Maquis Forces International Marine Aviation Squadron Organization and Regulations Manual
A Brief Note from Maquis Marine Aerospace Aviation Commander:
Congratulations on your assignment to a fighter squadron of the MFI. This assignment is an indication of Fleet's confidence in your skills and potential. By joining a fighter squadron, you become part of a proud tradition which extends back, not merely to the formation of your squadron, nor to the beginning of the Orca Project, nor yet even to the founding of the Maquis, but to the day when one member of your species first took up arms in the defense of another. Today, fighter pilots put themselves in the way of danger, protecting the citizens of the Maquis just as their predecessors have done for generations. It should by no means be imagined, however, that only the pilots are vital to the success of a squadron's mission. Without a staff full of mechanics, technicians, logistics specialists, intelligence analysts, stellar cartographers, mission planners, yeomen and mess specialists, the fighters could not fly and the pilots could not perform at peak efficiency.
There are no insignificant jobs in a fighter squadron. Whoever you are, whatever your job, you have demonstrated your excellence. Now, we of the squadron are counting on you to continue that excellence, so that together we can fulfill the awesome responsibility we have -- to go in harm's way.
Flight Major Don Anderson CO, VMF-101 Marine Aviation Squadron 101 "The Jolly Rogers"
SORM Section 1 - VMF Marine Squadron Organization; an Introduction
A Marine fighter squadron is a large and complex organization which uses a hierarchal structure to function efficiently. Similar to a starship, a squadron has a Commanding Officer, an Executive Officer (sometimes called a First Officer), and various divisions and departments, each with a Department Head, as well as various officers and enlisted specialists. However, unlike the average starship a fighter squadron is specialized, dedicated to the task of maintaining, supporting, and fielding fighters at peak efficiency. The staff of a fighter squadron is divided into four departments: Flight, Operations, Engineering, and Logistics. Each department has a department head, usually the senior officer in that field. Departments are further divided into divisions, and each division has a division officer (DivO).
Because of the specialized mission of a fighter squadron, both the CO and XO must be pilots. It is not unusual for pilots to also fill billets in the Operations Department, leading to a squadron being smaller than the Table of Organization (TO) would suggest.
At optimal staffing, a fighter squadron will have 36 pilots. These pilots are subdivided into flights of three to six pilots, and may also be grouped into wings of two or more flights. Flights are led by Flight Leaders, wings by Wing Commanders.
The Operations Department is concerned with the day to day operation of the squadron, and is comprised of the Administration, Intelligence, Navigation, and Communications divisions.
Because of the unique mission of the fighter squadron, and the resulting deviations from normal MFI duty stations, a squadron orientation officer is assigned. The chaplain has been trained to respond to the religious needs of the crew, and has been trained to recognize & cater to the requirements of a large number of Federation religions. By special arrangements with the majority of the Federation's religious decision-making bodies, this individual has been authorized to effect any of the ceremonies and rituals which may be required during an extended mission, including marriages, divorces, baptisms, last rites, and other religion-specific duties. An educational services officer is assigned to assist personnel in furthering their individual knowledge, skills, and educational attainments during long deployments. Administrative specialists (called yeomen) maintain records, ensure accurate reports are made as scheduled, and perform other duties as assigned. Each department has at least one yeoman. Divisions which require dedicated administrative assistance are also assigned a yeoman who is specifically responsible for that division. The CO's yeoman, along with the senior yeoman, provide direct administrative support to the CO and XO in consolidating and maintaining both internal and external administrative matters. They are also responsible for ensuring personnel records are up to date, scheduling & tracking personnel and promotion reviews, and departmental personnel assignments. The Command Master Chief is tasked with counseling enlisted crew members in the areas of career, performance, and personal matters, as well as being a direct link between the CO and the enlisted crew.
The Flight Operations (FlightOps) computer onboard the carrier or station where the fighter squadron is assigned is the primary source for position updates, chronometer calibration, and course determinations. It uses navigation & time beacons, sensor inputs, and complicated algorithms to ensure that the Navigator is presented with precise, up-to-date data and course plots, so he can pass these on to the fighters of the squadron. It is imperative that the navigational data be monitored and cross-checked at all times. To this end, Navigational Specialists, called Quartermasters, stand watch in stellar cartography. They are responsible to the CO, XO, and Flight Control Officer of the Watch (FCOW) during their watch. In addition to maintaining an accurate plot of the motions of the ship or station, the Quartermaster gang is responsible for updating and maintaining the navigational charts used by the FlightOps computer and the individual fightercraft. Computer technicians are also assigned to the Navigational department to maintain, repair, and oversee the navigational system components and equipment. One technician is on watch at any time Stellar Cartography is manned.
