AAR Mining The Black
Mining the Black
Date: 2659.220
Report Writer: 2LT Karde, 2LT Bradford
Elements: CAP Espinosa, 2LT Bradford, 2LT Karde, 2LT Singh, 2LT Ackerman, 1LT Draygo, 2LT Pearson
Causalities: CAP Espinosa - wounded

Gamma flight encountered a number of Kilrathi craft and drew them to Alpha and Beta wings mining region. Gamma flight kept their pursuers engaged mentally while remaining just beyond weapon range. There were two Sartha and three Dralthi following close behind with an additional three Dralthi less than a minute behind them. Cap. Espinosa ordered Lt. Karde to stay behind with the Broadswords at the start of the sortie while the other elements of Gamma and Alpha wings separated up to engage the enemy starfighters in disorganized nearly individual duels.

The flight group's effective combined firepower was deminished by overall combat potential being spread around instead of adopting a more measured approach by breaking into two element hit-team pairs. The Kilrathi's firepower remained relatively concentrated by focusing their firepower on one or two pre-selected targets throughout the full span of the engagement.

In particular, the Stilettos were quickly overwhelmed by multiple well-aimed attacks neutralizing them as Alpha flight attempted to draw enemies off to divide them up into one on one or two on one duels. Equally devastating, the enemies focused firepower scored several crippling hits on both Rapier and Stiletto alike near the outset of the engagement; greatly diminishing the combat output of engines and thrusters. It was this loss of starfighter agility and speed coupled to the nigh total ineffectiveness of IR and HS missile guidance systems during the engagement that may have been the single most critical factors that shifted this battle in the Dralthi's favor.

Part of the way through the engagement, the Broadswords - having finished their mining objective - moved in to assist. With severe damage accumulating, Lt. Singh and Lt. Karde were forced to eject during the engagement. Additionally both Lt. Draygo's and Cap. Espinosa's cockpit were torched by enemy missiles. Fortunately, they were able to eject in time. While the Broadsword held together and remained flying, Espinosa's Rapier cracked down the spine and exploded seconds after she ejected.

With only two Dralthi and two Sarthas down with multiple Confed ejections; the likelihood of survival let alone victory was doubtful. Three Sabres, however, approached to assist in our combat zone. They drew off the remaining four Dralthi and dispatched them.

All except Espinosa's Rapier were recovered. While Lt. Singh's Stiletto's power core was heavily damaged, the craft was retrieved and its power core successfully replaced with a new one.

Various shrapnel injuries to one leg and lower abdomen on CAP Espinosa
1 Rapier

Damage Report
Moderate Damage: 1 Broadsword
Serious Damage: 1 Rapier, 1 Broadsword (destroyed cockpit)
Severe Damage: 1 Rapier (ejection)
Critical Damage: 2 Stilettos (1 ejection)

1LT Draygo - 1 Sartha
2LT Pearson - 1 Sartha
2LT Bradford - 1 Dralthi (A)
2LT Karde - 1 Dralthi (K), 1 Dralthi (AK)