Friday, August 18, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 13: Deliverance Part 5

In Parts One, Two, Three and Four of this scenario, the NATO surface groups tasked with retaking Iceland from the Soviets have undergone some severe trials. They have been sustaining incessant air attacks from Keflavik and also cruise missile attacks from Soviet submarines. The damage has been extensive, including the loss of one ship and several others heavily damaged. But the USS Oriskany and the FS Clemenceau managed to launch counterstrikes.

The strikes hit Keflavik hard, and is sufficient to severely curtail flight operations. In fact, the Soviets manage to get a few MiG-23 Floggers airborne as a CAP, but that's it. Follow-up strikes on Keflavik suppresses its air defenses and manages to destroy many more aircraft on the ground. The way is clear now for the amphibious assault.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 13: Deliverance Part 4

In Parts One, Two, and Three of this scenario, the NATO surface groups tasked with retaking Iceland from the Soviets have undergone some severe trials. They have been sustaining incessant air attacks from Keflavik and also cruise missile attacks from Soviet submarines. The damage has been extensive, including the loss of one ship and several others heavily damaged. But the USS Oriskany and the FS Clemenceau managed to launch a counterstrike.

The strike hits Keflavik hard, destroying several aircraft on the ground and damaging all of the Runway Access Points in hopes of putting the airfield out of action. Every Runway Access Point is damaged, but it remains to be seen if they are damaged enough to curtail flight operations. If the Soviets manage to get off another strike against my surface groups, I'm in serious trouble.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 13: Deliverance Part 3

In Parts One and Two of this scenario, the NATO surface groups tasked with retaking Iceland from the Soviets have undergone some severe trials. They have been sustaining incessant air attacks from Keflavik and also cruise missile attacks from Soviet submarines. The damage has been extensive, including the loss of one ship and several others heavily damaged. But the USS Oriskany and the FS Clemenceau have managed to launch a counterstrike, which is due to attack soon.

The NATO F-8 Crusaders have proven to be no match for Soviet MiG-23 Floggers with their radar guided missiles, and so the air battle has been difficult. The current strike against Keflavik was launched without air cover as none of the fighters are available to escort it, but it could not be helped. The airfield simply has to be taken out of action immediately.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 13: Deliverance Part 2

In Part One of this scenario, my surface groups set a course for Keflavik to retake Iceland from the Soviet occupation. The Soviets want to keep it, however, so immediately I had to start fending off air attacks. The first raid cost me some F-8 Crusaders, but I wiped it out before it could launch any missiles. The second raid was nearly wiped out, but managed to get off some missiles and damage the USS Harry E. Yarnell, a Leahy-class cruiser defending the Iowa group, significantly reducing the air defense capability of that group.

And now, with all of my fighters refueling and rearming, a third raid is inbound, the largest of them all. If I can take out the raiding aircraft, I will have severely reduced the striking power of the Soviets, leaving Iceland open for my own strikes. But first, I have to survive...

Monday, August 14, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 13: Deliverance Part 1

Introduction
Over the last few weeks intense fighting has broken out along all fronts in Europe. NATO forces in Germany are fighting a delaying action in the Fulda Gap area, halting Soviet armour and mechanized units but with heavy loss in men and equipment.

Massive naval engagements, including US and UK carrier groups, have resulted in the loss of HMS Ark Royal and US carriers. On the other hand the Soviet Red Banner Northern Fleet has been practically decimated in the Norwegian Sea and North Cape area. Both sides are reaching the end of their reserves.

Soviet-occupied Iceland over the recent few months has been under constant attack by NATO Forces. Even after these attacks the airfields are still operational, but restricted in their ability to launch or recover anything larger than a Su-24 Fencer or MiG-23 Flogger. The remains of the 61st Kirkinesskaya Red Banner Marine Brigade are dug in around Reykjavik and Reykjanesbaer near Keflavik.

Iceland still remains a thorn in NATO's side. The Oriskany CVBG, Clemenceau CVBG and the Iowa MEU have been ordered to retake Iceland. All forces are now in position to the west of Iceland to conduct an air- and sea-borne assault to retake the island.

Whoever prevails, the rocky western shores are sure to turn bloody red...

