Reserve Task Force Assists CVA in X-3RNM


Honoring the mutual defense pact between the State and the Empire, a Reserve task force under the leadership of senior Fleet Operations officers ADM Derrys Otireya and CDRE Ladel Teravada spent much of 16 December 109 in the Providence region bolstering the defense of the Curatores Veratatis Alliance against a strong push by the Triumvirate alliance to take control of the system's four moons and the inaugural CVA outpost, Inflatable House. Thanks to the efforts of the allied defense fleet, the Triumvirate assault was repelled and the CVA retained control of the system at the end of the day.

Preparation for the Reserve's part in the defensive action began on Friday morning, when CDRE Teravada relayed information about Triumvirate's initial push into the system which placed all four towers in reinforced mode. At that point, preparations began to move a a task force in place during the next 48 hours in order to assist with with CVA's defense of the system. During that time, battleships, interceptors, electronic warfare cruisers, and other combat ships were moved into position in the Empire near the border with the Providence region.

Actual combat operations began shortly after midnight on the morning of the 16th, with CDRE Teravada and CDR Ayari scoring their first kill against a Triumvirate Apocalypse-class battleship in their defense of a CVA space platform. Fighting for the next several hours was sporadic, as Triumvirate ships moved to close off the system and allied forces attempted to break through the enemy lines into X-3RNM to reinforce CVA positions.

Beginning around 0900, the pace of combat increased and Reserve forces participated in an action against sniper forces near the R3-K7K gate. In what was described by ADM Otireya as a pitched battle fraught with heavy electromagnetic interference from the numbers of ships involved, the admiral's Rokh and many other allied vessels were destroyed in what was a temporary Pyrrhic victory for the defending forces. These kinds of attacks and counterattacks continued throughout the next hour and a half.

At 1045, an allied force attacking an isolated Triumvirate battleship was ambushed by a Triumvirate counterattack, pinning them down for the arrival of Triumvirate's Avatar-class titan. CDRE Teravada became one of the first casualties of this fearsome weapon, his Armageddon-class battleship caught only a kilometer from the ship as its Judgement device was activated. The allied forces took significant but not crippling losses, and many pilots of Triumvirate were unable to withdraw in time and were caught in their own titan's doomsday weapon.

When the traffic control network was reactivated at 1200 after the daily maintenance period, Triumvirate and allied forces continued to skirmish for a number of hours as the CVA repaired its towers and disrupted enemy attempts to muster a significant capital fleet against the remaining vulnerable space platforms around the system's moons. During this phase, Reserve forces mostly served as adjuncts to the allied interceptor force, with one Reserve battleship destroyed en route to the X-3RNM system by a Triumvirate picket fleet.

By approximately 1600 hours, significant enemy presence had been reduced to isolated hit and run attacks, and the CVA fleet had managed to bring nearly all the platform shields back to full strength. With Amarr authorities firmly in control of the system again, at least for the moment, the Reserve task force was given a RTB order and withdrew from Providence.

FADM Van Cleef Releases Statement on APEX Conglomerate


At noon on 17 November 109, Reserve commander-in-chief FADM Van Cleef released the following statement through the Reserve diplomatic staff in regard to the actions of the APEX Conglomerate over the last month.

"Recently, the actions and associations of one-time Reserve ally the APEX Conglomerate have raised great concerns within our organization. While the Reserve has not always seen eye-to-eye with APEX, we have always respected the fact that they shared the Reserve's commitment to the good of the State. Over the last several months, the Reserve and the Conglomerate have made attempts to resume the mutually beneficial relationship that our two organizations once had, with varying success. It is with great concern that we have watched our fellow State loyalists slowly slide closer to enemies of the State.

As it stands, APEX is currently hiding under the shelter of anti-State terrorists, criminals, and anarchists. With their own words and actions, they have disavowed the State, and with that action they have left us with but one choice. As of this time, the Reserve is officially severing all ties with the Conglomerate. Should Reserve forces encounter APEX pilots participating in illegal or anti-State activities, they will be treated no differently from any other outlaws."

Any further questions on the matter can be directed to the Reserve diplomatic office.

Brushfire Conflict in Aulari Constellation


The Hungarian Operations Team, a small corporation based in the Osmon system of the Aulari constellation, declared war against the Reserve on 12 October. Efforts to make diplomatic contact with .HOT. proved unsuccessful, and combat began in earnest on 13 October, with the Reserve scoring first blood against the attacking corporation in a number of skirmishes between small groups of combatants. Hunter-killer squads largely made up of advanced frigates, cruisers, and other light ships were sent by Reserve fleet operations forces to harass the enemy in their home space as Reserve intelligence began to put together a more complete picture of enemy operations and capabilities.

By the end of the first day, .HOT. had begun adapting to Reserve tactics, with its more senior members deploying recon cruisers and command battlecruisers against the lighter Reserve forces. In response, Reserve fleet command put together a heavier combat force on 14 October, moving a dozen combat vessels to the Aulari constellation. For nearly two hours, Reserve and enemy fleets skirmished, scouted, and maneuvered for advantage until the Reserve fleet was able to force the enemy into an engagement on the Olo gate in Osmon.

In a pitched battle, the Reserve fleet destroyed a Megathron-class battleship, two command battlecruisers, and a Hurricane-class battlecruiser, and drove the remaining enemy ships off the field, losing only a frigate and a Blackbird-class cruiser. Once salvaging of the enemy wrecks had been completed, the Reserve continued their patrol, leading to a number of other skirmishes over another two hours, with both sides scoring opportunity kills against the other largely through the use of snipers.

This pattern of skirmish continued on 15 October, with Reserve forces and .HOT. forces continuing to clash in the Aulari constellation during the day. Though the enemy managed to score their single heaviest kill, taking down a Reserve Raven-class battleship, Reserve forces exacted a heavy price for the loss, taking down an enemy Pilgrim-class recon cruiser, Megathron-class battleship, and Drake-class battlecruiser, plus a veritable swarm of frigates. These losses were evidently more than the enemy could bear, and shortly after the loss of the Megathron, the Reserve was notified that the war declaration had been withdrawn. The past 24 hours, during the CONCORD-mandated "cool down" period, have been relatively quiet, with no further engagements.

Operation Just Redress Final Report


After last week's relatively heavy fighting, the third week of Operation Just Redress was relatively quiet. Electus Matari, having suffered significant losses against Reserve forces despite support from a variety of underworld organizations, appeared to retreat back into their stations and only probed Reserve forces on a few occasions. This tactic had two results; the first was a reduction in the losses taken by Electus Matari forces, and the second was an increasing amount of pilot fatigue on the part of Reserve officers, who continued to run patrols despite a relative lack of enemy activity. Despite the lack of kills, Reserve forces continued to maintain an upper hand, holding a strong advantage in space superiority despite being outnumbered by Electus Matari, Fate Weavers, the Black Rabbits' Gurista forces, and the Sansha-aligned Naqam corporation.

The last significant threat made to Reserve forces during this operation occurred on 3 October, when close to 30 Electus Matari and allied vessels laid siege to the forward base in Vullat. Outnumbered 2 to 1, Reserve forces chose to disengage and then challenged the enemy force as it withdrew piecemeal. Unfortunately, LCDR Ayari, who was attempting to hold down an enemy Scorpion, was not able to escape in time as the Electus Matari fleet warped back to assist the ship that had been left behind. As the rest of the fleet withdrew in the face of the large enemy force, LCDR Ayari managed to keep them occupied long enough for the rest of the fleet to pull out in good order. Though her Brutix-class battlecruiser was lost, her sacrifice enabled the rest of the Reserve forces to escape unharmed. Unfortunately, no losses were inflicted against the enemy during this battle.

Friday and Saturday would see the bulk of the fighting by Reserve forces during this last week. The fighting began with an attack on relatively inexperienced Reserve officers in Vullat on Friday morning; hoping for a quick strike against a Naqam battleship, four Reserve pilots engaged the enemy near the Reserve forward base. Unfortunately, without adequate firepower and with a number of intelligence oversights, the Reserve pilots were ambushed by an enemy fleet waiting a pair of jumps out. The Reserve lost a Scorpion and a Drake and inflicted no losses.

Later that day, a Reserve fleet led by CDRE Ladel Teravada began a patrol in force against Electus Matari, forcing most of the enemy fleet to retreat back to its stations. Though only a single kill was scored, an Electus Matari Vigil, Reserve forces demonstrated a stranglehold on space superiority in the operational area. With Electus Matari effectively contained, the Reserve fleet began looking for their underworld allies; scouts located a Black Rabbit force in the Oddelulf system, preying on civilian traffic, including their leader, Napthalia. Reserve forces split into two groups, with the first led by CDRE Teravada and the second under the command of CAPT Scarlet. As the Black Rabbits moved to strike at a civilian vessel jumping into the system, CDRE Teravada's group warped in and began to hold down the enemy as CAPT Scarlet's force quickly followed to reinforce, lagging behind to draw out the enemy. Despite the loss of a Hyperion,Malediction, and Myrmidon, Reserve forces managed to eliminate the entire Black Rabbit fleet with the exception of a single Deimos, including Napthalia's own Vulture-class command ship.

Fighting continued into the early hours of 6 October, with a small Reserve force meeting a slightly larger Electus Matari force in the Eystur system, trading a single Myrmidon battlecruiser for an enemy Myrmidon and Typhoon, and four hours later, a similar engagement resulted in two battleship losses for Electus Matari and no losses for the Reserve. After these engagements, Electus Matari withdrew until the conclusion of the war declaration some 16 hours later. War declarations against the Reserve by the Sansha-aligned Naqam corporation and the Black Rabbits-led Gurista forces expired soon after, another indication of the coordination between Electus Matari and these outlaw corporations despite the protests of the Electus Matari leadership.

Though fighting continues against the Fate Weavers Minmatar extremist alliance, Reserve forces have concluded major combat operations and withdrawn to Caldari space. With over 1.5 billion ISK in losses inflicted against Electus Matari, not including kills against their allies, and less than a billion ISK in total losses by Reserve pilots, the command staff is largely satisfied that the punitive goals of Operation Just Redress have been a success. In addition, it has exposed Electus Matari's links to a number of underworld organizations, something which has opened a rift between the alliance and other more reasonable Minmatar paramilitary forces -- something which will hopefully reduce their belligerence in the future. However, CDR Char and her staff seem to have no remorse for their actions in Tannolen and over the last three weeks, and as a result the Reserve has classified Electus Matari as a hostile force to be engaged whenever possible.

