Magoo’s Defensive Retreat
History: When I first joined the 4th. F. G. as a young 2Lt. (virtual) I had the pleasure of mentoring under the Groups Trainer, who was flying under handle of MAGOO. This is the individual who conceptualizes and developed the following tactical maneuver which we have fondly referred to as Magoo’s Defensive Retreat.
Purpose: The purpose of “Magoo’s Retreat” is to serves as a tactical maneuver to extract a number of our pilots from an enveloping and overwhelming force resulting in minimal or zero losses.
Situation: Group, Squadron, Flight or wing pair is engaged in a fight in which our force will be unconditionally overwhelmed. Group, Squadron, Flight or wing leader will call out a heading (normally toward safer sky) and our force as a whole will assume that heading immediately and at existing alt.
KEY TO THIS MANUVER IS TO EXTRACT EVERYONE SAFELY; THERE FOR NO ONE IS TO REVERSE HEADING OR THE TACTIC WILL FAIL.
As the unit assumes the “called” heading, someone is always out in front, and it is this individual or wing pair which must begin the tactic by maneuvering off of the “called” heading (not to exceed 10 degrees or as to create more than 10d to 13d horizontal and vertical separation from the Group. As this unit moves off heading they begin a gradual climb.
During this period the main force remains on the “called” heading, pressing on with all possible speed, even as to shallow dive as necessary. This shallow dive by the group as a hole is to increase speed, create additional vertical separation (but not so much as to “run” away) from the individual or wing pair moving to higher alt to cover the group’s six o’clock.
As the maneuver develops, the main body begins to move forward of the cover element/s even as they continue to climbing.
At this point the higher covering unit/s are postured to defend the groups six o’clock.
Second Phase: How the maneuver works!
A1) IF the aggressor pursues the main body. Two things happen relatively at the same time. The higher “covering” units will move to dive to the group’s six o’clock to clear aggressor while still maintaining the “called” heading.
A2) At the same time another individual or wing pair (again at the front of the group will begin the off angle move and shallow climb in order to “replace” the now diving, covering unit or wing pair at the groups six o’clock.
B1) IF the aggressor/s attack the climbing covering unit. This unit will begin to dive back to the group, thus pulling the aggressor/s low and back to the group’s six o’clock.
B2) Again at the same time the above is happening, another individual or wing pair, at the front of the group (having build up speed), will break off and up using the earlier described angles and separation to assume cover for the group.
Rinse and repeat until the group is clear of all aggressor/s and is able to reform.
Because this maneuver is relatively complex and sensitive to “timely” maneuver it is recommended that the Group practice this tactic as often as possible to sharpen timing and pass knowledge to newer pilots.
Kudos and Thanks to Ltc. Blue Max. jef