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by Gail Helmer

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Thursday August 22, 2002

PC News
America’s Army Airborne and Ranger Training Missions
There is a new patch for America's Army: Operations RECON, upgrading the tactical shooter by the U.S. Army to version 1.2.0. This release adds the Airborne School/Tour, Ranger School/Tour, weapon improvements, various other gameplay changes, and a handful of bugfixes. This release marks the completion of the initial launch of America’s Army: Operations RECON edition on the Internet. Throughout the fall the Army will continue to offer mission updates and game enhancements.

Airborne Training

Airborne training provides players entry to the U.S. Army’s elite Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. There, players will experience practice drops from the school’s monstrous 250 foot Free-Fall Tower and learn how to execute a proper Parachute Landing Fall (PLF). With the exception of the jet blast as you exit the aircraft and the opening shock of your parachute, a drop from this tower is the next best thing to jumping with one the Army’s elite parachute units. While descending at virtually the same rate as an actual jump, the player must control his parachute and execute a correct PLF, just as he’ll have to do when he makes his qualifying jump.

After mastering PLFs from the 250 foot Tower, players will take to the air for their first qualifying jump. From an altitude of 1,250 feet above ground level, players step into the side exit door of a C-17 Globemaster aircraft into the night sky above Fort Benning. At the command of the jumpmaster players exit the aircraft, observe the opening of their canopy and descend within the designated target area of the drop zone to earn the coveted silver wings of an Army paratrooper.

After earning their airborne wings, players join the 82d Airborne Division (the All American Division), the largest parachute force in the free world. To maintain the ability to deploy worldwide in 18 hours and seize objectives by airborne or airland assault players will apply their new skills to jump onto and seize a tactical airfield (Field Landing Strip, FLS) at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Army Ranger Training

In addition to joining the ranks of the Army paratroops, players will be able to earn the prestigious Army Ranger Tab. The Ranger tour will offer gamers two training missions and the opportunity to join the elite 75th Ranger Regiment during subsequent combat missions to be released this fall. The Florida phase of Ranger Training places players in the swamps outside Eglin Air Force Base where they must seize or defend a Tactical Operation Center (TOC). Next training moves to the Mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia where sparse vegetation and compartmentalized terrain sets the stage for patrolling and ambush exercises.

Strike Fighters: Project 1 Walmart Patch
If you picked up the Walmart version of Strike Fighters: Project 1 recently you will be happy to hear that Strategy First and Third Wire Production has released patch version V.08-17-02. For the complete list of fixes and upgrades click here. -- Download Patch.

New Screens: LOMAC
Ubi Soft has released more screenshots from its upcoming jet simulation, Lock On: Modern Air Combat. This weeks screens feature the MiG-29.

IL-2 Sturmovik Flight School
Plans are in the works for a community developed and supported Flight School on the official IL-2 Sturmovik website. The new feature is meant to help all pilots (new and experienced) to learn the tactics of IL-2. Included in the program will be:

  • 1. Training Missions created by community
  • 2. Training Tracks created by community
  • 3. Community Created FAQ
  • 4. Link to a new 'Flight School' forum
  • For more details visit IL-2 Sturmovik.com today.

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