The potential remains for Electus Matari to redeem itself diplomatically with the Reserve and others, however, under the current leadership, it seems unlikely that such a reproachment will occur.

Brothers of Freedom Crushed in Combined Reserve/Navy Operation


Caldari Navy forces, in concert with those of the Reserve, raided a Republic Security Services station in the Tannolen system on 1 September 109, capturing or killing most of the remaining members of the Brothers of Freedom terrorist group. Despite their efforts, however, Brothers of Freedom leader Melarius Torvil was able to escape into the Minmatar Republic, where he has apparently taken refuge from Caldari law.

Despite a large presence from the Star Fraction alliance in the target system of Tannolen -- an anarchist terrorist group which has clashed with the Reserve on several occasions -- the only resistance to the Navy operation encountered by the Reserve was from the Electus Matari paramilitary force. After successfully escorting a pair of Caldari Navy battleships to the station, the Reserve force jumped into Tierjiev and then returned shortly thereafter. Upon their return, a number of Reserve vessels were destroyed without provocation and without warning by a number of Electus Matari ships as they came through the gate.

However, shortly after the fleet reformed in Tannolen, Navy officers informed Reserve command staff that Melarius Torvil was not in fact on the station as had previously been reported -- Brothers of Freedom sympathizers on the station had been sending messages out in order to maintain the illusion while Torvil made his escape from the State into the Republic. The Reserve scrambled immediately, with a number of Reserve vessels immediately heading for Republic space, but by the time they arrived at Torvil's location some sixteen jumps away, the terrorist had managed to dock in a Republic station and remained there, seeking asylum from Republic authorities.

With no way to pursue Torvil onto the station legally, as he was out of Caldari jurisdiction, Reserve forces had little choice but to return to Caldari space. However, despite the failure to capture Torvil, the systematic dismantling of his organization that the Navy and the Reserve have engaged in over the last three months has made the Brothers of Freedom significantly weaker than they once were, and intelligence estimates now suggest that the Brothers of Freedom are unable to engage in their previous activities within the State and that their base of support among the Caldari populace seems to be consistently decreasing, both good indicators of success.

The unprovoked attack upon Reserve vessels by Electus Matari has caused a significant diplomatic incident between the Reserve and the Minmatar alliance, and hostilities look increasingly likely as a result of the action.

Operation Just Redress Status Update, 1 October 109


The second week of Operation Just Redress has seen slightly higher activity by opposition forces, most likely due to the withdrawl of KIA Alliance forces from battle against Electus Matari. However, Electus Matari remains unable to seriously challenge Reserve forces in the Minmatar core systems and they have received surprisingly little support from their allies, possibly due to internal disputes.

There have only been a pair of large-scale engagements between the Reserve and Electus Matari and their allies this week, the first of which occurred on Wednesday. A Electus Matari force of cruisers with a small number of heavier and more advanced ships numbering around 15 moved into Vullat, location of the Reserve's base of operations. CDRE Ladel Teravada, who had been leading a Reserve patrol at the time, returned and rallied a counterstrike force on short notice as Reserve scouts tracked down the enemy fleet in space. In short order, the Minmatar fleet was located and the Reserve fleet prepared to strike.

Unfortunately, as the fleet moved in to strike, one of the Reserve battlecruisers lost its navigational control, and another of the fleet's cruisers warped in out of range of battle, giving the Minmatar fleet nearly a two-to-one numerical advantage. With the rest of the fleet at close range, CDRE Teravada ordered Reserve forces to engage despite Electus Matari's numerical superiority. The Reserve vessels tore apart six enemy cruisers and a battlecruiser and forced the enemy to flee the system, though at the price of the Reserve's heaviest losses of the operation so far. The Reserve lost an Eos-class command ship, two advanced cruisers, and another cruiser; though nearly half the Reserve's total losses during the entire operation so far, they were still less expensive than the single Rapier-class reconnaissance cruiser piloted by CDR Char that was shot down last week.

The second major engagement occurred on Sunday, when 11 Electus Matari ships again tried to besiege the Reserve operations base. Though outnumbered at first, Reserve pilots responded quickly to a general alert, and within minutes a fleet had been raised under CAPT Svetlana Scarlet. Thanks to quick work by Reserve scouts, the enemy fleet was located and followed as it moved, until Reserve forces were able to pounce on the enemy at an asteroid belt. As the Minmatar forces scattered, one lone cruiser was left behind as his compatriots ran, and he was quickly dispatched.

The Reserve force then split to cover the stargates leading out of the system to cut off an enemy escape; Electus Matari forces attempted to slip out through the Magiko system and suffered another loss as the Harbinger serving as the center of the enemy force was nabbed by Reserve forces covering the gate. The rest of the Minmatar ships fled back to Pator, where they remained encamped for the rest of the day.

The remainder of combat between Reserve and Electus Matari forces during this week have consisted of small engagements; the Reserve inflicted over 15 kills against enemy combat forces, including two battleships and a pair of recon cruisers, while suffering a dozen of their own. However, the number only show an incomplete picture, as the Reserve continues to hold space superiority. The largest contributor to many of the Reserve's combat losses has been pilot fatigue, with Reserve forces flying almost constant patrols with little action, with Electus Matari forces unwilling or unable to challenge Reserve dominance.

At the moment, barring a significant change in tactics from Electus Matari or the involvement of third parties, the situation seems unlikely to change, and the Minmatar alliance appears unwilling to make any sort of diplomatic compromise. With the operational window specified in the command staff's original operation order coming to a close at the end of this week, it seems that the most likely conclusion to Operation Just Redress will be an unresolved conflict, leaving the possibility of future combat operations against Electus Matari.

Operation Just Redress Status Update, 24 September 109


Operation Just Redress was authorized by the Reserve command staff on 13 September 109 following a period of increased operational readiness in response to unprovoked aggression on the part of the Electus Matari alliance. Attempts at a diplomatic solution by both the Reserve Diplomatic Office and Apex Conglomerate executor Vendrin Latanis were rejected outright by Electus Matari executor Evanda Char.

The punitive nature of the operation called for strikes on all elements of Electus Matari operations, both combat forces and industrial/logistical assets, centering around high security systems in the Heimatar region where intelligence indicated that the Minmatar alliance was concentrated. Shortly after war was declared, the Reserve received counterdeclarations from the Veto pirate alliance, the Black Rabbits pirate corporation, and the Fate Weavers terrorist organization. Intelligence seems to indicate that Electus Matari and the two pirate organizations have some sort of business relationship, while the connection between Electus Matari and the Fate Weavers is a well-known quantity. However, due to the concentration of Reserve forces in high security areas, combat between the Reserve and the pirate forces has been extremely light.

As the war went live on 15 September, Electus Matari forces attempted to besiege the station serving as the Reserve's forward base for a short period of time with 30+ combat vessels, before they eventually dispersed under the eyes of cloaked Reserve intelligence assets. This would be the last time that Electus Matari forces would have the upper hand during this first week of operations.

Due to the intervention of the KIA Alliance mercenary force on behalf of unknown parties, Electus Matari quickly adopted a new strategic approach which left them paralyzed until 23 September, when KIA Alliance lifted their declaration. Their approach scattered their fleet and relied heavily on guerilla raids and cloaked vessels, largely incapable of doing significant damage to concentrated, coordinated Reserve fleets. While able to score isolated kills against Reserve targets, usually those operating alone or as scouts, Electus Matari paid a heavy price for each. Reserve fleets scored better than a three-to-one kill ratio against enemy forces, while losing only a handful of cruisers, battlecruisers, and advanced frigates.

The arrival of Ushra'Khan in action against the KIA Alliance on 21 September, and KIA's subsequent withdrawal from combat against Electus Matari a day later, signalled a possible change in the state of the conflict. Reserve pilots were brought to a heightened state of alert for the end of the KIA declaration, and as expected Electus Matari again tried to besiege the Reserve base, this time bringing somewhere in the range of 18 vessels. The Reserve force in the station counterattacked with 15 battleships, scattering the enemy force and killing a Tempest belonging to the traitorous Caldari Davlos Cain, as well as a stealth bomber.

The last significant activity of note was the destruction of Evanda Char's Rapier in the early morning hours of 24 September. CDR Char had cloaked and was harassing Reserve pilots in the local comm channel, but apparently had not been paying attention as she drifted closer to a Reserve Caracal near a stargate. Getting too close, her cloak failed and she was quickly scrambled and was nearly half destroyed before she could respond; despite her best efforts, her ship was vaporized in short order.

In summary, Operation Just Redress is proceeding better than expected so far, with Reserve forces having near-complete space superiority in the operational area and enemy forces still reduced to generally ineffective guerilla strikes against isolated friendly vessels. Organized resistance by Electus Matari appears to be largely destroyed, though intervention by other known allies, such as Ushra'Khan, may impair Reserve operations.

Ceasefire Declared Between Reserve and Acheron Forces


For the past three weeks, the Caldari Independent Navy Reserve has pursued a punitive campaign against the Acheron Federation in retaliation for their material support of the Brothers of Freedom. The fighting has been long and bloody, and both sides have lost many brave men and women and paid a terrible price. Throughout the fighting, the Reserve has maintained the position that this conflict could be brought to a peaceful settlement anytime the Acheron Federation agreed to see reason.

At 2130 today, the Reserve command staff was approached by FADM Thuul'Khalat, who wished to discuss the possibility of peace talks between the Reserve and the Acheron Federation, which we have now tentatively agreed to. The talks will be held in the Yulai system at a CONCORD station in order to provide a neutral field for both parties.

As a condition for accepting these talks, the Reserve has required that the forces of the Acheron Federation completely withdraw from Caldari space and do not enter the State under any circumstances. As a sign of goodwill, the Reserve shall do the same with regard to the Federation. Both sides will continue to monitor the border and any breach of these conditions will be considered grounds to resume combat operations.

