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Marine Fighting Squadron 251

Wingman Training

Session 1: Basic Formation Flight

In order to be able to function as wingmen in combat, it's first necessary to be able to fly as a group and maintain formation.

1.1 Combat vs. Cruise

1.2 Formation Correction

1.3 Maneuvering as a Formation

1.4 Visual Coverage Priorities

Session 2: Basic Wingman Tactics


Basic wingman tactics can be divided into two areas: Offensive and defensive tactics. Which to use and how to approach them is dependent on your position and situation.

There are two basic defensive tactics. Both involve mutual support, however their execution depends on the situation. In all situations, the aircraft that has the bandit trailing him is the "engaged" fighter, while the other is consider the "free" fighter.

2.1 Double Attack

2.2 Defensive Break

2.3 Rolling Defense and Disengaging

Session 3: Communications

The most fundamental part of solid wingman tactics is good communications. A stadardized brevity code is ideal as it conveys the maximum amount of information in minimal amount of airtime, keeping the channel clear. If the channel is cluttered with unnecessary chatter, it can prevent vital information from being heard.

Non-essential chatter while in-flight should generally be restricted to the squadron's TEXT channel. This frees voice transmissions for course, altitude and power changes, and other navigational instructions, as well as sightings of enemy aircraft and in-combat instructions (breaks, etc.).

General guidelines on communications follow in the sections below. Specific commands for different maneuvers or tactics will be addressed in those sections.

3.1 Basic Communications Procedures

3.2 Communications in Combat