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2nd Ralkovian War [IC|Greater Dienstad Only]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Eitoan
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2nd Ralkovian War [IC|Greater Dienstad Only]

Postby Eitoan » Fri Oct 29, 2021 8:59 am

OOC: https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=510910

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Orav International Airport
Eitoan Occupation Zone
Federation of Ralkovian States



The line for Balkovian Airlines flight 66, Orav to Kelso, Eitoan was unremarkably long and unremarkably surly. And, of course, Balkovian was unremarkably late for boarding. Overall, an unremarkable flight was impending in the dingy terminal. Men and women of Eitoan Occupation Forces Ralkovia on leave, Kelso businessmen and lawyers, a few more well to do Ralkovians, and a large crowd of bargain seeking Balkovians formed the line, sloppily monitored by the airline gate crew and indifferent Federal police. Most of the police yawned as they performed their duty, easy work for them, but not yet awake for the early morning shift. The first rays of the sun broke through the clouds on that day as dawn grudgingly rose over Orav, that sprawling industrial city in the midst of rebuilding and recovering from the war. Passports and visas inspected at the gate, a few hassles with older passengers, the line moved along slowly down the jet port onto Balkovian 66.

In the cockpit the pilot chattered away with the co-pilot, both wartime survivors, both happy to be back in the air after the postwar slump in air travel. Experienced pilots were hard to come by in Federal Ralkovia, so when Balkovian offered a chance to sign on for international flights, both eagerly jumped at the chance. The pay was good. The hours were a bit rough, but the ambience of time in Eitoan was more than enough to make up for that.

Boarding finished. After a short delay for flight plan confirmation from the tower, the pilot announced preparation for take off. They made the announcement in Ralkovian, a flight attendant translated into Balkovian. Taxiing down the runway, a bump, and Flight 66 was in the air. Climbing to 12,000 feet, leveling off, on a course skirting the lake east southeast, most passengers settled in for a long flight. There was a bump on the cabin door. Then a much harder, louder bump. The pilot and co-pilot exchanged surprised looks.

At Orav tower, Aaron Gardner stretched out at the controller in charge’s desk. Captain Gardner, Eitoan Air Force had been one of the first air traffic controllers on the civilian side in the Eitoan Zone, after long duty assignments in Belovo Air Base and S’ra. He knew the country, and had the advantage on being in on the ground floor as civilian air traffic control was cautiously handed off to the federal authorities. But still, with the dearth of trained, reliable Ralkovian controllers, the Alliance military was in charge throughout the Federation. He’d been part of the approval process for the newly graduated controllers, and the review of deraskovized veteran Ralkovian controllers. And he was familiar with his crew this morning. Reporting directly to him for this shift was Dakayah Kradev, one of the first graduates of ATC School, a freed slave. At 28, a few years older than the other graduates, Dakayah perfomed steadily and competently, although civilian traffic could hardly be described as heavy in southern Ralkovia at this time. Still, Gardner was glad to have him. The two young Balkovian controllers, Georgiana Vraduva and Margareta Malciu chattered from time to time, recent ATC School grads, still young and perky. The chatter dropped off as traffic picked up that morning. Off to the side was Rakard Hralevi, older, a holdover from before the war at Orav tower. He was viewed by suspicion by the newer controllers, especially the Balkovians, but Gardner kept tensions under control during his shifts. Still, there was a disconnect. The newer postwar graduates were schooled in the Alliance SV10 system, Hralevi getting only rudimentary training. The girls turned their attention to their screens, Hralevi involved in scanning the entire span of control for the tower. Kradev was engrossed with monitoring audio and visual communication from the flights, including requests from and responses to military traffic.

Malciu’s assignment this morning was the eastern sector. Few inbound flights were on screen. The six outbound flights appeared normal. Time passed. Malciu sipped at her coffee. Eitoan coffee was bitter to Balkovian tastes. She dumped two packets of sugar into the brew and returned her attention to the screen. 75 miles out of Orav Flight 66 continued on the prepared path. She glanced away for a moment. When her attention returned to the screen, Flight 66 flashed yellow. Balkovian Flight 66 had veered slightly northward for two minutes, something that could be easily explained by weather or air current changes. Time passed. Flight 66 continued slightly northward off course. Then there was a sharp drop in altitude. Then the screen traced a sudden turn northward course.

Malciu turned to Kradev. “Dak, we have a situation yellow in eastern sector. Request verbal contact”.

Kradev looked up, turned and looked at Captain Gardner, and thought for a moment. “Granted. Initiate verbal contact”.

Malciu returned to her screen, now showing Flight 66 continuing in the wrong direction. She brought up the menu for verbal contact request, and selected Flight 66. In the cockpit on Balkovian Flight 66, the request notification was received, both visually and with a ring tone. Neither pilot or co-pilot picked it up.

Malciu resent the request. She called in to the cockpit. “Balkovian 66, this is Orav tower. Explain flight path deviation. Over”.

There was no response.

Malciu repeated the plea. Again, no response. Flight 66 suddenly climbed. The screen indication flashed red. Kradev jumped up and came over to Malciu’s desk. Looking up, seeing notification on his screen, Captian Gardner followed suit.

“How long has 66 been off course?” asked Gardner.

