MD #032: Cold Forge Planning - Jumping in
MD #032: Cold Forge Planning - Jumping in
Summary: Wing Command talks with the senior Raptor commander about the first stage of Operation Cold Forge.
Date: Tue 09/May/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: Starting the Cold Forge
Elena Melissa Niko 
CAG's Office
This nine by nine space is largely dominated by filing cabinets and a desk. A coffee maker is perched atop one cabinet, but the others are rather barren of decor or personal items. There are a pair of uncomfortable, molded plastic chairs facing the desk. The last vestige of open space is occupied by a lounge chair. It's one of those old, well-loved beasts that was likely pulled off of somewhere on Piraeus.
Fri 24/Nov/2028 (IC Date)

With Operation Cold Forge in planning, Niko calls a meeting with the DCAG and the senior Raptor squadron leader to discuss the first stage. The Lieutenant Colonel is now seated behind the desk in the CAG's office, reviewing the little data the Arpay were able to provide on Calumet, as he waits for Elena and Melissa to arrive. As usual, the hatch to the office is wide open.

Elena sweeps into the room, weaving around the awful plastic chairs and hauling herself to her side of the desk. She hurriedly signs some forms. "Yes, yes, I know, meeting, but I have to get these out of the way…"

Melissa shows up on time in her flightsuit and survival vest, down to the harness. Her helmet bag is with her and her tablet sticking out the side. She's slated for a flight in an hour and probably figured it would be easier to show up ready to go rather than need to cut a meeting short. Bag in her left hand, she follows Elena into the room and stands by the hatch. Parade rest, bag in her left hand. "Colonel. Major." She doesn't have that gleam or casual demeanor. She looks more serious. The best part of her mother showing itself.

"Crone," Niko grins, making a point of using the new callsigns, especially in the DCAG's case. "Billboard. Come in and have a seat. Let's talk Cold Forge." There's a glance aside at Elena's paperwork. "All I can say is, you better not be putting in for a transfer." Despite the joking, the CAG wastes no time getting started, barely waiting for people to sit. "First order of business is landing some Marines on Calumet to make contact with the Arpay Diplomatic Corps and the locals. I'm asking if we can use a DC stealth ship, but we need to plan for a 'no.' Which means a raptor, in-atmo jump, with a minimum turn-around. Who do we have that can pull that off?"

"It's my retirement papers," Crone replies dryly. She goes to the hot water dispenser and starts to make herself a cup of crappy, crappy powdered tea. "Off the top of my head, myself and Billboard are the top people I'd trust with that kind of maneuver. Maybe Ynyr. Maybe. If we are out of other options." She twists her head around. "Either of you want one?"

The CAG doesn't ask for it but Melissa hears the words 'Cold Forge' and turns to reach for the hatch, pulling it closed. She puts the bag down beside the chair, table taken up as she sits. Palmprint scan and she starts it up, tapping a few times. Eyes moving to Niko, then Crone, the Captain settles a little in the chair. "Ynyr could probably swing it, but in all honesty, sirs, I think we want a senior pilot. From what little I know, I gather we're jumping in Marines to meet some important people. If the Raptor goes down, we don't want a blushing Ensign potentially in command. I'd recommend Crone fly it, sir. I'd be honored but I think we need experience over my ego." There's a nod to Elena. Yeah, definitely a lot of Kelsey there. To the tea, she shakes her head. "Do we know anything about their air defense situation, sirs?"

Niko also shakes his head, declining the drink offer. Hearing both Elena and Melissa's assessment, the CAG gives a quick nod. "Agreed. Crone? What do you say? You up for this?" He seems to assume yes, as the Colonel goes on to the second member of the Raptor crew. "Who are we going to get to backseat this? Correct me if I'm wrong here, but most of our ECOs are pretty green. Do we try and drag Helios down from CIC and stuff him back in a flight suit for this?"

"Looks like I'm flying it," Crone says matter of factly, sipping her horrible tea. She presses her lips together. "Helios? Wouldn't mind him riding my ass. He's good. Really good." She thinks for a moment. "Any thoughts on the comm drones?" she asks, reaching over Niko to open a drawer to try and find the packets of sweetener.