Operation Azure Quarantine Status Update, 23 July 109


The second week of Operation Azure Quarantine continued the trend seen during the latter half of the previous week, with Acheron forces avoiding contact with Reserve patrols, even in their core systems around Dodixie. Most combat engagements have been restricted to a small number of ships, usually battlecruiser size or smaller, on each side; in nearly every case, Reserve forces have defeated the enemy handily. Unfortunately, despite military victories against Acheron, Reserve intelligence is fairly confident that supplies continue to reach the Brothers of Freedom; a number of Acheron supply convoys have, however, been intercepted by Reserve forces, giving further insight on the true nature of the "humanitarian" aid the Acheron Federation claims to be bringing the terrorists and their sympathizers.

Reserve intelligence has also determined that the Acheron Federation is spreading out their bases of operation; whereas they had previously been concentrated in the Dodixie, Eglennaert, and surrounding systems, a number of pilots appear to have moved from that area towards the Tourier and Alentene systems, on the border of Federation space and the CONCORD/Interbus neutral zone. The reason for this move is unclear, although it is possible they expected such a move would give them greater tactical maneuverability against Reserve patrols. In actuality, the effect appears to have spread their forces out in such a way to make them more vulnerable to Reserve patrols, not less -- unable to concentrate their forces, they appear to be unwilling or unable to challenge relatively small Reserve cruiser patrols in these systems. This has led to the loss of several cruisers and at least one battleship to Reserve patrols over the last week.

The heaviest Reserve losses during the last week were on 17 July, when a raiding force composed of a pair of Acheron Dominix-class battleships attacked a Reserve training operation on the Kassigainen gate in Hatakani. Due to the poor placement of the training operation by the officer in charge and a number of tactical errors during the battle, the Acheron force was able to destroy a Hyperion-class battleship and a Pilgrim-class recon cruiser and then exit the system before reinforcements could arrive. Though painful, especially due to the fact that these losses were easily avoidable with proper precautions, the losses did not significantly cripple the operational capabilities of the Reserve officers involved.

On 20 July, an Iteron Mark V-class industrial vessel under the Acheron Federation flag was intercepted and destroyed by CAPT Svetlana Scarlet in Sivala, who had been in the star system preparing for an antipirate operation in nearby Kubinen. The ship's cargo included cruise missiles and other ammunition, as well as a disturbing quantity of enriched uranium, all clearly not "necessary humanitarian aid" as claimed by the Acheron Federation. While this shipment was successfully stopped before it reached its intended destination, Caldari authorities should be aware that the Brothers of Freedom may now have the means to assemble primitive nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, thanks to agents of the Gallente Federation.

The only major engagement this week occurred on 22 July, when an Acheron fleet consisting of nine battleships and a pair of stealth bombers attempted to lay siege to the Reserve Forward Operations Base in Hatakani. Though initially outnumbered in the system when the enemy arrived (shortly after 1500 EVT), a call to scramble was answered by a number of Reserve pilots, giving the Reserve a numerical advantage by the time the enemy was engaged a half an hour later. Scouts were able to identify the most dangerous elements of the enemy fleet, which had split into two combat groups -- one near the station and the other in a position nearly 100km away. CDRE Teravada led the counterattack, his own acting as bait for the Acheron fleet. While his ship was lost early on, CDR Wolfgang Jager, his XO, was able to continue the fight ably, and Reserve forces once again ripped apart the core of the enemy fleet. All five Dominix-class vessels serving as the Acheron close-in battlegroup were destroyed, but unfortunately only a single Dominix of the remote group was caught and destroyed, with the other five enemy vessels beating a hasty retreat as the Reserve fleet tore apart their compatriot. Reserve forces were able to hold the field and salvage the hulks left behind.

At this time, the Reserve command staff believes that significant progress is being achieved towards the goals of Operation Azure Quarantine; Acheron forces appear to be less and less able to project significant force into Caldari space or even to secure their own core systems, a trend which will hopefully convince them to give in to the demands of the Reserve within the next few weeks. However, Acheron's leadership and even its rank and file appear to be remaining defiant and Sunday's battle proves that they still have the will to engage Reserve forces, despite their heavy losses. It seems likely that resistance will continue during the next week, though it may be restricted to the skirmishing and raiding tactics seen during the last two weeks.

Operation Azure Quarantine Status Update, 16 July 109


Reserve combat operations against the Acheron Federation began on 6 July 109; combat operations so far have been decidedly in favor of the Reserve, achieving almost complete space superiority throughout the main corridor of operations stretching from Acheron Federation bases in Dodixie and surrounding systems to the core Caldari Border Zone. While Acheron continues to stage limited fleet operations within the Federation and against APEX Conglomerate operations out of the Tierijev system, attacks against the main body of the Reserve fleet have almost completely ceased only ten days into the campaign.

Major fleet actions began within five hours of the CONCORD-sanctioned war declaration, when an Acheron fleet led by FADM Thuul'Khalat assaulted the Reserve Forward Operations Base in Hatakani. Reserve scouts detected the fleet preparing for their assault in Kassigainen, and CDRE Ladel Teravada organized a defensive fleet in response, deploying just as the Acheron fleet jumped into the Hatakani system. Through a quick series of maneuvers, CDRE Teravada was able to drop the Reserve force, consisting of five battleships, three battlecruisers, and a cruiser, almost directly on top of the Acheron fleet which had been setting up to siege the the station serving as Reserve headquarters. The outnumbered, but more advanced and experienced Reserve fleet was able to crush the core of the Acheron fleet, scattering the rest of the enemy forces. Five enemy battleships, as well as an enemy recon cruiser and pair of frigates, were destroyed, with another battleship and a few support craft fleeing the system with heavy damage.

The battle in Hatakani was followed seven hours later by a pitched battle in the Grinacanne system. Following an unsuccessful RIF in the Acheron core systems, and reports of an Acheron battlefleet assembling, Reserve forces assembled a heavy fleet to prepare a counterattack against the main body of the enemy. The fleet proceeded from Hatakani along the most probable lines of enemy advance, with CAPT Svetlana Scarlet's Hurricane serving as scout. Upon jumping into the Erme system, with the rest of the fleet sitting on the gate in Grinacanne, CAPT Scarlet detected a fleet of 11 Acheron Federation vessels en route at high speed to the same gate. As she returned to Grinacanne under the fire of the arriving Acheron fleet, Reserve forces in Grinacanne prepared for the oncoming assault.

Acheron forces jumped into Grinacanne shortly thereafter and began to engage the Reserve fleet in earnest; Reserve forces returned fire with a crippling barrage from their battleships and battlecruisers, focusing fire effectively and using advanced weaponry to again crush the core of the Acheron fleet. Though a pair of Reserve battleships were lost (including LCDR Gosok's Scorpion, which had been caught too close to the gate when the enemy engaged), the Reserve fleet managed to inflict heavy losses on the enemy again, destroying five battleships and a battlecruiser plus support.

This battle was followed by another on 8 July. Under the command of CAPT Zevrik, Reserve forces pursued an Acheron force in the Botane system, finally pinning them at the Eglennaert gate. Numerically superior for the first time since combat operations started, the Reserve fleet engaged and completely eliminated the entire Acheron force, downing five battleships, a battlecruiser, two advanced cruisers, and a frigate for no losses. Sensor logs of the battle indicated that the Acheron fleet appeared to be suffering a communicatons failure which, combined with the Reserve fleet's superior numbers, contributed to the abnormally heavy losses in the battle.

On Monday, Reserve intelligence indicated that Acheron operated a space platform in the Botane system operated by a shell corporation. The command staff made the decision to expand the war declaration to include the shell corporation, in order to allow the Reserve to eliminate this asset and deal a heavy blow to Acheron's logistical chain. Unfortunately, by the time the war declaration was in effect, the small research platform had been greatly expanded and reinforced; the defenses added to the platform made an assault by anything short of capital vessels infeasible, and attack plans were put on hold. At this time, the Reserve command staff has decided that the vastly increased fuel resources being consumed by the expanded platform are a sufficient enough detriment to Acheron's logistics that a costly assault is not necessary.

As the week wore on, the Acheron Federation began to actively avoid combat with Reserve forces, instead focusing on those of the APEX Conglomerate, against whom they had achieved significantly greater success. On several occasions, Reserve forces have pursued Acheron forces to the APEX forward base in Tierijev in an attempt to force action, but presented with the threat of facing both the Reserve and APEX simultaneously, Acheron forces have generally withdrawn. At present, Acheron's ability to operate in force against the Reserve appears to be largely eliminated, with most attacks reduced to hit-and-run raids or skirmish actions in Federation and State space, usually involving no more than a few ships on either side.

However, Reserve intelligence has largely attributed this unwillingness to engage to a reevaluation of their previous strategies and tactics due to the heavy losses sustained earlier in the week. A number of events, including a pair of battles where an Acheron Dominix managed to withstand concentrated fire from two to three Reserve battleships for nearly five minutes, indicate that Acheron commanders are implementing new tactics and developing new capabilities to deal with the advantages the Reserve currently maintains. Reserve morale remains high, but fleet commanders have been told to expect heavier losses if Acheron forces begin to seek engagements again.

During the course of the week, Acheron convoys made up of frigates and industrials rigged for blockade running have continued to bring supplies to the Kisogo system, where Brothers of Freedom activity continues to persist despite Navy and corporate security forces gaining an upper hand against the terrorist insurrection in that system. In an effort to cut off these supplies, Reserve Fleet Operations has developed a number of new tactics, the results of which have been promising. Further refinement of these tactics is expected to reduce the incoming supplies further over the coming weeks; in combination with punitive strikes by Reserve forces against Acheron targets, the command staff hopes this will convince the enemy that further attempts to supply the Brothers of Freedom are useless.

Reserve Deploys to Protect Disabled Navy Carrier


At a short press conference today, Reserve spokeswoman CAPT Svetlana Scarlet spoke to reporters briefly about an incident in the early hours of the morning in the Hysera system. Though short on details, CAPT Scarlet stated that a small Reserve force, backed by elements of the APEX Conglomerate and Caldari Navy Defense Force, deployed to the Hysera system shortly before 0100 EVT in response to reports that a Caldari Navy Chimera-class carrier had been disabled and that Brothers of Freedom pilots were making a move to attack it.

"Because of our ongoing operations against the Acheron Federation, both the Reserve and the APEX Conglomerate were slightly delayed in our response; APEX vessels arrived in the system first, at roughly 0052 EVT. When they arrived, a Reserve spotter, as well as a number of pirates belonging to the BEETS corporation and the Brothers of Freedom were present. BEETS had already begun engaging the Brothers of Freedom, and though APEX announced their intentions upon entering the system, they were also fired upon by BEETS as they arrived, taking heavy casualties."

