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J OINT S PECIAL O PERATIONS C OMMAND

THE MOUNTAIN POST V OLUME 1, I SSUE 3

1 N OVEMBER 2009

I NSIDE THE S KUNK W ORKS — B Y R ED H AWK If you are a World War II history buff or have Codemaster’s OFP/Dragon Rising game then you will recognize the outline of one the latest island terrains heading to the

ArmA II gaming community. It is the island of Kiska; the island is in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Island chain of Alaska. Renamed "Skira", the

S PECIAL

POINTS OF INTEREST :

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We are not responsible for the cost of the server. Please donate what you can, the server cost $60.00 per month, due the first of every month!

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Remember trainees to keep practicing as your Grad Mission is soon coming!

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B Y R ED H AWK

First off, I would like to personally and publicly thank the Sealz and Randy for assisting us and allowing us the privilege of utilizing a 50 Slot server at no charge. As the 1st of November 2009, we must now pay for our own ArmA II game server. Our new server is

rented from the very same company the 50 slot server was from, DefCon Gaming Servers. It was selected because it was the cheapest, has an acceptable customer service record and accepts PayPay. Therefore we can expect the same level of customer service as we have

received in the past. I also want to thank those individuals in the 10th SFG that have donated the past two months. Your donations have build up a buffer and allowed us to get an idea of what we believe will be at least the minimum average (Continued on page 3)

THIS ISSUE :

A T HANK Y OU FOR A CTIVE D UTY AND V ETERANS !

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I S IT A COLD OF THE FLU ?

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donation level we can expect in the coming future. Unfortunately, there will be some degradation or loss in server response as we had to reduce the number of available slots from 50 to 30. This is due to the fact our average monthly donation rate is approximately $65.00 a month and the cost of the server is $60.00 a month. Please note we are entirely responsible for the bill, so it is more important now than ever before, please donate what you can! The monthly donation collection window starts on the 1st day of every month and ends on the last day of the month. The server bill is due the first of every month as well. Remember without making the minimum donation goal of $65.00 we will be forced to forfeit the gaming server. 10TH SFG CANDIDATE SCHOOL I’m glad to see that training has been stepped up for our new candidates and I hope they are finding the way we do training worthwhile and productive. For those candidates who cannot attend training regularly, please make every effort to do so when you can. On the nights you can, seek out a 10th SFG member and ask for them to train you. All personnel need to remember; full fledge 10th SFG members have the ability to train, this is NOT the sole responsibility of the Training NCOs. Many of the candidates are reaching the point

where they will be required to teach a class with a 10th SFG Member present to hear and evaluate their instruction is another opportunity as well to learn. Some of the 10th SFG Candidates are fast approaching the last two steps in Candidate School. They are the Graduation Exam and the unit’s Team Evaluation Score. Over the weeks of training you have been scored and have been given points based on how well you did during training. These have been recorded on an Excel Spreadsheet, and the sheet has been sorted by the total points scored by the candidates. It is available to all to see, and is in the Candidate School forum on our website. Many of you have noticed that to past Candidate School you have to have a minimum score of 900 and the Maximum Score it 1200. Don’t try to game it and plan on scoring 900, because the last two hurtles are designed to bite those individuals and are the only areas where a person can generate a negative score. Yes, I said a negative score! I cannot stress how important these last two hurtles are to gaining your Green Beret. They in essence sum up all of what you have learned and hopefully been practicing. Some of you are wondering what are the Graduation Exam and the unit’s Team Evaluation Score. The Graduation Exam is a mission that candidates in their final phase of training will run on their own. This mission will be as realistic as possible, NO 10th SFG

member or those that have participated are allowed to give any specifics regarding it. Even I can only give you a broad overview of it, suffice to say that those 10th SFG members that have earned their Beret will only observe, evaluate, and score your actions during this mission. You will be required to complete certain objectives in a set amount of time. Some of the objectives will require the entire team to complete; others less. Some objectives have to be completed at the same time; others not. I can tell you, your opponents will be a combination of human and computer AI. The human players will not be from our unit; therefore they will no doubt be coming at you with everything they got. This is Robin Sage! The unit’s Team Evaluation Score is the score given by the Unit members it is based on the membership’s observation of your actions over the course of training, Co-op mission, and Joint Operation Missions. I have seen people that were cocky get shot done here and others who were sure they were sunk make it. I have every confidence that each and everyone of class 09-01 are capable of making it, if they put forth the time, effort, and practice what was taught to (Continued on page 5)


