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.