Malciu, still engrossed at her screen, answered curtly “4, 6 minutes. I’m going to try verbal contact again”.
She made the same plea. Again, no response. Flight 66 turned again, this time northwesterly. Clearly a problem.

Chatter at the tower, behind Malciu between Gardner, Kradev and Hralevi. Contact Eitoan Air Force control? When does Flight 66 stray into S’ra tower control? Into Kalemba control? How long to give 66 until crisis declaration?

Malciu tried again to contact the errant aircraft. Time passed. Notification of incoming transmission flashed on the screen. She put Flight 66 on speaker.

“Sh’ta ground command, do you read me? This is Action Group Tranka, Balkovian 66. Await further instructions. Over.”

Gardner nudged Malciu away from her desk. He leaned in to the display, clicked on transmission to Flight 66. “This is Orav tower. Flight 66, explain last transmission. Explain flight plan deviation immediately!”

Silence form Balkovian 66. Then their response. “Orav tower, this is Balkovian 66. All is going well, all going on course. Confirm?”

Gardner, Kradev and Hralevi stared at each other. Gardner took to the keyboard. A coded message went to Balkovian 66’s onboard computer. 89BB AC8D 9901 F455.

Moments passed like an eternity. Malciu’s screen showed the message “Flight in distress. Balkovian 66. Incorrect communication.

Gardner shot up, commanding Malciu to return to her station. “Margareta, put all flights in eastern sector notice of likely grounding. Georgiana, send initial notification of discrepancy to all western sector traffic. Rakard, you contact all neighboring sectors, Kranzov, S’ra, Barv of the situation, and open a channel with Balkovian Airlines central tracking. Maybe they know what’s up. Dakayah, you’re in charge of the desk until I return. I have a few calls to make”.

Aaron Gardner rushed back to his desk, sat down and punched up the line to Eitoan Zone EAF Air Traffic Command in Belovo.

The communications officer at Belovo picked up the call. “Belovo ATC, Lieutenant Branav. Is this Orav Tower?”

“Orav Tower, Captain Gardner. We have a Class 1-B situation here. Balkovian 66. Put me through to the situation manager on duty.”

There was a momentary delay. Then two short clicks. A voice came on, typical Eitoan Central Corridor flat accent. “Belovo Situation Room, Major Magdeff. What’s the trouble, Captain Gardner?”

“We have Balkovian 66 off course, Orav to Kelso. Appears to be headed north after a couple unexplained altitude shifts. Troubling communication with Orav tower.”

Magdeff thought for a moment. “Provide escort?”

“I’d get some interceptors up there, for observation. Confirm?”

“Confirm” replied Magdeff.

Meanwhile, at Malciu’s workstation, the display showed further disturbing behavior. Several more changes of altitude, at irregular intervals. A short turn southward, followed by several sharp changes, zigzaging in a westerly direction.

Kradev received notification of an incoming video call from his contact at Balkovian. The caller, visibly excited told him “You’ve got to see this!”

His mouth agape, Kradev watched in horror as the scene unfolded. Obviously a passenger video, widespread mayhem in what appeared to be the first class section of the flight. One passenger had been very obviously shot, bleeding out, slumping back in his seat. A flight attendant screaming in horror, stabbed through the right eyeball. Panning toward the cockpit door, two burly men, apparently Balkovians were beating the shit out of a scruffy, scrawny hijacker in cammo. The video cut short.

“Balkovian, can you resend this?”

“Will do, Orav tower”.

Kradev summoned Gardner and Hralevi to the display. They watched as the video repeated.

Minutes later, two Eitoan Air Force I-25a interceptors scrambled out of Tirasopol Air Base into the gray Balkovian sky, headed west, flying low over village and farms. Civilian air traffic had been grounded in Orav and adjacent sectors as the two swooped toward the search vector. Instructions flashed on screen as they approached a thinly populated area of scrubland, yeilding to increasingly dense pine forest. At another time, it would be a beautiful place to explore, but their mind was finding and reporting the whereabouts of Balkovian Flight 66, a flight clearly in distress. They peeled westward, following a river, scanning the horizon. Notified of contact, they honed in a a tiny speck in the distance, becoming clearer as they closed in. Confirmation of visual contact made to Tirasopol, the interceptors came within 13 miles of Balkovian. Then, suddenly, the passenger airliner made a nosedive.

It took most of the day for the rescue squad to cut their way through to the wreckage of Balkovian Flight 66. Federal resources were strained to the maximum at the remote location. Later in the day, rescue and recovery from the Eitoan forces in the vicinity pitched in. There were no survivors. There was very little in identifiable remains. A sad scene. Reports of the tragedy filtered in to the public, first through rumor, then, finally, news coverage.




Eitoan Overseas Radio
Ralkovian Service: Етаан Замежныя радыё Смецце Абслугоўванне
Balkovian Service: Ейтоан отвъдморските радио балковски услуги


Orav Air Traffic Control has confirmed the loss of Balkovian Airlines flight 66, Orav to Kelso, Eitoan this morning, following flight irregularities during the segment of the route between Orav and Kraznov. Further comment is forthcoming from Federal Ralkovian rescue which is currently at the site, assisted by units of Eitoan Occupation Forces Ralkovia. The tragedy follows in the wake of four previous crashes this year which have been defined as hijackings. Police reports in those hijackings have pointed the finger at Regime Ralkovia or Regime inspired terror cells operating in the Federation. At this time, the number of survivors, if any has not been announced. The crash occurred in a dense section of Braszny National Park, the nearest hospital being 67 miles away. Family of passenger have been notified by Balkovian Airlines, and those awaiting word are being counseled offsite at Orav Airport.