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P REVENT S WINE F LU - G OOD A DVICE The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is. While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary

infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu): 1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications). 2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

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them. Once class 09-01 graduates, there will be some minor changes to the program to bring it more in line with other units and replicate the real Special Forces Training Program. We will be seeking everyone’s input and assistance to improve it at that time. TRAINING MISSION One of the mission’s of the 10th SFG is to train other units. Recently, the commander of Unit 19 “Dutch” has requested our assistance in training their personnel on such things as LandNav. I have given that permission verbally and will soon draft a support agreement to help spell out those services requested by Unit 19. Additionally, the Lt RockSteel has requested we train a few of his personnel in the art of designated marksman. So in the near future you will be training other unit’s personnel, I expect each and everyone will put forth their best effort and show our guests that we are indeed truly professional. HOLIDAYS

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 (Continued on page 7)

We are entering the holiday season, and real life takes precedence over this game. With that being said, please let us know when and for how long you will be out of pocket. But more importantly, PLEASE BE SAFE DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! Do not over extend yourself and think you can drive 3000+ miles straight without resting to visit your relatives. It is simply not worth it, you are not replaceable. Don’t drink and drive, the cost and penalties are much too high; call a cab or a friend to pick you up it is much cheaper and is the right thing to do. Also be on the look out for people that are driving under the influence (DUI), and drive defensively. THANKSGIVING DAY— All personnel or off for Thanksgiving Day. Please spend some time with your family and friends! Be thankful for what you have.

“PLEASE BE SAFE DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!”


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I NTO THE D RAGON ’ S M AW ....

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R ED H AWK

The storyline is important; it should be as it sets the stage and helps draw you into the game. OFP/RD storyline is not bad, it takes place on a small, fictional island called Skira, which is based on the island Kiska. This island is located near the western end of the Aleutian Island chain. The fictional island of Skira has been contested for many times in its history and now has been brought back into the world’s focus due to a massive worldwide fossil fuel shortage.

T HE MOTTO OF FIELD CRAFT IS " TO SEE WITHOUT BEING SEEN "

Ok, I will admit it. I reserved a copy of Operation Flashpoint: Rise of the Dragon (OFP/RD), for the PC from GameStop on the hope that it may contain some of the old spark of that the old Operation Flashpoint (OFP) series contained. What can I say; I grew up on Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis and I loved it so much I got the “Red Hammer” and “Resistance” expansion packs as well. The game play, graphics and diversity were second to none at the time this old warhorse was released. When I look at or judge a military game, I look at the following areas; Storyline, Environment, Playability, Graphics, Accuracy, Equipment, Artificial Intelligence, Multiplayer Options, Missions, Support (Company and Community) and adaptability. The Storyline

Since China’s economic machine is starving for oil and natural gas, the communist hardliners in China seize the opportunity and take over the island from Russia. This of course starts a Sino-Russian War. Because Russia is embattled with Chinese forces on the Asian continent, Russia asks the United States to intervene and take back the island while they deal with the Chinese mainland forces. So you play role of a U.S. Marine tasked with capturing the island, on behalf of the Russians, from the Chinese military. I don’t think it’s very likely that the top three of the world’s leading nuclear superpowers would be going to war over a small five mile long by fourisland without it resulting in nuclear fallout at some point. There can’t be that much oil and gas there,

but it does have some interesting future possibilities when you consider that Japan and Korea are very close and it is a game. So for a score on storyline, I would give it a four on a scale of one to five. To me the storyline in Armed Assault/ArmA II was much more realistic and believable. The Enviroment To me the environment is more important than even the storyline. I break environment into two different categories, one being Terrain Environment and the other Playing Environment. I define Terrain Environment, as the actual terrain as a player must fight and move upon, in this case it is an island called Skira. The island of Skira is volcanic, and is approximately 5miles long by 4wide or 8 km x 6 km for our metric using folks. The terrain is varied with a volcano at one end of the island, numerous lakes and small waterways. Skira is sparsely populated with some towns and isolated houses and settlements and like in Armed Assault/ArmA II doesn’t have a lot of people. It is very pretty, and diverse. But Armed Assault/ArmA II came with two different terrain maps and I think at least one of the maps is bigger in the Bohemia’s creations. So I feel I have been short changed here, my score 2 out of 5. (Continued on page 8)


