Reserve and Allies Engage Gallente Fleet in Eha, Inflicting Heavy Casualties
FM: CAPT Svetlana Scarlet, Reserve Chief of Diplomatic Staff
Caldari Militia forces under the command of FADM Ladel Teravada of the Reserve and Kithan S'jet of the Duty. Corporation engaged a Gallente fleet with Minmatar support twice their own size Sunday night, killing over twenty enemy ships while losing only three friendly vessels. Caldari forces held the field at the end of the battle, driving the hostile fleet back to Gallente space in defeat.
The operation began as the Caldari fleet had been on a routine patrol along the Caldari-Gallente border following an attempted attack on a number of Federation capitals. Though that attack was ultimately unsuccessful, the support fleet continued to patrol the border, engaging a similarly sized Gallente cruiser and battlecruiser fleet in several systems over the course of an hour and a half. As the fleet continued to chase the Gallente force, intelligence began to report that a sizeable enemy fleet was forming near Nennamaila in response, preparing to move on the Caldari forces.
With that in mind, the Caldari fleet withdrew toward their forward base in Kinakka, reinforcing the fleet with battleships and bringing its full strength to about 20 vessels, about half of which were battleships. The Gallente force appeared to be numbering as many as 40 to 50 ships at various times, though the bulk of the Federation fleet was cruisers and battlecruisers. As the Gallente fleet moved closer, the reinforced Caldari fleet moved to meet up with it.
FADM Teravada, attempting to rendezvous with the fleet from Eha, where he had docked following the attempt on the Federation capital ships, warped to the Martoh gate in an attempt to cut them off, unaware of the true strength of the Gallente fleet. When a Minmatar militia Vagabond managed to push him out of jump range, he engaged, and the Caldari fleet jumped in from Innia to assist.
What followed was a close range knife-fight between two heavy militia fleets; though nearly destroyed, FADM Teravada was saved by logistics from a number of friendly vessels, a key to the Caldari fleet's strong morale even in the face of sensor disturbances and formidable hostile numbers. Many of the Caldari ships were nearly destroyed, only to be repaired in the nick of time, while the Gallente forces continued to try and eliminate the ECM interference from the Caldari fleet's jammers. In the end, most of the losses on the Caldari side were ECM ships, including a Scorpion-class battleship.
However, despite fierce Gallente and Minmatar resistance, at the end of the battle, only Caldari militia ships remained at the gate, with the rest of the enemy force having fled or been destroyed. At a minimum, the Caldari force destroyed two battleships, nine battlecruisers, eight cruisers (including the Vagabond heavy assault cruiser which attempted to trap FADM Teravada in the first place) and handful of smaller frigates and destroyers; at least ten other ships managed to escape the Caldari dragnet.