Rebel Klingons Engage Federation Forces on Arcanus IV
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  TO  Task Force 99 Ares Theater
FROM  Vice Admiral Zachary O’Connell
      Starbase 72
 VIA  Tales from the Line

Shortly before twelve noon, local time, a fleet belonging to the rebel Klingon houses engaged with Marines from the 19th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Starbase 400 in the Arcanus system. Initial reports put the rebel fleet at somewhere around 30 ships of various types. Opposing them, alongside the planetary defense grid, was the 19th MEU, the three ships that brought them to Arcanus IV, and a detachment of the 181st Fighter Wing and its transport vessel.

Initially the Federation forces in orbit were forced to pull back to safety due quite simply to the number of vessels arrayed against them. Planetary defenses were almost as quickly overwhelmed and the Klingons began to deploy their troops to the planet’s surface. After a brief reorganization, the limited forces the Federation had in orbit took the fight to the enemy. Though heavily outnumbered, the three ships and their fighter support stubbornly held their ground against a numerically superior force and destroyed numerous enemy vessels. Including several Birds of Prey and a Negh’Vaar, before reinforcements of the 18 th MEU, also from Starbase 400, arrived. These reinforcements were then further reinforced by the unexpected arrival of a task force from Klingon Loyalist forces. This combined fleet was able to destroy the majority of the enemy fleet before the enemy disengaged and fled the area.

According to witnesses the fighting on the surface was desperate and quite literally hand to hand and face to face at times. The Marines were set up in defensive positions around their three landing zones, which had been selected because they were the most obvious locations for the enemy to land at as well.

Forward elements of the 19th MEU engaged the landing Klingons before they were forced to execute a withdrawal under heavy fire. This withdrawal pulled the Klingons into the guns of the entrenched Marine defenders at the landing zones. The fighting was quite literally hands and teeth before the Marines received reinforcements as well as fire support from the 18 th MEU and its vessels that had by this time arrived and engaged the rebels as well.

Casualties on both side are reportedly quite heavy. Klingon losses are unknown at this time, though quite a few were killed by the precision phaser fire from the ships in orbit. The USS Tirpitz, most of her Marines deployed to the surface leaving only about 500 onboard to crew the vessel, lost all life support during the fighting in orbit. There are reportedly less than twenty survivors. Figures on the ground forces report several hundred killed and possibly well over a thousand wounded, perhaps as many as two thousand between the 18th and 19th MEU’s. The detachment of the 181st Fighter Wing accompanying 19th MEU reported about 25 aircraft destroyed, about a dozen pilots killed and the rest of the fighters that accompanied 19th MEU damaged. Fighters arriving with 18th MEU reported no losses and only some aircraft damaged.

Klingon Loyalist forces have assumed defensive position in orbit as well as on the ground of Arcanus IV. The 18th and 19th MEU’s and their support elements are preparing to return to SB400 at the time this report was written.