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takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

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4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.* 5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in

Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption. 6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

I NSIDE THE S KUNK W ORKS —(C ONTINUED ) rently being called Skirkiska. The island is about 22 miles long and varies in width from 1.5 to 6 miles. The island is volcanic in nature and has a volcano located at the Northern end of the island. This volcano is a stratovolcano, 5.3 mi × 4.0 mi in diameter at its base and 1,221 meters (4,006 ft) high. At the time of this article was written the island of Little Kiska was not part of the terrain, but there is talk of adding it back and possibly even another island as well. (Continued from page 1)

island is used as the setting for Codemasters video game “Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.” The fictionalized version of the island is relocated closer to Russia and China. The island's topography is replicated near-exactly with some elements of the game designed around it, instead of vice-versa. The ArmA II, version is currently in development by Randy, Ali Fish, and Fallujahmedic. I have been fortunate enough to be given a look at this piece of real estate. The island is cur

Although it is in its very early stages of development, it is looking quite promising. It does not currently contain any trees, shrubbery and there are no completed towns or villages at this time. The developer’s currently plan to keep its environment in a rural or wilderness state versus having many cities or large towns. Current plans are to develop an Altiport which is an aerodrome for small airplanes and helicopters; situated on a high mountain. There (Continued on page 9)

“B UT FROM WHAT I HAVE SCENE FOR FAR THIS PIECE OF TERRAIN WILL BE WORTH FIGHTING FOR !”


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I NTO THE D RAGON ’ S M AW —(C ONTINUED ) rection your squad is firing. At high difficulties visual effects become more important, particularly at long range where smoke or dust can help to identify areas of contact or danger. At any difficulty level the player may be killed by a single shot, although one can be wounded on an occasion.

The Playing Environment is where the rubber meets the road so to speak, it is highly important to me; some people call it game play. To me it is the sum of the programs ability to replicate the real world, receive and send information to me, entertainment factor, multiplayer capability and replay value. “I HAVE DONE MY BEST TO KEEP AN OPEN MIND ABOUT O PERATION F LASHPOINT : R ISE OF THE D RAGON .”

As one would expect the graphics are stunning and I personally think they are not on par with Arma II. The Skira map is just too brown, at least Chernaus looks good. Codemasters has chosen to use visual cues, as a prime means of relaying information to you the player. The difficulty levels are differentiated not by changes in AI intelligence/tactics, weapon damage or your capabilities, but by the amount visual information given to you the player.

So at the easiest level, standard First Person Shooter (FPS) information is given to the player about weapons, ammo, squad health, compass direction along with cross hairs via a heads up display (HUD) this includes the location of enemies who have been spotted by the AI player's squad. No really a big difference here between Armed Assault and ArmA II at the lowest difficulty setting. But as the difficulty is increased more information is removed from the HUD until none is left on screen. So at the highest difficultly level ammunition count, teammate’s health must be remembered and when engaged the locations of enemies must be determined by listening to your AI squad mates or using other visual cues like the di-

There are, like Armed Assault and ArmA II, a lot of weapons and gear in this game and the ballistic system seem real enough. Many of the weapons can be modified and equipped with optics, grenade launchers, laser sights and suppressors. But I feel that Armed Assault and ArmA II have more stock weapons, OFP/DR just has three things that does not come stock with the Bohemian Creations, a usable Knife, Anti -personnel and Claymore mine. Unit animation is like reloading a weapon, placing it on your shoulder and other movements or animation have been motion captured using soldiers who have been trained to use the equipment in real life. There are different land, air and sea vehicles including helicopters, tanks, boats and APCs along with a few vehicles/ weapons which cannot be used directly, but which can be called in a support role, such as fighter jets and artillery. So if you are a jet jockey just forget it.