"Depends on how long its been since he sat in front of an ECO station." Melissa taps a finger on the side of the tablet. "I suppose the question comes down more to whether or not you want someone who has flown yesterday with some skill or years ago with quite a bit." She looks towards her tablet, but past it, deep in thought. "My opinion, sirs, I'd give the seat to a flying ECO. I've got a large sim exercise scheduled for Friday. Scariest Ghost ECO could take it." Its an offer. She knows its a long shot.

"I'm mostly worried about being able to make the first jump," Niko clarifies. "There's not much margin for error there and I think Helios has the experience there. But yeah, that's a good point, BB." Apparently Billboard just got shortened. "He's maybe not the best choice if there's a hot reception." The CAG weighs it briefly, then looks to Elena. "You're flying it. You make the call. But I think Billboard's got a point. Sit in on that sim session if you can, see who else we've got." Then he taps his tablet a few times, frowning at the data it displays, or lack thereof. "As for air defenses — we don't have any hard info. We know there's an active resistance movement, and the Skath have forty-six ships in orbit. No clue if the resistance has anything flying, but I'd expect at least some sort of defenses."

"We never have enough experienced ECOs. Does the Academy actively discourage them or something?" Elena complains. She wouldn't know. She never went to the Academy. "I'm flying during that sim session, sadly, but BB," she says, adopting the new nickname, "I trust your call. Pick me a good one." She nearly chokes on her tea. "An in-atmo jump with forty-six ships in orbit? Good gods, this is going to be hairy. There is no way I'd let anyone else do that."

Melissa just smiles evvvver so slightly at the nickname, shaking her head. She looks to Niko, listening carefully. Then to Elena. "Yeah, a jump like that is going to take stones. Might have to start calling you Sparky, Major." Another of those low, subtle smiles. A quiet professional when it comes down to brass tacks, maybe? "If nobody presents a solid game, sirs, we can tap Helios. But I will run his ass ragged through sims and make him hate his frakking life before I sign off - if my sign-off is required." Those eyes flick down to her tablet and she taps it a few times, moving through menu's and selections. "I'd like to request a full recon package on the Major's Raptor, sirs. Everything. Including the ALQ-144 pods. Two of them. Even if we have to build a custom recon pod, we need as many sensors and cameras on that bird as it will functionally carry. But- nothing active. All passive." Those brown eyes lift back.

Niko grins at Elena's reaction to the available intel. "Hey, it'll be just like a run in to Caprica past the Cylons, right?" Says the pilot who doesn't even deal with jump drives. "The good news is that the frakked up atmosphere should keep them from behing able to get a DRADIS lock on you from orbit. The ground based sets are a different story. Either way, it's going to be about getting in and out again before they figure out who you are." Still, he doesn't dispute Melissa's assessment. It's going to take stones. He turns to listen to the Raptor Squadron Leader, giving a low chuckle for the training program she has in mind for Helios, if it comes to that. "You're the senior bus driver," he tells her. "If you tell me Helios can't cut it, that's gonna carry some weight, Captain." The request for the raptor loadout is quickly approved, however. "Yeah. That's good thinking. Any objections?" He looks to Elena for the last question, as she is flying the mission. "If not, get a Rator-R and see what Deck can do."

"Copy that, sir." Melissa is quick with the understanding about Helios. She does focus on him, though. Making it happen with Deck gets another slow nod. "On it, Colonel. I'll see what kind of timeframe we are looking at and feasibility." She makes a few notes and looks back to Niko. "Sir, I'd like to request we get Raptors and Predators loaded down with bombs and missiles and get low level practice while we are someplace safe like P. A lot of these people are green. Some of them have probably never flown a full bomb load. Better to do it here for the first time than Calumet."

Niko looks ready to wrap it up, given that they've got sorted enough of the issues to move forward. Then he tilts his head, considering Melissa's request. "Air ops over Piraeus are restricted, and dropping ordnance is a no go. I'll ask for permission, but I wouldn't hold your breath. If not, I'll see about a quick trip to Leonis. Take over the range at Spang for a couple hours."

Melissa seems to take the cue and rises with her helmet bag, tucking the tablet into it. "I'll take all the real range time we can get, but mostly I want my drivers used to the weight. Eight thousand pounds of ordnance on the wings makes for flying like you're driving an elephant, sir." She salutes. "I'll take what I can get. We're on the haunt. Thank you, sir."

"Roger that." Niko stands as the meeting ends, "You don't even want to hear the noises a loaded Pred makes with me at the controls. We'll get range time, even if we have to go bomb Caprica."

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