before Zeta, finding a reservist was a complete crap shoot. Now, reservists are more familiar with the game’s mechanics than some of the old slotted troopers.
It really was the wild west when it came to staking a claim on reserves before this organized system was put in place. Zeta Company serves these specific needs of the community, and I order you to revere them.
Battalion HQ -
“Get off my grass.” - CC Bondoer
Avalanche HQ -
Sam (CP to CS), Myers (CT to Sr. CT), Goddest (CT to Sr.CT)
“Avalanche is enjoying the campaign. We look forward to the hard work the mission team is putting in and want to thank them for the work they put in.
Brace yourselves, the Sergeants are coming!” - CC Player
Avalanche 1 -
Tee (CP to Sr. CP), Strill (CP to Sr. CP)
"Looking forward to wrapping things up in the campaign" - CS-M Point
Avalanche 3 -
Goddest (CT to Sr. CT), Crebar (CR-C to CT), Sledge (CR-C to CT)
"3rd's doing good" - CC Ewik
Ricochet (CP to CS), Nobear (CP to CS)
“Ewik's natural armament is rocks and sticks. He's still unable to break bones.”- CC Lava
CT Korvus (Candidate to Member of Cyrus 2-1), CT Sazi (Candidate to Member of Solus 1-1), CT Owl (Candidate to Member of Cyrus 2-1), CI Flux (Candidate to Member of Triton 2-2)
“The ARC Forward Observer Position remains in its testing phase as we continue to make sure that it is functioning on a Platoon-Level with both Platoon Commanders and Sergeant Majors.” - CS George
“17th Cycle has completed, next announcement regarding the 18th Cycle for Razor candidacy will be coming mid-July, stay posted in #razor-open” - CX Scuba
CT Silent (Applicant to Member of Team Two in Mynock 1)
“Company is without RTO due to stress, however they are being managed and maintained by one another and myself to ensure that everything is running smoothly. We are trying to train and keep RTO numbers up, and with the assistance from Zeta and taking RTOs from squads there to bring into Avalanche means the task of doing that is much much easier.” - CI-O Roadboy
“I asked for a rectangular prism, and Koop gave me a cube.” - CM-O Koda
“Upper Leadership has decided that Corporal Ghost will not be eligible for Sergeant until he learns to roll-over on command. I vehemently disagree with this decision.” - CP Fancy
DID YOU KNOW?
Smoke grenades are like deployable bushes that have a specific area of effectiveness for a short period of time. If you're seen before you can hide in the billowy part you will continue to be seen for a few seconds with zero cover. Everyone should take some time to learn how to use them because they are life savers when used properly but difficult to use effectively. - CP Zora
CI-O Roadboy eats cheese before bed to get those trippy dreams.
501st News opinion doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinion of the entire community. If you’d like to help the news team, you can in many ways, including but not limited to, signing up for the news team, submitting an article, posting a piece of media or getting publicity for an event. For those interested, please contact either CT Sideways, or one of the news editors for more information. Your voice matters, let it be heard. We’re currently looking for journalists to collect stories, media and content and story writers to write articles. Also please consider donating to the 501st to help pay for server costs and help keep this community alive and well maintained. Photo credits: CT Sideways and CR Teal. Extra graphics by: CT Shifty and CT Daku
Publisher: CT Sideways
News Editors: CP Sense and CP Hoodoo
Writers and Journalists: CT Daku, CT Momentum, CT Ruse, CX-X Shnuffles
Avalanche Company Olympics!
CT Sideways, 501st Publisher
Thursday, June 27th, 2019
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
For two weeks in June, Avalanche Company suspended its regularly scheduled official events and faced off in the Avalanche Company Olympics, an event designed to create healthy competition among the four platoons in Avalanche Company and among their sixteen squads.
There were three events, the first two of which were platoon-level assessments while the final event pitted one squad against another. The games of 6/8/2019 were the Convoy Escort and the Mortar Run, and the competitive event on 6/15/2019 was the Squad Relay Race. The following is an account of the proceedings as described by one Avalanche Company squad leader.
INTACT AND EN ROUTE
On opening day, five Republic Bantha IFVs crewed by Mynock detachment sappers rolled out of a 501st vehicle depot for the first event, the Convoy Escort. Their objective: follow the road to the finish line a klick and a half away through hordes of CIS infantry squirming for their next field update, equipped with antitank weaponry and entrenched in prepared positions along a narrow road that wound through the precipitous heights and deep passes of the scenic Altis mountains.
