BRUTAL ATTACK ON ATBAR, DEATH TOLL IN THOUSANDS
A surprise attack both above and on the Cardassian world Atbar, and the Federation outpost in Atbar City as well, has resulted in the loss of life of over 5,000 sentient souls. A statement was released by an unidentified individual claiming to represent the True Way movement confirms that this attack was planned, engineered, and executed by members of that movement. Much is still under investigation and officials are not forthcoming regarding details of the attack. However, casual observation and eye-witness accounts confirm the following:
Federation Cruiser USS McKinley
Federation Destroyer USS Aurora
True Way Cruisers (unidentified) 17
Federation Destroyer Bosque County
Facilities Destroyed or Damaged:
Federation Orbital Repair Facility and Drydocks (from explosion of USS Aurora)
Federation Regional Headquarters:
Power Generation Facility – Destroyed
Communications Facility – Destroyed
Main Cafeteria – Destroyed
Hangers – Damaged
Prisoner Detainment Facility – Damaged
General Facility – Damaged
Collateral Damage to Atbar City
Primary Marketplaces (7) – Destroyed
Residential Areas – Negligible
City Facilities – Negligible (Schools, Hospitals, Police, Fire, Government Buildings, etc)
Planetary Governor’s Home – Destroyed
Other Planetary Governing Facilities – Negligible
The specific facilities were all destroyed by pre-planted explosives and timed or triggered to all go off within 10 seconds of each other, beginning with the sabotage of the USS Aurora. The crew of the Aurora was mostly on planet enjoying shoreleave, however, a large percentage of them were in the marketplaces and were injured or killed in the explosions there.
Federation forces have arrived in some force to lend aid and protection to Atbar space, Atbar City, and the Federation HQ.
Reposted (with some small edits for accuracy) from Ship’s Log, Rusty401:
=/\= Starfleet Command – After Action Report =/\=
Reference: Battle of Atbar
Stardate of Action: 64929.7
Posted by: Captain Gamble, W.F., CO USS Endurance NCC-83812, TF21, PKG5
True Way forces simultaneously launched operations against Cardassian and Federation targets, ground side and in orbit of Atbar on Stardate 64929.7.
At appx. 1727hrs, ship time, True Way forces attacked primary targets on both the surface and in orbit of Atbar. USS Aurora was destroyed, taking with it the Federation Repair and Drydock Facility it was currently docked in, both lost with all hands (though most of the Aurora crew was groundside at the time), while under repair in repair station 4. On the surface, a coordinated attack through the colony occurred, with demolition charges being detonated at key infrastructure points, and command and control points, as well as several key civilian sites throughout Atbar City. Senior staff of TF21 vessels USS McKinley and USS Endurance were attending a function on the orders of Captain S. Harkness, TF21 CO, at ground station Atbar, when the attack commenced.
Hostile orbital forces constituted 17 pre-war Galor class vessels, appx. 18 system patrol Hideki class cutters, stolen from actual Atbar cutter crews. Ground forces constituted an unknown, but initially estimated 100-200 True Way operatives staged across the colony.
Allied forces constituted USS McKinley (Korolev Class), USS Endurance (St. Louis MK II Class), USS Boston County (County Class), embarked Marine combat personnel, ground and orbital station personnel in conjunction with Cardassian planetary garrison. USS Aurora (Hurricane Class) was destroyed, suspected sabotage, in the opening moments of the action.
From the outset, the mission of myself and my crew was to secure the local ground situation to the best of our capabilities, before returning to USS Endurance to secure the orbital front. Civilian safety and defense of Starfleet and Cardassian installations and vessels was our top priority.
Safety systems at Ground Station Atbar deployed after the initial blasts, sealing TF21 command staff and senior officers in the reception hall. When USS Aurora was simultaneously destroyed in orbit, True Way ships which had gathered on the other side of Atbar moved into attack formation and began to engage Starfleet and local defense ships at long range. True Way cruisers established a blockade perimeter, while up to 18 smaller, cutter type ships disrupted response operations at close range. Distinguishing these smaller vessels from legitimate Cardassian forces proved challenging, giving True Way a preliminary advantage.