A spate of bombings in Spracko and Korakoa this week has called out extra police protection for schools and hospitals in those cities. Civil authorities have set up command centers to track down the responsible parties, and patrol the streets to prevent inter community demonstrations seen earlier this year after previous attacks. So far, seven suspects are in the Korakoa lockup awaiting arraignment on charges related to the recent bombings. The suspects have been linked to the bombing at Public school 43, in which three fourth graders on the playground at the time were slightly injured. More serious injuries were prevented when the teacher in charge of the playground at the time noticed the unusual package, and hurried the children at recess away from it.

In Razmaki dicussions between Federal security officials and the Alliance Kommandatura continue regarding the recent uptick in terrorist activity. This follows a walkout in the Federal Senate last week by Balkovian Senators in protest of the violence, in particular, acts targeting their community. The walkout of five Balkovian Nationalist and three Balkovian Communist Senators was meant to underscore discontent with both the Federal and Occupation Forces response to date.

Weather today calls for partly cloudy conditions in the Federation south, with clearing skies in the north ushered in by a cold front. The cold front is bringing ground cover snow to the Raumfestung, with depth of 3 to 5 feet in higher elevations. In the Regime, sun is forecast for Penada and the lakes region, with clouds rolling in across river ports followed by rain later in the day.

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The Technocratic Syndicalists
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Postby The Technocratic Syndicalists » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:12 pm

MES Ralkovian Station
Barskav
Ralkovian Federation


It was a typically cold and dreary fall morning in what remained of the Ralkovian city of Barskav. The city, which had seen some of the heaviest fighting in the Ralkovian War, had still barely recovered from the ordeal. Rubble was still strewn across streets, basic city services were often unavailable, and large sectors of the city still lacked basic utilities. Arcaenia had been assisting the other allied powers in major reconstructions of the city center, retaining the city's pre-war road system in the city center and attempting to repair and rebuild what remained of the infrastructure. Nevertheless most of the city's outlying residential and industrial districts were virtually in the same condition that they had been when the ceasefire has been declared the previous year. It was in the industrial districts that the Arcaenian Military Intelligence and Security Service (Arcaenian: Militäre Efterretning Sikkerhedstjenestee, MES) had located it's Ralkovian station rather amusingly in the city's former Ralkovian Regime secret police headquarters. The building was a hideous concrete monstrosity, originally built as a paper mill before it had been converted into an apartment block and then into a police headquarters.

During the early morning shambling of commuters little attention was paid to the three black SUVs that had left the Arcaenian embassy in the city center, hurtling down the central boulevard before turning into the a side street which led to the industrial districts. In the right backseat of the center vehicle was Thomas Hirdman, the Arcaenian Ambassador to the Ralkovian Federation. In the left backseat was Erik Kristiansson, a Generalmajor in the Arcaenian Luftwehr and director of the Arcaenian MES. Both men had first been summoned to the Arcaenian embassy upon news of the terrorist attack which had downed Balkovian Airlines flight 66. Having finished the security and press briefing at the embassy the men had left for the MES building where an emergency meeting had been convened to discuss the ongoing terrorist situation in the Ralkovian Federation. Weaving through multiple side streets the three SUV's turned onto the the industrial's boulevard's main avenue before turning into the security gate which led to the MES headquarters. Outside the gate a guard checked the motorcade's papers before they passed the main gate, through a secondary security gate flanked by guard towers, and then into the parking lot in front of the building. Both men exited their vehicle, accompanied by the security detail in the other two vehicles, and entered the building's main entrance. Heading through several long corridors both men were escorted into the building's main conference room. Already seated were the leaders of the subordinate sections of the MES Ralkovian Station, members of the MES intelligence office, and Generalfeldmarschal Heinrich von Eberstein, leader of the Arcaenian occupation forces in Ralkovia.

The Ambassador turned to Kristiansson "Have there been any discussions on the Ralkovian Regime's communications channels of this attack?"

"No", responded Kristiansson. "And besides, this isn't something they would discuss on any official channel"

Kristiansson, appearing somewhat annoyed, then turned to the other members of the meeting. "Gentlemen I won't keep you long. We suspect the Ralkovian Regime is responsible for the recent spate of bombings and for the recent airliner hijacking. We checked the manifest of Balkovian Airlines flight 66 and found the hijacker. He used a fake identity to board, he's a member of the Raskov Liberation Army, the terrorist group which we have confirmed is responsible for most of the recent bombings in Balkovia. We have evidence the RLA is being directed, trained, and equipped by members of the Regime's security forces.