"Reserve pilots arrived only minutes later, with a force considerably superior to that of BEETS, and ordered them to stand down immediately. LT Xianjo, the captain of the Navy carrier, also ordered them to do so. Though they opened fire on the Reserve point vessel, a Raven under the command of CAPT Zevrik, they realized the mistake they were making shortly thereafter as the rest of the fleet arrived, and stood down."

According to CAPT Scarlet, after the Reserve fleet arrived in orbit around Hysera I to secure the area, the Navy carrier was able to warp to a friendly station, where it made port and was secured for repairs. Reserve vessels remained in orbit for several minutes to cover APEX pilots salvaging their lost vessels, but withdrew before they were able to finish in order to ensure the carrier's safety and reduce vulnerability to the increasing number of BEETS pilots in the system. "BEETS was only kept in check by the superior force present in the system; as soon as Reserve forces broke orbit, they attacked the APEX vessels salvaging there without warning; they have made it clear that they only assisted the Navy pilot because they feared him more than the Brothers of Freedom. We will consider them hostile in any future engagements."

Though the carrier was able to move to safety, LT Xianjo confirmed a number of disturbing facts regarding the attack; apparently, Brothers of Freedom agents on board the carrier sabotaged critical systems prior to the attack and tried to seize control of the vessel, while at the same time, their ships arrived to attack the carrier in the event they failed. "Due to the quick response of the Reserve and other State loyalists, we were able to secure the carrier and allow LT Xianjo's internal security forces the time to deal with the situation on board. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this attack was the revelation that the Brothers of Freedom now have pod pilots working in their organization, a capability previously unseen."

When asked about the participation of APEX, a corporation the Reserve has notably refused to cooperate with in the past, including during the current combat against the Acheron Federation, CAPT Scarlet said, "the threat of a terrorist attack against Caldari Navy assets was too great to allow petty rivalries to get in the way, espeically with time so short. I contacted both the senior APEX officer on duty and Vaeldan Athargan of the Caldari Navy Defense Force personally to ask for their assistance, both of whom responded affirmatively. The Reserve thanks both APEX and the CNDF for their assistance in the matter."

After that answer, questions turned to the progress of Operation Azure Quarantine, which CAPT Scarlet refused to answer. "Once again, I must state that any comment on the progress of ongoing operations at this time would not be appropriate. My office will be making our weekly report to the Reserve's stakeholders on Monday as previously stated. Until that time, there will be no official comment from the Reserve on the matter."

Reserve Begins Combat Operations Against Acheron Federation


The past week has seen two convoys of supplies brought from the Gallente Federation to the Brothers of Freedom terrorist group in the Kisogo system by the Federation paramilitary alliance the Acheron Federation, spearheaded by the Phoenix Wing corporation. Though Phoenix Wing and their allies have claimed that these supplies were "humanitarian relief" for "oppressed workers," intelligence gathered by Reserve officers has shown this for the blatant lie it is. Not only were these supplies going to an organization that seeks to destabilize the State from within, leading to the deaths of thousands of innocent Caldari, but the supplies contained in these convoys have been anything but humanitarian. Hidden amongst the food, medical supplies, and other innocuous items, have been electronics components, guidance systems, and other equipment used to build weapons and repair spacecraft -- tools the Brothers of Freedom can only use to spread their dangerous, misleading propaganda and violent uprising to other systems around the State.

These convoys are yet more evidence that the Brothers of Freedom are not the "voices of the oppressed worker" but agents of foreign interests seeking to cripple the State -- evidence that elements within the Federation are fueling the violence that now holds millions of our fellow Caldari hostage in a half-dozen star systems. This cannot be allowed to continue.

The Reserve has called upon the Acheron Federation to end these shipments and renounce the violent tactics of Melarius Torvil and his group of dangerous terrorists. They have not -- instead they have promised to continue these shipments as long as they are able. They have given the Reserve no choice but to use force in order to safeguard the borders of the Caldari State.

As a result, the Reserve general staff approved Operation Azure Quarantine on 5 July 109, authorizing the use of force against the Acheron Federation. During this operation, the Reserve will be attempting to seize or destroy any vessels attempting to deliver supplies to the Brothers of Freedom in order to deprive them of the resources necessary to escalate their current campaign of violence and disorder. To this end, Reserve patrols have already been established along many sections of the State-Federation border.

During this operation it will be neccessary to conduct offensive operations against Acheron Federation assets within the Gallente Federation. These raids will be conducted with the purpose of destroying the ability of the Acheron Federation to support the Brothers of Freedom logistically.

Current intelligence indicates that fighting will most likely be concentrated in the Caldari Border Zone constellation of the Citadel Region, but Reserve forces will be deployed to any area where the enemy conducts their operations.

Reserve Tracks Acheron Federation Aid to Brothers of Freedom


On 29 June, CAPT Zevrik, Reserve Chief of Naval Intelligence, received a communique from Caldari Naval Intelligence indicating that they had received intelligence from corporate assets indicating the high probability that a shipment of goods from the Gallente Federation, destined for the Brothers of Freedom, would be arriving in the Kisogo system on 1 July 109. Naval Intelligence requested the assistance of the Reserve in identifying any suspicious shipments from the Federation, possibly in vessels flagged to one of the Gallente paramilitaries. Naval Intelligence instructed CAPT Zevrik that the mandate was strictly to monitor and report -- interdiction and/or elimination was not authorized at the time.

Reserve forces set up a detection perimeter around the Kisogo system in an attempt to detect any suspicious traffic as early as possible and get scanning vessels in range to determine the contents of any transport vessels. At 2000 hours, Reserve pilots detected a convoy of vessels belonging to the Acheron Federation entering Caldari space and heading towards the Kisogo system. Scans of the vessels indicated food and medical supplies, but also electronics parts, guidance systems, and other cargo with signatures suspiciously similar to items used in the manufacture of weapons and improvised explosives captured by corporate security forces in the wake of riots started by the Brothers of Freedom. Documentation of these findings has been forwarded to the Caldari Navy and will be released to the public after thorough review by Reserve Intelligence staff.

These vessels docked in the Kisogo transit station operated by the State War Academy, and Reserve intelligence relayed our findings to the Navy shortly thereafter. In the last hour, the Reserve has received information from the Naval Intelligence regarding what happened to the cargo once it arrived at the SWA station.

Shortly after the convoy docked, the cargo was unloaded and began to be processed through Customs as usual for any cargo. The Caldari Customs official on duty was replaced by his supervisor shortly after beginning the sweep. Only a few hours ago, Tribunal intelligence assets discovered a numbered account with the Garoun Investment Bank linked to this supervisor; a number of deposits to that account from holding corporations, now believed to be shell companies for foreign intelligence assets, have been made in that account for the last year, totaling over a million ISK. This supervisor has been arrested by Naval MPs and is currently being interrogated by Naval Intelligence. According to the customs official taken off assignment by the supervisor, prior to his relief he recorded a number of lot numbers which have proven similar to those found for items seized in corporate security raids of Brothers of Freedom safehouses.

Unfortunately, this supervisor approved the transfer of cargo prior to his arrest, which was moved to a number of cargo vessels belonging to various corporations. These ships left the station some two hours later, destined for a number of cities in the Kisogo system. Shortly thereafter, the Navy received reports that the flight plans and transponder codes of these ships had been forged and scrambled to intercept, but was unable to apprehend them before they disappeared from the Kisogo traffic control net. These ships were found later, abandoned and stripped of cargo, in various places around the Kisogo system, mostly in abandoned urban areas and wilderness areas near known Brothers of Freedom bases of operation.

It seems clear now that the Acheron Federation, and perhaps other Gallente groups, are aiding the Brothers of Freedom -- if they did not instigate the riots that now threaten millions of Caldari lives, they are fueling them.

Inquiry Board Findings on Freighter Incident of 12 May 109


On 12 May 109, six Reserve pilots assisted the Guardian Shadows corporation in the destruction of a Charon-class freighter belonging to the Brothers of Freedom corporation, after preliminary intelligence indicated the possibility that the freighter intended to dock with the nearby CEP station and overwhelm security forces there. The combined attack by Reserve and Guardian Shadows' vessels destroyed the freighter, which was destroyed with all hands. Casualties aboard the vessel were estimated to be in the range of 65000. While these losses were tragic, Reserve officers on the scene believed that the threat to Caldari State citizens and property was both real and imminent.

Reserve officers first became involved in this incident when Weyln Xumal of the Guardian Shadows corporation contacted a number of Reserve members and requested that Reserve forces be present during the Brothers of Freedom rally in New Caldari. This request was made early on 12 May. Xumal later indicated that they had evidence that the Brothers of Freedom intended to bring a freighter full of anti-State agitators to the CEP station in New Caldari during the rally in an attempt to overwhelm security forces there. He requested the assistance of Reserve members to interdict the freighter before it was able to dock with the station; this was some two hours prior to the actual attack.

Unfortunately, no member of the Reserve general staff was present at the time, due to ongoing combat operations elsewhere, and despite general orders from senior staff that Reserve forces were not to engage any vessels at this rally unless they presented a clear and present danger to Caldari State citizens and property, the standard set for this was not fully understood by the officers present in New Caldari. As a result, the officers present in New Caldari did not fully appreciate the ramifications if they acted in error. No effort was made to confirm that the Guardian Shadows corporation had any legitimate authority from the State or its component megacorporations, and attempts to confirm their intelligence were not made until the Guardian Shadows had already engaged the freighter. As a result, the Board of Inquiry believes that it is nearly certain that the freighter would have been destroyed regardless of Reserve involvement, though this is not a valid defense for Reserve actions at the time. In retrospect, immobilizing the freighter and allowing it to be boarded by proper authorities may have been a better alternative, but this does not appear to have been considered by any parties involved.

The Board of Inquiry has determined that the officers involved have made a minimum of two violations to the Reserve Code of Conduct, and exercised a lack of judgement when they opened fire on the freighter. All six Reserve officers involved have been docked four months service pay. Furthermore, the four most senior members of the flotilla, LCDR Sanalis, LCDR Shrewsberry, LCDR Sokira, and LT Longshots, have been demoted, as they failed to exercise the judgement necessary for command authority. LCDR Sokira has also been stripped of his position as Deputy Chief of Naval Intelligence. However, the failure of the Reserve in this incident is not entirely limited to these officers, as a member of the flag staff should have been in command of this fleet, and orders in the matter should have been considerably more clear.

