From: Jacksonville, FL, USA
Scenario Description. If someone sees some wordsmithing please provide suggestions/corrections!
CMO: Putin’s War: The Bodo Express, 2022
Al “Beirutdude” Sandrik
The Time Is: 27 June, 2022 17:00:00 Zulu/18:00:00 Oslo Time
AOR: Scandinavia and North Sea
Playable as NATO or Russia
2 Days Duration
The Baltic Crisis finally erupted into a full-scale NATO-Russian/Belorussia conflict on the morning of June 6th. The Baltics and the Suwalki Gap were rapidly overrun by the evening of the 7th with Russian forces reaching Kaliningrad, advancing along Highway A16/E28 From Vilnius to Kybartai. They then turned southwestward reaching Highway 63 in Poland, where they paused.
On the morning of the 7th Russian air forces bombed the Norwegian expeditionary air base and port at Banak, Norway, near the Nord Kapp. That afternoon Russian Paratroopers seized the air field with Naval Infantry conducting a follow up landing at the port. A brief, but pyrrhic, naval battle broke out between Royal Norwegian Navy and Russian missile boats and naval fighter bombers. While many of the Russian boats were sunk or disabled, the four Norwegian Skjold-class corvettes died valiantly.
The Norwegian Northern Brigade, reinforced by territorial units and the USMC’s 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU)/Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/6 (deployed to the Setermoen Military Camp for Arctic Training at the onset of the battle) staged a fighting withdrawal across the Nord Kapp. They eventually established a defensive line (Forward Extent Battle Area (FEBA)) along the Rossaelva River on the 14th. By June 16th the 26th MEU/BLT 2/8 completed its air lift from Cherry Point, North Carolina to marry up with the prepositioned USMC equipment in Norway and further reinforced the new defensive line.
To get at the Norwegian Air Force bases near Narvik, Tromso and Bodo the Russian Air Force decided to risk transiting over northern Finland and Sweden, it was mistake. Both nations decided to resist the overstretched Russian air forces, while trying to avoid ground combat. So now even though Swedish and Finnish Air Forces/Radars were not fully integrated into NATOs air defense the former neutrals were combatants and would have to be dealt with in the coming battle. While both are somewhat friendly to NATO (neutral game wise), allowing NATO aircraft to overfly a their territory “cooperatively” but both nations are not fully integrated into the NATO defense structure, their units are not under NATO control, nor does NATO see their radars.
Over the first two weeks of the battle NATO was largely out of position with the larger surface combatants remaining south of the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom (GIUK) Gap to set up a screen for a Russian naval threat that wouldn’t materialize. The Russian Northern Fleet, absent the Navy Flag Ship Admiral Kuznetsov (now permanently disabled with the sinking of the PD-19 Dry Dock and the December 2019 fire) chose to only contest the Norwegian Sea, remaining north of the GIUK Gap. That doesn’t mean they weren’t active and over the first two weeks of the conflict the Royal Norwegian Navy was hunted down and sunk piece by piece. By the 19th only one Norwegian submarine, operating out of Tromso, was active qith the remaining vessels being repaired in Oslo or UK ports.
Conversely, NATO was also active. Recognizing the need to further reinforce the North Brigade and Marines defending Norway, the USN and USMC quickly loaded two Amphibious Ready Groups (ARG), The first ARG (TF 22.1) was built up around the Mayport based USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) and included a Maritime Prepositioned Ship which was just completing rehab of its stocked equipment at the USMC Support Facility, Blount Island, Jacksonville Florida (By the way, USMC Blount Island is one of the USMC’s best kept secrets, probably 90% of the population of Jacksonville doesn’t know it is there!). The Iwo Jima’s ARG loaded the 24th MEU/BLT 1/8 in Morehead City, North Carolina on the 14th.
The Second ARG (TF 22.2) was built around the Norfolk based USS Bataan (LHD-5) and loaded the 28th MEU/BLT 3/8 and additional elements of the 11th Marine Regiment (Artillery). Both departed and rendezvoused south of the GIUK Gap on the 26th. Their mission was simple sail to Norway and unload their MEUs and their associated Medium Tiltrotor Squadrons (VMM) to Bodo and then exit the area as quickly as practical. Follow up convoys with additional replenishment supplies were departing Philadelphia and Savannah and would need the anchorage area in the coming days.
The ARGs would not be alone. With American carriers hard pressed fighting Iran and near Syria the Royal Navy (RN) would support the reinforcement mission with a carrier battle group built around their new HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08 - V/STOL) carrier. Two composite squadrons of F-35 Lightning IIs were deployed along with AEW/ASW helicopters. Two RN SSNs and one USN SSN would also support the operation.
On the other side of the hill, the Northern Fleet threw everything into stopping the Marines arrival. Recognizing the northern flank could be lost if the Marines arrived every Northern Fleet surface vessel and submarine available were thrown into the fray. Naval Aviation was instructed to ignore losses and if necessary, to transit Scandinavia (Sweden and Finland) to get at the amphibs.
For both sides the fate of the northern front rested on the coming battle. The pause has allowed for rest and reconstitution of some of the units. The Norwegian Air force 318 Squadron was refitted with some of the remaining F-16 MLUs turning over their remaining F-35s to the two other F-35 squadrons. Airfields were repaired and, as much as possible, ammo/PGMs resupplied.
1. Sweden and Finland are neutral to NATO only in that they are not integrated into the NATO defense structure well enough to integrate their radars. So you can overfly both nations as NATO and fight alongside both nations, They're just neutral because of sensors. Russia can only overfly the northern part of both as a belligerent but the south belongs to the Baltic TVD and has a No-Fly Zone.
2, Russian MPA aircraft, have their own “Side” and are friendly to Russia BUT you don’t control them. I had to separate them out to build a no-fly zone over Scandinavia that wasn’t desirable for the other Russian air units. Let’s face it, can you see an IL-38 May overflying a SAM site near Banak or near F-35s! I can’t but that is what the A/I will do, so, this had to be done to give the A/I a fighting chance with the MPA. Sorry if you enjoy “mowing the lawn” with ASW aircraft.
3. I didn’t see the sense in really getting into cargo operations! So unloading the amphibs is simulated by getting the NATO amphibs into the Bodo Box and staying there for 12 hours. Please do not delete the five (5) Bodo Anchorage Box Reference Points (locked) or you lose the VPs (like 10,000 possible!).
4. As this scenario is designed to be played from both sides feel free to delete all the other reference points as the A/I’s missions are not set for humans. I did indicate FEBA with some locked Reference Points, once you know where it is, go ahead and unlock/delete them to remove more clutter. If you want to look at my missions just go into the editor and unclick the box in the lower left hand corner for each mission.
5. I did set initial aircraft load outs for the A/I, you have plenty of time to reset them for all but the Backfires/Blackjacks as the Russian player before you need to get into operations. Loadouts are pretty strict at the airfields. Remember the war is two weeks old, but I tried to make sure all aircraft have two loads outs at their bases. You can move around but will likely run low on supplies.
6. Unlike a lot of my other scenarios you don’t receive points for destroying everything. The goal is to get to the anchorage for NATO and keep NATO out of it for Russia. That said, the vessels are high value units with big crews and political ramifications if sunk! Therefore, destroyed (and damaging some) ships/subs will gain VPs, BUT for NATO you have to get to Bodo to win!!!!
Originally created under CMO Version 1.01 Build 1134.1 – Data Base: DB3000 483
An .INI and Delta File have both been provided for rebuilds
Al “BeirutDude” Sandrik (ex-Beachinnole)
< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 4/14/2020 11:57:03 PM >
"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!