Preliminary After-Action Report
To: Benjamin D. Hutchins, Chief of IP Operations
Headquarters, New Avalon, Zeta Cygni
Flag Summary: Operation TRIDENT
COMO Utena R. Tenjou IPSFR cmdg.
Fornax sector, United Federation of Planets
March 7, 2410
I have the honor to acquaint you with the events of March 5-7 (inclusive), 2410, as regards the prosecution of Operation TRIDENT. Pursuant to instructions from Headquarters, and in accordance with the International Police Organization's mutual assistance pact with the Republic of Tau Ceti IV, I assembled my task force at the Initial Point near the Tau Ceti heliopause during the evening (Avalon Standard Time) of March 5. When fully constituted, Task Force TRIDENT consisted of the following vessels:
IPS Valiant NCC-06041
Group TRIDENT RED
IPS Challenger NCC-04462 (CPT L. Soong)
LKV HoSghaj K-1832 (CPT K. vathKesek)
HMS Illustrious BBS-72 (CPT Sir D. Soandso, Bart.)
Gamilon Crown Starship Lorica (CMDR Jethan)
Barsaivian trading vessel Kuratai no t'slas-Jas'Ishkarat (E. Shustal, master)
Private starship F/V Gravy Train (R. Riddick, master)
Private starship Daggerdisc (C. Ravenhair, master)
Group TRIDENT BLUE
WDF Enterprise NCC-1701 (VADM J. Kirk)
WDF Unicorn NCC-1744 (CPT A. Haddock)
WDF Reliant NCC-1864 (CPT C. Terrell)
WDF Scimitar NCC-940 (CMDR V. Leeds)
WDF Henry Knox DDS-724 (CMDR C. Hughes)
Group TRIDENT GREY
IPS Indefatigable NCC-1749 (CPT Sir E. Pellew)
IPS Prometheus CVS-101 (CPT K. Sterling)
IPS Assailant NCC-06067 (CMDR R. Hoshino)
IPS Empire Builder NCC-07005 (CMDR W. Tarrant)
IPS Demologos NCC-07012 (CMDR J. Fulton)
Following an intelligence and reconnaissance briefing given by CMDR Ivar Merkretsch RSN (HMS Unfathomable U-201), Task Force TRIDENT stood into the system to engage the enemy. H-hour for the operation was 0200 Avalon Standard Time, March 6, 2410.
Enemy assets identified by Unfathomable at the start of the operation were:
EAS Clytæmnestra, Nova-class battleship
EAS Æneas, Nova-class battleship
EAS Peloponnesus, Hyperion-class cruiser
EAS Vicksburg, Hyperion-class cruiser
EAS Taliesin, Hyperion-class cruiser
EAS Cosmonaut Vladimir M. Komarov, Salyut-class spacecraft carrier
Escort squadron DESRON-14, 3x Patriot-class destroyer:
- EAS Nathan Hale
- EAS Caesar Rodney
- EAS Elbridge Gerry
EAS Retiarius, Retiarius-class Perimeter Control Vessel
Earthforce Marine Corps
EMCS Suribachi, Iceberg-class surface assault ship
EMCS Canaveral, Myrmidon-class monitor
EMCS Agulhas, Myrmidon-class monitor
USS Bellerophon, Nebula-class cruiser
USS Northumberland, Nebula-class cruiser
Captain Merkretsch identified Suribachi as the headquarters ship for the Earthforce X Surface Assault Corps, MGEN Westford Drake EMC commanding.
At mission elapsed time 00:24, Force TRIDENT passed the orbit of Tau Ceti V and formed up for in-system assault. At 00:31, Valiant was hailed by EAS Clytæmnestra, which identified herself as the Earthforce fleet's flag. At this time it was learned that General Drake was the Earthforce flag officer in overall command of the invasion. He ordered Force TRIDENT to leave the system immediately or be subject to attack as pirates interfering with a lawful peacekeeping mission. I informed him that I was not born yesterday and hostilities commenced at MET 00:40.