The ability to transmit and receive messages from other ships of the Federation and alien races, Starbases and planets, is an important part of squadron operations. Ensuring this ability to communicate is the task of the Communications Division. Electronics Technicians of the Communications Division perform repair and maintenance on the fightercraft's comm systems, as well as maintaining a communications watch in the squadron's Combat Information Center (CIC).
A fighter squadron must always have the most accurate, up-to-date situational information available. Whether dealing with an established threat like the Romulans, Borg, or Cardassians, or entering a first contact situation with a new, potentially threatening species, the analysts of the Intelligence Division are constantly at work in CIC, sifting through data, analyzing intercepted communications, trying to assemble the best, most complete picture possible of the situation facing the squadron.
The Engineering Department, led by the Chief Engineer, is responsible for the proper maintenance and repair of impulse and warp drive propulsion, life support systems, fighter weapons systems, deflector systems, ECM and ECCM units, and all other physical components & systems of the Peregrine fighter. Engine Systems Division Engineers assigned to this division have responsibility for maintenance, repair, and calibration of fighter warp drives, impulse engines, and reaction control system thrusters. Matter/Antimatter Specialists ensure the efficient tuning of the sealed M/ARA units aboard the Peregrine fighters. Dilithium Crystal technicians monitor the status, consumption rates, and recrystalization of this vital component of the engine. Structural Engineering Specialists monitor and maintain the Inertial Dampening System (IDS) and hull integrity. Life Support Technicians maintain the fighter's artificial gravity generators, atmospheric quality regulators, humidity and temperature regulators.
Weapons Systems Division
Kilogram for kilogram, no unit of the MFI is more powerful than the Peregrine fighter in terms of offensive capacity. The Engineers of this division maintain and repair the pulse phaser cannons and minitorps carried by the fighters. Phaser Technicians carefully maintain and calibrate the pulse phaser cannon carried by the Peregrine, while Torpedoman's Mates care for the launch and stowage systems for the quantum minitorps.
Flight Deck Division
Though the operation and maintenance of the squadron's fighters are the responsibility of the Flight and Engineering departments, respectively, the safe and efficient operation of the hanger decks, launch and recovery bays, and all objects therein fall to the personnel of the Flight Deck Division. Movement of any craft within the Hanger Bay or on the Flight Deck is controlled by the Flight Deck Officer and by numerous Flight Deck Control Specialists. The CAT officer controls the launch of craft from the Flight Deck, while the Landing Signal Officer controls recovery operations. Plane Captains are enlisted specialists who are assigned individual responsibility for a given fightercraft's maintenance. They take cognizance over the fighter from the moment the pilot climbs out of the cockpit until the moment he/she climbs back in. It is their responsiblity to have the craft fueled, armed, and provided with accurate navigational data & appropriate charts before flight.
Though modern fabrication and replication systems onboard ships and stations of the MFI have made routine of most requisition and supply issues, there are still some items which are used in sufficient quantity, or are of sufficient size or complexity that it is more efficient to store finished products than to spend the energy to carry raw materials and synthesize the product on demand. Additionally, significant stores of critical spares and consumables are maintained for use during red alert situations when power for replication or fabrication systems may be unavailable. Logistics department Storekeepers store, maintain, inventory, and deliver such supplies as necessary.
This is the normal status of the squadron. No dangerous conditions exist within the patrol boundaries of the squadron. Watches and Patrols are stood as assigned by the watchbill and PoD.
A hazardous or potentially hazardous condition exists either within the squadron's patrol area, or within its immediate vicinity. This condition may be set by the CO, XO, or CIC Officer of the Watch. The on-watch shift remains on duty, and prepares for possible danger. Second shift goes on duty, and joins first shift at duty stations. Third shift is awakened, but does not come on duty. Each station reports to CIC when manned and ready.
Also known as Battle Stations or General Quarters, Red Alert is set when a life threatening condition exists within the squadron's patrol area or its immediate vicinity, or elements of the squadron are in an offensive or defensive situation which has, or may soon result in the use of weapons. May be set by the CO or XO. Third shift goes on duty, and reports to duty stations. All pilots report to their craft, and standby for possible scramble.
Fighter squadrons, like most other duty stations in the MFI, operate on an around the clock schedule. A schedule of activities is maintained by the Administration Division, and promulgated to the crew in the Plan of the Day (POD), which is accessible from any PADD or ship's console. The POD is updated by the Yeoman of the Watch at the end of each watch.
