Quantcast Figure 2-3 Visual References for In-Trail Position
 

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CHAPTER TWO
LOW-LEVEL AND TACTICAL FORMATION
Figure 2-3 Visual References for In-Trail Position
Fluid Trail. Fluid Trail is a tactical formation and is the most flexible of the geometries we will
fly. It allows wingmen to position themselves as needed to minimize threat exposure by using
terrain masking or hard maneuvering. It also lowers LEAD's workload by allowing him to
maneuver the formation as required with minimal regard to WING's position. In Fluid Trail, it
is WING's responsibility to position themselves in the best tactical position.
Fluid trail for TWO is defined as a cone 500-1500 feet and from left abeam or right abeam of
lead. THREE maintains the cone 2000-3000 feet and left abeam to right abeam of LEAD. This
ensures a 500-foot minimum separation from all aircraft. Wingmen can position themselves
anywhere in their respective cones to maximize threat avoidance and minimize detection (see
Figure 2-4).
While extremely flexible, fluid trail demands WING's constant attention and understanding of
how LEAD's maneuvering could affect them. This requires WING to constantly anticipate and
adjust for LEAD's position. While aggressive maneuvering is fun, in a threat environment the
wing flash that results will allow other aircraft or gunners to see and target the formation. WING
must anticipate what LEAD will do to avoid threats, adjust timing, or maintain the route so they
do not find themselves in an unsafe position.
2-12
TACTICAL FORMATION


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