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B-1 (Bone) questions

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I guess im just interested in the fact that the two pilots up front (from my understanding) are delegating threat detection to the Defensive officer, and then taking directions to the target from the offensive officer and whether that added link in communication is critical time lost, or that the synergy of allowing someone to focus all of their attention (or a hell of a lot more of it) on a specific task makes up for/exceeds any time lost in the communications relay

Just to clarify, in my human factors classes at school most of my studies focused on cockpit design and ergonomics and the SR71 was an interesting study in that the navigator was in a separate compartment from the pilot with no primary flight controls. His job, from what i can remember, was to solely focus on navigating (important task when traveling at mach 3). I was wondering if the reasoning was similar considering this aircraft started out as a strategic low-level strike role.

I would not say they are "delegating threat detection." The DSO seat is where threat detection occurs. Also, realize the WSO's are also mission leads and will direct every aspect of a mission when they are the ML, with the exception of safety of flight and other aircraft specific stuff like fuel management, when to RTB because of an EP, etc...The way you worded your post makes it seem like the pilots can accomplish everything on their own, but we split the duties up to make each crew member more effective in their specific job, which can cause a delay due to the added communication.This is not the case. One of the best things about the B-1 is that each position is critical and the job cannot be done effectively without everybody pulling their weight.

Like any other platform, we have TTP's and standards that everybody in the jet follows. All bomb-runs are prebriefed, and if not, are expected to follow the B-1 standards. This means that you could accomplish a bomb run without any comm whatsoever. The pilots still have SA where to turn to get the bombs off the jet, time to release, etc... They are not up there without total SA just waiting on directions from the OSO.

Edited by BONE WSO

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we split the duties up to make each crew member more effective in their specific job, which can cause a delay due to the added communication.This is not the case.

"Bone, Match Sparkle"

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All good points, i understand in a crewed aircraft that no one person is just focusing on themselves, i also know that the pilots are not simply just handing everything over to the other guys.

i think i may have worded it wrong so let me try this: because of the separate but overlapping jobs in the cockpit, in combat does this lead to a better SA then a singular person with information overload? how does this affect mission success rate? reduction of collateral damage or friendly fire incidents?

i was wondering if there were any actual studies on this,

also not slamming single cockpit guys, because i understand they have a similar dynamic in that they are usually in a multi-ship formation.

The bone is unique in that is is very far away from what is was originally designed for and seems to be doing a very good job

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As stated before...send a .mil to someone, this isn't the place for OPSEC problems

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Agreed. If you guys want specifics, you should have access to everything you want in the vault. Go talk to intel and get them to point you in the right direction.

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Agreed. If you guys want specifics, you should have access to everything you want in the vault. Go talk to intel and get them to point you in the right direction.

will do, thanks guys

i only brought this up because of incidents with CAS on the A-10 and B-1 platforms i was interested if anyone has done any studies on platform efficacy

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i think i may have worded it wrong so let me try this: because of the separate but overlapping jobs in the cockpit, in combat does this lead to a better SA then a singular person with information overload? how does this affect mission success rate? reduction of collateral damage or friendly fire incidents?

i was wondering if there were any actual studies on this,

Doubtful, although there's probably been poor attempts leading to a dynamic "it depends".

I think we all just focus on studying mission success w/in our own community and how to constantly improve (in the Bone, yes, CRM's a big part of it), granted, with a healthy respect and willingness to learn from how other communities do business. But I don't think it's possible to cross streams and compare mission success v. various platforms; apples & oranges & grapes & pears//with pros & cons everywhere.

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Doubtful, although there's probably been poor attempts leading to a dynamic "it depends".

I think we all just focus on studying mission success w/in our own community and how to constantly improve (in the Bone, yes, CRM's a big part of it), granted, with a healthy respect and willingness to learn from how other communities do business. But I don't think it's possible to cross streams and compare mission success v. various platforms; apples & oranges & grapes & pears//with pros & cons everywhere.

This

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Coming from the other multi-specialty crewed bomber, but having watched a BONE AC prep for a single-ship Mission Lead upgrade sim at Pawnman's former squadron, the B-1 guys are doing it right. In the BUFF we don't have a single ship ML qualification, so on single ship training sorties (mind you, we train primarily to employ in formation) the AC nearly always fills that role by default (barring the occasional uber-passive AC losing the Darwinian charisma contest to a more experienced Radar Nav) relying on training of widely varying quality.

I've seen it go both ways: sometimes you see ACs with the "the squadron is a flying club" mentality (vs. "we're here to get better at employing the jet as a weapon system") lead mission planning as basically a set of meetings ultimately driving toward accomplishing the required motherhood and having a basic plan to go up and run some checklists, configure the right switches, and simulate the right weapon releases to log the right RAP bean... the offense team and the EWO plan in a vacuum between these meetings, and on execution day the Pilot Flying honors the calls of the compartment (offense or defense) that yells the loudest, rather than honor the ALR/threat plan/commit criteria. It isn't 5 people working toward 1 plan; at best it's 5 people with partial SA on 1 plan, and at worst it's 3-5 different plans. I've also seen ACs who set out to learn something, plan target back, and actively "push the noodle" toward everybody doing their part in the common plan. And actually, I'd say our FAIPs usually fall moreso into the latter group (because they show up ready to learn, with something to prove), while those that started as co-pilots are more of a mixed bunch. But the bottom line is we don't do them any favors by not consistently training them up in a ML role until FLUG...

