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Air Combat Systems Officer ( ACSO )

Eye In The Sky

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overwatch said:
What is the role of an ACSO in terms of combat? Do ACSO's see any combat (i.e. airlift of wounded soldiers in theatre in the Chinkooks)?

ACSOs aren't flying in the Tac Hel world that I know of.

Also, when the CAF was in Afghanistan do the long range patrol air crew stay in an air base in the middle east?

LRP aircrew stayed in the ME, but not in Afghanistan itself.  They flew from a certain location into the airspace and then returned to where they took off from. 

Similarly for OP IMPACT, LRP aircrew who operated in Iraq and Syria flew out of coalition airbase located in a different country.

I'm just trying to get a grasp on the ACSO's duty in combat. IIRC they fly specific air frames but none of them are combat oriented.

The main platforms you'll find them on are LRP (Aurora) and MH (Sea King/Cyclone).  Both of these are combat aircraft;  not in the traditional way that people associate "combat" with ground combat/army type stuff to and then could link say, a Chinook or Griffon to.

LRP and MH crews train for a variety of combat roles and tasks.  The LRP community is just winding down 3+ years of sustained overland ISR with OP IMPACT.  Prior to that the fleet was involved OP MOBILE.  Here is a link to Punching Above Its Weight:  The CP-140 Aurora Experience within TF Libeccio and OP MOBILE.  This gives a great look into some aspects of Aurora Overland operations and the authors are both ACSOs from the Aurora fleet. 

When not doing overland, there are Maritime operations;  Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare, Surveillance, presence patrols, cooperative operations with other departments, counter-drug ops, and always the secondary SAR role.  Example, from this past summer.  http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/rescue-effort-underway-for-sailboats-in-distress-in-mid-atlantic-race-1.3452073

The Aurora, in the case of this SAR, was the key asset - it has much much better search and comms capabilities than a Herc, was able to get an accurate picture of what ships were where close to the scene and pass on info to the distressed vessels and back to the JRCC, etc.  It just has much better systems to search large areas and communicate, but lacks the ability to put SAR Techs on decks (we can drop a SKAD - survival kit air droppable).

Any of the things I've mentioned above...an ACSO is involved in.  We have 2 to 3 ACSO on a crew and they are the ones who plan, coordinate and conduct the mission.  They are knee deep in anything we do and some of our crew commanders are ASCOs.  All 3 of the COs I've had on Sqn to date were/are ACSOs, now that I think of it.

Combat doesn't just involve folks in green covered in mud or dust;  tracking the latest gen foreign subs, finding ISIS and striking them...also combat.  Do Canadian crews fly against foreign subs

:Tin-Foil-Hat:

I've never done MH myself, but I do know from talking to those folks that with the much smaller crew, the ACSO will share some of the sensor operation duties with the AES Ops/non flying pilot because there is only 1 ACSO and 1 AES Op on each crew; I have no idea if that will continue on the Cyclone.

As a LRP ACSO you won't operate sensors, you'll have 4 AES Ops in the seats operating them for you and 1 AES Op in the back end doing all the ordinance work for you.  You're job is to take all that info/data, consider it and then plan 'the next move' ( a very simplified version of what happens). 

:2c: from an LRP AES Op.
 

dimsum

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EITS pretty much nailed it.  The one thing I'll add is that for the Auroras, 1 of the 2-3 does what he says (takes data and plans, etc) and the other 1 or 2 deal with communications via multiple means (HF, VHF, UHF radios, secure and unsecure means, Link, Chat in some instances, etc) as well as specific navigation requirements.
 

carpeboi

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I've got the call this morning, i'm joining as an ACSO the 15 January 2018 (french cours). I'm so excited.
 

SupersonicMax

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Dimsum said:
EITS pretty much nailed it.  The one thing I'll add is that for the Auroras, 1 of the 2-3 does what he says (takes data and plans, etc) and the other 1 or 2 deal with communications via multiple means (HF, VHF, UHF radios, secure and unsecure means, Link, Chat in some instances, etc) as well as specific navigation requirements.

Man, it sounds a lot like what one person does in a fighter, on top of flying the aircraft!  :D
 

Eye In The Sky

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I think its more zoomies poking at zoomies...but, remember SSM is like most people in the CAF...they'll never see a MPA or MH 'live' and understand how much information is coming into the tac tube from comms and sensors.  We can literally detect and then have to manage...well, a lot of tracks (I can't say how many...but its more than 3 figures at the same time)...sub-surface, surface and airborne fed into the tube from RADAR, ESM, Acoustics, EO, and 2 handfuls of comms link like mentioned. 

LRP and fighters are like runners...there's different types.  Fighter are more like sprinters to me (I've gone to a shot eval during MAPLE ...what happens in seconds is amazing, actually).  LRP is more like long distance.  We're slower, but go longer and we see more along the way.  Fighters can't take on a SSBN, SSGN etc so...I get that they're a little jealous of us and have to poke fun sometimes because they can't take on the big targets, you know, the ones that are 'global killers' like a SSBN.  ;D 

Then there is the MH folks with the Cyclone...which will take in megaloads of sensor data but with even a smaller crew to manage it.  Just thinking about it makes me think "Tylenol Extra Strength". 

