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Offline Tripoli

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Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« on: October 14, 2017, 09:23:54 AM »
In addition to the Ogre AAR, I'm going to start a CMANO AAR.  I'm hoping to demonstrate some planning and strategy concepts in the AAR.  Taking some inspiration from "Airborne Rifles" I'm gong to put some fictional elements into it.   


North Atlantic 061400Z August 75

“Damn.  These staff idiots are going to get us in a war.”  CDR Douglas Morse muttered, staring at the two messages.

LCDR Zimmerman, his OPSO, tried to inject  some hope into the gloomy assessment. “Sir, I don’t know it is a done deal yet.  We’ve been ordered to keep the Soviets out of the GIUK gap.  Nothing in the mission says we have to shoot them.” 

“Bob, you’re being entirely too optimistic” Morse replied.  “CINCLANT is ordering us prevent the Soviets from entering the gap.  The OPGEN is ordering us to sink everyone in sight.   That kind of confusion is going to get someone killed.  Is the SATCOM working?   We need to get this resolved.  I’m not going to be the guy who starts the nuclear version of the War of Jenkins Ear.” 

Zimmerman replied “The SATCOM was still CASREP’d an hour ago.  We can still go HF Secure, but we may have to drop a circuit."  Pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts, he then continued  "Sir, I was always trained that  purpose always dominates task.  I don't think the NCA wants a body count just yet-otherwise we would be at war.  They want us to be ready, and hopefully let the Soviets know they can't win. My read of these messages is they are ordering us to keep the Soviets out of the SLOCs.  We don’t necessarily have to shoot in order to do that.  Until we get some clarification, I recommend we just track the Soviets.  That will buy us some time to have CINCLANT figure out what he really wants us to do.”

“My thoughts exactly.  Set RED and TIGHT.  No one shoots without my authorization” Morse ordered.  “And have Radio get COMSTANFOR on the horn immediately.  If you have to drop a circuit, do it.”



Discussion

The first step in military planning is mission analysis.  This step is crucial, because it develops a common understanding of the problem and the limitations the commander must operate.  In doing this, the commander has to take into account both the strategic and theater end state.

In the first scenario of the Northern Inferno campaign, the player, playing COMSTANFORLNT, is directed by CINCLANTFLT to "prevent the Soviet submarines from entering the North Atlantic area via the Greenland, Iceland United Kingdom Gap (GIUK Gap)."  However, the 06 August 75  OPGEN message from COMSTANFORLNT to the assigned units (located in the "Nothern  Inferno/files/1 folder) to "detect localize and DESTROY soviet submarines." Clearly, there is a disconnect between CINCLANTFLT and  COMSTANFORLNT on the mission, one with potentially catastrophic consequences.

 

« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 10:04:19 AM by Tripoli »
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Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 10:57:16 AM »
HMCS Algonquin, North Atlantic, 06 August 1975

Commodore Jenkins squeezed into the cramped flag plot space.  The always crowded space was filled to capacity with the entire  staff.  "Okay, let's begin.  As you know,  the Frigate HMS Ashanti was sunk by the Soviets several days ago near Gibraltar.  Hence our sudden departure from Faslane." Jenkins paused.  "We've been assigned to conduct ASW operations, and are now on a war footing.  However, we are not yet authorized to start shooting.  At least not yet, despite that OPGEN."  CDR Smith, the Chief of Staff, shifted his weight uncomfortably at the implied rebuke.

Sensing his COS's discomfort, Jenkins added "I'm in charge.  The OPGEN was my fault, and my mistake was inexcusable carelessness.  I'm going to need your help to prevent any more mistakes like that.  We no longer have the luxury.  Each one of you have the duty and the obligation to warn me when I'm sailing into shoal waters."

"Just say sir first" piped up LT Roberts, the USN liaison officer.

"That's right.  To satisfy the gods of military protocol, preface your critique with a sir.  The gods will then be satisfied." Jenkins grinned.     A murmur of laughter told Jenkins that the little joke released some of the tension in the space.  Good, he thought. That was badly needed.   

"We're going to slow down and take this one step at a time.  CINCLANTFLT directed we prevent the Soviet submarines from entering the North Atlantic area via the GIUK Gap.   What are your recommendations on how we do this?"

