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Tasking

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A central part in both BMS and DCS is the tasking of an aircraft or package.

BMS Tasks

In BMS, the tasking of a flight determines the mission success criteria for that flight, commonly in relation to the survival or destruction of some other set of units. Often, the flight has to check in and check out with AWACS, FAC, or other air controllers to explicitly start and end the tasking period, or the actions during the flight will simply not count towards mission completion.

Task Description Success criteria DCS Equivalent
DCA Defensive Counter Air. Patrol between to CAP points for a set amount of time, defending friendly assets in the area from enemy air. Must stay on station for the full patrol time or request relief from AWACS; assigned assets must survive. CAP
CAP Combat Air Patrol. Patrol between two CAP points for a set amount of time, engaging any aircraft that come too close. Stay on station for the full patrol time or request relief from AWACS; straying too far from the patrol area does not count towards patrol time completion.
BARCAP Barrier CAPatrol. Same as CAP.
HAVCAP High Value CAP. Same as CAP, but a specific asset — usually a tanker or AWACS aircraft — must be protected, often for a longer time Stay on station for the full patrol time; the assigned asset must survive.
TARCAP Target CAP. Same as CAP, but a specific target area must be protected. Stay on station for the full patrol time; strike aircraft attacking the target area must survive.
RESCAP Rescue CAP. Same as CAP, but tied to friendly search-and-rescue assets (usually helicopters). Stay on station for the full patrol itme; rescue assets must survive.
AMBUSHCAP Ambush CAP. Same as CAP, but the patrol route is set up to keep the patrol hidden (at low altitude and/or behind mountains) allow for an ambush of enemy air. Stay on station for the full patrol time.
SWEEP Aggressive anti-air flight through three nav points, with no given patrol time or zone requirement. Shoot down at least one enemy aircraft. Fighter Sweep
INTERCEPT Aggressive anti-air flight to engage, destroy or force to abort a specific enemy flight. The assigned units must be destroyed or be forced to abort; other friendly units killing the target does not count towards mission success. Intercept
DEAD Destruction of Enemy Air Defences (previously called SEAD strike). Explicitly hunting and destroying air defence units such as search/tracking radars, launchers, and AAA batteries. At least one assigned radar and/or launcher must be destroyed. SEAD
SEAD Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (previously called SEAD escort). Keeping enemy air defences from attacking friendly units, either by destroying them, distracting them, or forcing them to switch off targeting systems to avoid destruction. The assigned strike package must survive. SEAD, ESCORT
OCA STRIKE Offensive Counter-Aair Strike. A ground strike mission against fixed air control assets such as airbases and early-warning radars. Target operational status must be reduced by 30%. Runway Attack, Ground Strike, Precision Strike
STRIKE Standard ground strike mission against fixed strategical assets. Ground Strike, Precision Strike
DEEP STRIKE Ground strike mission against assets behind enemy lines.
FAC(A) Forward Air Ccontroller (Aircraft). Identify and designate ground units for friendly CAS aircraft. At least one assigned unit must be destroyed. AFAC
CAS Close Air Support. Engage and destroy known enemy ground units (usually batallion-sized) located between two CAS points. At least one assigned unit must be destroyed CAS
ON CALL CAS Patrol between two CAS point for a set of time, engaging targets designated by friendly FAC. Stay on station for the full patrol time; at least one target must be destroyed.
PREPLANNED CAS Same as CAS.
AI Air Interdiction. Search and engage reinforcement and logistics units behind the front line, located between two navigation points. At least one target must be destroyed.
RECCE Reconnaissance. A pre-strike recon mission against a specific target to generate up-to-date intel on unit positions. Fly within 2nm slant range carrying a Low Alt camera. Reconnaissance
RECCE PATROL Same as RECCE but between two specific steerpoints and with no specific target to recon. Mainly used for helicopters.
BDA Battle Damage Assessment. Same as RECCE, but performed post-strike.
TASMO Tactical Air Support for Maritime Operations. Strike mission against naval targets. Damage at least one ship at the attack steerpoint. Anti-ship Strike
TRAINING Training flight with no specific objectives. Bring the jet back intact. Nothing

DCS Tasks

In DCS, tasking determines what aircraft are available (or more accurately the other way around), and also limits which weapon loadouts are available to those aircraft. In addition, the tasking determines which advanced actions — notably tasks and enroute tasks — can be assigned to flight's waypoints. Some tasks also automatically apply specific enroute tasks by default, and for more control, the mission designer needs to go into the advanced waypoint settings and alter the parameters for these tasks.