Author Topic: The Bastani-Alliance War: Operation Argent Broom  (Read 936 times)

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Offline RedKing

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The Bastani-Alliance War: Operation Argent Broom
« on: March 20, 2012, 08:40:50 AM »
CINCUNICOM file            
UNIFIED COMMAND HQ
A16-3/(24)               
CANFIELD ASFB, W.A., AUS.
                      
1800Z, 16 JUL 2075
T O P  S E C R E T

Operation Plan # 17-75

TASK ORGANIZATION

(a) VOROTA Area of Responsibility - RADM Gavin Bowdry


     Task Force ARGO - RADM Bowdry

   VENGEANCE               1 CV
   BUFFALO, CHEYENNE,
   PHILADELPHIA            3 CG
   VF-1 (10x F-9 Comanche)

     Task Force HAMMER - BG Pontarelli
   TRUK               1 TT
   1st Volunteer Brigade, 1st Volunteer Division
      1st Volunteer Assault Regiment
      11th Volunteer Assault Regiment
      21st Volunteer Assault Regiment
      104th Mobile Infantry Regiment

(b) STRUVE 2398 Area of Responsibility - RADM Lin Pagani

   Task Force BELLEROPHON - RADM Pagani

      VALHALLA       1 CV
      HELENA, MANCHESTER,
      JUNEAU           3 CG
      Raider Blue (3x x G-5 Corsair)

   Task Force ANVIL - BG Wooley
      SAIPAN         1 TT
      6th Brigade, 2nd Division
         6th Heavy Assault Regiment
         29th Assault Infantry Regiment
         30th Assault Infantry Regiment
         17th Mobile Infantry Regiment

(c) NOVAYA RUS Area of Responsibility - RADM Jesse McColl

   Task Force CRONUS - RADM McColl
      VALKYRIE                       1 CV
      OMAHA, SAVANNAH,
      VICKSBURG                      3 CG
      Raider Gold (3x G-5 Corsair)


1. INFORMATION

   (a) Bastani settlers have engaged in unauthorized and illegal settlement of worlds inside the 3rd Ring of the Terran Sphere. This is a violation of the Sterley-B'salqi Treaty, and the Central Council has authorized the removal of the illegal settlements, by force if necessary. Preliminary reconnaissance indicates the following Bastani disposition:

   VOROTA AoR: est. 1-2 million civilian colonists (two main colonized areas, scattered secondary settlements)
         Militia forces comprising some 3-4 regiments in strength
         Multiple "Diligence" class transports inbound and outbound
         2 "Heritage" class vessels, presumed civilian bullk freighters

   STRUVE 2398 AoR: est. 100,000 civilian colonists (one colonized area)
            unknown militia strength
            No naval traffic detected in 7 weeks

   NOVAYA RUS: No Bastani permanent presence

2. STRIKING ORDERS

   (a) Task Force ARGO will provide orbital support and force protection for Task Force HAMMER. Task Force HAMMER will make an orbital insertion and unload all ground forces at an LZ chosen at the TFCO's discretion. Ground forces will assemble and proceed to secure the primary settlements and all critical facilities.
Once the settlement is secured, Task Force ARGO is to prevent any hostile Bastani traffic to and from Vorota Prime, until such time as UNICOM-provided transports arrive and remove the population for repatriation.

   (b) Task Force BELLEROPHON will provide orbital support and force protection for Task Force ANVIL. Task Force ANVIL will make an orbital insertion and unload all ground forces at an LZ chosen at the TFCO's discretion. Ground forces will assemble and proceed to secure the settlement and all critical facilities. Once the settlements are secured, Task Force BELLEROPHON is to prevent any hostile Bastani traffic to and from Fort Yoshioka, until such time as UNICOM-provided transports arrive and remove the population for repatriation.

   (c) Task Force CRONUS is to interdict all traffic attempting to enter the Xingmen jumpgate. If the Bastani respond with major force, inflict maximum damage at range and withdraw to Vorota Prime to rendezvous with Task Force ARGO. Notify UniCom HQ immediately upon beginning withdrawal.