CDR Smith took the cue and began.  "Sir, the staff and I have reviewed the situation.  CINCLANT specified task is to patrol and prosecute all Soviet submarines in ASW Patrol Area 1" and "ASW Patrol Area 2."   Our essential task is to  prevent Soviet Submarines from entering North Atlantic via GIUK gap to prevent partial or full interdiction of the North Atlantic SLOCs.  We interpret this to mean that we are to prevent Soviet submarines transiting south of 6635 North."

"Good"  Jenkins said.  His COS needed a bit of positive reinforcement, especially in front of the rest of the staff. 

CDR Smith continued "I believe the implied tasks are to sink or mission kill all Soviet submarines before they transit south of 6635N.  The enabling goal is to ID and successfully prosecute  all submarine contacts south of 7300 North...."

Jenkins stopped him.   "How do we measure our success?  To measure our success, don't we need to know how many subs there are?"

"Sir, according to FICEURLANT, there are eight subs in the AOR: two SSNs, four diesel boats, and two missile shooters, a CHARLIE and a JULIET."   

Jenkins paused.  "We have our metric then.  Eight subs to locate, ID and track."

LT Roberts raised his hand.  "Excuse me sir.  Can I suggest one more implied task?  No one on our team dies"

Jenkins chuckled.  "Good Point.  I think the accepted military terminology is to minimize losses, but the metric will be nobody dies."


 
 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 07:35:56 PM by Tripoli »
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Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 11:42:33 AM »
Jenkins chucked.  "Good Point.  I think the accepted military terminology is to minimize losses, but the metric will be nobody dies."

Thus dooming many of his people to a slow, miserable death in the icy wastes of the North Atlantic.  >:D
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 08:36:26 AM »
Present and watching intently.  :nerd:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 08:07:09 PM »
NAS Keflavik 071600Z August 1975

Commodore Taylor looked at the air plan.  "Not enough planes," he thought.  He had only one and a half squadrons to stop the Northern Fleet blitzing through the GIUK gap and to the SLOCs beyond. The Intel types at FICEURLANT believed that only eight subs were heading this way.  But that was a assuming they were right.  And that Intel estimate was just for today.   The Soviets had over 300 subs.  Yes, a lot of them were obsolete.  But an obsolete sub against a merchant or auxiliary was still more than a fair fight.  And Mark Taylor only had seventeen patrol aircraft to cover the entire Atlantic north of Iceland.  PATWINGLANT promised two more MPA squadrons.  But they weren’t here now.  His seventeen aircraft had to detect, localize, ID and track and attack those eight submarines.  Taylor had no doubt his hastily thrown together command of US Orion and Royal Navy Nimrod crews could do it. The USN and RN were the best ASW navies in the world, and VP-26 won the Isbell trophy for excellence in ASW just last year. However, regardless of the quality of the crews,   seventeen aircraft meant that he could only keep a maximum of six aircraft on station at any one time.  Realistically, it would be no more than four.  And there were eight submarines out there.   Practitioners of ASW claimed the abbreviation stood for “Awfully Slow Warfare.”  There was more than a bit of truth to this humor.  ASW takes time, which in turn takes airplanes.  A lot of airplanes and flight crews are needed to successfully prosecute an ASW campaign.  And Commodore Taylor didn’t have enough of either.

“OK, let’s go over this again” Taylor said to CDR Stephen McGrath, the CO of VP-26.  “STAFORL ANT is divided into four task units.  That means we don’t have the aircraft to do continual direct support of all the task units.”  McGrath’s acting deputy, Wing Commander Peter Smyth, nodded in agreement.  “We might be able to do direct support of a task unit that is in contact with a sub.  But that is it.  We just don’t have the numbers.”   

“I don’t think that will be an issue, sir” CDR McGrath said.  “The biggest threat to the the destroyers is those missile shooters.  They can reach out and hit them from over 200 miles away.  With luck, the embarked helos on the small boys can take care of any diesel boats.  It’s the CHARLIE and JULIETs that are the real threat.  We can’t find them if we are tethered to STANFORLANT.”

Smyth spoke up “There aren’t enough aircraft to do barrier ops over the entire Atlantic.  At best, we can cover part of the GIUK gap.  But any barrier we make will have leakers.  We’ll have to rely on the SOSUS array for cuing.   My guess is that we can conserve our aircraft and crews, since when they fly, they will be flying on at least a possible sub instead of looking all over the ocean for them.  With a bit of luck, we can sink them before they get through the gap.”