Due to the questions that still remain regarding the incident and those who participated in it, the Reserve believes it is imperative that the matter be further investigated by the proper authorities; in this incident, those authorities are the Caldari Business Tribunal, the Caldari Navy, and CONCORD. Due to the possibility of liability the Reserve has in the matter, as well as our desire to see the facts of this case made completely clear, the Reserve will reimburse the State for any costs incurred in this investigation. In particular, the Reserve believes the following questions must be answered in order to reach complete understanding in this matter:
Who are the Brothers of Freedom? The presence of a Federation official at the rally on 12 May indicates that there may be foreign involvement in this matter. Where did the Brothers of Freedom obtain the estimated one billion ISK necessary to purchase the freighter used in the incident? It seems unlikely such a small group could obtain those kinds of funds without assistance from some other party. What were their actual plans when they attempted to bring 65000 activists to the CEP station on that day?
Who are the Guardian Shadows? The Board of Inquiry has found no evidence to support their assertions that they were acting with any legitimate authority from the State or its component megacorporations. Furthermore, their insistence on destroying the freighter, as opposed to merely incapacitating it, is highly suspect. Where did they get their intelligence that the Brothers of Freedom intended to attack the CEP station?
Was the destruction of the freighter justified, and if not, who bears the liability for the matter and what is the extent of that liability? At this time, the Board of Inquiry believes there is insufficient evidence to make this determination one way or another, and due to the Reserve's involvement it seems prudent for a third party to determine this matter. Should the Tribunal or other legal authorities determine that the Reserve bears further liability in the matter, the Reserve will make any and all necessary reparations to the affected entities.
The Reserve will cooperate fully with any such official investigations; the diplomatic office has been instructed to share all relevant communications, reports, and other materials involved with appropriate legal authorities. All such requests may be directed to CAPT Svetlana Scarlet, Reserve Chief of Diplomatic Staff.

Operation Cascade Fire Final Report


With the opening of the Amarr paramilitary forces' siege of UNITY Station on 4 May, Operation Cascade Fire entered a new phase, with Reserve forces, in cooperation with those of the Aegis Militia, holding a line in Mista, while also sending ships to assist Amarr forces in their operations in the Providence region. Unfortunately, with the other Amarr paramilitary forces focused on the Providence operations, the ability of the remaining combatants to field a force strong enough to offset the Star Fraction's advantages was reduced considerably. Allied forces had considerable difficulty taking the offensive, and once again most of the fighting was reduced to skirmishes between to the two sides.

There were only a handful of major combat engagements during the week; in the one with the largest amount of Reserve involvement, a well-equipped and well-coordinated Star Fraction force descended on a poorly-coordinated Aegis Militia fleet largely made up of junior officers on 8 May; the price for this lack of preparation was six lost ships, including four battleships, to a single enemy loss, a Brutix-class battlecruiser. A later battle on 9 May in Airshaz saw an Aegis Militia force taking out an enemy Sleipnir-class command ship, a Thorax-class cruiser, and three interceptors, for the loss of two battleships and three cruisers.

The tactical situation continued to degrade towards the end of the week, when the Star Fraction, having apparently given up any pretense of holding their position in the Amarr system, moved significant logistical assets into the Mista system in force. This action reduced the allied forces' strategic mobility and made it even harder for the reduced allied force to conduct ongoing operations.

With it becoming ever more apparent that the Star Fraction was not inhibiting the actions of PIE to any great degree, and PIE itself was not devoting much time towards fighting the Star Fraction while assisting the CVA with the UNITY siege and other Providence operations, the Reserve general staff made the decision during the weekend to withdraw from Amarr space (and from the Aegis Militia command structure) in order to return to Caldari space and Pure Blind, where matters were increasingly requiring Reserve attention.

In general, Operation Cascade Fire cannot be called a complete success, as allied forces were unable to meet the Reserve's goals of containing Star Fraction forces within the Amarr system. However, a limited amount of success was achieved by restricting Star Fraction operations long enough for the CVA and other Amarr paramilitaries to complete preparations for their Providence campaign, and for significantly improving Reserve performance against the Star Fraction since the Mito Conflict. Furthermore, the experience of many new Reserve pilots in combat with a well-coordinated and well-equipped foe like the Star Fraction has been of great benefit to Reserve preparedness and future operations planning.

Reserve Statement on New Caldari Incident of 12 May 109


At roughly 0200 this morning, CAPT Svetlana Scarlet, Reserve Chief of Diplomatic Staff, released a preliminary statement regarding the incident Saturday where a freighter belonging to the Brothers of Freedom corporation was destroyed. The following is the full transcript of that statement, provided via hololink from her current position at the front lines of Operation Cascade Fire.

"Good morning. Yesterday, a freighter belonging to the Brothers of Freedom corporation was destroyed on approach to the CEP Bureau station in orbit around New Caldari. At this time, I can confirm that Reserve vessels did indeed participate in the interception of that vessel, though only after being informed that the freighter posed an imminent threat to the station itself. As of this time, Reserve Command has been unable to confirm or deny that information, however officers at the scene believed the threat to be likely enough to require immediate action in order to neutralize it.

"However, in light of the seriousness of the incident and the ambiguity as to the exact sequence of events that resulted in the destruction of the freighter, the Reserve has decided that it is necessary to convene a Board of Inquiry to look into this incident in order to determine the facts of the case, and whether or not the actions of the officers involved were justified. This board will investigate the matter and produce its results within one week, as well as any necessary disciplinary actions. I must stress that we are treating this matter with the gravity it requires -- the destruction of a civilian vessel by Reserve officers is not something to be taken lightly, especially one of this magnitude.

"In order to ensure that all the facts of the matter come out, we would also like to ask the Tribunal to conduct their own investigation into the incident. We would also ask them to investigate the other two parties involved -- the Guardian Shadows corporation, who began the attack on the freighter, and the Brothers of Freedom corporation to whom the freighter belonged. We also suggest an investigation as to why there were no Caldari Navy or Customs vessels in the immediate area to conduct a proper interdiction of this freighter. If they had been there to do so, a great loss of life may have been avoided."

Reserve Statement on New Caldari Incident of 12 May 109


At roughly 0200 this morning, CAPT Svetlana Scarlet, Reserve Chief of Diplomatic Staff, released a preliminary statement regarding the incident Saturday where a freighter belonging to the Brothers of Freedom corporation was destroyed. The following is the full transcript of that statement, provided via hololink from her current position at the front lines of Operation Cascade Fire.

"Good morning. Yesterday, a freighter belonging to the Brothers of Freedom corporation was destroyed on approach to the CEP Bureau station in orbit around New Caldari. At this time, I can confirm that Reserve vessels did indeed participate in the interception of that vessel, though only after being informed that the freighter posed an imminent threat to the station itself. As of this time, Reserve Command has been unable to confirm or deny that information, however officers at the scene believed the threat to be likely enough to require immediate action in order to neutralize it.

"However, in light of the seriousness of the incident and the ambiguity as to the exact sequence of events that resulted in the destruction of the freighter, the Reserve has decided that it is necessary to convene a Board of Inquiry to look into this incident in order to determine the facts of the case, and whether or not the actions of the officers involved were justified. This board will investigate the matter and produce its results within one week, as well as any necessary disciplinary actions. I must stress that we are treating this matter with the gravity it requires -- the destruction of a civilian vessel by Reserve officers is not something to be taken lightly, especially one of this magnitude.

"In order to ensure that all the facts of the matter come out, we would also like to ask the Tribunal to conduct their own investigation into the incident. We would also ask them to investigate the other two parties involved -- the Guardian Shadows corporation, who began the attack on the freighter, and the Brothers of Freedom corporation to whom the freighter belonged. We also suggest an investigation as to why there were no Caldari Navy or Customs vessels in the immediate area to conduct a proper interdiction of this freighter. If they had been there to do so, a great loss of life may have been avoided."

Operation Cascade Fire Status Update, 7 May 109


With the state of the conflict being stuck in a morass at the time of last week's report, and efforts by allied forces to counter the bulk of the Star Fraction fleet in Amarr stymied due to the ease of ship replacement and arrival of reinforcements, members of the Aegis Militia coalition command staffs met on Tuesday and Wednesday to address a new course of action and find a way to break the stalemate, as well as reduce the effectiveness of Star Fraction raids against friendly forces. The result of these meetings was the decision on 2 May to move the combined allied commands to the Mista system and consolidate our forces. In order to facilitate this action, it was necessary to lift the war declaration against the enemy for 48 hours, from roughly 0315 on 4 May to 0345 on 6 May.

As a result, this week was somewhat truncated, and saw limited activity from Reserve and allied forces against the Star Fraction, especially with the withdrawl of CVA forces from the area in preparation for their own operations against the Ushra'Khan outpost of UNITY on 4 May. While Star Fraction raids continued until the lifting of the war declaration, the Reserve took relatively few losses from Star Fraction raids compared to other allied forces during 30 April to 2 May, while recently reactivated Reservist LCDR Maze La'Zie destroyed two Star Fraction Crow-class interceptors using a Kestrel-class frigate and his own interceptor.

In terms of significant fleet actions, Reserve commanders reported three such actions during the week; two on 2 May in the Amarr and Madirmilire systems and one in the Mista/Murzi systems on 6 May. All three actions were considered successes to varying degrees, although only two resulted in enemy losses.

The first engagement on 2 May took place in the Amarr system, and involved all three Aegis Militia coalition corporations. An Intaki Union Mymidon was maintaining surveillance on Star Fraction forward headquarters in Amarr, and came under attack by a pair of Star Fraction battleships. A rapid reaction force waiting in the Ashab system immediately arrived to assist, led by CDR Hijakosji and LCDR Sanalis. Both Star Fraction ships were destroyed and allied forces held the field for some time afterward, taking no losses in the process.