3. OPERATIONAL PARAMETERS

This is not to be treated as an act of war. Civilians should be fired on only as a last resort and only in self-defense. Civilian naval traffic which does not attempt to interfere with the operation should be monitored, but not engaged. Civilian traffic which does attempt to interfere may be engaged, but only in an attempt to disable or drive off, not to destroy. Military forces (naval and ground) which engage UNICOM forces should be engaged with restraint, but force protection should be the primary concern. Our primary mission is to secure the settlements and repatriate the illegal colonists outside of Terran space.


RADM R.H. Amano
CINCUNICOM
16 JUL 2075
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 02:01:48 PM by RedKing »
 

Offline Rastaman

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Re: The Bastani-Alliance War: Operation Argent Broom
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 03:35:02 PM »
Easy in, easy out ...
 

Offline RedKing

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Re: The Bastani-Alliance War: Operation Argent Broom
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 11:39:49 AM »
TAS Vengeance, orbiting Vorota Prime, 23 Jul 2075, 1100Z ship’s time

     Rear Admiral Gavin Bowdry shifted uncomfortably in his command couch. Just four days ago, he had been commander of all Raider Groups, commanding from his sleek NanoTex acceleration couch on his Corsair, Green One. The NanoTex couch fit like a second skin, filled with millions of tiny gel pockets which could be inflated and deflated in microseconds to compensate for inertia as the Corsair weaved and turned at speeds which could pulverize an unprotected occupant. It was a protective cocoon that melded him with the ship itself, making him feel almost superhuman.
     By contrast, the Vengeance’s old-fashioned captain’s couch was a throwback, made of leather and mahogany and brushed nickel. Without the integral HUD or the NanoTex cladding, he felt like a very fragile human riding on the nose of an ancient and ponderous beast.
     But he had to admit that it was more than the new couch that made him uncomfortable, it was the weight of command. Corsair crews were known for their initiative. With a crew complement of only 136, and all of them sealed into acceleration couches, you needed people who could take care of their job without supervision, who could coordinate and anticipate each other’s actions without face-to-face contact.
     A Vanguard-class carrier was an entirely different experience. With a crew complement of nearly 1300 people, and a much slower rate of acceleration, it was much more like a traditional wet navy ship. It meant departments and layers of command and having to deal with a lot more people on a daily basis. And on top of that, Admiral Amano hadn’t just appointed him to command a carrier; he had him commanding a task force. When Amano transferred command of the Vengeance to him, he had advised him to let his XO run the ship’s operations, which had proven to be sage advice.

     Bowdry scrolled through the operational plan for the hundredth time this morning. By this point, he could recite it from memory. On paper, it was simple: Stand guard, let the ground troops do the hard work, shoot only if shot at. But there were contingencies around the edge of his thoughts that bothered him. His scanner officer was the one to break him out of his reverie.
     “Sir? 3 vessels just jumped in from Xingmen and are inbound. Appear to be Diligence-class. They’re headed straight for the planet, sir.”
     “ETA?”
     “At current heading and speed…6 hours, 12 minutes, sir.”
     “Send a message on all known Bastani civilian frequencies. Let them know that the planet is under interdiction and they are to return to their point of origin immediately.”
     “Aye, sir.”
     Bowdry’s XO, Captain Jaime Hollister, stepped alongside him. “What do you think? More colonists?”
     “Could be. Could also be a weapons transfer. Or reinforcements. Or it could be an evacuation attempt. This is what I don’t like about this op. Too many grey areas. We’re not shooting at civilians unless they try to impede the mission, but the definition of “impede” has been left wide open.”
     “What do we do if they don’t turn back?”
     Bowdry sighed. “Let’s hope they do. But if they don’t, I’m not going to be the first to turn this into a hot war. Unless [1st Volunteer Brigade CO Gen. Jewel] Pontarelli tells me that those ships are unloading weapons or troops, we’ll treat them as non-hostile.”
     “What about the two Heritages?”
     Bowdry looked at the two large yellow silhouettes on the tactical display. “We don’t know. They’ve just sat there the whole time. They’re over 30,000 tons each. If they were warships, I think we’d have known it by now. We’ve been going over the high-resolution imaging, looking for gunports but nothing so far. Same rule: until they prove otherwise, they’re non-hostile. HQ thinks they’re either some kind of bulk hauler or tanker.”