“Or close enough to shoot one of Commodore Jenkin’s ships”  Taylor grimly added.   “We’ll see if SOSUS is as good as Washington thinks it is.”


Discussion
For the game, I've created an air plan (see attached).  This is an approximation of the format I used in the mid-80s, giving the aircraft and mission assigned.  For the purpose of this scenario, I will follow the air plan, and only modify it at 0001Z every game day, writing a new one for the next 24 hour period.  A couple of additional house rules I will use:
1) Aircraft will be given a tasking on launch.  If I decide a tasking needs to be changed, I will not actually order the change until 15 game minutes after I determine to make the change.  This is to simulate the delay from the time the ASW Operations Center (ASWOC) descides to make a change in tasking to the time the order is actually transmitted, understood, and implemented by the aircraft.
2) Only one Alert 5 aircraft will be allowed at an airbase.  The other ready aircraft will be played as if it was an Alert 30 aircraft, so it can not launch until 30 minutes after I determine to launch it.  If the Alert 5 aircraft launches, the Alert 30 aircraft will transition to the Alert 5 status after 30 minutes.



« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 03:59:32 AM by Tripoli »
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Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2017, 12:28:13 PM »
HMCS Algonquin, North Atlantic, 071600Z  August 1975

LT Roberts handed the IPB to Commodore Jenkins.  “Here’s the Norfolk’s estimate of the threat.” Commodore Jenkins glanced at the eight-page document.  “Summarize it for me.  I’ll read it later, but we need to get the OPS Intentions message out now.”

LT Roberts took a deep breath, and then began: “The Fleet Intelligence Center confirms there are eight boats out there.  They are mostly concerned with the two missile shooters.”   “As am I” Jenkins interjected. 

“Yes sir.  They are the biggest threat to us, since they can hit us beyond the range of even our helos.  The JULLIET can hit us from over 230 miles away.  If we can’t get MPA on top of her, I’m not sure what we can do to stop her from sinking someone.”

CDR Ramesh, the Operations Officer spoke. “It isn’t quiet that easy to target a moving ship from 230 miles away.  We have to be found first.  And the JULLIET has to surface to fire her missiles.  If there are any MPA near her, she’ll never get a shot off.”

“And I don’t intend to give her the opportunity.” Commodore Jenkins.  “The entire force will be at EMCON ALPHA.  No radars emitting.”

“What about a modified Alpha to allow for active sonar?”  CDR Ramesh asked.

“I’m not inclined to use the sonars, unless it is during a prosecution.  If the CHARLIE is nearby, he might be able to get sufficient targeting information for its missiles without needing to use the Bears for the targeting.”

“And the CHARLIE doesn’t need to surface to shoot.  We wouldn’t stand a chance.” LT Roberts interjected.

LCDR Fett, the assistant operations officer raised his hand “It not quiet that hopeless.  We have some limited anti-missile capability.  “The Macdonough has the SM-1, and the Iroquois has Sea Sparrow.” 

Lt Roberts snorted in derision “Sea Sparrow is a waste of top space.  Assuming it works, it might stop a missile.  It won’t stop a salvo of them.  And all it takes is one to sink a tin can.”

LCDR Fett added “There is also Sea Cat on the Leander and Van Speijk.  Not much better, but it does give some capability.”

“Sea Cat doesn’t have the rate of fire to stop a salvo.  Not unless we are really lucky.  Our best bet to avoid being shot is to avoid being targeted.  The force will be in EMCON ALPHA.  That includes sonars unless actually prosecuting an attack, or unless actually under attack.” Commodore Jenkins ordered.

CDR Smith spoke up.  “Sir, we may be losing a small opportunity here.  Only the Macdonough has enough range with the SM1 to possibly bag a Bear.  If one of them gets close enough to her to take a shot, can she radiate?” 

“Good point.” Jenkins said.  “SAM units can radiate if Bears come within range.  But only the SAM shooters.  Anything else?”

“Yes, sir.” CDR Smith said  “The staff agrees that this is going to be mostly a MPA operation.  We can use our helos to prosecute diesel boats, but against an SSN we run the risk of them sprinting to within torpedo range of us.  The staff opinion is that we need to avoid sub contacts inside of the first CZ, and rely on our helos and MPA to prosecute everything outside of that.  That minimizes the risk, while maximizing our advantages over the threat.”

“I agree.  Get to OPS Intention message drafted for my review.  I want it to go out by 2000 tonight.”  Jenkins ordered.