The second engagement of that day began some two hours later. After the friendly fleet had returned to the Reserve Empire Operations Base in Madirmilire, a Star Fraction force attempted to pursue and blockade the station in reprisal. CDRE Teravada, the on-duty senior officer at the time, rallied a counterstrike from allied forces in the area. After baiting the enemy fleet into an attack, Reserve forces in the system as well as reinforcements waiting in Ashab arrived to catch the enemy in a classic hammer-and-anvil attack. Star Fraction forces suffered the loss of a Curse-class advanced recon vessel and a Zealot-class heavy cruiser before withdrawing after inflicting the loss of two cruisers on the allied fleet. Review of camera footage from the battle afterwards indicated an apparent breakdown in Star Fraction command and control during the fight, as the Zealot was destroyed despite not being warp scrambled at the time of its destruction.

The last major action of the week was on 6 May, the first after the resumption of Aegis Militia operations against Star Fraction following the 48-hour pause. At around 1600, Star Fraction forces began to probe allied defenses in the Mista system, sending a handful of ships to test allied pilots reaction times. As this has become a common move for the enemy in the last three weeks, Reserve intelligence began scouting the nearby systems for other enemy forces. Within a short while, Reserve intelligence assets had located a heavy enemy fleet consisting of some seven or eight battleships and command ships assembling at the Mista gate in the Murzi system. ADM Otireya and CDRE Teravada organized an allied response fleet consisting of some fifteen-plus friendly vessels, at least half of which were battleships, and the fleet undocked simultaneously from the new Reserve Empire Operations Base. Unfortunately, Star Fraction scouts spotted the fleet departing the station and were spooked; as the allied fleet rushed to the gate, enemy forces began making a hurried withdrawl, with a Star Fraction Brutix harassing the allied fleet in order to delay them. This allowed the enemy force time to pull to a remote spot in the Murzi system, and after they detected Reserve intelligence attempting to use scan probes to locate them, withdrew to the Amarr system, where they remained for the next few hours. The allied fleet went on to perform a short patrol in Kheram before returning to Mista as Star Fraction scouts returned to the system.

Though these were legitimate tactical successes for Reserve-led forces, they paint a somewhat distorted picture of the overall strategic situation. Neither the Star Fraction nor the Reserve and its allies has managed to inflict significant casualties to the other in such a manner that would significantly tip the balance of the conflict as yet. Reserve aims to contain Fraction forces, and more specifically, to reduce their ability to involve themselves in the current fighting at the UNITY outpost, remain mildly successful, though other Aegis Militia coalition members continue to suffer losses at the hands of Star Fraction raids, something the allied force has yet to come up with a strong counter for.

Operation Cascade Fire Status Update, 30 April 109


After last week's heavy fighting among the Amarr homeworlds, where allied forces were able to inflict significant casualties on a Star Fraction force that appeared somewhat surprised by the strength of the counterattack, this week's fighting seemed to indicate a quick adaptation on the part of enemy forces. Much of the week bogged down in a stalemate, with both sides attempting to attack small groups of opposing pilots away from the body of each side's main fleet. Star Fraction's superior experience with fighting this kind of conflict led to allied forces taking higher casualties from this sort of raiding warfare, but the amount of casualties inflicted during these raids were not substantial enough to shift the balance on either side. Most losses were light vessels; neither side seemed willing to commit much in the way of battleships to this kind of fighting, though there were a few isolated incidents throughout the week. The enemy appears to largely have given up the all-interceptor fast attack squadrons they previously used for raiding due to improvements in anti-interceptor tactics on the part of the allied fleet; heavy and light cruisers with battlecruiser and/or interceptor backup appear to be the preferred method as of the end of the week.

In an effort to break the stalemate, Reserve forces, in concert with other members of the Aegis Militia coalition (now including the Intaki Union) and other allied pilots, began to take the offensive on several occasions throughout the week. Unfortunately, these engagements have come at a high cost; Star Fraction's higher pound-for-pound fleet strength has proven to be a significant hurdle for the allied fleet in most of these engagements. Allied forces are taking two to three times as many losses, in raw logistical terms, as Star Fraction forces during these battles, which will be unsustainable over the long term, though they pose no significant impediment at present. The most significant fleet engagements this week in terms of Reserve involvement were engagements on 27 and 29 April, both in the Ashab system.

The engagement on the 27th was the first major fleet engagement Reserve forces had participated in with the recently-arriving Intaki Union fleet, and as a result suffered from some of the same problems as the Reserve's first engagement of the war, namely problems with coordination and communication. Three battleships and a cruiser were lost by the allies while taking down a single battleship on the Fraction side, as well as a Curse which had been killed during a siege of the Fraction forward headquarters in Amarr earlier. Though heavy losses were taken and troubles prevented this battle from being a success, the action laid the basis for further cooperation with Intaki Union forces, which would lead to the second engagement.

On 29 April, a Reserve force under the command of ADM Derrys Otireya joined up with an Intaki Union fleet under Tomahawk Bliss and a small number of other allied pilots in an attempt to take the offensive once again. Though the fleet was once again able to siege the Fraction forward headquarters, eventually the fleet pulled back into Ashab, where a Star Fraction fleet followed and engaged. The allied fleet had been split, and had fewer heavy vessels than the Star Fraction fleet, which led to heavy losses on the part of the allies. Reserve forces, making up most of the heavy vessels, took some of the heaviest casualties, including three Raven battleships and a Dominix battleship, as well as a number of smaller vessels. Total allied losses were in the range of 15+ vessels, while enemy casualties were at least three battleships and a Minmatar Navy-issue Stabber. The size of the battle -- some 35-40+ ships, and its length (long enough that reinforcements arrived on both sides through the course of the fighting) led to a severe degradation of the local traffic control system as well as a considerable amount of sensor interference, impeding the efforts of both fleets during the fight. There is still some dispute as to the events as a result.

The last week's events do not change the overall state of the war overly; the general state of the campaign is bogged down, with neither side able to make significant gains against each other's positions. However, in order to break this stalemate, it will be necessary for allied forces to reevaluate their tactics and find a way to counter the Star Fraction's advantages, specifically their heavier fleets. Until that time, it is likely most combat between the two sides will be largely limited to raiding warfare, to which allied forces are considerably more vulnerable than the Star Fraction.

Operation Cascade Fire Status Update, 23 April YC109


Reserve combat forces began engaging those of the Star Fraction on 15 April YC109 in support of Operation Cascade Fire; operations are currently being commanded out of Reserve Allied Forces Coordination Center in the Madirmilire system, Yekti constellation, in Amarr Empire space.

Operations opened with a significant fleet engagement on 15 April; a large allied fleet moved into the Amarr system proper, where enemy forces had been making their local headquarters, and held the area for a length of time. After roughly an hour, Amarr forces were called elsewhere, and ADM Derrys Otireya was placed in command of the allied fleet, which withdrew to the Ashab system in the face of increasing Star Fraction numbers. Unfortunately, poor communication between the allied forces and the scattering of the fleet, as well as a lack of situational awareness, led to an overestimation of allied strength at the rally point, the Amarr gate in Ashab. When enemy forces arrived from Amarr shortly thereafter, the outnumbered and poorly-coordinated allied force took heavy casualties. ADM Otireya's flagship, as well as CAPT Scarlet's battleship and five other allied vessels were completely destroyed by the Fraction force which was comprised of at least nine vessels, most of which were battleships, battlecruisers, or heavy assault cruisers. Not more than two hours later, another allied fleet suffered heavy losses in the Amarr system, scoring only two kills; once again, a tactical error compounded by communications and coordination problems led to a defeat for the allied fleet. The rest of the day saw several other kills by Star Fraction pilots against allied forces operating solo, away from the main body of the allied forces.

In the wake of this defeat, Reserve commanders as well as those of the other allied forces met in order to improve communications and coordination. The lack of such were considered to be the biggest contributors to allied losses during Sunday's operations. The result of these discussions led to significantly better coordination of the next several days, as well as the integration of the Reserve into the command structure of the reconstructed Aegis Militia alliance later in the week.

Reserve forces remained largely out of action until 19 April, when they began taking significant part in allied operations again, especially LCDR Ayari and CDR "Mookuh" Hijakosji. Thursday, Friday, and Sunday all saw significant Star Fraction losses to allied forces, capped off with a major fleet engagement on Sunday under the command of CDR Hijakosji. In an hour long period, allied forces destroyed two enemy battleships, a heavy assault cruiser, and a pair of interceptors for only one loss, a battleship that was destroyed by a Privateer fleet. This successful engagement was an appropriate cap to a week which had begun with the momentum firmly in enemy hands and ended with the allied forces coming up with the upper hand. According to Star Fraction's own tally, their efficiency rating (an arbitrary measure of kills/losses) had dropped from a high above 80% to below 60% by the end of the week for their entire operation, with 50% representing a break-even point.

In the opinion of Reserve Fleet Operations, the current pace of operations has maintained acceptable levels; against a well-entrenched, well-supplied, and highly skilled foe, allied forces are slowly gaining the upper hand. However, it is imperative that the allied command realize that this is likely a temporary situation unless the same level of vigilance can be maintained over time. Continuing this pace of operations will restrict Star Fraction ability to engage and prevent them from engaging civilian shipping outside the operations area; if this pace is reduced, it will become difficult to prevent them from expanding their field of operations and interdicting non-combat traffic, leading to higher losses to allied forces and a reduction in logistical strength.

At this time, any claims of success would be irresponsibly premature; Star Fraction's position is well-fortified and Reserve Intelligence has no reason to think they have any intention of withdrawing from the field anytime soon. Reserve forces are expecting to continue operations against Star Fraction for the foreseeable future.

Reserve Placed in Aegis Militia Command Structure


As a result of ongoing discussions with allied Amarr paramilitaries about how to improve coordination and communication between allied forces during Operation Cascade Fire, the Caldari Independent Navy Reserve has been temporarily placed into the command structure of the Aegis Militia Amarr paramilitary alliance. While continuing to maintain autonomy, the Reserve will function as an adjunct to the Militia when taking part in combat operations.

At the current time, there are no plans for the Reserve to remain a member of the Militia after the current operation concludes. The Militia's charter specifically makes it a defensive paramilitary subordinate to the Amarr throne, something which conflicts with the Reserve's place as a paramilitary organization of the Caldari State. While the Reserve has enjoyed strong relations with our counterparts in the Empire, we have made it quite clear to the command staff of Aegis Militia and the other Amarr paramilitaries that our loyalties lie with the State and the CEP unquestionably, and as a result, pledging loyalty to the Empire in any way is out of the question. This current move is a bureaucratic and logistical measure only.