   Two days passed as the 1st Volunteers disembarked from the mammoth Saipan-class troopship, formed up and made their assault plan. Due to Vorota Prime’s hostile environment, the colonists were in two compact settlement domes, which made things much simpler. Pontarelli looked over the holomap one last time. The primary dome would be surrounded by the 21st Volunteer Assault Regiment (VAR), while the 1st VAR would do the actual clear-and-hold work. The secondary dome would follow the same basic plan, with the 104th Mobile Infantry surrounding, and the 11th VAR clearing the dome. Her HQ unit would supervise from the landing zone, midway between the two domes. Intelligence had been vague on what kind of resistance to expect, but the Bastani didn’t have much reputation as fighters. On paper, they could put together maybe three or four regiments, but with what kind of weapons?

   Finally, the preparations were complete and the troops almost in place. The secondary dome was surrounded, but unexpectedly difficult terrain had slowed the primary strike group from reaching their target. 1st VAR was just now reaching the dome, with the 21st close behind. Pontarelli used a pair of optics to scan the horizon. Each dome was about 30km from the LZ. She could see a wide glow to the southeast, the lights of the 104th’s APCs. Swinging around to the northwest, there was only the low, dark shadow of the primary habitation dome. The VARs weren’t visible, because they lacked armor assets.
     Created in the aftermath of the liberation of Tau Ceti back in ’64, the Volunteer regiments were the most basic kind of army: grunts in sealed combat suits with a standard-issue firearm. The firearms varied according to the mission environment: gauss rifles in Earth-like or low-atmos environments, plasma guns on high-G or dense worlds like Tau Ceti. There was some talk of kitting them out with laser rifles for use on extremely low-G worlds, to avoid the problems with slug-throwers throwing a bunch of spall into orbit when the muzzle velocity exceeded escape velocity, but so far that hadn’t been much of a problem.
     Tactical organization was based around the five-man squad: three riflemen, one support/heavy weapons man, and one technical specialist. The TechSpec could be anything from a medic to an electronic warfare tech to an interpreter. It allowed for a lot of specialization and customization of forces to fit mission requirements, while not diluting the firepower. Every Volunteer was cross-trained as infantry and a specialist, so that if you were a medic but the mission called for your unit to do demolition work, you’d be assigned a rifleman role while somebody trained in combat engineering would fill the TechSpec role.
     For this mission, most of the squads had Bastani interpreters and medics in the specialist role. This was the first “live” operation any of these men and women had ever seen. Other than the liberation of a few Wraith listening posts (which had all been done by the “line” units from the core Army, mostly the heavy troopers), there hadn’t been a major ground operation since the end of the Great War. Pontarelli’s earbud crackled to life. “General, what is your status?”
     “Secondary group is in position. Primary is almost there. Rough ground slowed them down a bit. How’s it looking up there, Admiral?”
     “Clear sailing so far. Those freighters bugged out right after liftoff, so it’s just us and the two Heritage haulers. We’re watching the Xingmen jump like a hawk.”
     “Sounds good. Permission to enter the domes?”
     “You don’t want to wait for your first group to get in position?”
     “It’s not like we’re losing the element of surprise. And so far we haven’t seen so much as a pointy stick out of the Bastani.”
     “Permission granted then.” Pontarelli keyed the go sequence into her vidcomm.

