As a follow-up to my previous blog about a TREAD Alliance fleet operation I took part in, shortly after I had the good fortune to catch up with the Fleet Commander, known publicly as 'Boris'. He was kind enough to give me the inside track on operation organisation and the Fleet Commander role.
Seismic Stan: Boris, today you led a fifty-pilot operation to incapacitate several enemy POSs. Did everything go to plan?
Boris: No not even close. Downtime lasted an extra hour and a half. Today we were supposed to blow up the POS not simply put them into reinforced. However the extended downtime gave them time to repair the POS so we had to do the whole thing again.
SS: How much preparation is required to undertake that kind of operation?
B: A good bit. We send scouts to the POS to check fittings. We monitor the system for traffic of reds and our target. We get information on who we are attacking. We also make sure that the initial attack and our estimate for when the POS comes out of reinforced will be high activity times for us.
SS: What tasks are required of you during the operation in order to make things run smoothly?
B: A sexy sexy voice =P. Seriously however a level head at all times. You must always expect for something terrible and unexpected to happen and when that does you need to act and without freaking out.
SS: And what do you expect of others?
B: I expect others to follow my orders. Other than that the majority of my fleets are my Treadies and the [local security channel] friends we have and I know them to be efficient and well trained for these things.
SS: The fleet seemed to comprise pilots of various levels of skill and experience, how did you mitigate that?
B: Proper fits. As a Remote Repair (RR) fleet you can keep the inexperienced pilots alive easily by lots of RR. I wish we all had 2 years of skills but I cant make that happen. So we take what we have. Havin a solid core of your highest level of experience pilots does help a lot.
SS: What, if anything, could have gone better? What would you have done differently?
B: The frigates at each POS - I would've kept them at bay until the turrets were incapacitated. There was no need to lose a single ship on that op yet we lost a stealth bomber to POS fire.
SS: You seemed very self-assured and in control throughout the operation, what advice would you give an aspiring Fleet Commander?
B: If people think you know what your doing they'll follow and trust you. Don't disappoint them. Also know your ships. FC's call primaries in most other fleets. I have seen many FC who dont know what is what and call A -> Z which is ok but not the most efficient way to call primaries. Also call primaries, if your fleet warps in and you dont say anything. Your fleet can easily die to that.
SS: I understand that today's operation was only the first part of a larger undertaking. Can you give us any insight into what is next and what you hope to achieve?
B: Well the next part of the Operation is to blow up all three POS. So the next Op will be similar just a better time of day. The goal is to put up our own POS there is moongoo there we want so we are taking it. Also we hurt a red alliance at the same time.
SS: I believe this operation was a TREAD Alliance initiative. How does this fit into TREADs long-term goals?
B: Other than we like beating up reds I cannot comment here.
SS: Intriguing. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
B: No, thank you for coming [in the fleet] and thank you for the interview =).
SS: Thank you for your time Boris and good luck with the next stage of your operation.
Boris has agreed to a second interview after the completion of the second part of this operation, where'll we'll get to find out how successful the whole thing was.