CAIN Begins Combat Operations Against The Star Fraction


Operation Cascade Fire Authorized

At 1016 this morning, FADM Van Cleef and the Reserve general staff authorized the commencement of combat operations against the Star Fraction alliance, a known anti-State force currently engaged in operations against the Amarr paramilitary forces of PIE, Aegis Militia, Vigilia Valeria, and Curatores Veritatis Alliance.

Operational goals of Cascade Fire involve the containment of Star Fraction forces to Amarr and nearby systems, as well as engaging and destroying targets of opportunity elsewhere. Enemy forces are expected to be in strength along the corridor from the Amarr system to Caldari space, with significant numbers of battleships and advanced frigates, cruisers, and battlecruisers.

Operation Cascade Fire is the first major combat operation the Reserve has engaged in since Operation Smoldering Cinder against Phoenix Wing and Electus Matari during January YC109. This operation is expected to be considerably wider in scale -- the Star Fraction is a logistically superior opponent and though the Amarr paramilitaries are also engaged, we expect the CVA especially to be distracted by combat with other hostile forces, such as Minmatar paramilitary groups and pirate forces operating in the Providence region. Reserve pilots have been advised to expect heavy fighting.

FADM Van Cleef Announces Round of Promotions


Reserve Promotion Order Elevates Two New Flag Officers, Seven Others

Saturday, 31 March YC109, FADM Van Cleef announced a series of promotions for ten officers in the Reserve, the first round of promotions since the Reserve's last major strategic operations in early January. The promotions were a recognition for the contributions of both the oldest and newest members of the Reserve, due to both an expansion of the Reserve in the last several months as well as ongoing tactical operations in the Pure Blind region in support of the Reserve's allies.

Foremost among the list of promotions was the elevation of Ladel Teravada to the rank of Commodore and his assumption of his new position as Deputy Chief of Fleet Operations. In the last year, CDRE Teravada has tirelessly fought for the defense of the State and the Reserve, often against incredible odds. His tactical skill is unsurpassed in the ranks of the Reserve, and his leadership qualities are beyond dispute. There is little doubt that the Reserve will benefit greatly having him in his new position.

His place as Chief of Naval Intelligence shall be assumed by newly-promoted CAPT Zevrik, who has also distinguished himself both on the battlefield and off. CAPT Zevrik is not only an able fleet commander, but he has been instrumental in the revamping of the Reserve's communication infrastructure. The rest of the general staff joins FADM Van Cleef in congratulating the captain on his promotion.

Serving as CAPT Zevrik's deputy will be LCDR Minjak Gosok; in his time as a member of the Reserve's Intelligence division, LCDR Gosok has built a variety of new tools for the collection and analysis of intelligence data, as well as providing excellent support on the battlefield. LCDR Gosok has led the way in developing new tactics to utilize advanced technologies such as scan probes, and there seems little doubt he will continue to do so in his new position.

Also taking on the mantle of flag officer will be one of the Reserve's oldest members, Cazzir, who has been promoted to captain in recognition for his long and tireless service. CAPT Cazzir is one of the Reserve's most capable members, and has recently added carrier pilot to his already long and distinguished resume.

As the pace of recruitment continues to increase for the Reserve, CAPT Svetlana Scarlet has appointed Terry "Mookuh" Hijakosji as her Deputy Chief of Diplomatic Staff, and FADM Van Cleef has recognized his contributions with a promotion to the rank of Commander. In addition to his work as a recruiter for the Reserve and a liason to many of the Reserve's allies, especially in the Pure Blind region, CDR Hijakosji has been a significant asset to Reserve combat forces, often taking the mantle of fleet commander in cases where superiors were unavailable.

There have been a number of promotions within the rank-and-file of the Reserve as well; both Ayari and Marithin Sanalis have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander in recognition for their combat performance over the last several months. Both of these officers have shown excellent grasp of situational awareness and battlefield tactics, and have become valuable advisors to their fleet commanders. Three other officers, Trony, Sionell Baxter, and Yakiya "Longshots" Pirkotan, have been promoted to the rank of full lieutenant in recognition for their service to the Reserve.

These promotions all take effect as of 1 April YC109.

LCDR Trion Kadeshi and LT Marithin Sanalis Win February Cruiser Tourney


The Reserve's second cruiser tourney under ADM Derrys Otireya's training program was held on Sunday. Once again, it was a single-elimination, 2-on-2 tournament, though there were significant changes to the rules for the latest tournament. Chief among them was a prohibition on the use of ECM of all sorts similar to the rules insitituted for the last few rounds of the Caldari Championships. Eight teams were selected at random and paired up for four first-round matches that saw some surprising results.

The first battle saw one of the tournament favorites, LCDR Trion Kadeshi and LT Marithin Sanalis, triumph over the team of LT Kuro Tenshi and LCDR Cierra Astris. Despite the expected outcome, LCDR Astris' team inflicted a great deal of damage, downing one of their opponents' ships before finally succumbing.

The second battle saw a surprising upset as LCDR Sokira and LCDR Shrewsberry shot down the favorites ADM Otireya and CDR Zevrik in another hard-fought battle. The loss was largely attributed to a disadvantageous warp-in position on the part of the losing team, which allowed Sokira and Shrewsberry to separate and destroy them.

The third preliminary battle saw LT Kyoto Tetsutaaka and CAPT Teravada go down to CAPT Scarlet and LT Gosok, with CAPT Teravada's Moa melting under the combined fire of CAPT Scarlet's Arbitrator and LT Gosok's Caracal, shortly before LT Tetsutaaka finished off Scarlet's ship, turning the fight into a Caracal duel that ended up with Gosok the victor.

The last first round fight saw CDR Wolfgang Jager and LT Ayari win a hard fought battle against CDR Cazzir and LT Yukora Shinsong in another closely-matched contest, putting them into the semifinals.

The first semifinal saw a strong victory by the drone-heavy Kadeshi/Sanalis team, using their Vexor and Arbitrator to grind their opponents, LCDR Sokira and LCDR Shrewsberry, into dust, despite the loss of one of their own vessels, putting LCDR Kadeshi into the finals for the second time in a row, having been part of the last tournament's winning team.

In comparison, the second semifinal match had one of the most nailbiting battles seen to date in the Reserve cruiser tournament series. CDR Jager and LT Ayari fielded a powerful Rupture-Vexor combination, matched against CAPT Scarlet's own Rupture and LT Gosok's Caracal. Both sides warped in to almost the exact same point, creating a pitched furball that first claimed CDR Jager's ship, then LT Gosok's, and then a duel down to the wire where CAPT Scarlet and LT Ayari were locked in a desperate struggle. In the end, CAPT Scarlet managed to win the day, but her ship was nearly destroyed, with a scant 3% of her structure intact, placing two more previous finalists into this tournament's final as well.

In comparison, the final battle was anticlimactic; LT Gosok and CAPT Scarlet fielded a Caracal and Vexor respectively, while LCDR Kadeshi and LT Sanalis once again flew their Vexor-Arbitrator combination. Unfortunately for her, CAPT Scarlet's strategy of going for the drones first was a failure; she was unable to destroy them fast enough, and both she and her wingman were destroyed without destroying either of their opponents, giving Kadeshi and Sanalis a well-deserved victory.

Congratulations to both LCDR Trion Kadeshi and LT Marithin Sanalis on winning the tournament! Each will receive a prize of 50M ISK and a Covert Ops Cloak courtesy of ADM Derrys Otireya.

CAIN Celebrates Second Anniversary


Thursday, 18 January YC109 marked the two-year anniversary of the Caldari Independent Navy Reserve's formation, and marked the end of an often tumultuous year for the Reserve. While there was little official fanfare, due to ongoing combat operations, Reserve members took time to celebrate over the last week on their own, and many of the Reserve's veteran pilots reflected on the last year's accomplishments and failures.

The last year has seen a continuing rise to prominence for the Reserve, which has brought both rewards and challenges for Reserve members. A series of sometimes brutal wars has hammered the raw steel of new recruits into a strong core of hardened veterans, giving the Reserve's order of battle significantly more depth than it had this time last year. Key to this was the introduction of a new command staff in April under the leadership of Fleet Admiral Van Cleef, following the retirement of Dev Larren, Cabaeran, and Maze La'Zie, three well-respected naval officers whose increasing planetside duties forced them to ceed their posts. Their high standard provided a goal for a new generation of Reserve pilots to aspire to, and the corporation has been better for it.

This year has seen the Reserve take a much more active role in combatting piracy and terrorism in and around State space, with wars between the Reserve and opponents such as the Serial Killers, the Minmatar terrorists known as the Rogues, Beyond Divinity, and perhaps most notably, the anarchists of the Star Fraction. The last month of the Reserve's second year also saw the Reserve intervening in the Minmatar-Amarr conflict in an ultimately failed attempt to get the Gallente paramilitary Phoenix Wing to abandon their support of the Minmatar forces rallying around the Electus Matari alliance. This more aggressive stance has given the Reserve a much higher profile in the State and the cluster political scene at large, despite a relatively sedate presence on the 'nets of the cluster. It has also shown the courage of the Reserve's line pilots, who have not shirked from their duty in the defense of the State.

To the pilots of the Reserve, congratulations on a successful year and may the third be even better.

CAPT Svetlana Scarlet
Reserve Chief of Diplomatic Staff

Operation Smoldering Cinder Concludes


Operation Smoldering Cinder Status Update

Following the victory in Aunia and Botane on 7 January and increased pressure by Amarr paramilitaries on Electus Matari forces, the Minmatar alliance's operations in Federation and State space had been significantly curtailed, a minor victory for the Reserve's strategic goals for Operation Smoldering Cinder. Unfortunately, Phoenix Wing continued to assist the Electus Matari forces in Minmatar space, and Electus Matari units staged sporadic raids into State space, usually ending in a stalemate. These raiding parties would then run back to Republic territory, where they knew the Reserve would not pursue, in order to prepare for their next attack. In effect, the Minmatar and Gallente forces were using the Reserve's unwillingness to escalate the conflict against us; there can be little doubt that this was an attempt to get us to simply withdraw in order to allow Phoenix Wing to support the Minmatar forces unhindered.

