Saturday, May 13, 2017

South Zagoria rebels claim civilians died in artillery attack

Rebel AAA truck burns in the distance
(CNN) Chernarus News Network

Zagoria Rebel Radio claimed that an undisclosed number of civilians were killed in Chernarusian artillery shelling in the town of Krasnostav Saturday evening.

According to the report the artillery attack was an "unprovoked as a terror attack against peaceful residents of Krasnostav."

Amphibious raids by Chernarusian naval infantry forces have been common in South Zagoria since last winter. Although the Chernarusian Defense Ministry will not talk about operations in South Zagoria, it has been confirmed through unofficial sources within the Chernarus Naval Forces staff, that Chernarusian naval infantry did conduct an operation Saturday evening near Krasnostav, and that artillery was involved.

The sources also said that the Chernarusian unit involved did not suffer casualties, and that no civilians were either killed or wounded in Saturday's operation.  No rebel casualty counts were claimed by the Chernarusians, but they were said to be light.

Rebel materiel damage was said to be heavy.

Friday, March 31, 2017

A canonical list of Chernarus Defense Forces maneuver brigades

A total of 13 Chernarus Defense Forces maneuver brigades are currently deployed throughout Chernarus.  These units are in varying states of readiness and composition.

Like CDF army corps, Chernarus army brigades are often task organized.  One brigade may have as many as five battalions and as few as three, pending on the mission, and those units will have a non standard mix of rifle and tank battalions.  Oftentimes if a brigade which are deployed away from the front will have as few as two battalions.

Another ten maneuver brigades exist to provide replacements and reinforcements.  These brigades form the Chernarus army strategic reserve in the case of a general war.

Currently three army corps commands control the brigades.  The list details the corps number and their approximate deployment:

Chernarus 1st Army Corps (South Zagoria)
4th Light Rifle Brigade
9th Light Rifle Brigade
43rd Motorized Rifle Brigade
1st Tank Brigade

Chernarus 2nd Army Corps (Bekatov/Leskovets)
7th Motorized Rifle Brigade
11th Motorized Rifle Brigade
17th Light Rifle Brigade
3rd Tank Brigade

33rd Mountain Rifle Corps
13th Mountain Motorized Rifle Brigade
19th Mountain Motorized Rifle Brigade
24th Light Mountain Rifle Brigade
10th Tank Brigade

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Chernarus Defense Forces (CDF) Light Rifle Brigade

A Chernarusian Light Rifle Brigade consists of four to five light rifle battalions with a total of 528 effectives per battalion.

Every light rifle company has a heavy weapons platoon with four each DShk 12.7mm machine guns with an infantry mount, and four each DShk 12,7mm machine guns with an antiaircraft mount.  Four SPG-9s round out the heavy weapons platoon.  Transport for the heavy weapons unit is normally through the battalion's support company transport vehicles, but all weapons can be transported manually short distances.

Every light rifle battalion has an attached recon company with a total of four UAZs and  30 effectives. The unit also has an antitank company which includes two UAZs, two DShK UAZs, eight SPG-9 UAZs and four AT-13 UAZs.

An artillery regiment with 12 122mm towed artillery, 6 BM-21s and 82mm mortars, and an engineer company is held at brigade HQs.  The engineer unit has a bridging unit and a sapper platoon.

One battalion, typically the 3rd battalion, is trained in parachute and airmobile operations.

Chernarusian flag officers typically will cross attach tank and motorized rifle units with light rifle units.

Chernarus Naval Land Forces TO&E

The Chernarus Navy (CNF) maintains two naval infantry brigades, the 2nd and the 3rd Naval Infantry Brigades.

The 2nd Naval Infantry Brigade consists of  two heavy (BTR-60)  battalions organized similarly to Chernarus Defense Forces (CDF) motorized rifle battalions.  Two battalions are light and organized similarly to CDF light rifle battalions.  The 2nd NIBde has one round out category 3 heavy battalion, which can be mobilized in emergencies.

One light battalion is trained in parachute, air mobile  as well as sea landing operations.

The 3nd Naval Infantry Brigade also consists of two heavy battalions, and three light battalions.  Similar to the 2nd NIBde, the 3rd NIBde, one battalion is trained in parachute, air mobile and sea landings.

The two brigades are assigned to geographical commands with the 2nd deployed in eastern Chernarus and in southern Napf.  The 3nd NIBde is the CNF reserve and is deployed near Miroslavl.

