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File Name: Battle of Chancellorsville: The Red Badge of Courage, March 2016. Alternate History Scenario.

File Submitter: broncepulido

File Submitted: 01 Apr 2016

File Category: WestPac



Battle of Chancellorsville: The Red Badge of Courage, March 2016. Alternate History Scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition introductory scenario for the Western Pacific Battleset and the HCDB-150928 1980-2015 era Platform Database or the HCDB2-170401 new 1980-2025 era Platform Database . This scenario is designed with advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.

Image: USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) steams port side of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in 8 July 2010. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stephen M. Votaw, a serviceman on duty and in consequence in public domain, took from Wikipedia Commons.

This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/US side or from the Red/Chinese side. To avoid spoilers you should play a few times first the Blue side, and only later play the Red side.

The scenario is based in current historical events, mainly the navigation of the USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) on the contested area in late March 2016, as is the US clear aim to keep open to all maritime traffic the region sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. But is very improbable the political motivation in either side capable to generate an open and all-out war.
Is basically an introductory scenario, inspired by the (continuous) current events.
After the full of naval, military and security incidents year of 2014 the World was beginning the so-called Second Cold War. Mostly as result of President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) actions, provoking in succession the Crimea, Ukraine, Donetsk, Baltic States, October 2014 Swedish submarine incursion, G-20 Brisbane meeting naval crisis, November 2014 Faslane submarine incident, frigate Yaroslav Mudryy February "Channel Dash", April 2015 Finnish submarine incursion (for many observers causing the pre-mobilization of Finland reserve forces), Russian intervention in Syria from 30 September 2015, March 2016 detection by the French of a Russian submarine near Bay of Biscay, and with constant and multiple overflies with military warplanes entangled in potential incidents with commercial flights in Europe. That without counting in other unrelated naval incidents, just as the Iranian seizure of the Maersk Tigris in 28 April 2015 (and neither counting in landlocked actions, as the ISIS operati
ons in Middle East).
But meanwhile, more towards Far East was China a less perceived and growing problem.
In some places of the South China or East Philippine Sea multiple countries claimed Spratly Islands archipelago (Chinese: Nansha islands, Filipino: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan, Malay: Kepulauan Spratly and Vietnamese: Quan dao Truong Sa), China was for years mongering his plans and established a permanent base at least from 1987, and 1988 included a naval battle against Vietnam, the Johnson South Reef Skirmish. Also at least from 1995, as denounced by Philippines, China was building structures with military capabilities, including from 2012 more relevant structures, as the 3000+ meters long (Very Large Airport in Harpoon parameters) runway in Fiery Cross Reef (now finished, at March 2016), and more important, building artificial reefs and islands above previous simple shoals for claiming territory. At last in an undetermined date late April 2015 China claims as territorial waters the 12 nautical miles circling his "new" islands.
As the US official doctrine is Freedom of Navigation (FON) worldwide on international waters, and as in this case with fears about a decision not to send naval vessels into the zone would inadvertently help the Chinese build their own case for sovereignty in the area, some air and surface elements of US Navy begin to orbit near the Chinese claims, but not crossing the 12 nm line.
Between the first incidents were a VP-45 Pelicans' P-8A Poseidon in surveillance mission carrying a CNN TV team inside, warned by the Chinese to no flight 12 nm near of Fiery Cross Reef on 20 May 2015, and the trailing for some hours of the USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) by the Chinese frigate Yuncheng (571) on 11 May 2015. Late, from 26 October 2015, USS Lassen (DDG-82) implement the Freedom of Navigation (FON) near the Chinese occupied Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratlys, and a clash of destroyers was possible, but avoided with the humble and shy behaviour of the US side, transiting without radars illuminating or the helicopter flying.
Other previous very important situation, and after some months without US aircraft carriers in the region, was from 1 to 8 March 2016, when the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG or Carrier Strike Group Three) transited the Luzon Strait on the contested area.
And the last possible incident in our timeline was the sailing of the cruiser USS Chancellorsville between Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Mansiloc Spanish historical name) and Mischief Reef on late March 2016, when was persistently trailed by Chinese frigate Yueyang (575) and the action was limited to an exchange of weather pleasantries, but other outcome was possible, re-enacting Stephen Crane's Battle of Chancellorsville-inspired The Red Badge of Courage ...

Enrique Mas, 1 April 2016.



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