Sensor logs show that enemy used an initial orbital approach cresting the southern pole of Atbar and using magnetic interference to remain hidden as long as possible. This is only possible if monitoring satellites were tampered with prior to the assault. How the ships approached Atbar without being seen is also a matter of keen speculation.
Reports from Endurance indicated that for a short while (T+0 to T+5 minutes, appx) the situation was volatile, but manageable. Long-range fire was being managed by ship’s shields, and pinpoint return fire was being used to avoid endangering civilian ships (appx 375 in the combat zone). Initially, our senior crews were unable to return to our vessels to direct a response. I did give orders at this time to continue to return fire, clearing a path for civilian ships to withdraw, while at the same time to prepare all Marine forces for deployment.
On the ground, officers collaborated to distribute weapons and to override the blast shields that had sealed the reception chambers off from the rest of the compound. I directed Lt. Starrbon to lead a tactical team (as best we could muster) to secure the immediate corridors. It soon became evident that there were concentrated attacks on the compound’s main gates, detention facilities and support craft hangar. Captain Harkness took her team to help secure the main gate and hangar, while I lead a team to secure the detention facility.
A main goal of the attack at our area of the ground station was to release select prisoners from Cardassian detention [See Attached Files]. Other prisoners were not released. Within a short time, the central compound was secured, although engineer McGregor conveyed that their primary power systems were completely destroyed and that the facility would have to make extensive repairs.
At this time (T+15 appx) I received an update from Endurance that the True Way attack in orbit was becoming more intense. Without a coordinated response, incoming relief ships would be entering a literal shooting gallery. I ordered Commander C’Mara to secure a shuttlecraft for Endurance crew members from the nearby hangar while we collected Dr.’s Burress and Shaw from where they had been tending to the wounded. Having noted that some support from transport-capable, Federation facilities had already been engaged to treat the most severely injured, I felt it apt to return our officers to the ship, given their success in stabilizing the wounded.
Captain Harkness and her crew continued to secure the compound at that time, freeing my team to attempt a return to Endurance. I made a decision to pilot the shuttle in this rendezvous flight as I had flown a similar mission at 2nd Chintoka (Ref. Stardate 52107.4), and transporter use would have subjected the ship to unnecessary risk.
On approach, the shuttlecraft came under fire from True Way cutters. USS Endurance provided covering fire, however, the shuttle received damage prior to landing aboard ship. Although the shuttle was heavily damaged, emergency landing protocols safeguarded all handles aptly, and the senior crew was quickly beamed, site to site, to the bridge.
Realizing the hostile cutters could only be neutralized effectively, with matching capabilities, I ordered all Marine shuttle to disembark, and engage in close range combat with the enemy cutters. USS McKinley quickly followed suit.
At appx. T+25 minutes, USS Boston County came into range and began to provide supporting fire. True Way ships began inflicting heavy damage on the destroyer, as anticipated. I ordered Endurance to begin precision fire to disable engines and power systems of enemy cruisers, while moving out to create a firing line that Boston County could fall behind. McKinley joined the formation, and in our opening volley, 6 True Way cruisers were destroyed or rendered inoperable. I issued an open order on hailing frequencies for True Way vessels to stand down at this time.
USS Boston County fell into formation and began emergency repairs, and continued to provide supporting fire over the next several minutes while Endurance and McKinley directed heavy fire at the True Way cruiser formation. All ships received enemy fire during this time, while additional True Way ships were disabled.
Captain Harkness and her senior staff returned via transporter to USS McKinley at T+37 minutes into the action. USS McKinley was hit with a coordinated volley of enemy fire at roughly T+40 minutes into the engagement. The ship was quickly overcome from its damage and was destroyed with a loss of all hands.