"What evidence", interrupted the ambassador

"The other day one of our commando teams conducted a raid on an apartment building in one of the residential slums in Orav that was being used as an operations center by members of the RLA. The terrorists were killed in the raid after one of them detonated a suicide vest but amongst other evidence we managed to recover several SIM cards from the scene. We cross referenced the contacts in the SIM cards and found hundreds of calls and texts to multiple contacts in locations in Regime Ralkovia we suspect are cover locations being used by Regime security agencies. Suspicions which have been confirmed by electronic intelligence intercepts and by our field agents in the Regime."

"So it's an act of war" interjected the Generalfeldmarschal. "Now we finally have the excuse we need to finish what we started"

"It would appear so" replied Kristiansson.

"The Federation must be notified at once!", the ambassador exclaimed in a rather panicked voice.

"Not so fast" replied Kristiansson. "We suspect the Regime has agents within the Federation government and security services. These terrorists are also being smuggled into the Federation across the DMZ, which given the extensive surveillance and military forces on the border would only be feasible if they had help on the inside. We can't alert the Federation of our intentions only to have our war plans be leaked to the Regime."

"So what will we do", the ambassador replied, his tone of voice becoming ever more exasperated

"We wait" replied Kristiansson. "We will continue our efforts to root out the moles in the Federation government and security services. In the meantime the Regime is almost certainly in the process of planning more attacks. Perhaps with our new found intelligence we will catch them in the act."
SDI AG
Arcaenian Military Factbook
Task Force Atlas
International Freedom Coalition


OOC: Call me Techno for Short
IC: The Kingdom of Arcaenia

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Eitoan
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Corporate Bordello

Postby Eitoan » Sun Nov 07, 2021 3:33 pm

News of the Arcaenian raid in Orav filtered in to Eitoan Occupation Forces Ralkovia, in outposts throughout the occupation zone. Little was made of it at the time, the EOFR military police being preoccupied with routine outpost security and assistance in the training and deployment of local security, as both federal and Balkovian authorities rebuilt their tattered resources. Still, upon further analysis, the raid received greater scrutiny. There were rumors of Raskov Liberation Army throughout the zone, but little hard evidence. Infiltration activity through the porous sectors of the demilitarized zone was well known, usually attributed to smugglers, and the military police had other fish to fry. A great amount of that activity was viewed as part of the landscape, and in most cases, the goods being smuggled were outbound as Federal Ralkovia rebuilt it’s agriculture and basic industries. In those areas along the line of control hard up against Regime position, infiltration was hardly a concern. EOFR was vaguely aware of likely infiltration into the Federal security services, and kept a watchful distance from them when it came to sharing sensitive information, preferring to deal more directly with their Balkovian counterparts. The Balkovians were pretty green, but ethnic animosity between them and their former Ralkovian overlords provided a wall of separation when it came to passing on sensitive information. EOFR had received scant information from the Orav raid from their Arcaenian counterparts, so far, but as the details behind the hijacking of Balkovian Flight 66 came to light, interest picked up. At this time the military police attached to the crash investigation had reported signs of Regime involvement; retrieval of some mobile devices no longer in use in Federal Ralkovia, a photograph showing an officer on leave with his family in the old Raskov uniform, pieces of a suit jacket with weave available only from a certain Tyran shop. Piecing this together, the district officer in charge of investigations decided to initiate a discussion with the Arcaenians.

Word came down the line to the outpost in Barskav to dispatch an investigator to the Arcaenian embassy there. Short of staff at the moment, with most of the investigators busy, the chief of post pulled the work load review and found the current most available staff. He reviewed the army lieutenant's qualifications, and frowned. Very weak on detailed work, fresh out of college. Next were an force and and army captain that were picked up pretty much from desk jobs in Eitoan. Not suitable. Finally, he saw who he wanted. He was familiar with her work, Captain Alison Misak, Eitoan Joint Military Intelligence Service. She’d been in country since the final push across Balkovia, with heavy experience in interrogation and an understanding of Regime activities in the occupation zone. Satisfied with his decision, he switched to the assignment dashboard and arranged for her briefing. Searching through the relevant information in the espionage database, he found and forwarded all relevant links to her briefing folder, cleared security for her, and sent them off. He then opened his link with the Arcaenian embassy, to notify them of Misak’s assignment. Finally, he forwarded the request to military police headquarters to go up the line, bringing attention about the assignment ultimately to General Neal Gates, Commandant of EOFR for transmission to his counterpart, von Eberstein.

The next day, after briefing in person and review of all relevant links, Captain Misak headed off to the embassy. Tall, blonde and fairly attractive, her formal JMIS white uniform with gold piping was a smart outfit, the orange and brown EOFR shoulder patch prominent. So far as she knew, it looked like there was some Regime involvement in the hijacking, but what? RLA activity in the Eitoan zone seemed to be at a low level, and in an case hadn’t been a major concern so far. What was to be expected? Most of espionage activity she was familiar with consisted of renegade operatives and small timers. What did the Arcaenians know? These were the thoughts that crossed her mind as she drove up to the MES headquarters's gates, and presented her credentials.

The sentry frowned, looked at her identification badge, scanned it, and intoned “wait here”, as he disappeared into the guard shack.