NOTE: This scenario includes the USS Iowa configured as a "Heavy Assault Amphibious Battleship", from a conversion proposed in 1966.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 12: Hunter or Hunted

Introduction
With the continuing war heading towards a stalemate, peace talks are now underway in Geneva.

Meanwhile the Red Banner Fleet has deployed its flagship, the STOVL carrier Kiev, with heavy escort into the Norwegian Sea.

Soviet forces have now fallen back to within 40nm of the border in Norway, after suffering continuous strikes by NATO carrier battle groups.

The NATO carriers themselves have also pulled back to Jan Mayen island, to lick their wounds after murderous strikes by Soviet bombers using nuclear-tipped AS-4 missiles. With the Kiev on the prowl, the only units available to tackle her are a small force of UK and US nuclear submarines which now stand in their path.

The Silent Service is now tasked to silence the pride of the Northern Fleet.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Krazy Kids Inflatable Fun Run 2017


June 10, 2017
Last year I took my daughter to the Insane Inflatable 5k, which was fun, although the distance was a bit long for her. It was a good decision at the time to leave my 5-year-old son home, as he certainly wouldn't have been able to handle the distance.

But the Krazy Kids Inflatable Fun Run was the kids version of the same race. Half the distance, and kids only, so it was much more their speed. The price was also a lot easier on my wallet.
Pre-race faces
The Insane Inflatable 5k was family-friendly, and it had a small bouncy house to keep kids occupied when they weren't racing. The Krazy Kids Inflatable Fun Run, however, was all about the kids, so they had several bouncy houses available, and the kids certainly made use of them.
Running to the next obstacle
The check in was organized and quick, and it wasn't long before our wave time. Adults were not allowed on the obstacles, but I would be allowed to run alongside the kids and take pictures while they went on them.
Negotiating the obstacles
I would be running alongside, but I gave orders that they should stick together so I could keep a better eye on them. This led to my son taking off, my daughter grabbing him to hold him back, him hitting her...and a fight ensued. After a few threats to take them off the course if they continued to fight, they continued on and had fun.
Going down one of the many slides
In one obstacle my daughter went through a tunnel and hurt her neck, so I ended up carrying her for a ways, but her desire to have fun overwhelmed her pain, so she continued on.
Casually strolling through an obstacle
As with all such events involving large amounts of kids, there were collisions, stepping on each other, tears, etc. but for the most part the little troopers kept going and having fun.
Climbing the hill
Another slide
More slides
Heading for the hill

Over the top
Down one more slide
We completed the 1.5 mile course in only a half hour, and both kids were tired, sweaty, and happy.
Showing off their medals

Ninja Pose!
Looking forward to next year!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 11: Fire and Brimstone Part 3

In Parts One and Two of this scenario, The USS John F. Kennedy and the USS Saratoga CVBGs advanced on northern Norway, their mission to destroy Soviet forces in the vicinity of Bardufoss and Banak, supporting the hard pressed NATO ground forces attempting to keep the Soviets from taking Narvik. I've been diligent in wiping out Soviet recon planes, and thus far have succeeded in keeping the locations of my CVBGs unknown.

I have been striking Bardufoss constantly, but so far it remains in operation. My ground forces north of Narvik have been sustaining both air and ground attacks.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 11: Fire and Brimstone Part 2

In Part One of this scenario, The USS John F. Kennedy and the USS Saratoga CVBGs advanced on northern Norway, their mission to destroy Soviet forces in the vicinity of Bardufoss and Banak, supporting the hard pressed NATO ground forces attempting to keep the Soviets from taking Narvik.

I wiped out a bunch of MiG-21s which foolishly came out to fight, and took out multiple Tu-95 Bear aircraft searching for me, and I think that so far the exact location of my CVBGs remains unknown.

I managed a strike upon Bardufoss, causing limited damage, and I sank a Soviet submarine that got too close for comfort. I need to keep up the pressure and prevent the Soviets from locating my CVBGs, because if I'm found, then they'll send in the Backfires and Badgers against me, and that's something I want to try very hard to avoid.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 11: Fire and Brimstone Part 1

Introduction
The Buccaneers of the Ark Royal CVBG successfully attacked Soviet airfields with WE.177 nuclear bombs - but the carrier group did not survive the operation. Cornered off Bear Island between multiple Soviet submarines and subjected to a barrage of nuclear-tipped torpedoes and cruise missiles, the Ark Royal group has been eliminated.

