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Hello Mission Planners,

Well the whirlwind of MPUC will take a while to digest.  Thanks to everyone who attended, congratulations to everyone who won and my sympathies to those who lost or didn't get enough sleep.  All the briefings from MPUC should end up on the Mission Planning System Support Facility website in a password protected area sometime in the near future.  Since it's impossible to attend all the briefings (or take enough notes) the presentations will be invaluable in helping figure out what you saw and what you missed.

While you've been gone...

DAFIF changeover is approaching on Thursday.  You can download the new stuff on the DAFIF Section of the NGA website.

No new EChum posted yet, but it should be up shortly.  Check here and maybe you'll be fortunate enough to do a "double update."

And as for double updates - NGA is hoping (not promising, but trying) to move the EChum cycle to 28 days so as to match the DAFIF cycle.  This has been requested by aircrew for many years and would be a big win for those who have to maintain the data.  This wouldn't have been possible without stopping the paper CHUM book.  When we let old stuff go we allow NGA to move forward.  Stand by for updates...

And on the subject of NGA, Federal Computer Week ran an interesting story that carried the good news that NGA will soon be flying UAV's ("big model airplanes") to support the warfighter:

"The agency will use unmanned aerial vehicles, big model airplanes carrying cameras and sensors, to photograph objects up to one meter from the Earth. The vehicles will then quickly transmit the imagery to warfighters and analysts, said a retired Navy vice admiral and former top military IT official."

"The military always wanted to get intelligence to warfighters, analysts and policy-makers more quickly, but it seldom did that," said Jerry Tuttle, president and chief executive officer of JOT Enterprises LLC, a consulting firm in Fairfax, Va. "NGA's new use of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms and IT will get real-time, detailed imagery to them so they no longer miss enemy buildings previously photographed from 10 meters."

I'm not quite sure what buildings we've been missing that we were able to photograph from 10 meters.  Also a UAV flown one meter from the earth is a bit vulnerable - more to rocks than enemy fire.  I think there was a bit of miscommunication...but I'll take all the help I can get.  On a more sensible note LtGen Clapper, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency added:

"We are no longer facing known threats with known capabilities and forces...These factors make it very difficult to plan against the threats posed by our enemies. They also multiply the challenges the agency faces in providing our customers the information and knowledge they demand in a timely manner and in a ready-to-use format."

OK, I added the bold, italicized, highlighted font, but I think we all agree with the Director that the key is to get folks the stuff they need in a format they can use.  This quote goes with my previous favorite "...everybody has to be someplace." (paraphrased by BGen Waters in his MPUC address)

Mission Planning Tip: CFPS Shortcut Keys

If you find yourself hunched over the PC Mission Planning for hours at a time then the following list of CFPS keyboard shortcuts will be of great use.  If you're a Mission Planning dilettante then you'll likely read the shortcuts and promptly forget them.  In either case your best plan is to print out the list and tape it to your Mission Planning monitor.  No matter how much you Mission Plan you can't remember everything - so why try?  You can see the shortcuts in the CFPS menu:

You'll get a nice window that lists the keyboard shortcuts, DAFIF and Aimpoint currency date (that date isn't listed in FalconView's Tools - Database Administration - System Health window)

F1 = Help - Windows Standard

F5 = Center Map - Great when you've split the screen between FalconView and CFPS.  If you've got a big monitor (or better yet, two monitors) you can't fill up the screen with CFPS so put a FalconView window beside it

F6 = DTED (Turnpoint) - Route elevations are populated from PFPS's databases (local points and DAFIF) first and DTED second - but DTED elevations are only available if FalconView is running and DTED is loaded for that Lat/Long.  If one of the conditions wasn't true when you created a route you can update the elevation later by using F6

Shift+F6 = DTED (Route) - Same thing, but for an entire route.  Will not change the elevations pulled from DAFIF or entered by the user, just (old) DTED and "unk" elevations

F7 = Calc - This is one you've got to remember.  Moving that mouse up to the little calculator (or even worse, the Route - Calculate menu choice) will wear your mouse hand out prematurely

Shift+F7 = UnCalc - If you remember F7 you can remember Shift+F7

F9 = Print/Form Setup - Quick way to get the printer turning

F11 = Form 70 View - leftover command from when the CFPS menus weren't customizable.  Now you and add/remove columns easily using the View - Hide Columns and View - Show Columns commands and use Column Profiles (View - Column Profiles, View - Save Profile and View - Default Profile) to setup the CFPS grid to match your specific needs

F12 = MPlan View - Ditto 

CTRL+A = Additional Points - Displays the Point Editor's AddPt Window:

CTRL+B = Background Detail - Displays the Point Editor's General tab (CTRL+G was already taken)

CTRL+C = Copy Selection - You can use CTRL+C to copy a single value from a cell in the grid or highlight multiple lines to copy multiple points simultaneously

CTRL+D = Delete Turnpoint - Name says it all

CTRL+F = Fuel Change - Tank Up or Offload at the selected turnpoint

CTRL+G = GEO/MGRS - Enter a turnpoint using an alternative Datum or enter a coordinate using MGRS/UTM.  If you'll be entering a lot of points using MGRS/UTM's then add that column to the CFPS grid so you can edit (and view) in the values directly

CTRL+H = Create Hover Event - Brings up the Point Editor's Hover tab.  Only works if you can hover, a subject that I (thankfully) know little about

CTRL+I = Insert New Turnpoint - Name says it all

CTRL+J = Jump To Turnpoint - Again, CTRL-G (FalconView's "GoTo") was taken.  Unfortunately you need to know the turnpoint number you want to jump to, so normally it's easier to scroll up/down

CTRL+K = Clock  Displays Window to set the date/time of a TOT and turn the TOT's on and off

CTRL+M = Change FPM Modes - Displays the Point Editor's FPM tab to switch between flight performance models - or to turn off all that fancy calculatin' and use manual fuel flows

CTRL+N = New Route - Self Explanatory 

CTRL+O = Open Route - Self Explanatory

CTRL+R = Replicate - Displays the Replicate Window where you can copy user entered values (altitude, speed, winds, temperatures etc) to multiple points

CTRL+S = Save Route - Self Explanatory

CTRL+T = TOLD - Displays the TOLD module for your aircraft.  Only works if your aircraft's Flight Performance Model (FPM) supports TOLD!

CTRL+U = Renumber DTD's - Allows aircraft that use numbered DTD's to put the numbers in line

CTRL+V = Paste Clipboard - Lets you paste single cell values, or add multiple lines that you've copied using CTRL+C

CTRL+W = Find What - Searches for a text match among the other records - only searches the field your cursor is in, i.e. if your cursor is in the Description field and you search for an airfield ICAO (like KHRT or KJFK) you'll never find a match.  A more useful way to jump to a distant turnpoint in a route than CTRL+J

CTRL+X = Cut Selection - Cut a single cell's value.  CFPS won't let you cut entire lines

That's a lot of shortcuts!  You'll be amazed how many you'll remember if you're doing a lot of planning and how quickly they'll dribble out your ears when you let up for a few weeks.  Again, the best course is to print out the CFPS Help Window above and tape it to your monitor.  If you can easily refer to "your" shortcuts you'll find it easy to get back up to speed again when you return to heavy Mission Planning.

Paul