Belovo, Federal Ralkovia, Eitoan Occupation Zone

A large field north of EOFR Headquarters had been cleared, and the first prefabs were in place housing the nerve center of Project Marble, the much anticipated Alliance move against Regime Ralkovia. Still part of the major Eitoan base in the first substantial city liberated after the drive across the continent, the existing headquarters building were always bustling. But Project Marble required it’s own work area, apart from the more mundane activity of administering a conquered nation. This was to be a major offensive, requiring it’s own dedicated staff and space. Work was still apace, building additional access roads and parking areas. Two new garages were under construction. Every day brought additional construction crew, mostly from the Eitoan Uniformed Support Corps. Senior army officers supervised the flow of work. From his office in the middle of all this, General Lawrence Reitz, designated commander of Project Marble worked long hours as the buildup gained momentum.

His attention was mainly focused on arranging the large Eitoan forces undergoing assignment and training both in federal Ralkovia and at home. The Fourth and Fifth armies were already in Ralkovia, their assignment to be turned over to Reitz from occupation duty. Orders for outfitting the two for offensive action had been placed and were working their way through the supply chain. Joining them, but mostly on paper at this point was Force PF, consisting of an augmented Eitoan Seventh Army. The Seventh was staffed at the NCO level with veterans, while the junior officer corps had a large contingent of recent academy graduates. Additional training was needed and plans for that were under his review. Rounding out Force PF were several armored divisions, as well as a large contingent of Special Operations Forces. Reitz was dissatisfied with the SpecIOps assignment, and currently arguing with the High Command for more. These would be needed during the critical opening stages of Marble. He was also deeply involved in the plans for pre-launch deployment of the Eitoans. Plans called for allocation of three sectors separately, from south of Ba’alkobia, then a segment along the Ba’alkobia-Bar’agul line, and finally one in the north that would become the right flank of attack.

Logistics for the project were complicated, and took up much of his staff’s time at present. Road and rail traffic was easy enough to control at home, and where available in the Eitoan zone. Negotiations and arrangements were underway in the states between homeland and Ralkovia. These were always dicey. Money helped. Quietly, with little fanfare the Eitoan navy shifted many ASW assets to the Great Inland Sea, never completely safe from rouge Regime raiders. Word had reached the High Command that Holy Marsh was planning on increasing the riverine flotilla to choke off the chances of an uptick in Regime naval activity reaching the Inland Sea, but that was not in place yet. In the meantime, he had to guard Eitoan shipping of supplies and arms. The skies above were safely Eitoan, so air supply was less of a concern. Purchasing or appropriation for expansion of existing air bases was proceeding apace, with many smaller fields planned closer to the frontier with the Regime. And throughout the frame of operations, Reitz had established contacts with the Federal Ralkovian Self Defense Forces for in depth ground security.
Last edited by Eitoan on Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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The Technocratic Syndicalists
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Founded: May 27, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Technocratic Syndicalists » Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:40 pm

MES Ralkovian Station
Barskav
Ralkovian Federation


The security guard at the main gate had looked down at Misak’s identification card before radioing his superior

“The Eitan women is here”

“Affirmative. Let her in”

“You’re clear to proceed” the guard murmured to Misak in accented Stevidian before turning and gesturing at the guards stationed in the inner security gate. The guard then flipped a switch on his console, causing the steel doors in front of the main gate to part open.

Once inside Misak was escorted to the conference room where Kristiansson and other members of the MES had been conducting their briefing.

“Captain Alison Misak, Eitoan Joint Military Intelligence Service”

“General Erik Kristiansson, Arcaenian Military Intelligence Service. Please, have a seat”

Kristiansson then gestured at an empty seat across the conference table before continuing “I’ll try and get you up to speed as fast as possible. We forwarded the intelligence we garnered from the Orav raid along with other signals intercepts we’ve collected to your colleagues in the EOFR. The raid was a very heat-of-the-moment situation, we received a tip from an informant that the RLA had set up an outpost in an Orav slum that they were using as a staging ground for future attacks. We thought about notifying the local police and occupation forces but decided a direct action attack would be the most time expedient and effective course of action”

Misak listened attentively. “Yes, of course. Can you tell me about any of the RLA cell leadership? We haven’t picked up much on that group, formally, in Orav. The few of which we are aware are small fry, mostly drifters looking to pick up easy money. There are a couple in Orave that we are watching, though. You may want to see what you have on them. There’s a Sergey Gerson, now in an Orav cell. The local cops picked him up a few days ago, some larceny charge. It seems they’re going slow on the investigation. Anyway, he lives pretty large for a flooring installer, one that’s got a spotty work record too. Captured in the war at Kraunko, scored a 72% on deraskovization before his release. He drives a nice car, seems to be flush with cash. Then there’s an oral surgeon, Ivan Saranoff. He’s low ranking former nobility, hangs out with a lot of former imperial officers. We have nothing on him, since he’s never had to undergo scrutiny, but one of his friends is a suspect under Federal observation in an extortion case.”

“Those fit the profile of the suspect’s we’ve looked at” replied Kristiansson. “Mostly criminals and former regime soldiers who have decided to stay behind or who have been smuggled into the Federation. We believe the lack of any high profile cell organizers or money people is because signal intercepts have led to the conclusion that their operations are being directly controlled and financed by the Regime’s secret police forces. What the immediate political objectives are is unclear but we believe this is part of the Regime’s effort to destabilize the Federation as part of their long term plan to eventually reconquer all of Ralkovia. ”

Misak considered Kristiansson’s point, mulling it over for a minute. “This sounds like a much deeper and wider web than we’ve encountered. Do you have any indication of contacts in the Regime secret police? What does their cross border communication network look like? We can pretty well clamp down or trace suspicious messaging using rebuilt channels, but any legacy systems are going to take more work. Any indications where moles may be embedded within the federals?”

