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July 30, 2434

Barren, Mitchell D., Staff Sergeant

4th Fleet, 4th Fleet Security Forces (FSF)


Dear Mom,


To answer your question, unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about our new instructor for operational security reasons.  Dad might be able to get some information from his old office but beyond that, I will have to leave you all shrouded in mystery.  Just know that she is one of the best and we are receiving some fantastic guidance and training.

We did a simulated reconnaissance mission last Tuesday with her strictly observing so she could assess where we were and determine a training course for us.  It was exciting, fun, and upon completion, she acknowledged that we didn’t seem as hopeless as she had been led to believe.

She is still mad about the “babysitting gig” (her words, not mine), but she is coming around a lot faster than we expected.  We worked out a deal with the Marine contingent here. They are training every single day and they have been told and agreed to play along in our training as well.

We have already done some training operations that involve escape and evasion and I feel like a kid again in a way.  ARRC missions typically involve the gathering of information and avoiding discovery. They want the Wolfpack to be ghosts.  If there is combat on any of our missions than it means that something went wrong.

We had a fun training op the other day where we were tasked with getting an accurate troop and equipment count of a Marine unit that was in the field doing some urban warfare training.  It was a lot harder than it sounds. They had a little village set up for the purpose of urban warfare training so there was no one position where an observer could see everything.

This proves to make a troop count difficult because you can get a count from one spot and then try maneuvering quickly to another to count the rest but there is a tactical balance that you can’t ignore.  The battlefield always has a way of enforcing the need for intelligent compromise. You have to be decisive and consider everything.

We can count, run quickly to another position, complete the count, and it would be a much more accurate number, but that increases the risk of discovery.  The run is much louder and our fast movement is easier to spot. We can also count, move slowly to a new position to ensure that we are not seen, but the count will be thrown off because of how long it takes to move to a new position.  The enemy isn’t gonna stay still for us.

It took a while and she was constantly interjecting new positions and movements to consider but it worked out well.  We are already a small unit but in a situation like this, the most prudent move is to separate and observe from different positions.  We took pictures from the different angles and then rendezvoused close by to compare and count.

The process was easy, fast, and safe.  We got a count and called it in and were commended when we returned to base.  There is typically a margin for error but our count was accurate and nothing was missed.  We have also done some simulations with the Marines that covers what to do if we are discovered.  While I hope that never happens on any of our missions, the training was a lot of fun. It was basically several laser tag games with the Marines.

I have to say, the Marines may not be special forces, but they are really good.  The first several simulations we didn’t make it very far before we were captured or killed.  It was unsettling but also eye-opening. We trained using several different maneuvers and tactics until we got it right consistently.  She wouldn’t let us break for the day until she was convinced and the Marines enjoyed every minute of getting to shoot their simulation rounds at us.

It will be a few more weeks until we get an actual off-world assignment but this will be our main base of operations.  Our instructor will be accompanying us on our first few missions but according to her, we are picking it all up quick enough to allow her to go back to her original assignment soon enough.

This part is for Russell.  How is it going bro? I had to tell the doctor to piss off a few days ago.  You are really knocking it out of the park. I know that you will be heading off to university early but she is pressing the fleet to get you in even earlier.  She is also trying to convince the fleet to transport you out here to get some field experience. Is that something you would be interested in? If it is, between me and the doc, we can make that work.  Just let me know.

I love and miss you all.  I look forward to hearing from you again soon.  Thank you for all of the love and support you give me.  It isn’t easy being this far away from home. I hope that I am able to rotate home soon but it isn’t looking like I am going to get that wish.  One can hope. Take care.





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