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?