Lamentándolo mucho, os informamos del cese de actividades del programa TCM (Training Comunity Management). Numerosos factores han influido en esta decisión, y tras casi dos años sin actividad, el Staff del programa decidió oficializar el fin, al menos del concepto previo, del programa TCM. Desde el 777th Jokers nos hemos puesto en contacto con NIL, uno de los miembros del Staff del programa TCM que accedió a responder a alguna de nuestras preguntas sobre el programa. Aquí os dejamos integra la entrevista:
Q: Welcome NIL, Can you explain us what is TCM?
Yes. TCM was created to perform a TLP (Tactical Leadership Program)
“look alike” where the intial idea developed from. We wanted to create a program for the virtual BMS pilot to learn the more advanced skills to be a better virtual pilot, learning to work with other BMS pilots and making the most advanced training program we could. We wanted to enhance the skills in the individual and furthermore into a group of pilots. As we all know alot needs to be taking into concideration when you are moving into a combat zone. Many aspects need to be turned around and coordinated. With this program we intended to do just that.
Q: how many people were involved in this program?
In the begining the main founder was Javier Pasqual also known as “DRAKKO”. He made a post on his idea on the BMS forum and I saw that and quickly responded, because I was working on the same idea to be held within my own virtual unit. So when I saw this post I replyed and got into contact and from there things began to unfold. Two more showed intrest shortly after and contacted “DRAKKO” and then we were four. The two other guys was Nikos, a Greek guys that excell in air navigation and is well known for the charts he makes for the BMS community. Falcontower was the last guy that got into the team. He have a wealth of knowledge in many areas and has been working as a instructor in many other virtual units. The four of us began to throw ideas on what we wanted in the program. We found the we needed to build several sectors were we could perform to the max with the knowledge each of us had and work from there. So we had a lot of meetings in the begining. As we went along we began to build the areas of responsabilty. “DRAKKO” was the commander, even that he on many occations said that he did not see himself this way, but we, the three others decided that since he created the idea, he had to take on this role. Nikos, took care on the creation of charts that we found necesary for our program. Falcontower and I was assigned to put our efforts into the operational things and we began our work trying to develop the differents aspects on how we would need to get things moving. We also began to build the profile on the instuctor pilots we would need to get the program moving. From the begining we all agreed that none of us would fly with the TCM students, we would only work in the background and help the instructors if a situation with anyone taken part in the program, was not living up to the minimum requirements we set up. I think we got our first instructor pilots after a couple of weeks. We searched for them within our own network. Falcontower and I had a meeting with them all, just like a job interview. After each interview Falcontower and I talked about the cadidate any downsides to the individual and when everything was turned upside down, we contacted the person and told them that they had been accepted or not. We needed the best we could get, knowing that we could have some very hardcore BMS pilots coming into the program and we could not have a instructor that said, I don’t know… We also had some that applied to our program, but when they found out what was expected of them, they told us that it was not possible for them to live up to our expectations and they were out again.
Just to mention the candidates we had in our process.
We had Demo, a US guy very nice and polite and from what I could tell a very capable instructor. He decided that he could not put in the time needed because he also worked as a instructor within his own unit.
We had a Spanish guy in called Templar, also a very polite and good BMS pilot. He flew with the program in the early days, but resigned after two, maybe three months.
We had another Greek guy in called Cipher, like everybody else, very polite and a dedicated BMS pilot. He was the only one flying the Mirage 2000.
From Denmark we had one from my unit called STI, a young and amazingly skilled BMS pilot, the youngest of them all, only 18, but he flew the F-16 like a dream. But because he was pressed with highschool, he could not keep it up and we decided to let him go.
We also had a guy from Belgium. Like everyone else, polite, a real teamplayer and a master in creating amazing stuff with mission planning, building briefing materials and also a very proficiant BMS pilot. His Callsign is Eagle-Eye. The final man was yet another Greek guy called Geraki. He unforutnatly never got more than one flight with Eagle-Eye, but keept his intrest in the program and did his own training to make sure he was ready if we were calling.
Q: After two years since no public work, is TCM dead?
Unfortunatly for the program, we came to realize that real life issues prevent us from making this happen. We also came to the conclusion that our respective virtual units needs to be keept alive and working. And with the lack of instuctors in the TCM program we were under pressure to actualy delivery what we wanted. Our intentions was to have 8-10 instructors so no matter what we would be able to have someone able to join up in the sessions planned. TCM is closed in the original form, but will live on in another format and setup.
Q: What will happen with the work behind the program?
Well, everything that we have made will be turned around and looked at over the next months. We have a lot that can be used in the creation of a new version of TCM. There will be things that will be taken out, mainly because we build our setup around the Aeagen theater. With the absence of this theater for the new BMS 4.33, we can obviously not use that anymore. Many of the documents we have made can be adabted to work with the new program. At least that is what we aim for.
Q: Is there any lesson learned?
From everything we have done with all the many hours we put into this, we learned a lot. So nothing will be a waste of time. Surely we would have liked to see our baby “walk”, but when we look at the things we have been able to create, we came a long way. Remember, we made this work and adjusted what needed to be adjusted and everything was done online and none of us have ever meet face to face. I think we have done some great things.
Q: Please, feel free to remark us something or say whatever you want…
The future for the TCM team. Well, we might change the name, but our aim will be the same – training BMS pilots to become even better. Our primary object will be a community based training program. Online planning, coordinating the mission and executing the flight planed is a very exiting thing to do. My own unit had this experience with the Belgian Virtual Tigers and the 31st VFS from Holland. Having over 20 online pilots in one session is a really nice live like experience that every BMS pilot should, at some point try to be a part of. With the new program we do not aim to be 20 pilots, rather 8-10 max. One thing we found difficult, was coordinating with this many people. First the setup on what date would be possible requried a external program where people could cast there vote. Then the mission commander would pick the date with the most votes and then the actual planning began. With our new setup this would no longer be needed in the same manor. Only CO and NCO from each unit can assign pilots from their own unit, max 2 to enter the program. When this has been done, then the program would be put to life. As of right now, there are three units that is on the inside of the program. The 777th Jokers, The Belgian Virtual Tigers and S-RDAF, and that will be it for the time being. It’s easy to invite others in to join, but that is not our intrest right now. The main thing is our own units.
From 777th Jokers we want to thank you your time and your work in TCM program. We hope can help you in the future with a lot of collaborations with the new concept of TCM or your own unit. Thank you very much NIL.