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.