Units of the MFI spend most of their time among the stars, and a fighter squadron is no exception. Timekeeping, therefore, becomes a matter of supreme importance, there being no planetary rotation to use in verifying the time of day. In keeping with the practice of the MFI, the Quartermasters of the Navigation Division maintain chronometers which measure a 24-hour day. Tied to the time kept at the MFI HQ Observatory, Earth, Eastern US Standard Time has been adopted as the standard for measuring time aboard most MFI vessels and stations. The 24-hour clock is also used, to eliminate any possible confusion in establishing the time of an occurrence, past or scheduled. The hours begin at 00:00 (midnight), and count up through 23:59 (the minute before midnight).
Watches, Shifts and Patrols
With the exception of the Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, and Department Heads, all squadron personnel are assigned to a shift section. There are three shift sections, each having an equal portion of personnel from each department or division. Each of these sections takes a turn at being on watch, as designated in the watchbill, and promulgated in the POD. An occasional exception to the three-shift schedule is the flight department. As emergency situations often call for all the fighters of the squadron to be fielded at one time, arrangements are made for this eventuality.
The history of Maquis Forces Aviation, and ultimately of all fightercraft the MFI may yet use in the Force, can be traced to the Khitomer Accords of November 2291. With the Klingon Empire dealing with internal problems, and the Romulan Star Empire soon to withdraw all contact, the Federation and the MFI were left without a perceptible major threat to peace. During the 73 years between the Khitomer Accords and the reemergence of the Romulan Star Empire, the MFI underwent a major drawdown of its combat forces. Instead of defense, Starships were optimized for exploration. Then, within a year after the initial contact between USS Berlin and seven Romulan warships, USS Enterprise encountered the Borg. Suddenly, the Federation faced a need for combat vessels. Several projects were considered, to fill the need. Before any of them could be implemented, the Borg invaded, and the cataclysmic battle of Wolf 359 ensued. This was to be a harbinger of things to come. In short order, the United Federation of Planets faced wars with the Borg, the Dominion, and the Cardassians (twice). The century of peace was over.
In 2376, MFI commissioned the first Orca fighter. Designed to serve as defense for stationary installations such as planets and starbases, the Orca Mk. 1 fulfilled its mission admirably, contributing to the defense of Earth during the second Borg invasion. During the Dominion War, Mk. II Orcas of the First Fighter Squadron formed a rear guard. Though many pilots were lost in the battle, their sacrifice enabled several transports full of civilians to escape safely.
Despite its excellent service record, there were deficiencies in the Orca that MFI Command felt needed to be addressed. Key amongst these was the fighter's low survivability ratio. Only sixty-five percent of the Orcas sent on combat missions were returning. The original Orca designers, along with several members of the Defiant and Sovereign class starship design boards, began work in 2398 to redesign the fighter. The first Mk. III Orcas entered service with the newly formed Ninth Fighter Squadron (9FS) in 2401.
Before the year was out, the Ninth Fighter Squadron was assigned to USS Gaius Marius, and renamed Carrier Fighter Squadron Nine (VF-9). The assignment was an experiment, intended to test the new fighter's usefulness in new roles -- close air support for Marines, CAP for fleet units, and other missions. The Second Cardassian War saw the baptism by fire of VF-9 and the proof of the carrier-borne fighter concept as a vital part of the MFI. The Assault at B'khai started as a minor confrontation between MFI Marines (MFMC) and a garrison of occupying Cardassian troops. In short time, both sides called for reinforcements. By the end of the battle, an entire Marine regiment had faced and defeated nearly double their number of Cardassian Army regulars, and a large contingent of Jem'Hadar left in Cardassian control after the Dominion war. Though VF-9 lost nearly a quarter of its fighters, they were cited with keeping the death toll among MFMC Marines from being higher than it was. Through close air support, artillery suppression, dropship escort, and enemy troop transport interdiction missions, VF-9 ensured the future of carrier-borne fighters in the MFI.
Despite these impressive accomplishments, many fighter pilots still felt that the design of the Orca could be improved upon. ASDB indicated a lack of interest in persuing further design changes, so a private firm, Broken Drive's Suzuki Konbinaato, began looking at the question. Recruiting a panel of expert pilots, including most of the Fighter Squadron Commanding Officers in the Fleet, Suzuki quickly focused on the area they felt could be improved most effectively: the fighter's propulsion suite. With its maximum speed of Warp 4.5, the Orca was ineffective in fleet point defense roles, as well as in customs and border patrol roles, where larger ships could easily outrun the small fighters. Suzuki quickly developed a new Matter-Antimatter Reactor Assembly and warp engines capable of propelling the small craft to greater velocities, though range was strictly limited.
