Initial Proposal for the Branch objectives

Responsible for keeping the ship/station running at peak efficiency but routing power where needed, monitoring deflectors and sensors, and a variety of other things.
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justalt02 Resident
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian

120124.0338

Since I have joined UFS about a year ago, I felt that compared with other Branches, like Medical or Sciences, Operations Branch was a bit quiet…Everyone seemed to do their own “thing”, the Branch itself amiss of every Operations issues or work and not working in the means of letting everyone in the branch know each other. Lately, we have seen members joining our Branch but getting little support besides from some more experienced Operations Officers.

 

Operations Officers problems range from Roleplay issues (ending up having the other branches do the work that is supposed to be Operations) to in some cases, identity issues (Operations Branch is so vast in terms of responsibilities and duties that sometimes it can get a bit confusing).

 

 

The UFS Reboot will change everything as we knew but also presents itself as an opportunity for this Branch to get a second breath of fresh air. First of all, it is already established that Branch Commands will have  an advisory and support role to the Chapters, Real Life or Metaverse…with that in mind I propose the following:

 

 

-         Revision of all current College of Operations classes and update for the Post-Reboot (I really do not know if the Curriculum Development is responsible to check ALL UFS classes for this but I am sure Ops Branch and Curriculum Dev. working together can speed up that process. Motivate the creation of new classes….especially classes about Space Station’s Operations, since the current classes seem to be very ship oriented in my opinion.

 

-         Addition to the UFS Library (Wiki) of new Operations related content and revision of the current one. As an example we could substitute the wiki page referring to the billet requirements for each Chapter’s Operations Department requirements.

 

 - Creation of an Operations Roleplay guideline, a document that should serve as a suggestion on how to roleplay Operations and it’s specific billets. As a guideline, this is not a policy, since each Chapter is the only authority concerning department structure policies. This guideline should be a joint collaboration between the various Chief of Operations of the Chapters (RL roleplay chapters included).

- Support any Chapter when necessary and asked.

- Support any Operations Officer when necessary and asked.

- Creation of Newsletter...could be on a form of a Blog about Operations Branch at UFS, to serve as an information vehicle for everyone. From articles, experience sharing, Operations discussions, updates regarding Operations and more...this should be a place where any Operation officer should express themselves and be informed. The Delta Communicator will also play an important part in the strategy of putting Operations in the UFS map for the Operations Branch Command.

- Creation on new inworld tools for the Operations Officer (all metaverses). From a metaverse Warp Calculator to a Power Allocation HUD (similar to STO though more complex) to other tools other members suggest. RL Chapters already have the Internet with such tools and we will provide those links..though if necessary and possible, Operations Branch should create those tools for RL Chapters too.


These are my initial list of objectives. This is however more like a draft because on the following days i will try to schedule meetings with the various COOs, Dean of College of Operations...COs of  Chapters that do not have a COO yet and others so  ideas can be collected and transformed into objectives...At a later stage, a general Operations Branch meeting should be scheduled to present these objectives, then more consolidated.


This seems ambitious, and it won't be easy because a lot of it will depend on the Branch members. However i expect in 6 months to have these and other objectives that might come along the path to be completed (obviously some will be done on the short term while others will only be completed on the long term).

In Service

LT Alberto Torres (Justalt02)
Mikael Blessed
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian

120209.1755

You are not alone in that observation, and it's been the case in virtually (pun intended) Star Trek sim. Operations is often ill-defined, and although it holds a powerful role in the Star Trek universe, it is often relegated to minor things.

Operations is supposed to be about allocation of energy, supplies, and personnel.

This is cannon. That doesn't mean a thing, as each host of a sim must decide for themselves. The Admiral has extended his hand to us with the reboot up to his shoulder.

I've been with UFS on and off since 2007. I have never been a major player (professor, dean, commander of a space station) and even then I was not at UFS long, nor did I make major changes. Since then I have worked behind the scenes with the Star Trek sim owners, supplying them with ideas and materials (again, a minor role).

I may not make either meeting, so with your permission, I am posting here:
1) Consider use of RP materials, published gaming systems, for help in rewrite of Operations classes.
2) We have a serious discussion about the role of Operations in Star Trek in SL.
3) There is tons of materials involving Operations that can be added. I direct you to UFPro Wiki as a resource that is growing on similar issues.
4) We'll need to write a Roleplay guideline handbook that covers multiple styles of RP, not just the traditional SL style, or else we end up going in the same direction, opposite where the Admiral is trying to lead us.
5) May I recommend mentors both in character and out of character, assigned, with a feedback mechanism for both mentor and mentee.
6) I suggest we not have a due date for publication for a newsletter, but a content minimum. When we reach that minimum, we publish. Doing otherwise simply adds more pressure and artificial timelines in what is essentially a volunteer activity.
7) We should open it to submissions from throughout the chapters and branches, even though the topic remains the same as you suggested. People may play engineer, but know a lot about operations.
8) I have a Supercard program I created that runs the energy allocation of a Starship. I may be able to scavenge my work and share pieces with the group. I don't know how to program in SL. Supercard runs on a Mac only, as far as I know.

