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.