     30 kilometers away, the 11th’s CO’s in-helmet display blinked amber with the message “ARGENT BROOM: FOXTROT GOLF JULIET”. He keyed a re-transmit, and his battalion commanders received the message. They did the same, and on down to the company commanders, the platoon commanders, the squad commanders and finally it flashed up on the helmet of every Volunteer crouching behind rocks and outcrops in front of a massive 3km wide dome.
     Sgt. Emil LaCrosse keyed up his squad-transmit. “Ladies and gentlemen, this smeg just got real. Ivanov, you’re the guest of honor. If you would be so kind…”
     Cpl. Grigori Ivanov took a deep breath, stepped out from behind the boulder he’d been leaning against for the last hour and a half, and broke into a half-run, half-trot towards the dome’s airlock. Back home, he’d been a maintenance electrician and locksmith. Like a lot of guys his age, he was swayed by all those slick vids that UniCom had pushed on the Internet: the kind with a guy in Heavy Trooper armor dropping in like a one-man badass army, wasting a bunch of alien monsters with a plasma cannon, and popping open his helmet at the end to reveal some dude with movie-star good looks and a precisely calculated amount of five-o’clock shadow. Everybody wanted to be that guy. More importantly, everyone wanted a job. And with a global unemployment rate over 10%, there were plenty like him that decided the Army was the life for him: see space, kick some alien butt, and earn a metric crapton of money doing it.
     The reality was altogether different. 92% of the Volunteers had never left Earth. Training consisted of endless repetitions of weapons drills, basic squad tactics, and his MOS training. He’d been in the service 10 years and never so much as fired a weapon in anger. His armor was nowhere near as flashy or as safe as a Heavy Trooper. It was basically a spacesuit with a couple of armor plates strapped to it. He’d almost lost count of how many times he’d barfed in “the Truck” [TAS Truk]: on the way to orbit, during each jump, during the burn-in to Vorota Prime, during the landing. And now he had the “honor” of being the only guy in 30 klicks who wasn’t behind cover of some kind, walking up to a giant alien dome, and trying to figure out how to pick the lock on the sonofabitch. He really didn’t want to throw up in his combat suit.
 

Offline RedKing

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Re: The Bastani-Alliance War: Operation Argent Broom
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 10:58:51 AM »
Bowdry watched the regional tac map on his display, with clumps of blue representing the ground forces next to the two large red circles of the Bastani colony domes. Things were expected to move slowly. If this had been a true combat operation -- say against a Wraith colony -- it would have been easier. Bring up the support guns, blow a hole in the dome and let physics and biology do most of the dirty work. But UniCom wanted to relocate the Bastani, not slaughter them. That meant protecting the structural integrity of the domes, and it meant issuing mostly baton and carbonate ammo. Only the 104th was carrying any substantial amount of penetrating ammo, as insurance in case those Bastani "militia" turned out to be something more than 'a handful of bluelips with pointy sticks'. Nobody really had any idea of what Bastani ground forces were like, organizationally or in terms of technology. Certainly, if they were technologically capable of getting colonists to Vorota Prime, they were capable of making weapons that could kill. The issue was whether they had ever thought to do so, and whether colonists would be carrying them.

He keyed up Pontarelli's comm again. "Status?"
"11th VAR is attempting to access the secondary dome. 1st VAR is moving into position as we speak. The 21st has about 35% containment around the primary dome."
"What happens if they're not able to bypass security on the airlocks?"
"Well...we can always cut our way in, but we'd have to bring in some combat engineers and build a pressure lock around the breach point. It'll take considerably more time."

Ivanov ran his multistat over the airlock's access panel. He only partially understood how the multistat worked -- it was way more advanced than any tools he had had back in his civilian life. A combination voltimeter/thermograph/x-ray/magnetometer/densitometer, it allowed a trained user to get a multi-layered view of the inner workings of a piece of electronics, and then try to manipulate it through the input leads. This appeared to be a magnetic lock with rudimentary security controls, but it wasn't responding to the inputs the way the schematic told him it should. Finally, it dawned on him that the responses were failing in the same portion of the control circuit. He keyed the transmit button on his helmet. "Sergeant, I think they have disabled the lock from the inside."
"Can you fix it?"
"I believe so. Give me five minutes, sir."
"You've got three."

"Pontarelli?"
"Still trying to access the domes. 11th VAR reports the airlock was disabled from the inside. They locked themselves in. Maybe they're waiting on a relief force."
"All the more reason to get this over with."
"The First has a squad at the primary's airlock now. Grab some decaf, Bowdry, you're making me jittery."
"I just have a bad feeling about this, that's--"
"Sensors hot!" It was Bowdry's EQ officer, Ellington.
"What? Where?"
"One of the Heritages, sir! It's actively targe--"
"New contacts! Bearing 316, inbound to surface at high speed!"
"Admiral? What the hell's going on up there?"
Bowdry's blood ran cold. "Sonofa...General! Get your people into cover NOW!"
"Impacts detected, sir!"
He jerked his head over to look at the regional tac map. The blue blob near the primary dome suddenly blinked and shrank to mere specks of blue along the edge. He heard the dull roar through Pontarelli's microphone.