Now on station to the north-east of Jan Mayen Island are the Saratoga and John F. Kennedy carrier groups. Their primary role now is to support NATO land forces to stem and turn back the Soviet units present in the north of Narvik.

Two airfields are now in Soviet hands, Banak and Bardufoss, providing critical air support to their land operations.

Norwegian Army units have engaged in fierce delaying actions to slow down every step of the invaders' advance. The defending Norwegian brigades have been decimated by continuous Soviet attacks, and the only remaining viable formation is the hollowed-out 15th Infantry Brigade supported by USMC, Royal Marine and Dutch Marine units.

This polyglot tactical group and the remains of a few tank units with M48 tanks and M113 APCs are holding the line 20 miles from Narvik; but they are short on men, equipment and supplies. The next big Soviet push may well dislodge them out of the area altogether. To prevent collapse of the front, the Saratoga and John F. Kennedy CVBG's have been tasked to support these units.

The two carrier groups, tied down to a finite area by necessity (to support the ground troops) instead of roaming free in the open sea, could hardly go unnoticed by Soviet surveillance. Numerous Tu-16 Badger and Tu-22M Backfire bomber squadrons have been redeployed from the quiet Southern Front to nearby airfields. These fresh and unhurt units, trained and equipped for the task of destroying NATO carrier groups, will now attempt to do just that.

Can the carrier groups protect themselves while also holding the line in Norway?

Monday, July 31, 2017

BoldrDash Winterdash 2017

March 4, 2017
I did the BoldrDash WinterDash in 2016 by myself, and this year I decided to do the family race with my 8-year-old daughter.  In the day or so leading up to the event, I wasn't "feeling it," but in the end I'm glad I went because it went fine and my daughter and I had fun.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 10: An Eye for an Eye

Introduction

Despite early warning, the Soviet use of nuclear weapons against mainland UK RAF bases came as a rude shock. The Prime Minister, with consultation with his Defence Staff, have agreed to order a retaliatiory strike against the Kola Peninsula.

The use of Polaris SLBMs or Vulcan B.2 bombers for a nuclear strike has been ruled out as their employment could escalate the situation into full-scale nuclear war, and these precious assets need to be withheld as the ultimate bargaining chip.

The majority of RAF bases in Scotland have been wiped out in a second-wave strike conducted by Soviet SSGNs firing nuclear cruise missiles, and RAF's nuclear-capable Buccaneer strikers in the UK midlands do not have the necessary range to conduct a strike, as recent losses have severely limited tanker support.

This means that the Fleet Air Arm must undertake the mission. 809 Sqn Buccaneer S.2Ds based on HMS Ark Royal have been ordered to conduct nuclear strikes on the Kola Peninsula.

The Ark Royal group now enters the Soviet backyard, to deliver the Queen's vengeance.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Boldrdash Kids & Family Rocky Point 2016

September 10, 2016
This was to be the second BoldrDash Kids and Family race that my family did, and it would be held at Rocky Point, Rhode Island, the site where an amusement park used to be. I had been there several times as a kid myself, my favorite being the Corkscrew, a roller coaster that lived up to its name.

There was no sign of the amusement park now; it was all covered in grass and all the of the rides and buildings were gone. Instead, there were lots of BoldrDash obstacles.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 9: Fox Two

Introduction
For the past few weeks northern Norwegian airfields have been pummeled by Soviet forces, rendering them unsuitable for fixed-wing operations. Forward-deployed RAF units have now withdrawn to airbases in Scotland to bolster home defence.

So far the United Kingdom has not been directly attacked; but now intelligence has suggested that the UKADGE and northern airfields are next on the target list.

Recon flights and satellite imagery have detected multiple bomber regiments fueled and armed with supporting assets in the Kola Peninsula. These forces are expected to be the spearhead of an attack on the UK mainland.

Will the RAF be able to protect the Crown and country once more?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Savage Race 2017

July 15, 2017
There was a lot of anticipation for this race. Word of its good reputation had spread from other parts of the country and so many people were looking forward to it coming to New England.

