Occurring several months into the year 16 ABY, the Ord Mantell Wargames were large-scale exercises conducted by the Second Fleet and its attached units. The largest held in some time, they provided some insight into how the New Republic's premier offensive forces would fare in conditions resembling those they would normally experience in battle.
With the relative slowdown in offensive operations, signaled by the lack of any major offensives or large campaigns being waged. The Navy's high command decided that it was time to put into practice several of the new theories and strategies developed in recent times. This was made possible by the lack of any serious activity along the border and the reports that no large-scale Imperial was being detected by Intelligence.
One reason that was not stated, at least not outside of certain circles, was to also bolster the presence and visibility of the New Republic's Military. In particular, it was felt that an operation such as this would both boost the morale of the units involved and increase civilian confidence in the armed forces.
Deployed Forces Edit
While the New Republic Second Fleet is usually deployed far and wide as called upon and needed. As many of the vessels and other forces assigned to it as available were pulled together. In particular, the larger vessels in the fleet's arsenals were mobilized rather than be left sitting idly by. Precautions were taken that regardless of these wargames, the involved forces would be able to deployed at any point necessary should there be an emergency. The armada gathered together was divided in two, with the attacking force having something of a numerical advantage over the defensive force. This level of realism carried over in the instructions given to the forces themselves, their commanders being informed to take this as seriously as possible.
Initial Phase Edit
The erstwhile allies and colleagues thus divided, the defending group went about organizing the defences to the best of their abilities, with close attention being paid to the ground installations. There was no level of communications permitted between the two groups within the context of the wargames, therefore the invaders had the element of surprise with them when they jumped into the system.
Their initial attack did not succeed in breaking through the line created by the planet's defenders, though casualties --simulated of course-- were reported to be high on the right line of the defenders: that nearest to the planet. The vessels assigned to the left sector of the defensive emplacements, in particular the 46th Capital Squadron with the NRCV Audacity at its head performed admirably in helping to stabilize and quickly repulse the attackers.
The hoped-for breakthrough in the defences did not occur that day, nor in the immediate time after. The attackers established camp in the outlying regions of the system and continuously prodded the opposing lines in an attempt to get their land forces down on the planet in large numbers.
Major Developments Edit
It all changed with the unexpected arrival of a Deralian task force, one that sided with the attacking forces and that was led by none other than Lynae Cassius. The 46th Capital Squadron, redeployed to shore up the right sector of the defences under the lead of Task Group V, found itself pitted against a large force of Deralian ships and starfighters. For a time, it seemed that the lines might hold with the arrival of an MC-80 Star Cruiser, the Valiant. The arrival of Deralian reinforcements that jumped in behind the Task Group sealed the fate of those particular defending units. The Audacity's simulated damage was so great that it was forced to land on the planet for emergency repairs. And for some time, troop transports ferried enemy ground forces in large numbers.
Fortunately, the battle went considerably well on the ground, with the invaders' advance delayed at key points by participating Marine and general Army units. In particular, the failure to capture or at least destroy a key power generation and distribution centre was seen as one of the reverses in the offensive. This centre in particular fed power to the many automated defences and other emplacements along the direct approach to the area playing the role of the planet's capital.
In the end, with the defenders winning the ground battle and repulsing the enemy offensive. The battle in the skies and system eventually turned against the attacking force and to the advantage of the defenders, though not without substantial casualties to the latter.
The Award Ceremony Edit
The Ord Mantell Wargames were officially ended with an official award ceremony being conducted by the very same Wargames Planning Board and the high command that organized the event. The more notable awards handed were to Brigadier General Ikihsa Enb'Zik and Senator Lemos Ackinbrac.
The public relations role of the wargames was proven when the ceremony was sight to two major speeches, first by Admiral Ackbar and subsequently by the Chief of State, Leia Organa Solo. The subject of those being to inspire confidence in both the New Republic and its military.