"We have managed to break some of their ciphers and intercept and decrypt some of their communications using side-channel attacks" replied Kristiansson. We believe that the Regime has managed to set up a spy ring in the Federation Foreign Office and the Federation's Intelligence Service. We've forwarded a list of possible Regime moles to your superiors at the EOFR for evaluation. We don't believe it would be smart to arrest them at this point, rather we believe it would serve our interests to feed them false information that they'll pass onto the Regime, deceiving them about our future intentions. "

“Very well. I’m sure EOFR will follow up with the Department of Foreign Affairs. Although we’ve got a pull on the reins with Federal Intelligence, it sounds like it would be up to Foreign Affairs to have a discussion with the Federal counterparts. This could make some difference in plans to bring FedRalk into closer integration, but it sounds delicate. It’s far out of my wheelhouse, in any case. But, what can we do on the ground, or behind the scenes to coordinate with your investigation now?” asked Misak.

“I believe in the short term we can disrupt their operations on the ground. We can shut down their cross-border smuggling networks to stop the flow of militants and weapons into the Federation. We’re currently focusing our own efforts on decrypting the rest of the Regime’s clandestine communication channels with it’s RLA proxies so that we’ll be able to stop future attacks before they happen. The Regime spies in the Federation will also inevitably have to be dealt with. In the meantime we’ll be sure to keep your people in touch and coordinate on all future counterintelligence operations”

“Thank you. I’ll request additional resources both on the ground in my sector, and additional attention from JMIS Cyber at home”.


General headquarters of the Arcaenian occupation forces
Barskav
Ralkovian Federation


Meeting at the headquarters of the Arcaenian occupation forces were Generaloberst Ernst Linder, the Chief of Staff of the Arcaenian Army High Command (OHL), Generalfeldmarschal Heinrich von Eberstein, leader of the Arcaenian occupation forces in Ralkovia, and the commanders of the three Arcaenian Army Groups which had participated in the First Ralkovian War including Generaloberst Erik Frisell, Commander of Arcaenian Army Group A, Generaloberst Gustav von der Goltz, Commander of Arcaenian Army Group B, and Generaloberst Carl Wrangel, Commander of Arcaenian Army Group C, to discuss a revision for the Arcaenian Army counterpart to the Eitoan Project Marble; the operation to conquer and destroy the Ralkovian Regime. Plans for an Arcaenian offensive into the current territory of Regime Ralkovia had been created before even the end of the first Ralkovian War. The initial plan, codenamed Operation Fortress (Unternehme Festung), was intended to retake territory in western Ralkovia that the Alliance had lost as a result of the Ralkovian counter-offensive during the summer of 2030. The original Aufmarschanweisung N°1, Unternehme Festung (Campaign Instruction No 1, Operation Fortress) was devised by Generaloberst Ernst Linder, the Chief of Staff of the Arcaenian Army High Command (OHL), and involved a total of three Army Groups (Army Group A, Army Group B, and Army Group C) with the intention of attacking south with Army Groups A and C and conquering the Ralkovian held cities of Kravak and Urar before turning north and conquering Haraxby, Ralankov, and Tyran. Army group B, positioned along the front between Barskav and the mountains north of Korakoa, was to hold the front line during the first phase of the operation and then to attack north with Army Groups A and C in the push towards Haraxby, Ralankov, and Tyran.

Johan Armfeldt, commander of Army Group A's I Panzer Corps and a veteran of the Third Krasnovan War, had proposed a far more radical plan which aimed at completely encircling and destroying the majority of the Regime army rather than a gradual push to reconquer the lost territory of what was now Regime Ralkovia. The attack by Army Group C to capture Kravak and Urar would be turned into a diversionary attack intended to lure Regime mobile reserves south. Army Group A, positioned at the front near Bar'agul, would attack north before turning west and then swiftly advancing towards the coast north of Urar, cutting Regime supply routes and trapping their mobile forces in a large encirclement. Army Group B would simultaneously launch a feint offensive in the direction of Haraxby, screening the open right flank of Army Group A from a Regime counter-offensive from the north. Frisell, Commander of Arcaenian Army Group A, had been convinced by Armfeldt's plan and had proposed to von Eberstein to arrange a meeting at the headquarters of the Arcaenian occupation forces to incorporate Armfeldt's plan into a revised version of Operation Fortress to be conducted at an indtermined date in the future at the resumption of hostilities between the Regime and the Alliance.

