Captain, first officer, chief of security, chief medical officer. These posts, and many more, are staples of every simming ship and installation. But what about the lesser known positions – the intelligence officers, diplomats, and nurses of the fleet? In this series, we’ll examine some of the less traditional posts and the characters and writers behind them.
Lieutenant (JG) Alleran Tan: Commander, Air Group (CAG), USS Independence-A
When this series was first considered, many of the News Team staff didn’t know what a CAG was. But thanks to Dave, who writes for Lt.JG Tan, we not only have that answer but also an in-depth guide to the Independence’s air group. But while that was about the technology, the equipment, and the installation, this is about the writer and the character behind the idea – and, as he reveals, a lot of thought and work have gone into developing the idea. “The Commander, Air Group (frequently abbreviated as ‘CAG’) is a cheeky way for my character to wear the red collar of command and be referred to as ‘Commander’ before actually obtaining that rank…”
Really, the CAG, in the sim as in real military operations, commands the carrier’s (or in this case, the starship’s) air wing – its complement of fighters. “Most notably, they are qualified to fly at least two aircraft in the carrier’s arsenal, although of course, many qualify for more than that. Additionally, they are expected to personally lead all strike operations; they are leaders from the front in a very literal sense, a role which gives them an intense, very real connection with the aerial battlefield.”
In the Independence’s sims, Dave writes Tan as carrying out all those roles and more, as informed by real-world CAGs. He is “responsible not only for the day-to-day running of the starship’s fighter wing (if any), but personally plans, coordinates, and then leads important missions.” While a NATO rank code of OF-5 – Naval captain and Marine colonel in the United States – is required for a CAG in the US military, “Tan is a Junior Lieutenant, which is probably quite junior for this position, but not unheard of.” Although it may be rare, Tan’s rank and unique position aboard the Independence must certainly lend themselves to interesting simming situations, and it’s certainly an interesting new way to write for a helm officer.
Join us next time for another exposé of a nontraditional post in the UFoP: SB118 fleet!