The CNF does not have amphibious ships that can be used to land heavy equipment, and so naval commanders must have a port, and rely on commercial freighters to transport and deploy their heavy battalions.

Since the brigades do not have an organic tank unit, antitank operations are conducted by the CNF's naval aviation regiment, or by attached CDF tank units.  Brigades do not have any organic heavy artillery, and so must rely on naval guns from the three frigates in the navy's inventory.  All naval infantry commanders down to the  company level trained extensively on spotting naval artillery.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

News Report on Operation Black Winter

Brienz, Napf Island

The air raid took less than 10 minutes total, as Russian SU-25 ground attack aircraft loudly and violently struck Chernarusian positions in Brienz. Chernarusian marines on patrol as far as three kilometers away could see plumes of black smoke rising from the destruction the aircraft wrought on Chernarusian supplies, and could hear echos as the sound of the aircraft heavy weapons reverberated on the mountains surrounding this tiny seaside village.

The weather has been terrible in southern Napf Island. Speaking to a Chernarusian naval meteorologist by radio yesterday, a Senior Lieutenant Andropov, the island can expect nearly constant snow storms for the next nine weeks. The storms, which usually hit in the morning are so strong that visibility is reduced in some areas to less than 200 meters.

The war here has settled into an odd routine. Russian early morning air raids are always accompanied by infantry attacks from poorly clothed, but heavily armed rebel soldiers. The air raids, we are told, are supposed to destroy supplies and troops. While the raids end with supplies destroyed, very few of the Chernarusian marines have been wounded or killed by aircraft.

The real danger is with the ground assaults. Rebel commanders have been attacking Brienz in platoon strength from three different axes, and the attacks have been in threes. The rebel soldiers, poorly dressed for winter fighting, always manage to inflict some casualties on Chernarusian forces here, but the rebel units are almost always wiped out by the Chernarusians.

Early attacks, those which took place one and two days after the Chernarusian marine landed were accompanied by technicals, light pickup trucks with heavy weapons mounted to their cargo beds. 
As with the rebel soldiers, those trucks are similarly destroyed by Chernarusian counterfire.

The rebels' strategy is fairly clear, according to a Chernarusian naval captain stationed here. They intend to eject the marines from their positions regardless of the cost to them. In two more days, the captain said he will send out parties to recover the rebel dead. They will be stripped of any useful items, including clothing and boots, and the corpses will be incinerated in bonfires The ground here is frozen solid and nearly impossible to dig into. Any identity papers and personal items will be sent out with the evacuation boats. Chernarusian commanders will eventually contact rebel commanders to return the items.

So, the routine continues, day after day When night comes, the Chernarusian patrol boats come to offload replacements, what the Chernarusian marines call fillers, and supplies of ammunition and food, and to evacuate dead and wounded. The evacuations take much longer because Chernarusian marines insist on holding an informal ceremony honoring their war dead before they are loaded onto the boats. It doesn't matter how many soldiers are on the front line, there's always a solemn ceremony honoring the dead.

In Brienz, the war has disrupted life somewhat. The village has power, but water is available for only a few hours each day. The two man Brienz water department left the village when war broke out and are rumored to be fighting with pro Chernarusian FIA guerrillas in Sorenberg.

But villagers try to continue as normal. There's always product deliveries to the local grocery store, and the local pub, which doubles as a town hall, received its shipment of alcohol and food two days ago. Drivers making deliveries to Brienz say that rebel checkpoint delays are getting longer, but rebels operating the checkpoints are polite and professional. They always check for weapons and ammunition, and other contraband. Bus service has completely stopped, and rebels refuse to let passenger cars through unless one or more females are aboard. The rebels' main fear is that civilian traffic helps local guerrillas move forces around.

The owner of the pub in Brienz has said business is up, despite the fighting. Business would be even better save for the fact the Chernarusian site commander has declared the pub off limits. The satellite feed to the pub's five television sets is still operating, so villagers gather there nightly to watch the news and take in an occasional ice hockey game.

Two days before this dispatch was filed, this writer and two others, a radio personality and a television news woman, were trundled off aboard an open air Strela class patrol boat for Admiral Grachev's command ship, the ChNS Zima, stationed about eight kilometers from Brienz. We were sent there to attend a press briefing by the admirals' staff on the war in Napf.