Discussion
A short Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace (IPB) is attached to this post.
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” -Abraham Lincoln

Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2017, 08:14:02 PM »
-O-  072100Z AUG 75
FM   COMSTANAVFORLANT
      TG 603.01
TO   TU 603.01.01
     TU 603.01.02
     TU 603.01.03
     TU 603.01.04
     333 SQN
     VP 26
     201 SQN
INFO NAS KEFLAVIK
     ANDOYA AB
     RAF KINLOSS
SIC UAJ/IAA
BT
NATO UNCLASSIFIED  //N03120//
OP/NORTHERN INFERNO/
MSGID/ GENADMIN /CTG 603.01/001/AUG75/
SUBJ/ COMSTANAVFORLANT INTENTIONS  FOR 062359ZAUG75- 072359ZAUG75
REF/A/ OPGEN/CTG 603.01/001/AUG75/
B/OPTASK AAW/CTG 603.01/001/AUG75/
C/ OPTASK ASW/CTG 603.01/001/AUG75/
D/ THREAT ORBAT/CTG 603.01/001/AUG75/
AMPN/NA //
RMKS/NA//
1.   (U) MISSION: Prior to the initiation of hostilities, STANAVFORLANT will move into the Norwegian Sea and conduct ASW operations to prevent the Soviet submarines from entering the North Atlantic area via the Greenland, Iceland United Kingdom Gap (GIUK Gap).  In the event of hostilities, STANAVFORLANT will detect, localize and destroy all Soviet submarines in the AOR before they transit through the GIUK gap.
A. (U) INTENTIONS:
STANAVFORLANT and supporting MPA from NAS Keflavik and Andoya AB will conduct aggressive ASW operations directed at detecting and localizing  Soviet subsurface units in the AOR.  In the event of war, STANAVFORLANT and supporting MPA will rapidly destroy all Soviet subsurface units in the AOR before they can enter the GIUK gap. ASW Operations will be conducted to minimize risk to NATO surface units by conducting ASW operations beyond the effective weapons range of Soviet submarines to the maximum extent practical consistent with mission.
B.   (U)FOCUS OF EFFORT:
STANAVFORLANT and supporting MPA will focus efforts on detecting and localizing the Soviet SSGN and SSG located in the AOR.  Secondary efforts will be directed at locating SSN and SS operating in the AOR.  In the event of war, Soviet units will be engaged and destroyed as they are encountered with priority given to SSGN/SSG and SSN.
2. (U) OPS SUMMARY LAST 24 HRS:
STANAVFORLANT continue transit to war patrol stations.
3.  (U)OPS SCHEDULED NEXT 24-HRS:
ASW detection and localization missions

4.  (U)OPS SCHEDULED NEXT 48-HRS:
ASW detection and localization missions

5.  (U)OPS SCHEDULED NEXT 72-HRS:
ASW detection and localization missions
6.  POINTS OF CONTACT: CDR SMITH
7. (U) MESSAGES OF INTEREST: NA
8. (U) COMMANDER’S CRITICAL INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS:
a. Location of Soviet SSGN and SSG units
b. Location of Soviet SSN and SS units
9.(U) COMMANDER’S COMMENTS
EMCON A will be observed unless under attack or actively prosecuting a subsurface or air contact.
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” -Abraham Lincoln

Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2017, 06:58:58 AM »
NAS Keflavik 072145Z Aug 1975

The Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Center (ASWOC) hummed with activity.   Tasked with conducting operations against Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic and Norwegian Sea, the facility had always been busy. There was now a change in the atmosphere.  Since the sinking of the HMS Ashanti,  the routine flow of business had been replaced by an electricity, as well as an undercurrent of dread.  During peacetime, the  slack the ASWOC periods had been filled with joking, with discussions about plans for the next liberty or last night’s football game on AFN.  Now, there was no such small talk.  Now it was different.  For fifteen years, the predecessors of those now on the watch had daily practiced three of the four phases of ASW: detecting, localizing and tracking Soviet submarines.  But now, every man on the watch floor knew that they could be ordered to execute the fourth and final phase:  to destroy.
 
