The Squadron exists for two, mutually supporting purposes:
1. To provide a vehicle for players of Cliffs of Dover (and BoS) to join together and play the game in a supportive group in order to enjoy the camaraderie involved of working together for a common purpose.
2. To provide an effective unit for the Red Team commanders to thwart the wiles of the evil Blue Team. Primarily 85 will be tasked with defending the British Isles, its airfields and industries. That means shooting down German bombers and reconaissance aircraft; dog- fighting and killing enemy fighters, whilst fun and occasionally necessary, is not the Squadron’s job.
85’s ethos follows from its purpose and can be summed up in four words:
“Fun, Teamwork, Fairness, Professionalism”
Fun: Battle of Stalingrad and Cliffs of Dover are games and are vehicles for adding another, much higher, level to that flight simulation. They still remain games that we play to enjoy and have fun.
Teamwork: This overlaps with both fun and professionalism - only by working together as a team will our members maximise their enjoyment and only by working together as a team will they maximise the squadron’s, and their own, effectiveness. Working together is essential, there is no room in 85 for prima donnas who are only interested in racking up personal kills.
Fairness: 85 does not believe in fighting fair - sneaking up behind the enemy and killing him before he knows you are there and then buggering off again is, as far as the Squadron is concerned, the Acme of air fighting. However, the squadron will not tolerate cheats, so any computer hacks, bots or cheats, are forbidden and the discovery of the use of any such will result in immediate expulsion.
85 will also not countenance slander, racism, bigotry, profanity of extreme or perverse nature, or any illicit behavior, sign or visible representation in anything that can be connected to the Squadron (e.g. on Teamspeak).
Professionalism: Whilst working as a team ourselves we also are part of a larger team. Members are therefore expected to work to develop their own skills as pilots, to fly when on BoS or Clod in accordance with the current mission as expressed by “Tophat”, when that station is manned, and to keep in mind the good name and effectiveness of 85.
As in all effective military organisations, 85 works on the principle of one man one vote - the squadron CO (Cam) is the man and he has the vote. However, as is also the case in all effective military organisations the Boss will want to take into account the views and needs of his people (even Wellington asked his staff for their views).
The Squadron Adjutant (responsible for admin), 2/IC, plans and ops, general dogsbody and whipping boy will be appointed by the C.O.
The C.O. is the squadron training co-ordinator.
The Squadron does not fly in Vics, and all that other 1940 stuff (fighting area attacks anyone?), but in pairs. The squadron roster shows the pairs that will be formed as a matter of course, but the reality of flying on CloD means that members have to be flexible and are be expected to fly in ad-hoc pairs as needed.
There exist, on the closed section of the forum, a set of standing orders which detail how in practical terms the Squadron purpose and ethos are to be carried into practice during missions. All members are expected to comply with those orders whilst flying BoS or CloD missions.
Squadron Mission Time
Battle of Stalingrad and Cliffs of Dover are up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 85 Sqdn members are encouraged to fly, subject to standing orders about lone-wolfing, as much and as often as they want or can.
However, Tuesday evenings, with a core time of between about 19:30 and 20:00 (UK time), is Squadron Play Time. The time involved is usually about an hour to an hour and a half. All members are expected to attend on Tuesday evenings (work/family permitting) so that we can fly and fight as a Squadron.
Tactical Communications in the air are provided by our own teamspeak which is provided at his own expense by the C.O.. TeamSpeak and 85 pilots are obliged to use this whilst flying on the BoS or CloD server.
Off-mission the Squadron has its own forum which, as you are reading this you already know, with a closed, password-protected, area for our own chat about methods, tactics, administration, etc..
Members also provide an email address that they do at least regularly monitor. This enables the command team to bring matters that they need members to know to their attention. We also encourage pilots to share their mobile phone numbers so that SMS messages can be sent, though this is not mandatory.
Please see the separate thread on Recruiting and Training on this forum. Suffice it to say here that 85 Sqdn believes that every pilot can be a better pilot and our members accept that they have a responsibility to make themselves better pilots. However, we also believe that every pilot has different needs at different times. Therefore, rather than running a weekly squadron training session we have instituted the Pilot Development Programme, which focuses on the individual.
Battle of Stalingrad is a game. No. 85 Squadron exists in order that its members get the maximum enjoyment out of the game. Our rules and procedures have only been developed with that aim in mind. If (and please only if) you like our approach and can sign-up to all of the above, then please have a look at the Recruiting and training thread.