Well, it's 12:41 Zulu and things are really tense on the Ike, but there seems to be a brief moment for a sitrep.
With a main mission of 'defend Iceland', and a secondary of 'beat up Jan Mayen' it didn't look like I needed to stay so far NE. Why snuggle up to the enemy? I've got plenty of range to bombard the island, so the Ike is ordered to reverse course and head SW, and eventually meet up with the AOE closer to Iceland in a zone patrolled by my P-3s. Let the enemy spend time and fuel coming to me. This move leaves the Spruance dashing to catch up and get out front again, but it's a chance it'll have to take. (So far, no submarine problems. Fingers crossed.) My own sub is given a course ESE, and ordered to periscope depth, where it creeps along providing ESM and plane spotting data. I consider an initial TLAM strike on the mainland, but there's probably AEW and CAP and SAMs up there which would make it a wasted effort, so I hold off.
The Jan Mayan strike launches immediately. The first element in is the pair of F-18s with iron bombs, which hook around the SW end of the island, staying in the radar shadow of the ridge. A hard right turn sends them E over the narrow mid-section of the island, laying a stick of bombs on the SA-3 before it can react, and dropping another in the center of the weather shelters. Two quick-reaction Migs make it into the air, but I manage to deal with them while escaping amid Grouse fire, and then the LGB planes move in to tackle their targets from a safe altitude. A string of bomb malfunctions weaken the strike, but the command bunker and big runway are destroyed, and the secondary runway and access point are heavily damaged.
Meanwhile my ESM is giving indications of jammers to my NE, so the CAP spreads out to investigate, and destroys some of them before Mig-31 radars start showing up on the screens. Before long I'm facing heavy pressure from Mig-31s from the NE, followed by a very heavy push of many aircraft from the E. I manage to deal with the first group of Mig-31s, but the massive eastern formation (which turns out to be a heavy recce probe, with numerous Brewers and high altitude Mig-25s) is more problematic, and I literally end up launching every single fighter before I can fend it off. I'm trying to ignore the Mig-23s and pick on the Brewers selectively before they can get close enough to see me with their radars. Fortunately their radars are old technology, and I think my Jammers have managed to keep them from getting a clear look at my main formation. Nonetheless, doing this puts me at some risk, and more Mig-31s come down and interfere with the northern flank of the fight, causing some losses.
While all this is happening I do manage to in-flight refuel one of my F-14s and sneak it up N of Jan Mayan, where it manages to shoot up more jammers and ELINT planes, including a prowling recce Backfire, before it gets driven away by the Mig-31s. The U-2 is in a dangerous place up there with so much enemy air activity, so I pull it back to do BDA on Jan Mayan, and do ELINT duty. No way I'm sending it east to play with Mig-31s.
Once that heavy enemy push is over most of my planes are running for the carrier to reload, but the few stragglers with missiles left push east into the vacuum, catching sight of the enemy tanker line. I'd really like to interfere with that, and I try hard, but there just aren't enough assets to succeed. I manage to launch 5 extreme range Phoenix shots at them, but one strikes an enemy jammer that gets in the way, three more miss by the slimmest margins, and only one kills a tanker. That's not enough to disrupt operations significantly, and soon another wave of Mig-25s and Mig-31s is coming off the tankers, driving me back again.
There seems to be no end to the Mig-25s, which get closer and closer to the carrier, and I'm left nervously counting the seconds until the first few of the reloaded F-14s lift off and manage to stop the last of them. (What wouldn't I give for a 30 minute turnaround a la Sweden - an hour and a half is excruciating!) Now I'm in a bit of a lull, I think, although a couple more Backfires have tried to take a look, and I'm getting ESM hits on more Mig-31s, 23s, and SU-27s, which are starting to fill up their patrols again. My air-to-air missile situation is looking rather bad. I only have 26 Phoenix left on the carrier, and they're all mounted on aircraft. No spares! Everyone else is filling up with Sparrows at the moment, but I've only got 30 of those left in the magazines. I'm also down to 35 AMRAAM in the magazines, although I've got 7 full loaded F-18s ready to go, so that's not too bad. Still, if I have to face more Mig-31s (and there's probably a dozen or more of them still out there) I'm going to have problems, not to mention any heavy bomber raids. And there's still 20 hours to go...
There are a bunch of sonobuoys scattered all over the ocean at the start of the scenario, with no apparent source. Are they left over from a previous scenario?
The Ike's medium ASW reference points are a bit tangled up, causing irregular zone shapes instead of your usual concentric rectangle pattern.
The Recce Push mission is actually an ASuW (naval) mission, and as a result the SU-27s and Mig-23s were not engaging me at first. I changed Engage Opportunity Targets to YES and that allowed them to shoot.
There's a lot of bad guys out there. I'm going to get swamped!
< Message edited by AndrewJ -- 10/23/2016 5:30:27 AM >