Men squeezed past each other, moving quietly between the analysis, mission control, communications  center and the operations room.  These four locations in this 13,000 square foot building formed the locus the NATO ASW effort in the North Atlantic.  This is where the strategy and intentions  of the  Admirals in Norfolk and Brussels and England began to become a reality.  In the Operations room, the petty officer added the latest contact and stepped away from the plot.   It showed five likely sub contacts.  Analysis was definitive on one.  It was a VICTOR II,  located right between two of STANFORLANT’s task units.  Two other contacts, a probable NOVEMBER SSN and a SS were somewhere north of Jan Mayen.  Analysis was working hard to determine exactly where.  And there was a sniff of something north of that VICTOR.  It could be a whale, but the crew reading the ‘grams in the analysis room thought it was something more.

A sailor knocked on the duty officer’s door  “Sir, I have some FLASH Traffic  ” he announced.  “We’re at war!”  LCDR Mulvane, the duty officer quickly scanned the message.  The message was only forty-six words long, but announced world altering events:

1.   ALL UNITS ASSUME A WAR FOOTING.
2.   ONE HOUR AGO A NATO P-3C WAS SHOT DOWN IN THE VICINITY OF BANAK BY SOVIET MIG-23 FLOGGER.
3.   ANY SOVIET AIR / SURFACE / SUB-SURFACE UNIT IS NOW CONSIDERED HOSTILE.
4.   THE USE OF NUCLEAR DEPTH CHARGES, SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES IS AUTHORISED

« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 07:03:11 AM by Tripoli »
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2017, 08:45:40 PM »
Oh Shit! Time to take the gloves off.  :knuppel2:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 08:22:47 PM »
Extract from  Orion’s Sword: A Battle history of the P-3 Orion, Naval Institute Press 2020.

Immediately prior to hostilities, the Soviet navy directed its submarines in the Norwegian Sea to ambush the multi-national Standing Force Atlantic (STANFORLANT) surface units operating there.  The Soviets hoped that sinking this force would be a demoralizing blow to the allies.  By the evening of the 7th of August, Soviet submarines had worked themselves to within striking range of two task units.  A third task unit was nearly surrounded by Soviet wolf pack, which likely would overwhelm it at daybreak.  The Soviet navy also had one final “ace in the hole.”  A JULLIET class SSG, operating far to the north, threatened STANFORLANT with its 250nm range SHADDOCK missiles. 

The small scale Pearl Harbor intended by the Soviets was thwarted by two factors.  First, despite having skillfully deployed to intercept the NATO vessels, the Northern Fleet submarines lacked sufficient targeting information to launch their missiles and torpedoes.   BEAR Ds flying from the North Cape were tasked with providing the OTH data necessary for the submarines to attack the NATO warships.  However, the BIG BULGE radar could only detect a contact, not determine what the contact was.  To the radar operators on the Bear aircraft, these contacts were indistinguishable from merchant ships.  By ordering his ships to not radiate and to travel at low speed, Commodore Jenkins deprived the Soviets of a crucial requirement of their plan: targeting data for the NATO ships.

The second factor that thwarted the Soviet ambush was the SOSUS system. The Soviet navy had not yet fully appreciated the informational advantage the SOSUS system gave the NATO commanders.  A steady stream of acoustic data flowed from the SOSUS system, to the NAVFACs and ultimately to COMSTANFORLANT.  This intelligence quickly revealed the broad outlines of the Soviet plan, allowing Commodore Jenkins to extricate his ships from the ambush and mount a counter-attack.  This counter-attack would be delivered by the Orion and Nimrod aircrews. 


Discussion
BY 072245Z, the Soviet submarine deployment is clear.  Three of the four task units are in relative close proximity to Soviet submarine packs.  Alarmingly, a CHARLIE SSGN is threatening one task unit. An Orion and helos are directed to prosecute while the task unit extracates itself from danger.  The attached image displays the situation at 2245Z.
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” -Abraham Lincoln

Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2017, 07:42:37 PM »
ASWOC Keflavik 072150Z August 1975

By 2150Z, a cascade of acoustic reports flooded the ASWOC watch. New contact reports and updates from NAVFAC Keflavik turned the watch floor into organized chaos.  Teams of sailors scurried back and forth to the situation chart, giving the Petty Officer plotting the contacts the latest updates.  And the situation wasn’t looking good.  The CHARLIE SSGN was somewhere between the east coast of Iceland and the waters to the north, within striking range of a task unit.  Either was bad.  A SSGN could do a lot of damage to the vital NATO trans-Atlantic SLOCs.  Another threat lay to the east, where it a Victor SSN was threatening a second task unit.  Trident 11 was tasked to deal with the SSGN.  The Alert P-3 was ordered to look for the contact east of Iceland.  It was going to be a long watch.