I hope my suggestions help, but they are merely suggestions. It is the Admiral's vision for the group that must come first (as owner of the sim) along with any other owners, and yours as head of Operations that must come first. My full support on that.

Keep Us Shining,

Lt. JG Mikael Blessed
Operations
justalt02 Resident
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian

120210.1055

Greetings Mikael, and thank you for your reply.


Mikael Blessed wrote:You are not alone in that observation, and it's been the case in virtually (pun intended) Star Trek sim. Operations is often ill-defined, and although it holds a powerful role in the Star Trek universe, it is often relegated to minor things.

Star Trek in all it's incarnations was first and foremost an entertainment TV show that captured i am sure our minds and made us fans with it's story telling and characters. However as the TV show it was....in it's time span of 45 years that include novels, manuals, games introduced a lot of inconsistencies. And since it was entertainment...obviously some details of a day by day life on a ship and station are not mentioned.

When we try to roleplay it on REAL TIME...and real time means no skipping..each duty, each order takes it's time to have it's effect, then we start to have problems.

Our "Jack Of All Trades" designation most of the time works against us. For example:


- We are supposed to have Sensors...? Which type? Long Range? Short Range? Both?....But what about Tactical?...They have sensors too. How can we work this out without stepping on each others toes?

- Tractor Beams - Again...Who has the Tractor Beams?....UFS classes say it is Operations Officers...but memory alpha says it is Tactical Officers...Again a lot of stepping on toes happen.

- Probes - SIM: Operations Officer Training class is very clear on this...Regardless of the Department that will investigate or gather the data, the class makes it clear that IT IS OPERATIONS THAT CONTROLS THE PROBE...INCLUDING LAUNCHING IT. However once again, a lot of UFS ships forget this tiny detail. A lot of NON-OPERATION officers forget this.

- Transporters, Main Computer Cores,Shuttle Bays!....Who is the branch responsible for that?

I think much of these "clashes" come because of the difference between TNG and VOY. Wasn't on TNG, the Tactical Officer responsible for Communications? And wasn't Operations simply reduced to Helms duty?....Heck, even La Forge would be on Helms sometimes!

The confusion happens because, and i am not really sure of what i am saying now.....Operations Officers had SPECIALIZATIONS! An Operations Officer could be specialized in Sciences, or Engineering (if we applied that at UFS, the other branches would kill us)

Then comes VOY....and everything gets swapped.

That is also why so many Simulator Training Classes turn so wrong....We would have Tactical Officers thinking they were in charge of Communications like on TNG and OPS Officers thinking they could be in charge of Shields like on VOY. Some have the VOY mindset other have the TNG mindset, and it doesn't really matter what the classes state....Why?

Because it is the Ships/Station (Chapters) COs that decide... Ultimately it is what they think it is best, and right now, Post-Reboot there is nothing really much that the Operations Branch can do. These are issues to be solved internally now. During Pre-Reboot the Branches could have a shot at solving it but, lets be honest, noone really cared and we all just rather argue internally with the other departments.

HOWEVER, even with limited powers and structure i think the Operations Branch can MAKE a guideline/handbook about what WE OPERATIONS think our duties are about. Not a policy because we can't really enforce ANYTHING, but a useful resource for us, something to make us finally have an identity on what the hell are we supposed to do!


Now...If the COs think it is useful to implement that on guideline at their Chapters...that's awesome....If not, life will still go on.

But who knows?...Perhaps any new member that wants Operations, will look at the guideline and then at the Chapters SOP, and decide for that Chapter that has the policy that resembles more to the Guideline.

*Shrugs*


So to put it simple....Ops Branch Command...is OUT of the CHAIN of COMMAND...does NOT HAVE EXECUTIVE POWER, IT'S A SUPPORT CONSULTANT AND CONTENT CREATION ROLE, but i think it can also try to INFLUENCE Chapters to at least have all these details cleared out.
justalt02 Resident
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian

120210.1138

Mikael Blessed wrote:
I may not make either meeting, so with your permission, I am posting here:
1) Consider use of RP materials, published gaming systems, for help in rewrite of Operations classes.
2) We have a serious discussion about the role of Operations in Star Trek in SL.
3) There is tons of materials involving Operations that can be added. I direct you to UFPro Wiki as a resource that is growing on similar issues.
4) We'll need to write a Roleplay guideline handbook that covers multiple styles of RP, not just the traditional SL style, or else we end up going in the same direction, opposite where the Admiral is trying to lead us.
5) May I recommend mentors both in character and out of character, assigned, with a feedback mechanism for both mentor and mentee.
6) I suggest we not have a due date for publication for a newsletter, but a content minimum. When we reach that minimum, we publish. Doing otherwise simply adds more pressure and artificial timelines in what is essentially a volunteer activity.
7) We should open it to submissions from throughout the chapters and branches, even though the topic remains the same as you suggested. People may play engineer, but know a lot about operations.
8) I have a Supercard program I created that runs the energy allocation of a Starship. I may be able to scavenge my work and share pieces with the group. I don't know how to program in SL. Supercard runs on a Mac only, as far as I know.