"Thank you for taking the time to meet, gentlemen" Frisell started as he laid out an operational map of the frontline before the other men. "As you are all aware, the current version of the Fortress plan has the main effort of the operation in the south, here near Kravak, where Army Group C is to attack south and launch a frontal assault on Kravak before turning northwest and attacking Urar in coordination with an offensive by Army Group A launched from west of Ba'alkobia. As our wargames and computer simulations have shown this is not likely to lead to a decisive defeat of the Ralkovian Regime. At best we can expect to throw the Regime back to their positions before the Ralkovian counter-offensive during the last war"

"The original plan was devised under the constraints of the last war", interrupted Linder. "The supply situation at the time was quite poor, as such a bolder offensive plan was not considered feasible. A large enveloping maneuver would not have been possible given the fuel situation and state of Ralkovian transportation infrastructure in the region at that time"

Which is why a more aggressive plan is now feasible" replied Frisell. "Generalleutnantl Armfeldt has proposed that the main effort be shifted to an attack by Army Group A launched from further north, here around Bar'agul, where they can attack northwest before breaking into the plains and turning sharply west and driving to the coast"

"But then you will have two open flanks" interjected Wrangel. "The penetration by A would be incredibly vulnerable to getting itself counter-enveloped by flank attacks by Regime mobile reserves on either side of its penetration sector and by a Regime counter-attack launched from the North"

"Which is why we propose Army Group B conduct a simultaneous spoiling offensive to the northwest in the general direction of Haraxy to shield the right flank of Army Group A and disrupt the assembly areas that the Regime would use for a counter-offensive South against Army Group A" replied Frisell. "Army Group A can then drive to the coast and encircle the Regime forces in the Kravak-Urar area. They will also be in a position to interdict any mobile reserved the Regime sends south to reinforce its front in the South"

"It's risky, but I would not object to this" replied Wrangel while nodding his head in agreement.

"I support the change of the main effort". added von der Goltz. "The Regime's defensive line's are much thinner in the northern sectors of the front line, with the poor terrain they likely wouldn't be expecting the main thrust of our offensive to occur there"

"I support this plan as well" concurred von Eberstein. "Generaloberst Linder and the rest of the Army general staff will prepare a second revision to the campaign instruction for Operation Fortress which places the main effort at the point of Army Group A. When this is finished we will present this plan to the Eitoans and the other Alliance members. In the meantime I will order all Arcaenian divisions deployed on the frontline to be increased from 90% to 100% manning. With that I am concluding this meeting, you are all dismissed"
Last edited by The Technocratic Syndicalists on Wed Dec 29, 2021 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Eitoan » Wed Dec 08, 2021 9:51 am

Belovo, Federal Ralkovia, Eitoan Occupation Zone
Project Marble Headquarters


Construction continued at the headquarters, supervised by General Reitz, but at this time most of the day to day activities had been delegated to his staff. Today his mind was on the task ahead, moving Project Marble forward from the planning phase toward actualization.

Early planning called for the movement westward along three axis. South of Ba’alkobia offered the ripest opportunity for the earliest gains in the capture of the large Regime airbase that lay between Kravak and Urar. Possession of this airbase would permit the Eitoan Air Force to build toward domination of the air in southern Ralkovia during Project Marble. Following the project’s conclusion operations from the base would menace all military and strategic industrial logistics centered around the Big Dikk ports. Such disablement was a key objective for Project Marble. Kravak itself was not a major objective, and consideration of bypassing it was under consideration, in fact, such a move would apply the greater force in the southern sector toward a rapid advance to the airbase. To that point, an amphibious landing west of Kravak or combined amphibious and air assault operation was also on the table to secure key bridges and roads in advance of the main southern force.

Plans called for enveloping of Ralkovian forces in the next segment north, west of the Ba’alkobia-Bar’agul line. Here the disablement of forward Regime positions was envisioned in the hill country facing the Line of Control, bypassing and isolating the Regime counterparts and striking for air bases and supply centers. It was anticipated that the heavy engagement and destruction of Regime armor and depletion of enemy missiles and other supplies would be accomplished north of that segment, forming the right flank of the drive. Once the reduction of Regime capabilities had been accomplished the Eitoan advance could fan out toward the Big Dikk, seizing military vantage points and destroying important transportation, energy and industrial facilities.

Arrayed around his desk were his senior staff. General Richard Baxter, assigned from his job as the Executive Officer of the Eitoan Sixth Army was a veteran of the Eitoan push into Ralkovia, serving in that capacity with the Sixth, which was now on occupation duty. His Air Force counterpart, General Gannen Barrow rejoined his comrades in Ralkovia from the staff of Fighter Command in Vladarsik. Barrow had been heavily involved in the war, commanding the Eitoan First Air Force as it deployed early on in critical battles over the homeland and Aurensia, through the Inland Sea Crossing and finally into the heart of Ralkovia itself. Rotated back to Fighter Command, Barrow found himself back at Belovo again. The Joint Military Intelligence Service was represented by General Vilho Holleman, second seat the the JMIS Ralkovia desk, and a frequent visitor up north even before the outbreak of hostilities.

Reitz addressed the group. “Gentlemen, the buildup continues apace and at this time we need to review Marble’s plans. It’s a little early to set anything more than a preliminary jump off date. Force PF is still negotiating for more special forces. Training and staffing for the Fifth Army is going smoothly, but there are a few areas of improvement we need to see in the Fourth”.

Baxter winced, and scribbled a few notes. “I’ll get on their asses, Larry”.