From looking into it ahead of time, it looked much like a Spartan Race, but without the Spartan elitism. Similar obstacles, but with some fun ones thrown in. Spartan Race seems to be all about brute strength, whereas Tough Mudder's shtick is more about teamwork and mental obstacles, and the vibe I got from Savage Race was somewhere in between.


Insane Inflatable 5k 2016

September 3, 2016
After the debacle that was the Samurai Sprint (not the race's fault, but rather my injuring my shoulders and not feeling good enough as a racer), I decided to focus a little more on "fun" races.

This race was the "Insane Inflatable 5k", a 5k race where the obstacles were all inflatable "bouncy house" type obstacles. I didn't think that my 5-year-old son would be up for the distance, and that coupled with the price made me decide to so only with my 7-year-old daughter. That turned out to be a good decision.

Friday, July 14, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 8: Damn the Torpedoes Part 3

A NATO convoy is headed across the Atlantic to a safe haven in the English Channel. The convoy is absolutely vital--it must get through. The primary threat is from submarines, and undoubtedly there are a lot of them. In the first day of the mission, I lost the frigate USS Pharris early on to a cruise missile attack, but I repaid the favor by sinking several Soviet submarines.

Then, overnight, things got worse. An air-raid sank two ships of the convoy, and then as the sun rose over the convoy, things went from bad to much, much worse.  A larger air raid struck, sinking several more ships and the USS Lexington itself, the flagship of the convoy.

Yet there are still seven ships in the convoy left, and I still need to make a dash to safety. The problem is that there is still over 500nm to go to safety.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 8: Damn the Torpedoes Part 2

In Part One of this Scenario, a NATO convoy is headed across the Atlantic to a safe haven in the English Channel. The convoy is absolutely vital--it must get through. The primary threat is from submarines, and undoubtedly there are a lot of them.

In the first day of the mission, I lost the frigate USS Pharris early on to a cruise missile attack, but I repaid the favor by sinking four Soviet submarines. But there is a long way to go still, some 730 nautical miles.  The first day is over, now my convoy must make it through the night.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 8: Damn the Torpedoes Part 1

Introduction
The Soviet Union has warned NATO that any further reinforcement of Europe "will dramatically escalate the situation". The Red Banner Fleet deployed most of its submarines before the conflict erupted; as a result, the surviving ones are now well-placed to interdict NATO shipping in the Atlantic LOCs (Lines Of Communication).

With Iceland still in Soviet hands, even after strikes by the Oriskany CVBG, the airfields are still in operation after Soviet engineers repaired them.

A large, vital convoy is currently approaching Europe with cargo, container ships as well as oil tankers.

The US 2nd Fleet with NFR (Naval Fleet Reserve) units has managed to assemble a motley collection of escorts together including the training carrier USS Lexington with an air group thrown together with reserve squadrons of S-2 Trackers and SH-3 Sea Kings.

The Royal Navy has spared 4 escorts from the Home Fleet to cover the Western Approaches. RAF will also be deploying Nimrod MPA as long-range ASW cover and Sea Kings from RNAS Culdrose when in range; STANAVFORCHAN and MCM 3 groups are also patrolling the South-Western Approaches and English Channel areas.

This convoy must get through, period. Nothing less will do.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sasquatch Hikes Mount Monadnock 2017

May 20, 2017
After the ignominious end to my OCR season last year, I was looking for "easier" events to go to this year. I took my daughter to the BoldDash Winterdash, but so far that was it.

Then I heard about Sasquatch Take a Hike. It's inaugural event would be a timed hike up Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. Mount Monadnock is relatively close to home, and I had always wanted to climb it, so this "race" seemed like a good excuse to do it.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Tough Mudder New England 2017

June 25, 2017
I did my first Tough Mudder (TM) in 2015, and I had a lot of fun. It didn't take me long to sign up to go again for both TM New England and TM Northeast in 2016. Unfortunately neither race panned out. In general, 2016 did not turn out to be a good racing year for me, and Samurai Sprint was my last race of the year. (the exception being the two family races I did with my kids)

I transferred my 2016 registration to this year, and I needed the motivation to get into shape and hopefully get back into OCRs regularly. As usual, the training was not to be, so I ended up going into this race out of shape, again. Since as far as I knew, my friends weren't going to this one, so I figured I'd have to do it alone. The downside, of course, is that you have no one to run with, but the upside was that I wouldn't be holding anyone back by how slow I am.

