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Greetings Mission Planners,

A new version of Flight Path Threat Analysis Simulation (FPTAS) has been released by the Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC). FPTAS identifies potential MANPAD engagement areas where your aircraft is vulnerable. It's displays its results on FalconView and shares the DTED elevation database you've loaded for FalconView. FPTAS can be downloaded on the SIPRNET (i.e. the link that follows won't work on the internet) from: http://www.msic.dia.smil.mil/ms_home_pages/FPTAS/index.html.

You may have received an unclassified version of FPTAS, but the data does not represent an "unclassified dataset." The numbers are pretend, bogus, not real. Using this data to plan against an actual threat is akin to confronting an intruder with a paint ball gun. You can download the classified threat parametrics from the SIPRNET website.

Just 166 Days until MPUC 2005 in Las Vegas! The General Session kicks off on March 15th and we'll be staying at the Flamingo for a second year. Go to: https://www.paulrevereafa.org/MPUC/ and register today!

Mission Planning Tip: What's an ATO?

TSKCNTRY/US//
SVCTASK/F//
TASKUNIT/366 FIGHTER WING/ICAO:KMUO//
AMSNDAT/0163/-/ALPHA/-/ESC/-/-/DEPLOC:KMUO/ARRLOC:KMUO//
MSNACFT/2/OTHAC:F16CJ/DART02/HARM/-/100/20163/30163//
PKGCMD/ALPHA/493 FIGHTER SQUADRON/0155/EAGLE55//
GTGTLOC/P/-/NET:120900AFEB/NLT:120910A/ENEMY SPECIAL FORCES UNIT
/ID:DEMIZ00001/UNIT/TANKER/DMPID:362000.7N1162700.7W/WGS 1984/-/-/1//
ASUPTFOR/ATK/493 FIGHTER SQUADRON/0155//
6ROUTE
/PN/ROUTEPT /TYP/ATIME /TAS /ALT
/ 1/3804N11720W /STP/- / -/ 0
/ 2/3620N11627W /TGT/120900A/ -/ 0
/ 3/3704N11602W /RP /- / -/ 0//
ESCDATA/02/ACTYP:F15E/EAGLE55/PFREQ:357.0/SFREQ:303.0//

In the "bad old days" of frag breaking a unit would receive the ATO, print the pages out, identify which sections applied to their unit then figure out what all that cryptic text meant. Fortunately it's much easier with TaskView. Instead of looking at encoded USMTF text you can look at:

TSKCNTRY ---- Tasked Country ----
Country: US

SVCTASK ---- Service Tasked ----
Tasked Service: F

TASKUNIT ---- Task Unit and Location ----
Tasked Unit Id: 366 FIGHTER WING
Location: ICAO:KMUO

AMSNDAT ---- Aircraft Mission Data ----
Msn No.: 0163
AMC Msn/Event No.: -
Package Id: ALPHA
Msn Commander: -
Prim Msn Type: ESC
Secondary Msn Type: -
Alert Status: -
Departure Location: DEPLOC:KMUO
Recovery Location: ARRLOC:KMUO

MSNACFT ---- Individual Aircraft Mission Data ----
No. of Aircraft: 2
AC Type and Model: OTHAC:F16CJ
Aircraft Callsign: DART02
Prim Configuration: HARM
Sec. Configuration: -
IFF/SIF Mode - Code: 100
IFF/SIF Mode - Code: 20163
IFF/SIF Mode - Code: 30163

PKGCMD ---- Package Commander ----
Package Id: ALPHA
Tasked Unit: 493 FIGHTER SQUADRON
Msn No.: 0155
Aircraft Callsign: EAGLE55

GTGTLOC ---- Ground Target Location ----
Prim/Alt Designator: P
Day-Time On Target: -
Not Earlier Than: NET:120900AFEB
Not Later Than/Off: NLT:120910A
Tgt/Facility Name: ENEMY SPECIAL FORCES UNIT
Target Id: ID:DEMIZ00001
Target Type: UNIT
DMPI Description: TANKER
DMPI: DMPID:362000.7N1162700.7W
Geodetic Datum: WGS 1984
DMPI Elev Ft/M: -
Component Target Id: -
Target Priority: 1

ASUPTFOR ---- Air Support For ----
Prim Msn Type: ATK
Tasked Unit Desig: 493 FIGHTER SQUADRON
Msn No.: 0155

6ROUTE ---- Aircraft Route Info ----
6ROUTE
/PN/ROUTEPT /TYP/ATIME /TAS /ALT
/ 1/3804N11720W /STP/- / -/ 0
/ 2/3620N11627W /TGT/120900A/ -/ 0
/ 3/3704N11602W /RP /- / -/ 0//


ESCDATA ---- Escort Data ----
No. Escorted: 02
AC Type and Model: ACTYP:F15E
Escorted Callsign: EAGLE55
Prim Freq.: PFREQ:357.0
Secondary Freq.: SFREQ:303.0

Even better, you can view the mission on the map:

Just as with DAFIF, the ATO standard is revised every few years. It's critical that TaskView keep up, or else you'd end up with an ATO that couldn't be ingested into PFPS. The two current ATO standards are ATO 98 and ATO 2000. TaskView supports both, but there are some differences in the airspace display characteristics.

A big addition to TaskView 3.3 was its ability to display airspace in color - but this only works with ATO 2000 formatted messages. The example below shows how an ATO 98 formatted ACO would be drawn by TaskView on the FalconView screen:

Here's the same boundaries displayed from an ATO 2000 message:

To take advantage of this great feature you'll need an ATO 2000 formatted message, but you're not the one creating the ATO. CENTAF posts ATO 2000 and ATO 98 formatted messages and both can be downloaded from the CENTAF FWD SIPRNET website. The ".ato" and ".aco" extensions (TaskView's default)are used for the ATO 98 messages and the ".doc" extension is used for the ATO 2000 messages. The ATO's haven't been changed into a Word Document, they just changed the extension to make it easier for the less tech savvy to open it in Word. To use the ATO 2000 files you'll click on the link to download then change the "save name" to include a ".ato" or ".aco" extension. Your other option is to download the files with their default extension and open (.doc extension and all) using TaskView's File - Open command. Change the "Files of type" filter to display "All Files" and TaskView will open the .doc ATO/ACO's without difficulty.

Now that we've established what an ATO and ACO are we'll work to load them in TaskView.

Paul