I should note here that the two Starfleet vessels did not participate in the ensuing fleet action. CPT Hunsacker of Northumberland notified us that his vessel and Bellerophon were present only to guarantee the neutrality of Tau Ceti III. When battle commenced between Force TRIDENT and the Earthforce group, the Starfleet ships stood off to a distance of 2.5 AU and observed.
In approximately 33 minutes of close action, Force TRIDENT's heavier starships occupied the attention of the Earthforce vessels while Gravy Train, Daggerdisc, and small craft from Challenger, Enterprise, Indefatigable, and Prometheus penetrated the orbital defenses of Tau Ceti IV and inserted a counter-assault force on the planet's surface. At the same time, Illustrious carried out an orbital infantry drop operation while under heavy fire from the destroyers of DESRON-14, for spacemanship during which operation I must particularly commend Captain Soandso.
All ships and crew performed admirably during the action against Earthforce in high orbit, but in addition to Illustrious above, I must take special note of:
- Commander Leeds and the crew of WDF Scimitar, who disabled the flight deck of EAS Komarov with a combination of daring maneuver and excellent gunnery;
- Captain vathKesek and the crew of HoSghaj, who, despite serious damage to their vessel, prevented the two Earthforce monitors from intercepting the surface assault force and knocked Agulhas out of the fight entirely; and
- Captain Pellew and the ship's company of Indefatigable, and LT John McCandless (VII GENOM White Legion) and his special action squad (along with Jedi Master Atin-Vae Springsteen), who crippled, boarded, and captured EAS Retiarius, the capture being concluded at about MET 01:23.
With Retiarius out of action, both in-system FTL navigation and the use of transporters became possible. Within a half-hour, Force TRIDENT was joined by several vessels which had not reached the Initial Point in time to be part of the initial assault:
Group TRIDENT WHITE
CFMF Charlemagne CFF-114 (CPT T'Pall, VADM A. Nakajima aboard)
CFMF Whippet CFF-179 (CMDR D. Slattery)
IGS Vengeance (CMDR G. Dessler)
Private starship H/V Slave One (J. Fett, master)
Private starship H/V Rusty Angel (A. Ironheart, master)
A small group of media starships arrived shortly thereafter, including NMS Swordbreaker (Network 23, J. Trussell, master) and the private broadcast vessel Big Time, but they did not take part in the main action, instead positioning themselves to provide galactic news coverage of the incidents unfolding on the planet's surface. At one point EAS Elbridge Gerry did engage Swordbreaker, attempting to drive the media ships off, but Swordbreaker's counterattack had crippled Gerry before any Force TRIDENT vessels could maneuver to intervene.
At MET 01:37, with the tactical advantage in orbit strongly on Force TRIDENT's side, I transferred operational command of the orbital elements to VADM Kirk, left Valiant in the capable hands of Colonel Grissom, and beamed to the surface in company with Tactical Division 131 SMF (Repo Men) to take charge of operations there.
The principal goals of Operation TRIDENT's surface actions were to wrest control of Tau City from Earthforce and restore President Charles Kallon to office. To this end, the TRIDENT surface forces were deployed with several incremental objectives:
1. To seize control of Tau City's main power generation facilities, the hydro-electric station at Tovora Dam north of the city and Lambert Salton Reactor Station downtown;
2. To determine the current status of the Tau City Constabulary and Republic of Tau Ceti Defense Force, gain control of their headquarters and barracks facilities, and (if necessary) restore both organizations to an operational condition;
3. To safeguard or re-establish legitimate government control of the Bell System hypercomm center near Government House;
4. To sweep the Earthforce Marine presence from Government House itself and its vicinity; and
5. To ascertain the whereabouts and condition of President Kallon and, if necessary, rescue him from Earthforce captivity.
