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Eagle is Changing Nests (Backpost)

Posted on 07 Mar 2014 @ 10:51pm by Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Echoes
Location: DS9
Timeline: December 27, 2387

Lt Derrick Sheldon had just met most of the personnel that would make up the Carrier Air Group - Blackhawk on Deep Space 9. He had been here a week, and wanted the Squadron to conduct some simulation and actual flight time together before the Blackhawk made it voyage. One of the things about being last assigned to Starbase CAG as Squadron Commander and filling most of the other senior positions of CAG he knew that this team would have to depend on each other. Being only a one squadron it meant they all would have to do that much more work.

Sheldon and his XO had worked out the organization of the Squadron, now he was on shuttle on his way to meet the Captain of the Blackhawk, he was very thankful that he had granted him a few days to get to know the pilots of his Squadron before they officially boarded the Blackhawk. There was so much to do and not nearly enough time to get things done, before hand. Hopefully, after tonight the entire Squadron would be in their digs on board the Blackhawk.

The Shuttle landed and he was on his way to Captain Ready Room. He found he Bridge with little effort. It was variant of layout and took time to soak it in.

Harvey exited his Ready Room with Yeoman Carter by his side. "Make sure Lieutenant Dane gets that update from the station," he reminded her. He glanced up to see an unfamilar face above a light gray collar. As the ship had no Intelligence department, Harvey had ordered everyone associated with the Black Hawk Squadron to wear the gray to make it easier to distinguish from the science teal.

The captain met the Bolian at the rear of the bridge by the MSD. "I suppose you are Lieutenant Sheldon," Harvey said, extending a hand. "Commander Geisler, Captain of the Black Hawk."

Sheldon shook the Commander hand, "Yes, I tend to stand out even in crowds, Sir. I am reporting as order, as well like to report that the Squadron is ready to report to the Blackhawk. We have some gear to pack, but I can send bulk the of the Squadron aboard to start sorting out our stuff." Sheldon was pleased to have the a week on DS9 to organize the squadron, and to get to know his pilots. He also needed them to get to know each other away from the pressure of organizing aboard the Blackhawk.

He turned and notice face he knew, "Warrant Officer Jones, I take it that support crew has been busy getting their gear squared away?" Jones smiled, "Yes Sir, we have some help in getting the support stuff squared away, with the limited space and having to share space with other Departments." Jones main job was the senior Operation Liaison Officer for the Squadron, she had two other Warrant Officers each would work watch working with Operations - Mission personnel and Flight Control personnel. It was full time job to make sure the Bridge and CAG-Flight Operations had the most up to date information to work with, it was her small team job to do just that.

Jones was the senior support Warrant Officer in the Squadron, she had taken on the task of making sure the the Squadron Maintenance personnel and Engineering all played nice together. Squadron Maintenance personnel all had been through same Engineering classes, but they had more of one on one relationship with the fighters they help take care of. They were the Chief Engineers, and Engineering staff for the fighters they were assigned to, as well helping each other when Fighter Maintenance crew needed help.

Sheldon was pleased to hear, he had know Jones from him previous assignment and brought her along. Suddenly remember he was talking to Commander Geisler, "Sir, I do have question about various Shuttle Operations, in will CAG-Flight Operation have control of there launch/recovery cycles or will they be handled up on the Bridge?" It was the one sticky point that Star Fleet regulation never clearly covered, it was up to Command on who and where Shuttle Operations were handled.

"I don't plan for cycles to be handled up here," Harvey replied, noting the CAG's attention to matters. He gestured to the Flight Operations station next to the viewscreen and began to walk in its direction. "I do, however, like to keep an eye on everything on board. This station is my eyes and ears, just so long as the ODN conduits stay connected."

Harvey then led the Bolian into his Ready Room. "Tell me about the Squadron," the captain asked, taking a seat behind the desk and gesturing to one of the chairs in front of the desk for Sheldon to sit.

Sheldon took a seat. He had to begin to from the top, "Well the Squadron has Twelve Fighters. We have 12 active pilots who will be flight the fighters, as well another 6 pilots who will be serving support roles. Of the 6 support pilots: 3 will be serving as Air Boss during the three watches, and the other 3 will serve as Safety Officers on the Flight Decks again serving one of the three watches. We have small Support Group made up 12 Warrant Officers and 24 Crew members who specialize in Fighter Maintenance, each is specialist with each Warrant Officer begin Fighter-Captain assigned to one Fighter to make sure proper maintenance. Again This is what we need to for normal Patrol operations, if we have extended operations, we may need addition support personnel. We also have another dozen support personnel that will be working CAG-Flight Operations for the most part, including 3 Warrant Officer who will be assigned as Liaison Officer working Operation-Mission support personnel on the Bridge. With that is the overhead of the Squadron."