On 11 January, the Reserve general staff approved plans by CAPT Ladel Teravada, Reserve Chief of Naval Intelligence, to stage covert operations into Minmatar space in order to identify Electus Matari strongholds in preparation for punative raids by the Reserve into Minmatar space. Though a regrettable escalation of the conflict, the anticipated expense of continuing the operation against Electus Matari past 16 January due to CONCORD fees forced the Reserve general staff to consider such action in order to curtail the ability of the Minmatar alliance to threaten Reserve operations inside the State before the current declaration expired.

The Reserve's first engagement inside Minmatar space came on that same day during a RIF operation under the command of CAPT Teravada himself; a pair of Reserve recon cruisers engaged and destroyed a lone Phoenix Wing Thorax spotted in the Vullat system. Subsequent inspection of the wreckage by CAPT Teravada revealed that the Thorax had been carrying arms destined for Electus Matari forces, likely manufactured by Gallente sympathizers to supply Republic forces. It was this discovery which tipped the general staff's final decision to engage in full combat operations inside Minmatar space in conjunction with Amarr paramilitary forces.

The first full scale engagement between Reserve forces and Electus Matari forces inside Republic space occurred two days later, in the Onga system. A fleet under the command of FADM Van Cleef encountered a small Electus Matari force near an Amarr station in the system and attempted to engage; unfortunately, it appears in retrospect that the Minmatar fleet had been a ruse to draw Reserve forces into a trap. Immediately after the engagement began, significant reinforcements, including a Phoenix Wing Dominix, arrived in the system and opened fire. Though Reserve forces managed to destroy an enemy Lachesis, the cost was a high one, with a Reserve Tempest falling to the fire of the Electus Matari warships. All other Reserve forces managed to withdraw from Minmatar space in good order thanks to the efforts of Reserve scouts.

Approximately 12 hours later, CAPT Teravada led another RIF operation into Minmatar space with mixed results. A Phoenix Wing Brutix was destroyed when it was pinned down by CAPT Teravada's Crow and LCDR Kadeshi's own Brutix at the Onga gate in Magiko, despite the efforts of an Electus Matari Helios to force CAPT Teravada to disengage. Unfortunately, the Minmatar covert operations frigate escaped, and not long after was able to find discover the staging point for the body of the Reserve fleet; an Electus Matari warfleet, far outgunning the Reserve reconnaissance force, warped in and ambushed the Reserve fleet as they were returning to the staging point. Though the fleet began an immediate retreat, a Caracal was lost in the holding action. With the fleet scattered, CAPT Teravada was unable to lead a proper retreat, forcing the Reserve ships left to attempt to find their way out on their own, and during the withdrawl, the LCDR Kadeshi's Brutix was lost to the Minmatar warfleet; the rest of the Reserve force managed to retreat back to State space.

On 14 January, another Reserve raiding force engaged and destroyed an Electus Matari Stabber, though a Reserve ship was lost when deficient Minmatar traffic control caused a neutral party to be misidentified as a hostile and CONCORD intervened before the situation could be resolved. This engagement was followed up a day later when a Reserve raiding operation, reinforced by a PIE Arbitrator, managed to engage and destroy five Electus Matari vessels at the cost of a single Kestrel, including a Claw piloted by Electus Matari leader Evanda Char.

Unfortunately, with the war dwindling to its last hours, the Reserve had time for but one final engagement after that; on 16 January, shortly before the expiration of the war, a Reserve RIF fleet with a CVA observer engaged an Electus Matari fleet of superior strength. Though able to destroy an Electus Matari Rupture, the Reserve was forced to take a loss of a Lachesis recon cruiser before withdrawing from the field; the superior numbers of small support ships fielded by the Electus Matari fleet, as well as the battleship support that the Reserve fleet lacked, made a smooth withdrawl impossible.

With the war against Electus Matari invalidated due to lack of funds on the Reserve's part, Operation Smoldering Cinder has come to a close. Unfortunately, our overall strategic objective, to prevent the Gallente paramilitary force of Phoenix Wing from participating in the escalation of this regional conflict, has been a failure. Phoenix Wing continues to fly under the Minmatar banner, and they continue to engage in combat operations against Amarr forces, despite repeated pleas for both sides to come to the negotiation table for a peaceful solution.

However, the operation itself has not been a complete loss; Reserve forces have manage to inflict significant damage on the ability of Electus Matari and their Gallente sympathizers, and as the last week wore on, the departure of many corporations from the Electus Matari fold shows that there has been some effect on their morale. Intelligence leads us to believe that many of these corporations did not think the support of the Gallente was worth suffering continued attacks from Caldari forces, and hopefully this will help provide some impetus for Electus Matari to work out a ceasefire with the Amarr, something we have been hoping for (and offering to mediate) since the conflict began.

In addition, the operation has given many newer Reserve pilots significant combat time; experience is one of the most valuable assets any military force can cultivate, and if anything, this war has taught us that our recruits are up to the challenge provided by facing combat. However, the operation also highlighted some deficiencies as well; the Reserve's weakness in raiding warfare and intelligence gathering is a serious need that needs to be addressed, as is the number of Reserve pilots on the field. The general staff will be using the experiences over the last two weeks to determine what needs must be addressed and come up with plans to do so.

Operation Smoldering Cinder Status Update


Reserve combat patrols began on 2 January YC109 in support of Operation Smoldering Cinder; operations are currently being commanded out of the Reserve Forward Operations Base in the Hatakani system, Caldari Border Zone.

Initial operations on the 2nd-6th of January were relatively quiet. Reserve forces launched patrols from Hatakani through State and Federation space in an attempt to flush out Phoenix Wing forces using these areas as bases for their operations. Unfortunately, on 4 January, Phoenix Wing escalated the conflict considerably, joining the Electus Matari alliance in an effort to expand their operations in Republic space in support of the Minmatar paramilitaries. In response, our orders were updated to include expulsion of Electus Matari forces from Federation and State space as well, to restrict this conflict to the Republic and Empire as stated in our original orders.

Our initial patrols met with some success, tracking down Phoenix Wing and Electus Matari pilots operating in the Aunia system as well as several systems in State space; we were able to bottle them up with superior fleet strength and delivered warnings that we would not relent in our demands, which had been delivered to both Phoenix Wing and Electus Matari fleet command. No kills were scored and no losses were taken. We went to great lengths to avoid bloodshed, offering to escort an Electus Matari pilot, Djini, back to Republic territory on one occasion. Though he declined, and clone jumped out of the system, we felt that the mission had been accomplished.

Unfortunately, 7 January would reveal that Phoenix Wing and Electus Matari were only buying time to plan a counterattack against Reserve forces. At 1600 EVT on the 7th, LT Gosok, scouting in Aunia, notified us of four Electus Matari pilots in the system, and put out a call for assistance. A Reserve relief force was dispatched immediately under the command LCDR Trion Kadeshi, and upon arriving at the station where the Electus Matari pilots had been spotted, the Reserve fleet was immediately fired upon. No warning was given, no provocation was made. In the ensuing battle, communications failures and tactical mistakes cost the Reserve a Lachesis-class recon ship. Perhaps the most galling part of this confrontation was that the pilot in command was none other than the exact Djini we offered safe escort from Federation space only a day earlier.

The rest of the fleet retreated in order order to meet up with CAPT Svetlana Scarlet's Cyclone in the Botane system to regroup. It was determined that a battle at this point would be a pointless exercise, and the Reserve fleet pulled back to Hatakani in order to refit and repair. This would only be the beginning of the day's combat; as more Reserve forces arrived on station, a fleet formed up under ADM Derrys and returned to Federation space, arriving at the Aunia system around 1900 hours. They immediately placed the station under blockade.

As time went on, an additional Reserve force was stationed on the Aunia gate in the Auvergne system, while intelligence reported a number of Phoenix Wing and Electus Matari ships arriving into the area at the same time. As a precautionary measure, to prevent our fleets from being defeated in detail, the fleet was ordered to rendezvous at the Auvergne gate in the Aunia system, giving us a strong presence of four battleships, a battlecruiser, a cruiser, and an interceptor. We had hoped to catch inbound reinforcements, but they were entering them system through another gate; on the advice of CAPT Teravada, the fleet shifted to the Botane gate at the same time as communications intercepts determined that Phoenix Wing pilot Jack Malus had entered the system.

This would be the deciding factor in the battle that followed. Caught alone by Reserve forces, Malus came under immediate fire after the cloaking effects of his jump wore off. Electus Matari forces immediately began to converge on our position in support, but by the time they arrived, the Dominix was already going down. Thanks to tight coordination and superior firepower, Reserve forces put down almost all the enemy reinforcements -- two battleships, a battlecruiser, and an assault frigate were destroyed in addition to the Dominix, with only a frigate escaping the Reserve fleet. The Reserve took no losses, though CAPT Scarlet's Scorpion, the Tantalus' Bane, suffered severe damage in the battle and was forced to withdraw after retrieval of salvage.

As she withdrew, she spotted more Electus Matari vessels arriving and the rest of the fleet jumped into the Botane system. Though she was able to make her escape in good order, the rest of the fleet was engaged on the gate by a force mostly consisting of frigates and other light vessels. The Botane star was evidently undergoing a period of immense solar activity at the same time, blinding the sensors of both sides and disrupting communications; in the ensuing haze, most kills were scored by autonomous drones. This second Electus Matari counteroffensive was a complete failure as well; Reserve forces devastated the enemy fleet, wiping out another battlecruiser, an assault frigate, and a pair of frigates with no losses. Only an Electus Matari interceptor managed to escape.

With the Electus Matari forces on the retreat, Reserve forces once again pulled back to the Hatakani system to refit; only an hour later, another Electus Matari force would follow. The interceptor that escaped the Botane battle earlier was scouting ahead, and was destroyed by a Reserve patrol just as the rest of the fleet arrived. Unfortunately, at that point, the enemy fleet had an upper hand against the remaining available Reserve vessels, and an engagement was deemed to be ill-advised at the time. After two hours of sieging Reserve positions, the Electus Matari force retreated.

Unfortunately, the events of 7 January only served to show that the very escalation we had feared when we began Operation Smoldering Cinder was coming to pass. Electus Matari forces have now expanded their operations into Federation and State space, showing that they have no intention of trying to contain the violence now spiralling out of control along the Republic-Empire border. At this point, we are unsure that the objectives set in the original operational orders can still be achieved.