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File Name: F-35A Lightning II First Blood, August 2016. Hypothetical/Alternate History Scenario.

File Submitter: broncepulido

File Submitted: 15 Aug 2016

File Category: GIUK



F-35A Lightning II First Blood, August 2016. Hypothetical/Alternate History Scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition introductory scenario for the EC2003 Battle for the GIUK GAP Battleset and the HCDB-150928 1980-2015 era Platform Database. This scenario is designed with advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.

Image: U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. George Watkins, 34th Fighter Squadron commander, drops a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb from a Lockheed Martin F-35A LIghtning II (s/n 13-5075) at the Utah Test and Training Range on 25 February 2016. The 34th FS was the U.S. Air Force's first combat unit to employ munitions from the F-35A. The 34th FS is assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base Utah (USA). US Air Force photo by Jim Haseltine and in consequence in public domain. Took from Wikipedia Commons.

This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/NATO and partners side or from the Red/Russia side. You should play a few times first the Blue/NATO and Partners side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red/Russia side.

With the world clearly crumbling in the Second Cold War, at last on August 2, 2016, was declared Initial Operative Capability (IOC) of the US Air Force F-35A of the 34th Fighter Squadron "Rude Rams" (Hill AFB).
To contain the continuous aggressive Russian force posture twelve of them were (hypothetically) fast deployed to Siauliai International Airport, Lithuania, both to show resolution and to prevent any other Russian offensive movement over the Baltic States, just as against Ukraine from 2014.
Remember the Second Cold War was originated middle in the second presidential term of Vladimir Putin, from May 2012. As related, 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, violation by Russian military helicopters of the Finnish and Georgian borders on 10 December 2015, March 2016 detection by the French of a Russian submarine near Bay of Biscay, violation by Russian military helicopters of the Polish border on 18 April 2016, the confuse Russian submarine B-265 Krasnodar incident with Polish warships (and the consecutive Putin sack of Russian Baltic Fleet numerous commanders), the HMS Montrose confuse encounter with the new Baltic Sea Fleet Russian corvette Soobrazitelnyy in middle of the BALTOPS 2016 exercise in June 2016, and with constant and multiple overflies with military warplanes entangled in potential incidents with commercial and military flights in Europe. That without counting with 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 counter-Daesh operations in Middle East).
And all those incidents without counting more towards Far East with China as a less perceived and growing problem, and his own generated incidents. 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 (finished at March 2016), and more important, building multiple artificial reefs and islands above previous simple shoals for claiming territory, and for. 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 (same in Baltic and Black Seas), 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.
Speculatively in this scenario because the international situation many of the forces deployed in the BALTOPS 2016 exercise remained in Europe, and in high state of availability.
Further, when the also yearly BALTOPS 2016 multipurpose and landing exercise did begin from 3 to 19 June 2016 (44th iteration) with theoretically neutral Swedish and Finnish partner participation, the Russian State-owned media (Russia Today, Sputnik, Russia Beyond the Headlines and others) and client Western media did begin a campaign to delegitimize the NATO exercises (BALTOPS 2016 was a complex exercise simultaneous to others as Saber Strike 2016 and Trident Joust 2016), and to justify any Russian military action.
The excuse for the initial Putin action was the defence of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad between Lithuania and Poland (Formerly Konigsberg in East Prussia. What better excuse to request a land bridge from the Russian side, nobody remember the very near Danzig Corridor and the 1939 German Ultimatum to Poland?), and the situation goes to the boiling point very fast.
At last, after the NATO Warsaw Summit (8-9 July 2016), and the (hypothetical) announcement of deploy F-35A in Siauliai, Putin was forced to act.
To keep his security promises to the Russian people and keep his image of strong man, Putin is forced to an open war and destroy the NATO and partners forces near Kaliningrad, employing all the forces in the Baltic theatre, and another few deployed from others Russian Military Districts.
The state of readiness of the NATO forces is low, the first two days of the open conflict can count only with the remaining forces at disposition after the recent exercises, but with the complete Polish Air Force order of battle, in high state of readiness because the international situation (The Finnish Air Force will be limited to protect this homeland).
Will be vital for both sides to prevail these two first days of war, for Russia as propaganda and to show his force, for NATO and partners for resist and mobilize all the Western forces the next days, almost guaranteeing the victory against Putin's Russia.

Enrique Mas, August 15, 2016.



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Some historical sources employed in the scenario design and development:






This last one (in Russian) relative to 689th Guards Interceptor Aviation Regimen (Gv IAP), Russian Naval Aviation, with Su-27P (from 1989-1990), from august 2002 based at Chkalovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast. Also based there 288 Independent Helicopter Squadron Mi-24 and Mi-8 (20/10xMi-8, 48/24xMi-24)



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