By the time I arrived on the surface, much had already been done:
- The crew of the Gravy Train and several Valkyrie operatives had taken control of Tovora Dam, though a mishap during the fight had deprived much of the city's northern half of power;
- A group of TacDiv operators from Prometheus, led by SA1 agent Nikola Tesla, were on the verge of overtaking Salton Reactor entirely despite heavy resistance from Earthforce armored jump troopers and at least one Expert-level Black Omega esper agent (see attached dossier);
- Elements of the 66th Einherjar Legion and members of Valiant's volunteer crew had seized Tau City Constabulary Headquarters and were in the process of liberating the Constabulary's officers from the city prison, where Earthforce had incarcerated them; and
- Illustrious's ODSTs, led by MAJ Jaleen Orman and MCPO Sir John Spartan, had secured TCDF Headquarters and were in the process of mobilizing the Defense Force for objective 4 above.
Again, all personnel performed excellently. I must take special note of Prof. Tesla, whose heroism in the capture and preservation of Salton Reactor was conspicuous, and of one of our volunteers in Valiant, the Hon. Peregrine Took (58th Baroness Tuckborough), who was personally responsible for neutralizing the Black Omega esper agent in command of the city prison's occupation force.
When I reached the surface, my first order of business was to take control of the hypercomm facility. With 131 SMF's help, this was accomplished in relatively short order and without casualties. At that point I set about establishing a central command and coordination position. Up to that point the surface elements were proceeding independently, and all the threads of the operation had to be drawn together before we could proceed to objectives 4 and 5. Tuncer and I left most of 131 SMF to hold the hypercomm station until they could be relieved by local officers and relocated to TCDF Headquarters, which we judged to be the most thoroughly defensible of the available positions within the city.
At MET 03:21, I received word from Admiral Kirk that the two Starfleet vessels, which had held station and never offered to participate in the orbital action, had left the system abruptly and without making any kind of transmission. Shortly thereafter, the Earthforce Navy vessels that had not been captured or disabled earlier, and which had seemed to be regrouping near the orbit of Tau Ceti V, suddenly abandoned their efforts and quit the system, leaving Suribachi and Canaveral behind. Admiral Kirk and I redeployed Task Force TRIDENT for quick reaction to a possible reinforced Earthforce counterattack, but none appeared to be forthcoming. Our starships remained at high alert. Knowing they would report immediately if the situation changed, I returned my full attention to the ground operation.
At MET 03:45 (0445 hours local time, shortly before dawn), we completed preparations to launch phase 4 of the ground operation. In addition to the forces we brought with us and reinforcements beamed down from orbit, our force for the counterinvasion of Government Plaza included significant elements from both the Tau City Constabulary and Tau Ceti Defense Force. Their command and control structures were somewhat disorganized, owing to the battering both forces took in the initial invasion, but most local personnel were ready and eager to participate in the retaking of their capital.
I should note here that, with so many disparate elements involved in the ground assault, even with Lensmen scattered through the various groups, there would have been almost no hope of properly organizing or commanding the force as a whole without Cortana. Her communications capabilities are well beyond those of any humanoid, but her extensive tactical experience and her excellent situational awareness were of equal, if not greater, importance to the overall success of this operation.
Where the space battle was roughly even (allowing for the wide range of spacecraft types involved) at the outset, our ground force was badly outnumbered. Furthermore, the Earthforce Marines occupying Government Plaza were clearly aware that they had been abandoned by the Navy, and that their base ship was in no position to come to their aid. Under strict orders to hold until relief could arrive, they fought tenaciously. However, General Drake had remained aboard Suribachi, and with Retiarius in our hands he was completely unable to communicate with the planet.
The primary assault on Government Plaza took the form of a pincer, with one flank assaulted by Illustrious's ODSTs under Major Orman while Praefecta Flavia Satori's 66th Einherjar hit the other. At the same time, 131 SMF and a mixed group of volunteers and Special Assignment agents (including myself), broken up into several independent groups, entered the plaza and Government House itself through various secondary routes. By MET 05:23, the Salusian and Einherjar forces, supported by aerospacecraft from Prometheus and Charlemagne, had effective control of the outer plaza and the Earthforce command elements had withdrawn to the planetary emergency bunker in the subbasement of Government House.
The bunker was designed to provide a refuge for the colony's governor and other officials when Government House was first built, and its systems had been periodically updated, but it was intended to keep out rioting colonists, not determined professionals. MCPO Spartan breached it within minutes of Major Orman's ODSTs and the 66th securing the building.
