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.