Now being issued to fighter squadrons, the Orca promises to play an important role in fleet and station defense for many years to come. Of course, the Orion "Crouching Tiger" Trade Syndicate was only too happy to make both the Orca and Peregrine designs available to the Maquis... although the Maquis make use of any and all fighter designs.
Maquis Fighter Squadrons
A total of ten fighter squadrons currently serve the MFI Force actively, with an eleventh assigned to Training Command. They are numbered sequentially in order of founding. Marine Aviation units have a VMF designation, SSD/SOC Aviation units are drawn from the "Fleet" forces and have a VF designation. KTF Fighter Squadrons use the VKF designator. VF-11, assigned to MFI Training Command, serves a dual purpose. Only 16 pilots are assigned on a permanant basis. Half of these serve as a cadre of flight instructors, training new pilots to handle the Sphinx fighter. The other half are trained in enemy tactics, and fly against the other squadrons during "Agressor" training sessions.
There are seven types of fighter squadrons in the MFI:
• Starfighter - The purpose of a Starfighter squadron is combat, patrol, and defense.
• Attack - An Attack Squadron is made up of heavier craft than a starfighter squadron, and is responsible for assault operations against both fixed and mobile targets.
• Interceptor - Interceptor Squadron utilizes faster starfighters and rapid attack tactics to keep enemy starfighters at a safe distance from vessels and stations.
• Reconnaissance - A Reconnaissance Squadron typically operates divided into Flights or Sections, and scouts enemy positions and forces to aid operations.
• Bomber - Bomber Squadrons attack fixed targets with heavy ordnance.
• Special Operations - A Special Operations Squadron typically performs under the command and control of MFI Intelligence in aid of intelligence gathering and covert operations. All Special Operations pilots are trained at the “Top Gun” school.
Corps - Three (3) Divisions - 684 planes
Division - Three (3) Wings + Special Ops Squadron - 228 planes
Wing - Two (2) Groups - 72 planes
Group - Three (3) Squadrons - 36 planes
Squadron - Three (3) Flights - 12 planes
Flight - Two (2) Elements - 4 planes
Element - Two (2) Starfighters - 2planes
Stations and Carriers Squadrons (Squadron numbers are assigned based on date of creation, if not listed as claimed please put in a request with the Chief of Marine Ops office):
Station Fighter Squadron 1 (VMF-101) "The Jolly Rogers," MNAS Detroit
2nd Fighter Squadron (VF-201)
Carrier Fighter Squadron 3 (VF-301)
4th Fighter Squadron (VF-401)
5th Fighter Squadron (VF-501)
6th Fighter Squadron (VF-601)
7th Fighter Squadron (VF-701)
8th Fighter Squadron (VF-801)
Carrier Fighter Squadron 9 (VF-901)
10th Fighter Squadron (VF-10)
11th Fighter Squadron (VF-11), Maquis HQ and Training Command
Mission The basic mission concept for the Orca was defined in the Design Specification Package as "a vessel capable of: Operating in defense of fixed or mobile installations with minimal resource expenditure Providing support and defense to ground units, as well as serving as a mobile communications relay, and providing tactical coordination; Operating as a point-defense fighter during Fleet operations, including traffic interdiction. Coordinating with major Fleet units in any conceivable offensive or defensive scenario."
The Peregrine is a major upgrade from the Mark III Orca. While retaining the Orca's atmospheric capability, which allows the fighter to act in roles such as close air support, artillery coordination and suppression, and drop ship escort for Marine units, the new fighter has significantly improved manuverability, increasing its capablity to assume roles such as traffic interdiction for Fleet point defense, as well as customs/border patrol activities.
As a communications relay station and battle coordinator, the Orca is capable of handling and relaying message traffic on a geometrically scaling level; the more fighters are present, the more message traffic they can handle. The expert systems link to handle the message traffic in a cooperative fashion, rather than each fighter handling every frequency. This relay can be performed without noticeable degradation of the system's normal functionality.
Orca fighters can be carried aboard any ship which has standard shuttlebays; as part of the design specification, no special equipment is required to launch, recover, or maintain the fighters, other than that which can be moved from ship to ship using a standard cargo transporter.
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