Norwegian Sea 072203Z August 1975

LT Hoover spoke into his microphone  “Trident 11 on station, transmitting in the clear”  Hoover was slightly surprised to hear a response in a distinct Dutch accent reply  “Trident 11, this is Wasp 10. I’m at Cherubs 5.  Request you turn on your Navigation lights.”  The P-3 had been traveling blacked out to avoid detection.  However, sharing this airspace with the Dutch Wasp helicopter ran a significant risk of collision, especially without any air traffic control.  During normal operations, the destroyers in the area could have provided rudimentary ATC functions. However, they were in EMCON.  Without radars, they couldn’t deconflict the airspace.  The large P-3 and the tiny Wasp would have to work this out by themselves.

“Tally,  contact at 8 o’clock low, about 5 miles.” Hoover looked to his left and saw the navigation lights of the Wasp near the water.  “Wasp 10, request you clear the area to the west while we lay a field.”  The Wasp pilot acknowledged and moved off while Trident 11 began laying a field of sonobuoys.

Twenty minutes later, a passive buoy showed the distinctive sound signature of a submarine.  “DIFAR 9 is hot!” Hoover maneuvered the plane to drop four more buoys.  Two of them soon registered the same signature. The intersection of the lines of bearing from these “hot” buoys marked the position of the submarine. The bearing drift showed the submarine was traveling south west, towards the NATO destroyers.  Hoover made one more pass over the anticipated location of the submarine. The TACCO punched a button on his counsel, and another buoy was ejected from the belly of the aircraft ahead of the projected path of the submarine. Minutes later, it also registered the Soviet sub, steadily sailing towards the NATO surface units over the horizon.  The submarine appeared to be unaware of the Orion circling overhead.  Hoover brought the aircraft around one more time and descended, putting the aircraft on its attack run.  Behind him the TACCO guided Hoover towards the drop point for the Mk-46 torpedo.

“Bomb Doors Open” Hoover called out.  “Twenty seconds” the TACCO began the countdown  “5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  Torpedo away!”  The P3 shuddered slightly as the torpedo dropped from its belly towards the water below.  The TACCO hit a second button, releasing a flare to mark the drop point.  “Flight, this is aft observer.  Torpedo is in the water!”

The DIFAR buoys immediately picked up the sound of the torpedo as it began its run towards the submarine.  The CHARLIE submarine also heard the torpedo, and released countermeasures while turning  away from the threat. 

   “Shit!  Torpedo lost acquisition!” the Sensor 1 operator exclaimed, as he saw the bearing lines diverge. 

“TACCO, this is Flight.  Recommend you vector Wasp 10 for a drop while we set up another run”  The CHARLIE was spooked now.  Traveling at high speed, it could quickly get out of the buoy field.  A quick re-attack by the Wasp was the best chance of nabbing the CHARLIE before it broke contact.

“Wasp 10, Drop your torpedo 2 miles bearing 240 from my flare” the TACCO transmitted.  “Roger, inbound” the Wasp pilot replied.  As the Wasp passed over the flare, the sensor operators and TACCO worked to refine the drop point, relaying course corrections from to the Wasp.  “Drop in 3, 2, 1, now, now, now!” the TACCO transmitted.  The Wasp pilot dropped its single torpedo over the target, then banked clear to allow the P-3 to begin another run. 

The drop was perfectly timed.  Almost immediately after entering the water, the Mk-44 acquired the submarine, less than 300 yards ahead.  It rapidly closed the distance, detonating its 75 pound against the aft section of the CHARLIE.  While not fatal, the damage slowed the submarine and sealed its fate.

Now, it was Trident 11’s turn.  Steadying on its attack run.  Hoover opened the bomb bay doors.  “5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  Torpedo away.  The CHARLIE was cornered, but its luck held as the torpedo failed to acquire its prey.  “Damn it!” the TACCO cursed.  Trident 11’s frustrated crew had dropped two torpedoes without effect.   But the wounded CHARLIE was still a threat to the NATO destroyers just over the horizon, and Trident 11 was not going to let go until it was neutralized. Hoover again flew the racetrack pattern.  Guided by range data from the DICASS buoy, the third torpedo didn’t miss.  The sonar operators heard its impact, followed by the sounds of the submarine’s emergency blow, as its crew vainly attempted to gain the surface.  Minutes later, the recorders captured the sounds of the hull collapsing as the CHARLIE sank below its crush depth.  But Trident 11’s crew missed this final proof of their success.  As the CHARLIE was dying, the P-3’s aircrew were distracted by a series of flashes from the direction of the NATO surface units, indicating that the destroyers were under attack.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 07:44:15 PM by Tripoli »
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” -Abraham Lincoln