And even after that, we usually don't qualify people on the LOX as MLs (multi-ship ML that is) until they are in WIC spinup, which has a number of perverse effects including (1) we ask our CSOs, the EWOs especially, to start talking and leading way too late in their first ops assignment, and (2) it reinforces a perception that tactically-focused continuation training is for patch wannabes, not the squadron as a whole (mind you, this perception probably wouldn't exist if we hadn't been out of combat and mainly nuke exercise/inspection focused for the last 8 years).

Bottom line: In a crew aircraft, someone has to push the noodle and know the *entire* plan, not just their crew position-specific piece of it... Whether that's the prior FAIP AC or FL dual-hatting as ML or it's someone with CSO wings doesn't matter. They just need to step up and do it (and have the requisite training to not muck it up).

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Coming from the other multi-specialty crewed bomber, but having watched a BONE AC prep for a single-ship Mission Lead upgrade sim at Pawnman's former squadron, the B-1 guys are doing it right. In the BUFF we don't have a single ship ML qualification, so on single ship training sorties (mind you, we train primarily to employ in formation) the AC nearly always fills that role by default (barring the occasional uber-passive AC losing the Darwinian charisma contest to a more experienced Radar Nav) relying on training of widely varying quality.

I've seen it go both ways: sometimes you see ACs with the "the squadron is a flying club" mentality (vs. "we're here to get better at employing the jet as a weapon system") lead mission planning as basically a set of meetings ultimately driving toward accomplishing the required motherhood and having a basic plan to go up and run some checklists, configure the right switches, and simulate the right weapon releases to log the right RAP bean... the offense team and the EWO plan in a vacuum between these meetings, and on execution day the Pilot Flying honors the calls of the compartment (offense or defense) that yells the loudest, rather than honor the ALR/threat plan/commit criteria. It isn't 5 people working toward 1 plan; at best it's 5 people with partial SA on 1 plan, and at worst it's 3-5 different plans. I've also seen ACs who set out to learn something, plan target back, and actively "push the noodle" toward everybody doing their part in the common plan. And actually, I'd say our FAIPs usually fall moreso into the latter group (because they show up ready to learn, with something to prove), while those that started as co-pilots are more of a mixed bunch. But the bottom line is we don't do them any favors by not consistently training them up in a ML role until FLUG...

And even after that, we usually don't qualify people on the LOX as MLs (multi-ship ML that is) until they are in WIC spinup, which has a number of perverse effects including (1) we ask our CSOs, the EWOs especially, to start talking and leading way too late in their first ops assignment, and (2) it reinforces a perception that tactically-focused continuation training is for patch wannabes, not the squadron as a whole (mind you, this perception probably wouldn't exist if we hadn't been out of combat and mainly nuke exercise/inspection focused for the last 8 years).

Bottom line: In a crew aircraft, someone has to push the noodle and know the *entire* plan, not just their crew position-specific piece of it... Whether that's the prior FAIP AC or FL dual-hatting as ML or it's someone with CSO wings doesn't matter. They just need to step up and do it (and have the requisite training to not muck it up).

this is exactly the stuff i was looking for, thanks for the insight!

its very interesting that in the Bone these issues are not as apparent

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Are there opportunities cross train from the B-1 to other OSA platforms like C-20, C-21, C-37 or C-40? 

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On 10/17/2014 at 1:36 AM, Slander said:

You'll never convince me that CAS by committee works. Ever.

I'll put our safety record up against any other platform in the CAF.

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Are there opportunities cross train from the B-1 to other OSA platforms like C-20, C-21, C-37 or C-40? 

Never seen anyone do it.. and the B-1 isn't a DV airlift platform

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On 10/17/2014 at 1:36 AM, Slander said:

You'll never convince me that CAS by committee works. Ever.

 Non-Concur.

I've seen good and bad.  On the bad side I worked with a Buff crew very early in the war that was absolutely determined to drop even though no one could see the ground.  I won't go into all the details but at one point he told me "We are going to mark the target for you"...ahhh no pal, you are going to mark GPS coordinates.  I dropped under the weather and as I sorted out the mess I determined he was going to drop a of stick GBU-31s on a freaking village.  #fail  I will say this was not typical of other work I did with the Buff dudes.

On the good side I worked with B-1s and these bros were absolutely dialed in...they knew the battlespace and had great SA of both the friendlies and the bad guys, they threw some serious hate with bombs that were right on target at the right time.

Some of the best work I've ever done was while tag-teaming the bad guys with a flight of A-10's.  It was a thing of beauty and one of the best missions I ever flew, although I am sure we pissed off a lot of virgins.