It is always refreshing to be provided a hot shower and hot food, and to be in quiet quarters with nearly zero threat of attack from anywhere.

When we gathered into the conference room, a young michman passed out a press briefing The five other media, two from American media, read the handout solemnly, while we three just looked and smirked at one another. Events on the ground, where we were and where eventually we would be, had already rendered the handout nearly worthless.

The captain at the briefing said that a marine contingent had captured the eastside hamlet of Gilswil, and were holding on, despite suffering repeated attacks and being low on supplies. Three attempts to send in supplies by boat had been tried, but only one has been successful so far. Even so, most of the rebels' efforts include trying to keep the road between Giswil and Brienz closed to military traffic. That strategy will enable the continuous attacks on Brienz, and will help their own situation everywhere else.

The captain said that another 30 marines were landing at Brienz and will participate in a sweeping operation that is planned to open and keep the road open to Giswil. A successful conclusion of the operation will end ground attacks on Brienz.

The air attacks, however, will likely continue.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Operation Black Winter: Defense of Napf Island

The defense of Napf Island

Last October 1st, news came out that the governor of Napf Island, Andrey Fillipov was involved in an illicit homosexual love triangle 15 years before.

The revelations enraged Fillipov's political opposition both on the island and on the mainland. Opposition leaders planned protests at the capital and at the governor's residence.  A general strike was threatened.

By October 10th, the protests became increasingly violent as protest leaders were replaced with leaders with ties to the Chedaki movement.  The new leaders called for the Chernarusian rebels to seize the island to help replace the governor.  Governor Fillipov began to crackdown on the protesters, then declared martial law after an opposition office was firebombed.

By October 20th, people were firing guns at protest leaders and local government officials alike.  Fillipov began to request the national government send troops to quell the protests.  The national government refused.  By October 21, full scale riots were taking place, buildings were burned and people from both sides were being killed and taken hostage.

On the night of October 22nd-23rd, the Chernarusian air force evacuated their two small southern airfield without warning, taking everything except fuel bunkers with them.  By the same morning, rebel armed troops began landing at the main airport and by ship, and began to fan out across the island taking control of television and radio stations, as well as police stations, and setting up checkpoints.

On October 25th Fillipov woke to find 10 AK-47s aimed at his head.  A rebel leader present demanded that Fillipov turn the government over to "the people" or resign.  Fillipov immediately resigned, was arrested by the rebels and held prisoner at a castle along with his deputy and an adviser.

On October 25th, the Chernarusian minister of defense approved the appointment of Admiral Vladislav Grachev, a naval aviator by training, as commander of the newly created Napf naval district.  The Chernarusian Naval Forces command shifted to Grachev's command the 2nd Naval Infantry Brigade along with a division of ships, including the command ship ChNS Zima, the artillery missile boat ChNS Tsvetsk and the frigate ChNS Pike, along with several patrol boats.

Grachev immediately commissioned the Green Star Military Corporation to rescue Governor Fillipov from captivity.

The next day the weather started to turn cold with heavy sleet and intermittent snow.  It was forecasted that snow storms would hit the region by October 30th, and would continue indefinitely.

On October 30th elements of 1st company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Naval Infantry Brigade, including two AA Machine gun squads (8 Dushkas) landed by sea at Brienz with orders to help defend the port as a lifting crane was being built. The position was supported by the ChNS Tsvetsk artillery missile boat. At the same time, the PMC elements located the governor and sneaked him out of captivity, then fled south toward an abandoned military airfield, which they reached early on the morning of Halloween.  A small element (2 squads) from the naval infantry brigade parachute battalion (3rd Battalion) was tasked with parachuting onto the airfield, securing and overseeing the takeoff.

Rebel commanders quickly got wind of the plot and sent a rifle company south towards the airfield.  The plane took off just ahead of the arrival of the rebel unit, leaving six PMC operators behind.

The naval infantry units and the PMC unit were tasked with retreating towards the southeast.

Near Sorenberg, rebel units ran into stiff resistance from Chernarus friendly FIA guerrilla units which occupy that part of Napf.  Despite a daytime and then a nighttime small arms    assault, rebels could not capture or surround Sorenberg.  The rebel moves south were stymied, but for a brief time.

As the parachute unit started their retreat, they were hit with a rebel attack.  The 2nd squad was pinned down by heavy rebel small arms fire, and were forced to hole up in the eastern most hangar.  Despite assistance from 1st squad, 2nd squad was nearly completely destroyed, except for a single automatic rifleman.