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are plans for one paved road to link the airports, bridges, and main harbor together. Secondary roads will be gravel, and side roads will be dirt. Most of the towns will be small fishing villages with one large port. The military importance of this island has been a topic of discussion among the developers. One thought is to place a PAVE PAWS site on the island as part of a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System/Missile Defense System; this of course will require a few new models to be built, none of the being very complicated. There is talk of adding oil rigs to increase the economic importance of the terrain as well. The developers have placed been working on the lakes and ponds located on the island and work has begun on the road network, quarry and

fishing villages. There is no doubt some of the terrain will be altered to help with the location of buildings and game play. But from what I have scene for far this piece of terrain will be worth fighting for! For those that don’t know the history behind this island, on June 6, 1942, Imperial Japanese forces invaded and captured the island as part of a diversionary tactic to cover their real objective of Midway Island in the mid pacific. The following day Imperial Japanese forces captured Attu Island. It wasn’t much of a battle as the Japanese only found a 10 man naval weather detachment and a dog there. The military importance of this frozen, difficult-to-supply island was questionable, but the psychological impact upon Americans losing U.S. territory was tangible. During the winter of 1942–43, the Japanese reinforced and fortified

the islands—not necessarily to prepare for an islandhopping operation across the Aleutians, but to prevent a U.S. operation across the Kuril Islands. On August 17, 1943, an invasion force consisting of 34,426 Allied troops, 95 ships, and 168 aircraft landed on Kiska only to find the island completely abandoned. Allied Forces estimated Kiska would have a garrison of 5,200 men, based upon the earlier battle on Attu. But just prior to the battle, the Imperial Japanese navy was able to evacuate the island in heavy fog.

I NTO THE D RAGON ’ S M AW —(C ONTINUED ) Now, I have done my best to keep an open mind about Operation Flashpoint: Rise of the Dragon. But I have to admit, I was not thrilled to learn that there are two console versions as well, one for the Xbox and the other for PlayStation 3. Usually, when console versions are supported, the PC game versions tends to suffer greatly during

the development process, as game companies tend not extending the games capabilities much past what a console is capable of doing. I personally think that is what has happened here. Its not bad if you what to play by yourself, on line you can only have 16 players max per side. The mission editor is just a pain to work with, Bohemia’s is

much better. My final ruling on it is its no OFP and can’t really touch Armed Assault or even ArmA II. There is some other factors as well that holds it back as well, it’s the updates, and it looks as if you will have to


J OINT S PECIAL O PERATIONS C OMMAND This organization and website is in no way affiliated with the United States Military or any Government entity. It is for recreation and simulation only.

E-mail: z3us0lympus@comcast.net

Our organization attempts to replicate the various military units for recreational and simulation purposes only. This organization and website is in no way affiliated with the United States Military or any Government entity. We use ArmA 2 the latest military simulation game for PC DVD-ROM from Bohemia Interactive. ArmA 2 is set in the near future, in a fictional post soviet country called Chernarus. Players will be sent as members of the United States Military to this country and others to prevent further civilian casualties and ensure ongoing stability there. ArmA 2 is based on the latest generation technology, offering large–scale game world, authentic and extremely detailed modern units, weapons, vehicles and environments, challenging single player and vast array of multiplayer options. We supplement this game with community created add-ons to make it more fun and enjoyable. Our Mission

W E ARE ON THE WEB! W W W . J S O C - G A M E R . O RG

“Our mission is to provide the most realistic computer environment in which our membership can enjoy utilizing team work and military tactics to successfully complete Armed Assault and ArmA II game missions without those sessions being ruined by immature players.” Our Vision “Our organization’s vision is to be one of the most respected and well known Armed Assault and ArmA II units in the gaming community.”

"ONE TEAM, ONE MISSION" “

I NTO THE D RAGON ’ S M AW —(C ONTINUED ) (Continued from page 9)

pay to get extra material other than bug fixes. The editor is not very hard but you are limited to work inside a very tiny area. So to me it looks like Codemaster’s OFP/DR is at this stage is a Flop even with the bugs that Bohemia has slipped through the Bohemia products of OFP – Cold War Crisis, Armed Assault and ArmA 2 are vastly superior. Some folks I know that work at Gamestop, have said many of the PC versions of the game have been returned and as of last week they are starting to see the console version being returned or traded


Mountain Post - November 2009 Issue