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5 minutes ago, ClearedHot said:

worked with a Buff crew very early in the war that was absolutely determined to drop even though no one could see the ground. 

key phrase right there, not excusing their actions, but way back then BUFF CAS was something shiny and new and everyone wanted to implement.  Took us awhile to get our minds wrapped around it and learn how to do it correctly.  

 

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30 minutes ago, b52gator said:

key phrase right there, not excusing their actions, but way back then BUFF CAS was something shiny and new and everyone wanted to implement.  Took us awhile to get our minds wrapped around it and learn how to do it correctly.  

 

Great idea: have them take a ten year sabbatical and have to relearn all of those lessons again. 

42 minutes ago, ClearedHot said:

 Non-Concur.

I've seen good and bad.  On the bad side I worked with a Buff crew very early in the war that was absolutely determined to drop even though no one could see the ground.  I won't go into all the details but at one point he told me "We are going to mark the target for you"...ahhh no pal, you are going to mark GPS coordinates.  I dropped under the weather and as I sorted out the mess I determined he was going to drop a stick GBU-31s on a freaking village.  #fail  I will say this was not typical of other work I did with the Buff dudes.

On the good side I worked with B-1s and these bros were absolutely dialed in...they knew the battlespace and had great SA of both the friendlies and the bad guys, they threw some serious hate with bombs that were right on target at the right time.

Some of the best work I've ever done was while tag-teaming the bad guys with a flight of A-10's.  It was a thing of beauty and one of the best missions I ever flew, although I am sure we pissed off a lot of virgins.

The biggest shortcoming is CRM difficultly; in an airplane not built with any human factors considerations, for a complex situation at any one time one of my dudes is probably tumbleweed.  I have to expend the time/comm to bring them back because due to the system limitations I can’t continue without them. It can work well, but it can also end up costing time the ground party doesn’t have. 

 

/Derail and can’t grammar

Edited by SurelySerious

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2 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

Great idea: have them take a ten year sabbatical and have to relearn all of those lessons again. 

The biggest shortcoming is CRM difficultly; in an airplane not built with any human factors considerations, for a complex situation at any one time one of my dudes is probably tumbleweed.  I have to expend the time/comm to bring them back because due to the system limitations I can’t continue without them. It can work well, but it can also end up costing time the ground party doesn’t have.

The answer is training....lots and lots of training.  The gunpig is not exactly a human factors ergonomic masterpiece.  The AC-130H had the FCO and Nav on the flight deck but isolated form the pilots by a blackout curtain, the sensor operators and EWO were down stairs in a booth.  The AC-130U has the NAV, FCO, EWO and sensors operators all downstairs in the BMC...yet somehow both platforms trained their way to excellence.  I am not bashing the Buff...just one data point early in the war, I have a second data point but no need to dogpile.  These are great Americans and they have since professionalized their contribution.

In the end the thing that typically makes the U.S. military stand out from the rest is not the platform but the people and the training.  Train like you fight and fight like you train...joint CAS can be a beautiful thing.

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11 hours ago, di1630 said:


Huh?

I'm saying that the B-1's method of CAS doesn't approach the effectiveness of an A-10 with a good pilot, but the safety record is pretty damned good, despite what 60 Minutes would like you to believe.

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On 1/9/2018 at 6:08 PM, pawnman said:

I'm saying that the B-1's method of CAS doesn't approach the effectiveness of an A-10 with a good pilot, but the safety record is pretty damned good, despite what 60 Minutes would like you to believe.

One thing that nobody ever factors into "safety record" is bad shit that could have been avoided had a proficient crew, flying a purpose built aircraft, been onstation.  People only consider it a black mark on your record if you frag the friendlies or strike an invalid target.  What about the FKIA resulting from enemy contact that nobody saw coming, but should have?  They're less tangible because you can never really be sure if any given situation was the result of substandard support or just the unavoidable cost of war, but it's a huge factor in my preference for the assets I want overhead if I'm the GFC.  Two of my most memorable missions didn't involve any air-to-ground employment and yet I'm sure we prevented loss of life where no other asset in the inventory would have.  Had we not been there the friendlies would have been in a world of hurt, but there wouldn't have been any congressional inquiries into the performance of the other aircraft onstation for those missions.  People only pay attention when missions are actively bungled (e.g. fratricide), not when things go south as a result of something that wasn't done.

As for 60 Minutes, portions of the story were cringeworthy, but I wanted to strangle the GO who tried to minimize the significance of a crew not knowing the basic capabilities of their aircraft.  The fact that they were in combat without that knowledge indicates a systemic failure.  Insufficient training or failure of the system to enforce standards, or both.  Either way it's a system wide problem and the primary causal factor despite the military's insistence on laying overall responsibility at the feet of the GFC for anything/everything that happens in their general vicinity.  There's blame to go around, but the aircrew was in the best position to break the chain by a massive margin.

A simple "Copy, you're marked by IR strobe.  Understand we're unable to see that visual mark with our equipment, request [XYZ]." in response to the JTACs first mention of strobes would have absolutely changed enough moving forward to prevent the whole incident.

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