About This File
Note: this skin pack uses an EXE installer that creates common texture folders and an autoexec.cfg (if you already have one, you can make manual changes). I would like your feedback on this system; if it works I intend to apply it to my other skin packs.
The Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is a deployable, quick reaction air-ground task force of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) that includes both a battalion sized ground and support force as well as a group sized composite air component. The air assets are pulled from various stateside Marine squadrons and take on the squadron name and tail code of the medium lift squadron (formerly the CH-46 helicopter squadron, now the V-22 tiltrotor squadron), and the medium lift squadron is designated as "Reinforced" (e.g. "VMM-263 (Rein)"). Among the helicopter assets in the MEU are the UH-1N Huey (now the UH-1Y Venom) and the AH-1W Super Cobra or AH-1Z Viper, themselves taken from composite Marine Light Attack Helicopter (HMLA) squadrons.
Since the HMLA assets that comprise the Light Utility/Attack portion of the MEU are "on loan" to the medium lift squadron, they tend to paint their aircraft strictly to regulation, applying the tail code and modex (side number), painting over their own squadron insignia but not taking on the insignia of their host squadron. This may make for less interesting aircraft, but it makes for very easy skinning. As a result, I was able to create tails of each Reinforced HMM/VMM squadron that has deployed in a MEU, as well as modexes 30-47 (3x and 4x are normally the modexes used for HMLA assets in a MEU with one range for the UH-1 and the other for the AH-1). All of this allows for 168 separate combinations realistically representing the UH-1s that have deployed over the past 20 years, all with a minimum of textures. This allows the mission editor to create larger scale missions with unique skins for the UH-1 while keeping the texture overhead to a minimum, and allowing for realism at the same time!
Each of the Hueys in the reinforced squadrons use the proper modexes in their proper timeframes (with possible exceptions of a single isolated deployment or detachment during the timeframe), and where a reinforced squadron's UH-1 modex has shifted from 3x to 4x, a separate timeframe has been indicated in the skin name. In these instances, the skins spanning only the 1990s will feature Marines in green flightgear with all other skins featuring Marines in desert gear.
The following reinforced medium lift squadrons are represented (HMM are helicopter squadrons, H/VMM indicates both HMM and VMM tiltrotor squadrons):
- HMM-161 (Rein) Greyhawks
- HMM-162 (Rein) Golden Eagles
- HMM-163 (Rein) Ridge Runners (aka Evil Eyes)
- HMM-164 (Rein) Knightriders
- H/VMM-165 (Rein) White Knights
- H/VMM-166 (Rein) Sea Elk
- H/VMM-261 (Rein) Raging Bulls
- HMM-262 (Rein) Flying Tigers
- H/VMM-263 (Rein) Thunder Eagles
- HMM-264 (Rein) Black Knights
- H/VMM-266 (Rein) Fighting Griffins
- HMM-268 (Rein) Red Dragons
- HMM-364 (Rein) Purple Foxes
- HMM-365 (Rein) Blue Knights
A note about the Crew Chief & Door Gunner:
Since enlisted US troops don't wear rank/rate insignia on flightsuits, their rank/rate is displayed on their nametag. Since there are no specific nametag textures for the crew chief/door gunner texture, I have added a nametag to the velcro on the chest armor (as is standard practice).
In choosing names for the texture, I opted for US servicemembers who received the Medal of Honor. CPL Jason Dunham represents the Unites States Marine Corps in these skins. The following is his Medal of Honor citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander's convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
CPL Dunham is also the namesake of the USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109), the Marine Corps Security Force barracks in Kings Bay, GA, and Crucible stations at both MCRD Parris Island and MCRD San Diego.
A Note about Autoexec.cfg:
Rather than copying texture files to their respective livery folders, I prefer to use a series of common texture folders along with unique filenames. This allows a single instance of many of my common textures, and keeps the hard drive footprint to a minimum (especially nice if you run a SSD for your system drive).
The installer will add a series of folders to the DCS Texture path; if you do not have these folders created, then it is no problem. The autoexec.cfg included will automatically point to the Texture folder in your Saved Games\DCS folder, and regardless of whether you run the Open Alpha, Open Beta, or Release version of DCS, the path will always point to your Saved Games\DCS\Texture folder. Again, this saves space on your hard drive.
If you use your own Autoexec.cfg, then when prompted to overwrite you can click "no". This will create a file called autoexec.new, and you can manually make the updates as you like. Just don't modify the top line with the file date; this is used by the installer for version control. However, feel free to include it in your existing autoexec.cfg, so you don't get prompted to overwrite until there's another update to the autoexec.cfg.
If you inadvertently overwrite your autoexec.cfg, it is actually backed up as autoexec.old. Just open it and copy the appropriate information to the new file.
Special thanks to upuaut for assistance with the more "exotic" material names, as well as the assistance with custom rotor colors.
You are free to use any of the textures in other skins or projects as long as proper credit is provided in the readme file.
What's New in Version 1.13
- Minor Texture Updates
- Added Installer