Sheldon took a brief minute to explain the meat of the Squadron. Then smiled, "The actually Squadron which I think you really wanted to know about, is divided into Three Division of 4 fighters. Gold, Blue, and Red Divisions, each Division will be on Stand-by during Watch. I will command the Gold Division, my XO will command the Blue Division, and the Second Officer will command the Red Division. Each Division will be broken down into two flights, with before mention in command of the first flight, and the next senior pilot of the Division in command of the second flight."

Sheldon then went into more detail about CAG-Flight Ops, "During normal Squadron operation a Division watch will be 4 hours, then 8 hours down time for the Pilots. This means that during 24 hour period, they will be on alert for two shifts. During normal Combat Air Patrols, which will be our normal mode of operation, will consist of one flight from the Division on Watch, with limit of 2 hours of patrol time. This is done to help keep the pilots alert, as well help processing information to the Bridge on timely fashion. All other Support personnel will work normal watch hours. The one exception will be the Fighter-Captains, during transit time they will work the normal schedule, but when we have active Fighter Operations in progress they will be on-call as needed."

Sheldon then continued, "As an example with Gold Division, if we have CAP patrol out, Gold Flight One will have the first patrol. Gold One One which is my fighter will be listed as CAP01, my wingman will be CAP02. Gold Flight Two will consisted of Gold Two One as CAP03 and Gold Two Two will be CAP04. The CAP reference will be used during standard patrols, where as Gold One One will be used when more than one Flight is being used for mission, which will primarily be used in CAG-Flight Ops by the Air Boss and his people. Blue Division consist of CAP05-CAP08, and Red Division consist of CAP09-CAP12."

Sheldon finally paused, "Sorry for all the information, but it is quite a complicated operations to run even the smallest element of Fighters"

"No apology necessary," Harvey replied with a wave of his hand. "I served aboard a carrier once, but only as a medic. This is an excellent refresher for me."

Harvey leaned forward and folded his hands on the desk. "Of course you know that the fighters won't always be deployed. Though I won't concern myself with your flight cycles, only myself and my XO can authorize departures and entries from the Flight Deck. Once CAP orders are given, I'll leave the particulars, including takeoffs and landings, to you and your team."

Sheldon smiled, "Yes, Sir, while we are in normal transit or say 'in port' (aka at Starbase) for the most the Support element will work standard watch hours, the fighters will and CAG-Flight Ops will be more or less on standard watches. Each Division will 'work' a standard watch shift, with at least one Flight in the Ready Room for one half of the watch on standby, the other Flight will be conducting training. During extended travel at Warp or while 'in port', there will be 'planned' Division and Squadron training. On the plus side with Division and Squadron training in the flight simulators. While that going on, the 'Ready' Flight if they are involved in the simulations will be already be geared up."

Then Sheldon thought about what he said and then added, "By Planned, there are numerous training simulations that Flight Ops and Pilots training can do, and say if were on Starbase with larger fighter compliment, could be scheduled sometimes months in advance. With only a Squadron, we will have to shoe-horn it all in during our 'down-time'." He hoped he explained it enough, Fighter Pilots were used to long work days when training.

During the 20th Century the Allied Airborne unit that invaded Normandy were told they would be in the fighting for only 72 hours, six weeks later they were relieved. It was the same with Fighters, back in then near the end a Carrier would operate only 12 to 16 hours days due to the noise associated with launching and recovery of aircraft. Now with out here in space, it wasn't so noisy, but 24 hour a day operation would push himself and his pilot to the breaking point at times. Yet, he felt how he, his XO and Second Officer had organized the Squadron would ease that. He just hope that his Squadron would be ready for any challenge.

"Then it sounds like you have everything in order," Harvey replied, rising to his feet and extending his hand. "Welcome aboard the Black Hawk, Lieutenant."

Taking the Commander hand, "Thank you, Sir." While shaking it.

"Oh," Harvey replied, before the Lieutenant had the chance to leave. "I'm not exactly comfortable with a squadron that has no name. I don't suppose you've given it any thought?"

Sheldon hadn't really given it much thought, "Well I guess the Black Hawks would be to obvious." Then he broke out into smile, "The Striking Black-hearted Eagles." Sheldon like the name, and then obviously they would have to incorporate, that into the Squadron Patch that would be worn on the flight suit.

Harvey nodded as he considered the name. "It's a bit long," he commented. "How about simply the Striking Eagles?"

Sheldon thought about for a bit, "Striking Eagles it is, Sir."

The captain smiled. "Dismissed, lieutenant."

Sheldon slipped out of the Captain Ready Room and onto the Bridge. He felt this would be a great assignment. The Captain seemed to be someone who didn't micro manage unless it was needed. He was very pleased with the meeting and couldn't wait to get his Squadron aboard the Blackhawk. Soon he was off the bridge and in the turbo lift heading the Squadron home on the Blackhawk, taking it in before the Squadron personnel started to filter in from DS9.


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