At MET 05:33, I requested the surrender of Colonel Michael Plummer, General Drake's adjutant; when his only response was to attempt a (completely futile, given the tactical situation at that point) personal attack, MCPO Spartan was obliged to subdue him.
At MET 05:34, I accepted the surrender of Lieutenant Colonel Andrea Kopala, General Drake's deputy adjutant, and hostilities ceased.
At MET 05:37, President Charles Kallon was retrieved unharmed from a makeshift detention cell at the back of the bunker, where Colonel Plummer had placed him during the Earthforce troops' final withdrawal. Along with MCPO Spartan, 131 SMF, and several volunteers, I personally escorted him to his office, where he immediately began the process of reasserting legitimate government authority and restoring order to Tau Ceti IV.
At MET 05:40, Admiral Kirk notified Suribachi of the surrender of all Earthforce Marine Corps troops on the planet and requested General Drake's surrender as well. Rather than surrender, Suribachi opened a metaspace jump point and she and her remaining escort left the system. At this point, Admiral Kirk and I agreed to log Operation TRIDENT's primary mission as accomplished.
Total mission time: five hours, forty-one minutes from H-hour at the Initial Point.
Casualties: Six starship crew killed and 38 wounded in the space battle; one member of WDF Indefatigable's crew killed and two White Legion troopers wounded in the taking of EAS Retiarius; seven assorted members of the ground forces wounded in the initial phases of the surface operation; five ODSTs killed and 12 wounded in the main assault on Government Plaza, as well as 18 wounded members of the 66th Einherjar. In addition, two Tau City constables and 10 members of the Defense Force were killed and a total of 24 officers from both services were wounded, and one volunteer was injured in a non-combat-related accident during the preparations for the final assault. All our wounded are expected to recover.
Earthforce casualties are still being counted at this hour, but appear proportionally much higher (though a far greater proportion are wounded than are dead).
Starships moderately damaged:
IPS Empire Builder
Starships heavily damaged:
WDF Henry Knox
All other starships lightly damaged. None crippled; none captured.
On the ground, 131 SMF lost their tank (again), but Frank is OK.
Earthforce starships destroyed:
Earthforce starships crippled/surrendered:
EAS Elbridge Gerry
Earthforce starships boarded/captured:
EAS Caesar Rodney
All other Earthforce starships were damaged, though it was difficult to ascertain how badly in most cases. All not listed above withdrew.
The two Starfleet vessels did not participate in any of the combat and left the system unharmed.
Following the completion of the primary mission, IPO-aligned space and ground forces remained on alert for much of that day, against the possibility of an Earthforce attempt to retake the planet.
At 1933 hrs local time, the Federation starship USS Charles B. Momsen NCC-23295 entered the system and hailed both Task Force TRIDENT and Government House. Captain Olivia Naquin informed us of the destruction of USS Danzig and the death of Federation President Santiago. As you will be aware by now (though we didn't know it at the time), general recalls following the Danzig disaster were the reason why first the Starfleet and then the Earthforce Navy vessels left the Tau Ceti system during the surface operations.
The events that unfolded that evening were almost entirely political and most occurred on Earth, so they're somewhat outside the scope of my report; we (and President Kallon) watched them on television just like everyone else.
Task Force TRIDENT remained in place until 0733 hours (local time) on the morning of March 7, when a larger Starfleet force arrived to relieve us. At that time, per your operational order, Operation TRIDENT was officially logged as complete and the task force disbanded. Valiant is en route to Zeta Cygni for repairs, in company with HoSghaj, Gravy Train, Daggerdisc, the former Group TRIDENT BLUE, and the more seriously damaged vessels from TRIDENT GREY. TRIDENT WHITE and the rest of TRIDENT RED have dispersed back to their regular stations.
Our current estimated time of arrival at the IP Yards, Zeta Cygni II, is 0920 hours Avalon Standard Time tomorrow (March 8). At that time I will report to you personally at IPO Headquarters for debriefing.
Until then, I remain
Your most humble and obedient servant,
Captain Utena R. Tenjou IPSFR
Commodore, Operation TRIDENT