1) That is one of the objectives. First of all we have at least one class that is urgent to fix. INTRO TO OPERATIONS has become pretty much outdated with the Reboot, since most of it's structure will disappear (BCs do not have the old structure they used to). A new needs to be written, with more focus on the Chapters system and less on the Fleet UFS. That may also take time because Chapters are yet to come with their new SOPs.

2) Yes i do agree and that's actually what i am trying to do...and what i think Operations Branch should do. However our action is very limited as Branch Commander alones. The way Operations evolves under the new Reboot will depend a lot on each COO and CO relationship. And how available are COs to listen to their COO. Only then will a big discussion and useful one about Operations will do the trick.

Also...obviously, depends if the COOs wish to work together as a GROUP...or BE LONE WOLVES that think this is just useless as the Branch Commander position is as just useless too...And this is the main problem here, and will the most challenging aspect to me.



3) Yes thank you! I do need this! I will be honest, as source for content i am limited to memory Alpha and Beta and Gamma and the Expanded Universe...and i am rather recent Star Trek fan as in spending time watching episodes and rewatching and searching for any piece of data i can about Operations. So i do need help here.

4) Good idea! Important if we have RL Chapters that want to RP.

5) Ah this one...This one might be complicated...or not.

Let me explain. One of the aspects the Admiral grills us with is: If it can't be done to ALL TYPES OF CHAPTERS IT CAN'T BE DONE EXCLUSIVE TO SL/METAVERSE. Your idea is similar to the previous Ops BC i think. Back then i disagreed with it because: We already had so much classes....Simulator Training classes ...and now another program to prevent us from joining the ships/stations and RP...But with the reboot, you do not have the 4 weeks academy anymore!...Actually if a Chapter decides so...you dont even need any class. In this situation your idea makes sense, however perhaps not IN Character and Metaverse Only.

If you noticed, now we have the "Email classes". Theory classes of inworld but taught through email. Currently i am teaching several of the College of Operations classes to ANY UFS OFFICER (regardless of grid) that wishes so. This has been the case with Astraios. This whole week, one of their Ops Officers got Flight Controller Theory, Bridge Duty Stations, Alien Languages 101, Subspace Communication... This offer was also extended to the UFS Grid, however Graham Kitt is their XO and he is an excellent Operations Intructor, so they have it covered i guess :)

This is perhaps similar to what you meant. And it is for ALL CHAPTERS. Of course when the Academy Online becomes..well...ONLINE, this will not be needed and when it happens we will figure other ways to keep supporting the Officers outside SL.

6) Yes and No...The Newsletter will actually be a Blog format. And it will be for any Ops Officer of UFS. My idea of it's use are:

- Branch related News

- Branch related Updates : New Classes or Wiki

- Articles about the Branch submitted our Members (could be anything they wish to talk about)

- SHOWCASE (photos or anything that Operations Officers wish to share about their Chapter, from missions, RPs, Chapter Ceremonies, etc)

- Miscellaneous.

- Connecting!


Once again...this can be and should be done by multiple Bloggers. I know that we are not Sciences....we are not Medical, but i think it is possible to to find day by day RL or not situations that we can write about relate with Star Trek and our Branch.

7) Though i would like a lot of Operations Officer writing articles, i do intend to make it open to all UFS Members.


8) I dont know what a Supercard is....but we do need ideas on that area.

I would like to inform that as far Helms goes, a HUD is already under development. Not only will it calculate Warp ETAs..but also Impulse. The HUD will let you choose the ship class, and as you know Impulse speed depends on the Ship specifications...like their mass. It is being developed to for ASTRAIOS and UFS GRID in mind too...but it will take time.

As for the Power Allocations HUD...we still need ideas on how it should go...so your contribution here would be most welcome.

Contact me about it.






Once again, i hope my answer are satisfying...and sorry any other typo lol


There was already a meeting yesterday with the COOs that could come at that hour and we discussed this topics and others. There is another one at Saturday 7 AM SLT for those that couldnt come the first one and...are interested to come.


Once more i am available for any ideas.
Mikael Blessed
UFS Civilian
UFS Civilian

120210.1434

Whether in character or out, our job is to supply material that you can use in your vision of Operations, then support you in your choices without expectations. Thank you for taking charge. Each of the ideas I share are to use or not, as you choose, with my full support.

I'll see what I can track down. Contact me at will for help with various things. In RL, I am somewhat scattered right now, but I also have a lot of time. Talk to you soon.
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