But fortunately I ran into some fellow members of the New England Spahtens, and we would run (walk?) the race together. We spent the wait for our race time arguing about who was slower. The racers would be Mama Hen Sandy Rhee (who lives up to her nickname), the two Amys with their matching blonde hair, telephone pole-impersonator David with his Go-Pro camera, and his friend Phil, who at 61 is a badass. Sandy had done the race on Saturday, and was thinking she wouldn't do it this time, but we convinced her to go with us and she obliged.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 7: The Mighty "O" Part 4

In Part One of this series, I did the mission planning for the Alpha Strikes against Soviet-held Iceland by the USS Oriskany CVBG along with USAF assets out of Greenland.  In Part Two I began the mission, and immediately had to deal with multiple attacks from Iceland by Soviet Forces. In the meantime my USAF Fighter Sweep was refueling and preparing to attack, with the SEAD units behind it, and the B-52s behind them, tasked to destroy the runways. In Part Three my fighter sweep arrived on station, resulting in a furious air battle west of Keflavik.

And now my strike aircraft are starting to arrive over Iceland. Time to dish out some pain.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 7: The Mighty "O" Part 3

In Part One of this series, I did the mission planning for the Alpha Strikes against Soviet-held Iceland by the USS Oriskany CVBG with USAF assets out of Greenland. In Part Two I began the mission, and immediately had to deal with multiple attacks from Iceland by Soviet forces. In the meantime my USAF Fighter Sweep was refueling and preparing to attack, with the SEAD units behind it, and the B-52s behind them, tasked to destroy the runways.

So far I've fended off the attacks with the loss of a single fighter, and now it's my turn to strike.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 7: The Mighty "O" Part 2

In Part One of this scenario I did a lot of math, calculating fuel expenditures and flight times, in the hopes of generating an Air Tasking Order where I could coordinate my strikes. I'm sure I made some mistakes, hopefully none of them critical, but fortunately this is a simulation and real lives are not at stake.  All that's left is to set up all the missions and see how good my calculations were.

My biggest concern is that I'll somehow screw up the refueling, as that isn't my strongest part of Command, so I'm sure that this will be a learning experience. (Note: In my planning I assumed that refueling takes about thirty minutes, when in reality it takes closer to five)

Undoubtedly, I made some mistakes in my calculations, but we'll see just how badly the plan falls apart because of it.  On top of that, no plan survives contact with the enemy, so we'll see how well my strikes actually play out.

The sudden appearance of Soviet submarines or surface units could throw a wrench into my plans as well, so I'll have to be on the alert for them too.

All the planning is completed, so now begins the mission.

Monday, June 26, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 7: The Mighty "O" Part 1

Introduction

After the initial shock of Iceland being taken by Soviet amphibious and airborne Forces, NATO has resolved to destroy any airfield infrastructure which still remains intact. The initial Soviet attack was conducted by surgical strikes conducted by Badger bombers launching air-to-surface missiles aimed at radar sites and air defences, carefully avoiding to destroy aviation facilities, as it is believed they will be required for their own aircraft and as a staging post for Badger and Backfire bombers.

With the facilities captured largely intact, and damaged assets having been repaired by Soviet army engineer units, Soviet naval aviation will be able to conduct long-range recon and strike sorties into the Atlantic shipping lanes. Unless NATO shuts Iceland down.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 6: The Grey Ghost from the East Coast

Introduction
Reminiscent of WW2, two Soviet Sverdlov-class cruisers have been sighted by neutral shipping transiting through the Denmark Straits and are hell-bent on getting into NATO's shipping lanes for some commerce raiding. Keflavik airfield has sustained heavy bombing by Badgers launching heavy missiles at the airfield facilities, so no land based recon / surveillance is available at present. The majority of the radar sites in the vicinity have been destroyed, as well as the local SOSUS station. USS Newport News, "the Grey Ghost from the East Coast" (a name she was given during the Vietnam War), is the last 8"-gunned cruiser in service in the US Navy. She was due to decommission in June 1975 but due to tensions increasing in Soviet and NATO relations, and of course with the outbreak of war, her mothballing was postponed. She has now deployed to counter the Sverdlov threat, her escorts a mixture of old and new. Her task: to seek and destroy the Soviet cruisers and their escorts.

