Fleet Command Single Mission 04

Pacific Pirates is the fourth single player mission in the standalone scenario set that is apart from the campaigns available in the game. The mission tasking is to intercept a vessel being used by pirates who have raided a cruise ship in the South Pacific resulting in the death of several American and Australian citizens. The orders given are direct: locate the pirate vessel and a prop aircraft operating from a nearby airstrip and destroy both platforms without causing any casualties among the civilian fishing boats and aircraft operating in the area.

Specific intelligence is given that the last confirmed identification took place at location 01-50 S and 123-15 E, which with the cursor driven auto location from the primary map view makes identifying the location fairly simple (just sweep the mouse over the battle map and observer the grid reference).

I start the mission with the USS Yorktown (CG-48) armed with a variety of weapon platforms.

The first order I issue is to launch two SH-60R Seahawks from the flight deck to get them out to the grid reference in order to begin the search for the pirate vessel.

Here I am checking the maximum range ring of the SM-2 SAM that I intend to use to take down the suspect aircraft once it is positively identified. I also enable the long range Ship Air Radar on the Yorktown and the Surface Search Radar of both Seahawks.

Far past the last known location given in the mission briefing, the lead Seahawk visually identifies the pirate vessel as Track 6467. I order the bird to close on the vessel as I do not want to risk a standoff torpedo launch with civilian craft between my air asset and the target.

While the helicopter is closing on the surface contact it positively identifies Track 6465 as the turboprop aircraft.

I immediately launch a pair of SM-2 SAM at the target aircraft.

As soon as the lead Seahawk clears a neutral vessel, I order it to fire one of its two MK-50 torpedoes at the pirate vessel.

The two missiles are probably complete overkill as one should suffice given that the target airframe has no countermeasures to speak of (and cannot possibly outmaneuver a surface-to-air missile).

The aircraft is vaporized by the missile clearing one of the two mission objectives.

In another waste of taxpayer money I order the Seahawk to fire off another torpedo, however the first one finds its target and destroys the pirate boat, completing the mission.

After-action Report

I ended the scenario with a Mission Effectiveness rating of 100%.

The enemy lost one turboprop aircraft and one trawler.

Post Mortem

I had previously won this scenario at 100% (before considering the game for some old school blog material) and in this go around it actually took me a couple of tries to win it at 100%. The mighty US Navy and all its assets shouldn’t struggle against a single pirate fishing boat and a single propeller aircraft, however the truth is it is all about location.

The starting position of the American forces is random so it is possible to have to work through several neutral civilian craft to reach the targets in time (the mission will fail if they escape), and accidentally destroying a noncombatant will significantly degrade the overall mission score.

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