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.