Also...fighter guys can transit to the battle space quicker BUT....we have a galley.  AND...a bathroom.  ;)  I don't know any fighter guys who've had ONSTA pizza and nachos.  ;)

Zoomies poking fun at other zoomies...not much different than the Zipperheads and Herbies slinging crap at each other.  :subbies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r6_mVLkThE
 

SeaKingTacco

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Crimmsy said:
You're not wrong Max, but what does that contribute to the conversation?

It contributes nothing to the conversation, other than to confirm that fighter pilots are dicks, who cannot be bothered to learn about anything outside their own cockpits.
 

Infanteer

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SupersonicMax said:
Man, it sounds a lot like what one person does in a fighter, on top of flying the aircraft!  :D

Man, that sounds a lot like what one civilian does in a UAV shed in Nevada, on top of going home for lunch!  :D #youareallobsolete
 

observor 69

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Sorry but I can't resist putting up the oldie but a goodie.  :D

The Herc and the F-15s

A couple of F-15's are escorting a C-130 Hercules, and their pilots are chatting with the pilot of the transport to pass the time. Talk comes ‘round to the relative merits of their respective aircraft. Of course the fighter pilots contend that their airplanes were better because of their superior speed, maneuverability, weaponry, and so forth, while the putting down the Herc’s deficiencies in these areas.

After taking this for a while, the C-130 pilot says, "Oh yeah? Well, I can do a few things in this old girl that you'd only dream about." Naturally, the fighter jocks challenge him to demonstrate.

"Just watch," comes the quick retort.

And so they watch. But all they see is that C-130 continuing to fly straight and level..

After several minutes the Herc pilot comes back on the air, saying "There! How was that?"

Not having seen anything, the fighter pilots reply, "What are you talking about? What did you do?"

And the Herc pilot replies, "Well, I got up, stretched my legs, got a cup of coffee, then went back an took a leak."
 

SupersonicMax

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SeaKingTacco said:
It contributes nothing to the conversation, other than to confirm that fighter pilots are dicks, who cannot be bothered to learn about anything outside their own cockpits.

Can't take a joke?
 

Journeyman

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"RCAF Trial By Combat: saying mean-spirited things until someone gives up Reports to a Mod!".... next on Spike TV.

[where's that bitch-slap emoji when you need it]

      :pop:
 

dimsum

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Infanteer said:
Man, that sounds a lot like what one civilian does in a UAV shed in Nevada, on top of going home for lunch!  :D #youareallobsolete

Hey, stop telling everyone my retirement plan!
 

Eye In The Sky

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Dimsum said:
Hey, stop telling everyone my retirement plan!

You already had a jammie go...can't you let us poor operators have a chance at happiness too?  :'(

;D
 

Loachman

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SupersonicMax said:
Can't take a joke?

Several years ago, before "snowflake" took on its latest additional meaning, I referred to SAR helicopters as "gaudy yellow" in a work e-mail.

Three months later, a CO-to-CO e-mail was forwarded to me down the Squadron chain-of-command. The butthurtedness was hilarious.

For my Dead Guy Photo for my second tour in Kandahar, I wore a "Loachman" nametag, and my rank slip-on had my first name on it instead of the unit title. While home on leave, this photo (from my neck down) was apparently put up during Comd TFK's CUB one day. I was accused of such things as "desecrating a CF slip-on" and "not treating the war seriously" (I did, but not the prospect of my death; if it did happen, however, I wanted friends and family to at least get a chortle or two out of it) and ordered to get a new photo taken  as soon as I got back. Our A3, however, thought that both photo and fuss were excruciatingly funny.

So, no, not everybody.

By the ring around his eyeball,
You can tell a bombardier.
You can tell a bomber pilot
By the spread around his rear.
You can tell a navigator
By his sextants, maps and such.
You can tell a fighter pilot
BUT YOU CAN'T TELL HIM MUCH!
 

dimsum

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Loachman said:
Several years ago, before "snowflake" took on its latest additional meaning, I referred to SAR helicopters as "gaudy yellow" in a work e-mail.

Three months later, a CO-to-CO e-mail was forwarded to me down the Squadron chain-of-command. The butthurtedness was hilarious.

For my Dead Guy Photo for my second tour in Kandahar, I wore a "Loachman" nametag, and my rank slip-on had my first name on it instead of the unit title. While home on leave, this photo (from my neck down) was apparently put up during Comd TFK's CUB one day. I was accused of such things as "desecrating a CF slip-on" and "not treating the war seriously" (I did, but not the prospect of my death; if it did happen, however, I wanted friends and family to at least get a chortle or two out of it) and ordered to get a new photo taken  as soon as I got back. Our A3, however, thought that both photo and fuss were excruciatingly funny.

So, no, not everybody.

By the ring around his eyeball,
You can tell a bombardier.
You can tell a bomber pilot
By the spread around his rear.
You can tell a navigator
By his sextants, maps and such.
You can tell a fighter pilot
BUT YOU CAN'T TELL HIM MUCH!

Hell, one of our guy's DGPs was him (a larger fellow) brandishing a plastic fork and knife in a karate stance.  I'm sure it wasn't the official one, but knowing him, he probably *really* tried to make it so.

Anyways, back to ACSOs - we sometimes do things. 
 

BurmaShave

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Man, fighters is an instant thread derail button  ::)

For ACSOs, aren't they also backseaters in the Alpha Jet at 414?
 

Loachman

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How many fighter pilots does it take to screw in a light bulb?
 
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