The results for this event were as follows:
The results of this event determined the order of position for the rest of the festivities:
… AND FEAR NOT PAIN OR DEATH
Immediately following this gauntlet was the aptly named Mortar Run, which saw the 501st’s Mynock representatives turn on their Avalanche company counterparts. All squads from an infantry platoon lined up on the starting line which faced a barren no-man’s-land across which stood a small blue flag on a shell-shocked beach. Flanking the plain rose small hillocks upon which sat Mynock mortar crews. A whistle was sounded, and the mortar crews opened fire on the infantrymen as they attempted to reach the safety of the bombed-out beach.
The results for this event were as follows:
The order of positions of the Avalanche company platoons was as follows after the event:
The final event, the Squad Relay Race, took place the following weekend. The organizers worked tirelessly through the week so that when the sun rose on Saturday morning, a vast obstacle course cast a towering shadow over the salt flats.
The course was, in fact, two courses, each a mirror of the other. One squad would assume responsibility for the left course, while their opponents would assemble across from them on the right side. The objective of this course was to locate intelligence, which would provide the location of a CAS target.
One representative from each squad - with the exception of the medical leg and the support leg, both of which required two operatives - would run each leg at a time. The legs tested fundamental infantry skills: Riflery, Sharpshooting, Combat Medical, Tank Hunting, Support Gunnery, Grenadier Marksmanship, CQC and RT Operations. The squad leader ran above the course, yammering advice into the radio and inspiring their comrades with buffs and holy magic. The intelligence was located on the CQC On the final leg, each squad RT would call in an airstrike on their target, confirming the end of the race.
After the race concluded, penalties were assessed based on VIPs killed and designated targets left alive. These penalties became time values - numbers of seconds - that were added to each squad’s score. The squad with the fastest overall time was recognized. Each squad then totaled their times to get a platoon combined time. The platoons’ times and corresponding scores were then ordered to get the rankings for this event.
The view from the starting line. Note the elevated catwalks on each side.
The results from this event were as follows:
And the aggregate results for each platoon were:
The final standings of the Olympic Games were:
Yes, you read that right - there was a tie for first place! This will not be allowed to stand, and the brass will have its blood. A tiebreaker will be conducted between 1st and 4th platoons for first place at a later date. In the meantime, the campaign has begun! The 501st news team will be your source of delicious campaign digest in the coming weeks.
The Olympics were streamed live! You can watch footage of the event at the approved stream here:
Battalion HQ -
“Verax promoted to BN CS-M Billet, for his hard work and dedicated to the unit. His promotion is a unanimous decision by command staff.” - BC Jay
Avalanche 1 -
Jane (CT to Sr. CT), Doe (CR-C to CT)
“Proud of the way 1st Platoon performed in the Olympics and looking forward to the campaign.” - CS-M Point
Avalanche 3 -
“Lava is just dirty magma.” - CC Ewik
“Papers, please. (We’re updating a lot of paperwork.)" - CC Lava
“Glad the campaign is back.” - CX Scuba
"Verax has been stolen. I will never forgive this betrayal." - CP Fancy
News Team -
The News Team is proud to announce the opening of new positions within the News Team. The News Team will be opening a media team, that will be responsible for finding videos, pictures, and creating custom graphics for the News Team to use. New positions will also be opening in the near future so keep a lookout. If any of these new positions interest you, please fill out the News Team application, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
DID YOU KNOW?
Arma 3 is currently on sale thanks to the Steam Summer Sale, pick that up or it's DLC today!
CS-M Sorensic needs to upload that infection video.
501st News opinion doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinion of the entire community. If you’d like to help the news team, you can in many ways, including but not limited to, signing up for the news team, submitting an article, posting a piece of media or getting publicity for an event. For those interested, please contact either CT Sideways or CP Sense for more information. Your voice matters, let it be heard. We’re currently looking for journalists to collect stories, media and content and story writers to write articles. Also please consider donating to the 501st to help pay for server costs and help keep this community alive and well maintained. Photo credits: CT Rayne and the News team. Extra graphics by: CT Daku and CT Shifty
Chief News Editor: CT Sideways
News Editors:CP Sense, CP Hoodoo
Writers and Journalists: CT Daku, CT Momentum, CT Stone and CT Ruse