“Thanks Rich, much appreciated” Reitz continued. “Right now I have no basis to challenge the initial deployment, but this is the time to pay more attention to it. And that’s where I want your people to help. So drill down to the next level. Winter is approaching fast, and we’ll need to borrow weatherization from the occupation army, and if so, how much we can request. There also needs to be a thorough evaluation of ground transportation improvement needs before we can even approach a date to move.

What can we expect to gain in the next few week in terms of knowledge of Regime forces? It’s understood that terrain and distance from strategic targets cause a thinning of their guys north of Bar’agul, but we’re thinking that will become strengthened if the Regime seeks to make a flanking attack on our right going forward. Can we get any confirmation of that assumption? Vilho?”

Holleman glanced at his staff counterparts, and spoke softly and rapidly. “Satellite intelligence is a bit sketchy right now. The Regime appears to have upgraded it’s ground stealth capabilities. But informants in the neighborhood don’t report any road upgrade projects that would sustain a higher capacity for reinforcement there, nor any unusual buildup of strength. We’d need more time to find information higher up in the Regime military through covert sources. These things take time. Our best pipeline is through Federal intelligence, but all of their information needs vetting. They have reached out to some of the former nobility, and have some good leads there. We’re going to try to develop that.”

Barrow added his opinion. “How soon do you think you can secure that major airbase? And what damage assessment can you forecast at this time? I want that base as a high priority. That’d take a lot of the fight out of the Regime Air Force, and give us flexibility for all aircraft to deliver payload to all points south of Ralakov”.

“So noted”, Reitz responded. “We’ve also got to factor in our opportunities following an initial breakthrough. This of course will depend on our position and the attrition rate of our forces after the first two to four weeks. At this time we are not anticipating the need to break through to the Big Dikk. Air dominance will give us much of the ability to harass and reduce Regime capabilities all along the Big Dikk and it’s hinterland. Extension of the army fully to the river may be an expensive gain of territory without a big payoff, particularly if we can destroy a goodly part of the Regime armor closer to our jump off point. However, if it appears that Urar is vulnerable to us as the result of a Regime blunder or through sheer luck, we’ll have to consider it’s occupation. Overall though, I don’t think there’s enough value in capture of any of the cities outright in this project. We need to maintain momentum once it’s established. Diversion of resources to flush out some of their stragglers would be counterproductive. In general, though, if a major industrial, energy or transportation facility on the outskirts of Urar or Kravak appear easily obtainable as operations wind down, we’ll likely go after them if casualties are expected to be low.

Now, we need to think about the next steps, setting a foundation for resuming the offensive.”

Baxter and Holleman chatted quietly. Barrow fidgeted contemplatively.

“First” said Reitz, “There needs to be an assessment of defensive capabilities at the Line of Control. What can we expect from Federal Self Defense Forces? From allies?”

Baxter chortled. “Not much from the Feds! Almost all units at the border are barely up to Eitoan Militia standards. Some of the more advanced ones, at best are at the poorly performing level for our National Guard. I’m pretty sure about the leadership at the junior officer level, many Balkovians and freed slaves, but above that, all the retread Imperial officers, all the moron nobles in uniform, not a good outlook.”

“Yeah, I know.” Reitz answered. “Pretty sorry lot. A lot of cannon fodder, probably. But I need a serious assessment of each unit assigned in the forward area. Where can we expect a three to five day holdout under intense attack? Let’s try to get the most capable leadership assigned where there’s weakness around the points of any likely Regime counterattack into Federal Ralkovia. And we’ll want to be in touch with General Gates to replace the deficient units with Occupation Army forces. Now, we’ve also got to see what our friends to the north can offer. We should get in touch with the Arcanean command about this. I’ve heard they’re considering a similar action. Without tipping our hand, exposing anything to espionage let’s open up a channel with Von Eberstein. I’ve met him a few time, seems OK. They’ve got the bulk of the forces in the next sector north. I can talk with the Morridanes too, but they’ve got their hands full closer to home.

I want all of you to identify the primary and secondary targets for the opening stages of Marble. Detail what’s reachable, what the expected costs are in taking these, and contingency plans as combat unfolds. Remember the objective; reduce Regime capabilities and capture strategic assets.”

Baxter spoke up “The key for army planning is to identify where and how soon we can engage and destroy the Regime armor. Hill fighting can be costly and slow, bogging down much of the regular infantry. But it’s the mobile forces we need to find and destroy to make Marble a success. I’m less concerned about industrial targets in the first few weeks. If we stymie the Regime mechanized, we can pick those of more easily as we get closer to the Big Dikk.”

Barrow added “I don’t want to harp on this, but you’re going to hear it throughout the planning process. We don’t need Kravak and we don’t need Urar. Just get us to that big airbase in the south. Then you can do pretty much whatever you want all along the river.”

“Yes, of course” agreed Reitz. “That’s for certain. Also, looking toward the closing phases of marble, it’s just possible that the Marshites could send a flotilla up the Dikk, maybe capture Urar or Haraxby. We’ve got to talk to them. It can’t be a primary consideration, we need to destroy the Regime on land, but our depth of penetration could be a factor in the event of a need to link up with their assault. Since we’re going to meet with Von Eberstein’s people, let’s bring up their take on an offensive. We’re in close proximity and if they’re going to join in we’ll need to define sector boundaries and logistics so we don’t step on each other’s toes.


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