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2017, 08:57:10 PM »
Bye Bye Charlie.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2017, 02:01:13 PM »
HMS BACCHANTE  072224Z Aug 1975

To a civilian, it may seem strange that the common use of radars in modern warfare has not completely eclipsed the importance of human eyesight in detecting threats.  With its ability to detect airborne contacts with pinpoint accuracy at 200 miles or more, radar appears to be so clearly superior  to the human eye that the lookout post should have long since been eliminated from a ship’s watchbill.   Frequently manned by the most junior sailors, standing lookout watch on  decks exposed to wind and weather,  limited to mere line of sight and restricted by visibility, the lookout position would appear to be an easy target for the budget analysts.  “Why devote four or more sailors per ship to do the same job done better by a radar?” they ask.  “Think of the millions that can be saved by eliminating the billet throughout the fleet!”    Such sentiments expose a lack of understanding about the basics of modern naval warfare. 

Since the earliest days of naval combat, locating the enemy has been the prerequisite to successfully engaging and defeating him.  Radars are outstanding sensors, allowing a commander heretofore unparalled situational awareness of all surface and airborne threats.  However, they are even better at giving away one’s own position, typically being detectable one and a half times as far away as they can detect a target.

As a result, the routine use of radars is minimized in modern naval combat.  Because of power of modern naval weapons, the attacker who effectively strikes first usually wins the battle.  As locating the enemy is a pre-requisite to attacking first, and because radars give away one’s location at a greater range than they can detect a threat, a modern naval combat, a commander seeks to hide his position by limiting the use of radars by his high value units.  Consequentially,  in an era of reconnaissance satellites and long range radars, it may be the case that the initial detection of a threat is by the eyes of a lowly teen age sailor on the pitching deck of a ship.
 
Such was the case  aboard the HMS Bacchante, in the dusk of these  Artic waters.  “Bridge, Aft Lookout.  Large aircraft bearing 220, very low!”   Quickly looking through the aft-most bridge window, the  Officer of the Deck saw a large aircraft with four propellers approaching, very low to the water.  The distinctive bulge underneath the fuselage made the identification certain: It was a Soviet BEAR D reconnaissance aircraft.  The Bacchante had been found.

With its position known, the  Bacchante’s radar silence was no longer an advantage.  Now radar silence.   prevented her crew  from eliminating the threat.  This threat came not from the BEAR, at least not directly.  Rather, the threat came from the missile equipped CHARLIE submarine  that was somewhere over the eastern horizon.  If the BEAR D was allowed   to transmit their position to the CHARLIE, they wouldn’t stand a chance.  Bacchante’s Sea Cat missiles would be quickly overwhelmed by the eight SS-N-7’s carried by the Soviet submarine.  Any crew that survived the resulting conflagration would likely succumb to the cold of the Atlantic.

“Set EMCON Delta” ordered the TAO.  The radars quickly identified the massive BEAR D as it approached.  “Engage with Sea Cat.” The Sea Cat missile rocketed off the launcher.  Observers could track the movements of the missile from the flames coming from its motors, its jerking movements  indicating the difficulty the seeker had tracking the  crossing geometry the BEAR presented.  At the last instant, the BEAR pilot jinked, and the Sea Cat overcorrected, passing aft of the lumbering aircraft.  Three more times this dance was repeated.  Each time, the Sea Cat missile missed  the huge aircraft as the Soviet pilot presented the BEAR’s side profile the British ship, then jinked as the missile approached.  After the forth missile missed, the BEAR slowly climbed and flew to the south east. 

Onboard the Tu-95, the Soviet aircrew was elated.  Their radar had detected the  NATO ships thirty minutes earlier.  But without a visual identification, the blobs on the radar could have been anything.  The low level pass was a desperate attempt to positively identify a target for the  CHARLIE laying in wait nearby.  Knowing  the British ship’s missile launcher was temporarily empty, the BEAR climbed safely away while the crew transmitted a contact report to their comrades on the submarine below.  Soon, the two NATO ships would be sunk. 