It was clear at this time that enemy forces were attempting to recover personnel from the damaged ships, but were otherwise willing to give no quarter whatsoever. At this time, I authorized the use of Quantum munitions, directing Mr. Starrbon to neutralize remaining, functional enemy combatant vessels.
Remaining vessels were disabled or destroyed through joint fire from Endurance and Boston County. Although I ordered the disabled enemy vessels to surrender, very few enemy crew were captured by local authorities at that time. Evidence suggests that hundreds of True Way crew managed to evacuate via transporter to Atbar Colony or other locations as yet determined [See attached sensor logs].
Significant compromise in the local Cardassian garrison security resulted in a massive, coordinated attack on Atbar. The scale of the attack might be on par with historic events such as the 1968 Tet offensive in the Vietnam War on Earth, or the attempted Bolian Insurrection of 2316 – these events are significant not only for their attempted, military objectives but also for significant political objectives. It should be considered that Atbar was a colony world largely supportive of the Cardassian government in exile during the last months of the Dominion War, and has been a ideological symbol of betrayal from the True Way’s perspective.
Although the attack was repulsed, with asymmetric losses for True Way, we must not assume that this loss of precious cruisers in their cause will necessarily diminish their ongoing, and what must now be referred to as a proper insurrection or guerrilla war against the Cardassian Union. Given the pathology of the True Way cause, it may be that the loss of two Starfleet vessels will be overplayed as a call to action for True Way sympathizers.
Additional Points of Conclusion:
i) USS Endurance suffered minor damage only to ship and crew, and has been ordered by Acting TF21 CO, Captain Seran (USS Claymore) to regroup at Taggrut, where an apparent probing attack by Klingon Forces is underway.
ii) USS Boston County suffered heavy damage but continues operations in conjunction with additional Starfleet and Cardassian reinforcements that have arrived following the primary engagement.
iii) Civil authorities on Atbar report an elevated number of sporadic attacks and events likely relating to the exodus of True Way operatives to the planet’s surface from their doomed starships.
iv) The Marine detachment from USS McKinley has been redeployed to support Ground Station Atbar. McKinley detachment was able to quickly swap 2 marine shuttles with Endurance detachment to keep our team fully combat effective on our mission to Taggrut. Their dedication in the face of the loss of USS McKinley is overwhelmingly appreciated.
v) Endurance personnel determined that multiple sensor ghosts, possible cloaked ships, were present in the Atbar system at the time of the battle. Disposition of these forces has not been confirmed at this time, though it is suspected that several of them are shadowing Endurance to Taggrut.
5. Specific Recommendations
i) Reinforce Atbar with additional defense forces.
ii) Prepare to deploy additional forces to hold Taggrut, pending confirmation of Klingon assault.
iii) Ensure allocation of additional vessels to TF21.
iv) Coordinate with Cardassian Union forces to secure Atbar colonial facilities.
v) Develop and deploy advanced IFF countermeasures to prevent stolen and re-purposed True Way vessels from confusing allied response efforts.
vi) Increase the variety and capability of combat support craft available to Starfleet outposts and vessels in this theater. It should be noted Marine shuttles were highly effective in countering fighter/raider tactics from the True Way, thus keeping lanes open for retreating civilian vessels. Carrier operations may greatly extend Starfleet effectiveness in this sector in this light as well.
6. Further Recommended Actions
i) Investigate destruction of USS Aurora to determine exact cause of vessel’s destruction and loss of crew.
ii) Investigate loss of USS McKinley and crew.
iii) Recommend dispensation of full honors to all Starfleet personnel lost defending Atbar.
iv) Application to endorse appropriate decorations for all hands involved in this engagement is pending. [[OOC: Russ needs more time to look at this with Stan]]
v) Application to commemorate loss of USS McKinley, USS Aurora crews pending.
vi) Application to commemorate loss of Captain Sarah Harkness, a veteran of the Dominion War, and advocate for peacekeeping missions like that of TF21 is pending.