From: Jacksonville, FL, USA
Kanton Island, Kiribati 2024
Al "Beirutdude" Sandrik
The Time Is: 20 November, 2024,
00:00 Zulu/13:00 Kanton Island, Kiribati Time
Playable as USN/USAF Only
3 Days 12 Hours Duration
Background: In 2022 the People’s Republic of China (PRC) began an extension of the Kanton Island Airport in the Republic of Kiribati. Over the next two and a half years the 20 remaining islanders were relocated from the island and the island was transformed into a major PLA(N) forward operating base. Not only was the runway lengthened to support very large MPA, attack and bomber aircraft, a power station, water facilities and communications centers were built and emplaced SAM batteries were identified by the U.S. DIA. The island’s port facility was enhanced to support PLA(N) vessels, and a hospital, barracks and athletic/soccer stadium built for base personnel.
The most interesting of the facilities built were six major weather shelters constructed well away from the airfield’s facilities. Each was near one of the radars, including an Over The Horizon (OTH) facility. Western speculation was that anything from S-400 batteries to IRBMs were housed in the shelters.
In response to the PRC construction, the USN reactivated the airfield on Johnson Island but without any significant facilities and only a skeleton staff. Aircraft can stage and refuel at the island but no reloads are available there.
Likewise, Palmyra Island’s airstrip was extended and reactivated. The base can also support some limited operations and has been hosting RQ-4 UAVs scouting the waters around Kanton Island.
On the 1st of November 2024 the PRC launched an invasion of Taiwan with air and missile strikes. PLA(N) Marines and PLA troops landed in the NW corner of the island. The United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand immediately came to Taiwan’s defense. The air bases on Okinawa were hit with IRBMs and air launched cruise missiles putting them temporarily out of action but not before the squadrons based there gave a good accounting of themselves. PLAAF losses were three and, sometimes, five to one, with both sides air forces greatly attrited. A huge naval battle was fought southeast of Tokora Island with significant losses on both sides including the loss of the USS Ronald Reagan and PLANS Shendong. The battle over the East China Sea has settled into quick hit and run attacks by both sides. With Western forces awaiting the arrival of your Stennis CSG to open the sea lanes into Taiwan for resupply.
In the South China Sea, Australian and USAF aircraft stationed in the Philippines have taken the battle into the Spratlys and Paracel Islands. India joined the war on the 12th with the Indian carrier, INS Vikramaditya, sunk by DF-21D ASBMs launched from Hainan Island after causing massive damage to facilities on Fiery Cross Reef.
Your Stennis CSG arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 16th after an emergency deployment from Bremerton, WA. The escorting destroyers VLS systems were rapidly fitted out to carry a mix of multi-mission and land attack Tomahawk cruise missiles, along with SM-3 and SM-6 series ABMs. On the 18th you were called into CINC Pac Fleet’s HQ and given your instructions.
On the morning of the 20th your CSG departed Pearl Harbor following a path blazed by the carrier groups of 1942.
Mission: Your orders are to proceed, with all due caution, to strike and destroy facilities on Kanton Island. Your CSG assets are vital and needed for the reinforcement of the naval forces defending the Japanese Home Islands. The battle for Taiwan hangs in the balance and a convoy forming in Tokyo Bay will keep Taiwan in the war for at least a month (with your CSG the critical escort). Therefore, you are to conserve your forces while destroying PLA(N) facilities which might threaten Hawaii and Johnson Island.
< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 7/10/2021 12:16:27 AM >
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985
I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!