Can the Grey Ghost and her group stand up to the Soviet raiding party?

Friday, June 16, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 5


In Parts One, Two, Three, and Four of this scenario, NATO forces are attempting to send an amphibious group to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss. The Soviets are determined to stop them. Their level of determination was demonstrated when they used nuclear weapons to attack both Bodo Airbase and radar sites in northern Norway. NATO has fought its way north through submarines and multiple air raids by Soviet Naval Aviation, while also being threatened by Soviet surface forces.

The NATO forces have taken some punches in the loss of several escorts, but delivered some serious counterblows as well, sinking submarines, several ships, and a large number of bombers.  Now they are closing in on their objective, and it remains to be seen if the Soviets have anything else up their sleeves.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 4

In Parts One, Two, and Three of this scenario, NATO forces are attempting to send an amphibious group to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss. The Soviets are determined to stop them. Their level of determination was demonstrated when they used nuclear weapons to attack both Bodo Airbase and radar sites in northern Norway. NATO has fought its way north through submarines and raids by Soviet Naval Aviation, but it appears that its luck has run out:  the latest raid by Soviet Badgers managed to get their anti-ship missiles off, and those missiles streak past the now ineffective anti-air assets of the NATO fleet. These anti-ship missiles are headed straight for Ark Royal, an indispensable asset to the NATO forces.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 3

In Parts One and Two of this scenario, NATO forces are attempting to send an amphibious group to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss. The Soviets are determined to stop them. Their level of determination was demonstrated when they used nuclear weapons to attack both Bodo Airbase and radar sites in northern Norway.

For its part, the NATO Task Force has fended off some Soviet submarines but not without cost. But the main attack is about to begin: the Soviets have blasted a path through northern Norway, and raids of Badgers will sent through it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 2

In Part One of this scenario, the Soviets executed a series of air raids against northern Norway, taking out several radar stations and culminating in the destruction of the airbase (and town) of Bodo with two nuclear weapons. Fortunately, Bodo had maintained several underground hangars that survived the nukes, so the airbase was not completely out of action. This was small consolation to the inhabitants of the town of Bodo, who were obliterated.

In the meantime, the NATO amphibious task force continued to head north in a bid to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss before northern Norway was completely overrun by Soviet forces.

Monday, June 12, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 1

Introduction
Soviet Forces have crossed the border near Pechenga. Although Intelligence is sparse, Norwegian forces at present are holding their own against overwhelming odds. The objective of the Soviet forces is unclear at the moment, but it could be the start of a major Soviet offensive against Norwegian ports and airfields.

NATO has ordered limited reinforcement of the North Cape area; British airborne forces have been flown in to support Norwegian troops at Banak.

Britain has deployed the 3rd Commando Brigade to Norway, along with Dutch Marines embarked on HMS Bulwark, Fearless and Intrepid along with numerous small landing craft. The United States have also put together an amphibious group comprising of USS Guadalcanal, Ponce, Portland and Sumter.

Reconnaissance flights and satellite imagery have detected Tu-16 Badger regiments fueled and armed with supporting assets in the Kola Peninsula. These forces are expected to contest any NATO movements in the Norwegian Sea.

Can the 'phibs make it to safe waters before Soviet aircrews add them to their kill tally?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 4: Barents Sea Boomers

Introduction Soviet forces have launched a surprise offensive on NATO's northern flank. Norwegian forces have been caught unprepared and are reeling back under the onslaught of Soviet divisions and airborne forces.

No nuclear weapons have been used on land as yet, but over the last 2 weeks nuclear depth charges have already been used.

The deployment of Soviet submarines is markedly increasing, as can be seen with the HMS Revenge sortie incident a few days ago. NATO's own attack subs have been deployed and are now en route to the Soviet backyard to repay the visit.