But the crew of the CHARLIE never received the BEAR’s contact report.  Unbeknownst to the aircrew, as they transmitted the position of the NATO ships, forty miles to the east the broken hull of the CHARLIE impacted the Atlantic seabed.

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” -Abraham Lincoln

Offline Tripoli

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Re: Northern Inferno scenario 1-A CMANO AAR (SPOILER ALERT)
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 02:29:10 PM »
072317Z Aug 17 Norwegian Sea

Uff! Løytnant Amund Belland groaned at the sensor operator report that the torpedo had missed the VICTOR II.  Belland’s P-3B had been prosecuting the VICTOR for an hour.  Their first attack had been promising.  Passively tracking the VICTOR, the Norwegian crew dropped their first torpedo in the submarine’s baffles.  But its impact merely wounded the sub.  Now alerted, the Soviet crew was expertly maneuvering their vessel, parrying the Orion’s attacks.  The Orion’s second, and now third torpedo had missed or been spoofed by the VICTOR’s countermeasures.  Only five torpedoes remained in the P-3’s bay.  Belland began setting up the next attack run.  The process took nine minutes, but Løytnant Belland and his crew had a good fix on the damaged submarine.  For the fourth time, a torpedo dropped from the Orion and into the water below. As it fell, Belland felt a pricking from his conscience, reminding him he was supposed to pray for his enemies.  Or was it love his enemies?  He couldn’t remember.  But there was no time to think of that now.
 
Dritt! The sensor operator’s reported the torpedo was circling, likely deceived by one of the VICTOR’s countermeasures.  Despite his frustration, Belland grudgingly credited the submarine captain.  He was good.  Very good.  And Løytnant Belland was determined to kill him, with one of the remaining three torpedoes.  This time Belland triple checked his solution, taking ten minutes to ensure the attack would be perfect.  As he did so, he puzzled over that passage he couldn’t quite remember.  Maybe it was “forgive me for the men I've killed and those I am about to”?  No, that was from that John Wayne movie they saw last week.  However, that was particularly applicable to the situation he found himself in.  Inwardly, he exulted in the thought of the impending destruction of the sub.

Søren! Belland pounded the TACCO counsel in anger.  The Soviet captain was the devil incarnate.  Like the previous three torpedoes, this one was also circling, vainly trying to detonate against the curtain of bubbles produced by the VICTOR’s countermeasure.  Again, Belland set up a re-attack, conscious of the dwindling supply of torpedoes in the Orion’s belly.    Eleven minutes later, they were ready.  “Say hello to Hell!” Belland murmured, as he punched the release button on the TACCO counsel.  The sixth of the Orion’s original eight torpedoes dropped into the water. 

Kuksuger!  The sonogram showed the lines of bearing from the torpedo and the submarine converging and then diverging.  A clean miss.  Belland began calculating the run for the seventh attack. “TACCO to Pilot.  Turn to 257” Belland spoke into his mike, as he worked out the attack geometry.  As he did so, he felt a pang of sympathy for the submarine crew below.  How many times had he heard his mother say “There but for the grace of God go I?” She lived in Vadso, close to the Soviet border.   As the P-3 approached the drop point, Belland  said a quick prayer for her safety before beginning the countdown to the torpedo drop. “TACCO to crew.  Drop Now, Now, NOW!” For the seventh time, a torpedo dropped from the Orion.

“Damn.  Another miss.”  Belland thought, then stopped. He was no longer angry.  The Orion only had one torpedo left.  The VICTOR had parried all but one of the torpedoes.  The submarine still had to be stopped before it could sink any NATO ships.  The Soviet Union had to be stopped before it imprisoned more nations. But Løytnant Belland’s anger was no longer towards the crew of the Soviet submarine below.  It was simply a nasty business that had to be finished. As Belland hit the weapon release button for the eighth time, he finally recalled the passage he had been struggling to remember from is youth in the parish “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  As the torpedo dropped into the water, for the first time in years Amund asked for forgiveness from God.

The torpedo hit the K-387 just below the sail.  The control room flooded almost instantly, dooming the boat.  The sounds of its death were dutifully transmitted and recorded on magnetic tapes to be analyzed back at Andoya.  As the P-3 turned towards base, Amund Belland said a prayer for the Soviet crew.


Comment: By 08007Z, two submarines have been sunk, and another two are being actively prosecuted.  See attached image
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” -Abraham Lincoln