Ivanov finished placing the wire delicately on the outside of the access panel, bridging the gap the Bastani had made. He would need to run some tests first to make sure he didn't short out the circuit, but this just might do it...
Suddenly the door and panel were bathed in painfully bright light and his shadow seemed so sharp he almost expected it to cut through the wall itself. He whirled around. "What the f--"
Almost in unison, nearly a thousand troopers spun around to see multiple pillars of fire bloom up into the distant sky. Sgt. LaCrosse was one of the first to turn back to the dome, staring at Ivanov. "DOOR! OPEN! NOW!"
Ivanov jerked back around, heart pounding, and punched the go button on the multistat.
 

Offline RedKing

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Re: The Bastani-Alliance War: Operation Argent Broom
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 12:59:23 PM »
Bowdry keyed his transducer mike to the squadron channel. “All ships! Target that Bastani vessel and open fire, all batteries!” He stood there, heart racing as all around him he heard the chatter and buzz of the Combat Command Center coming to life. He moved to one side, eyes transfixed on the large tactical holomap. Captain Hollister took the cue and sat in the captain’s couch, taking over operational control of the Vengeance.
   “Designating active hostile as Heritage 1. Other vessel as Heritage 2. Launch 1st Squadron, weapons hot.”
   “Aye sir, birds are aloft.” A cloud of blue specks appeared on the tacmap, the Vengeance’s squadron of Comanche fighters.
   “Vengeance to Hawk One, over.”
   A voice filtered over the open comm. channel, obscured partially by the noise inherent in trying to talk to a chunk of metal moving at a tenth of the speed of light. “Hawk One to Vengeance, read you, over.”
   “Trawick, this is Hollister. Want your boys to unload a full salvo on Heritage 2. Copy?”
   “Copy, Vengeance. Full salvo on Heritage 2, over.”
   Hollister turned to Lieutenant Ellington. “Report on the frigates?”
   “Sir, gauss coils almost powered up, gunners are acquiring a firing solution.”
   “Good. Let’s show these bastards some fireworks. Fire at will.”

   Gavin only dimly heard his XO directing combat, lost in his own thoughts as his eyes flicked back and forth between the orbital map -- showing two hulking shapes, gone from amber to a menacing red in the last several seconds – and the planetary map, where the blue “blob” of ground troops near the primary dome had gaping holes in it. He knew that less than a minute ago, those holes had been filled with Alliance soldiers. Soldiers who had been depending on his squadron, on him to safeguard them.
   Sick to his stomach, he stepped over to a comm. console, swiped his palm to log in, and keyed up a channel to General Pontarelli. There was a delay of a few seconds, during which Bowdry’s mind raced through dozens of scenarios which all ended with the general dead, until finally the screen flickered to a distorted image of a young, terrified-looking field technician. “Uhh, okay, it’s working! Standby, uhh, sir. She’s coming…the general, that is.”
   He saw Pontarelli storm into view, her combat armor covered in ash and the sky dark behind her. For a moment, she appeared to Bowdry as one of the Furies, come to claim her vengeance on him.
   “What the holy hell was THAT, Admiral? Bluelips aren’t supposed to have goddamned nukes!”
   “Caught us by surprise too. Those “bulk haulers” turned out to be strike cruisers. What’s your status?”
   “It’s a goddamn massacre. 1st VAR is gone, 21st might as well be. 11th and the 104th Mobile took some hits too, but at least they’re still operational. They’ve breached the secondary dome, but we don’t know their sitrep yet. HQ didn’t take any hits, but we’re sitting ducks if those damn things fire again. Got any more bad news to tell us?”
   “New bandits! Inbound on Truk!” someone yelled out behind him.
   Bowdry glanced up to see a swarm of red streaks leap towards the troopship, and saw flashes of light all around the vessel. “Truk reporting 21% armor integrity! No breach at this time.”
   He looked back down at the comm.. "You worry about your situation down there, we’ll handle things up here.”
   “With all due respect, Admiral, I’m not impressed with your 'handling' so far.”
   “Duly noted, General. Bowdry out.”

He looked back up in time to see the frigates’ gauss cannons start up, spewing a stream of metal shards towards the massive Heritage. It was like tossing a rock at a tank, but who knew…if you threw enough rocks for long enough….
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 10:59:43 AM by RedKing »
 

 

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