Intelligence has concluded the remaining Northern Fleet SSBNs, particularly the new Delta-class, are now in the Barents Sea under constant ASW cover by air, surface and sub-surface units forming a protective ring of steel.

But NATO is determined to show the Soviets that their strategic subs have nowhere to hide.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 3: The Fast and the Furious

Introduction
The Soviets have mobilised numerous motorized rifle divisions, artillery divisions, and an airborne division, which have been positioned to ensure rapid assaults towards critical objectives in northern Norway.

These have been backed up by an amphibious group, which has now been spotted about 140 nautical miles off the coast of Norway, heading directly for the Banak area.

Powerful Northern Fleet fast-attack craft squadrons have sortied from their bases and sailed into the Norwegian Sea 12 hours ago, screening ahead of the amphibious group.

Can Banak be saved?

Friday, May 26, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 2: Goblin on the Doorstep

Introduction
With the outbreak of hostilities 7 days ago, the British ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) HMS Revenge has just completed a quick turn around, and is proceeding out of Faslane Naval Base to get back to sea.

Fully loaded with Polaris A-3 SLBMs, she has now been tasked to resume her nuclear deterrent patrol close to UK waters but still in range of her assigned targets.

Intel suggests that her passage to her patrol area may be compromised, as numerous COMINT intercepts have made reference to Soviet diesel and nuclear-powered submarines close in to the western UK coast; no doubt trying to corner and sink the Revenge before she makes it out to open sea.

The UK's independent strategic nuclear force must be protected at all costs. To this end all other assets, hardware and men alike, are expendable.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 1: Opening Moves

This is the first AAR for COMMAND: Modern Naval/Air Operations: Northern Inferno.



NATO vs WARSAW PACT
August-October 1975
While shadowing a Soviet Echo II in the Gibraltar Straits, the Frigate HMS Ashanti was sunk with heavy loss of life. In London, the Prime Minister laid the blame for the incident squarely on the Soviet shoulders and has asked the Soviet Premier for an apology and appropriate reparations.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Politburo has accused the Royal Navy of dangerous violations of international maritime law, and has labelled the incident as "tragic but unavoidable". Both sides have placed their naval forces on full alert.

In the Norwegian Sea, STANAVFORLANT (Standing Naval Force Atlantic) has sailed from Faslane and taken a war footing in vicinity of Jan Mayen Island, and assumed an ASW posture. Shortly after receiving news of the Gibraltar incident, all NATO Forces have assumed the Second Degree of Readiness and are now preparing for war!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno

I have been a fan of the game COMMAND: Modern Naval/Air Operations since it was released in 2013. In addition to the scenarios provided with the original sim and others created by the community, now there are two sets of DLC, Northern Inferno detailed a set of Cold War scenarios in 1975, and Chains of War, a conflict in the Far East in the present day.
In the posts that follow I hope to present after action reports (AARs) for each of the scenarios in the campaign, similar to previous ones that I have done.  Be advised: there will be spoilers galore.

Some of the AARs will be longer and more detailed than others, as some scenarios (fleet actions and air operations) might be be more conducive to narrative writing than scenarios that are pure anti-submarine warfare (ASW).  Either way, I hope that the AARs to follow will give you a taste for what it's like to play COMMAND.  

Northern Inferno (Description below is from the item description on the Matrix Games website)

The year is 1975, the Cold War is omnipresent and beneath the veneer of d├ętente the tension between the two superpowers irreversibly escalate towards the ultimate confrontation.
As an at-sea "accident" results in the sinking of a Royal Navy frigate and the Warsaw Pact is mobilizing, events rapidly spiral out of control. The world is plunging towards another global conflict - but this time, there will be no post-war recovery, only nuclear disaster.
Do you have what it takes to stand up to Soviet/WP forces and avert Armageddon?
Command: Northern Inferno is a stand-alone game that uses the latest version of the Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations (CMANO) engine. It also serves as a DLC for existing CMANO owners.
For the first time after the release of the most realistic and accurate modern warfare simulation, the developer, Warfare Sims, has created a fully-fledged campaign expansion that encompasses 15 scenarios across one of the most thrilling and intense moments of recent history.
While the campaign is fictitious, every single part of this electrifying set of scenarios has been meticulously researched to deliver an entirely new experience to please both novice players and experts.