As the unit headed toward the southeast, they were radioed their orders.

A rebel rifle unit had taken over the hydroelectric power plant, so the unit was tasked with clearing out the plant.  The assault was quick and deadly, with the rifle unit losing one rifleman.  The rebel unit holding the plant was wiped out. The unit reached Sorenberg, boarded a commercial truck and were taken to Brienz. From there they were evacuated by sea.

On November 1st, rebel units seized the seaside hamlet of Giswil, and began landing several troops by sea.  Their mission was to move west, and attempt to eject the Chernarusian naval infantry from Brienz.

The attack took place the next day, November 2nd, supported by newly arrived MI-24 attack helicopters.  The rebels attacked Brienz three times total, the last being a night attack.  All of them failed with heavy losses for the rebels, including the loss of the attack helicopters.

Owing to near constant attacks on their positions at Sorenberg, FIA gureilla commanders complained to Admiral Grachev's command about running low on supplies, mostly ammunition, mostly recoilless rifle ammunition.  With Giswil in rebel hands, the naval commander made a decision to send a naval infantry rifle unit to Giswil to clear it out.  The attack would be supported by assault landing boats and SU-25 aircraft flying from the naval aviation base at Balota.

On the morning of November 3rd the attack took place, and took less than 40 minutes to clear the village.  A naval infantry rifle unit was garrisoned at the village supported by an AA machine gun squad of four gunners and a recoilless rifle.  FIA guerrilla could pick up supplies landed by assault boat at the village, since it was much closer than Brienz.  It was difficult to move supplies to Giswil because by then rebel patrol boats were patrolling the mouth of the inlet where the village was located.  Every supply run would have to be escorted by aircraft, making supply runs less frequent.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Brief Survey On Arma 3 Seaports

Naval warfare, even including smaller patrol boats have been neglected in Arma 3.  We have some good ones, though, including the Royal New Zealand frigate in the CUPS vehicle corral.  Zero commercial cargo ships exist and this for a game which recently released a brand new map with 40+ kilometers of new coastline and several ports, Tanoa.

But how usable are the ports in Arma 3 and its ported maps?

I went over several terrains recently, using the New Zealand frigate to get an idea of how well those ports could handle big ships:

  • Location/Map                    Type Ship         Tugboat Required  Usable Piers
  • Moschnyi, Moschnyi        Geared/Cargo   N                            1
  • Novakvice, Moschnyi       Normal/Cargo   Y                           1
  • Chernogorsk,Chernarus    Geared/Cargo    Y                           2
  • Elektrozavodsk,Chernarus Normal/Cargo  N                           2
  • Berezino, Chernarus         Either                 Y                           3
  • Kamenyy,Utes                  Geared/Cargo    N                           1
  • Kavala, Altis                    Geared/Cargo    N                           1
  • Pyrgos, Altis                     Geared/Cargo    N                          3
  • Neochori, Altis                 Geared/Cargo    N                           1
  • Modrava, Nogova             Geared/Cargo    Y                           1
  • Vidlakov, Nogova             Geared/Cargo    N                          1
Ship with drafts of larger than the frigate can not be used in the ports listed above, and that is a major reason why Arma 3 needs what are classified as regional carriers, AKA bulk carriers, AKA minibulkers.  Also, all ships in order to access all the ports listed above, should be geared with some kind of crane to enable loading and unloading.  Ungeared ships will not be able to load or unload in those ports indicated with the word geared. All the piers indicate piers large and wide enough to accept trucks.

Also included are whether a tugboat would be required to move cargo ships in and out of port.  A tugboat is not available in any Arma 3 mod at the moment.  At issue also are how deep channels are leading to the port.  You don't want your cargo ship stuck on a sandbar without a tugboat available, do you?

Why is this important?  The lion's share of focus on having cargo ship of any kind is for specops/police scenarios where the Good Guys can fast rope onto the ship to save the day.  But much more important, from the point of view of realism should be for transporting heavy forces  and for supplying those forces. 

The Russians, directly next door to Syria needed the use of ports to supply/support their ongoing air campaign in Syria.

Not even the Big Four, China, Russian USA and France are dumb enough to think they can sustain a military campaign by air alone.  You need ships and you need ports those ships can use.