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February 5, 2435

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

We have only been at this new strategy for a week and it is already getting a lot of people frustrated.  Search and destroy might be a good sub-strategy which would contribute to a much larger plan to end the war, but ending the war on its own seems so naive.  

It is like we are playing that old children’s game where you have a soft little beater thing and you hit those animals on the head that pop up from the ground.  I think it was called whack something. One of those old ground animals that went extinct. For some reason, I can’t remember what they were called. You get the point though right?

Over the last week, we have been able to locate several different enemy outposts on two different planets.  As soon as we were done with the second, we gained access to their computer and communication systems and saw they had received a message from the planet we had previously cleared while we were en route to their position about what had happened.

We went back to the planet we were previously on and, sure enough, the outpost had been reoccupied.  They are talking about potentially leaving behind troops from the Army whenever we finish with a planet but we do not have the resources to effectively execute that kind of campaign.

It is wearing my team out a lot faster than our previous directives.  My men are getting nowhere near the amount of rest I am comfortable with and my requests for a re-evaluation of this strategy are falling on deaf ears.  You have friends still positioned throughout the fleet that would listen to you Dad.

Could you please reach out to some of them and try to get them to see that this is a failing strategy that is going to exhaust the men and resources we have before anything good comes of it.  I am not asking that they give anything up. I am asking that they reconsider staying with the previous plan. It was slow, I know, but given the time, it was the smarter and safer strategy.

It utilized our resources much more efficiently and would cost much less life than the current plan.  We may have a considerably larger Army, Marine forces, and Fleet, but that doesn’t make this a war of attrition that we can win.  Even technology is only a minuscule advantage for us in this conflict.

Everything else is going fine.  My team did the best job they could with the resources available.  I am lucky to have them. Our team of Marines has also been fantastic.  They even saved my team from getting our asses handed to us on a few occasions because of this new strategy.  My team is for recon and rescue. Before that, we were security and protection. This people hunting trash is really starting to piss us off.

We were thrown into an assault plan that was a disaster, to begin with, and things only got worse from the first shot fired.  Obviously, my team does not mess up when it comes to navigation. The same cannot be said for the Army platoon’s butter bar idiot that we were assigned to support.

We went the correct route, the Army platoon did not.  We ended up getting cut off from the main assault force and we were surrounded by the enemy.  It was just the four of us, fending off assaults and capture attempts for nearly 11 hours. We managed to make contact with our Marine team and they were able to eventually fight their way to our position.

No permanent or major physical damage, but everyone did receive several small cuts, bruises, and my second had a close call with an incoming shot that nicked his cheek, just under his right eye.  He was inches away from redecorating the surrounding vegetation and being the first casualty under my command. That is more than I can say for the Army.

It was too damn close Dad.  It was too close and there was no gain from it.  That was one of the many outposts that the GFI reoccupied as soon as we left.  We are fairly sure that the entire planet was empty when we left. We did all surface scans possible.  There were no signs of life that weren’t supposed to be there. There are too many reasons that could be the case and my team does not have to tools or the training to investigate beyond that.

Bottom line, this strategy is going to fail and FleetCom needs to re-evaluate before the disaster becomes irreversible.  They won’t listen to me. Not only am I a new Lieutenant to them, but I am also an officer that did not attend any formalized academy that would gain their respect or willingness to listen.  Please reach out to them.

I have to go now, we are on our way to a new planet and it is time to gear up.  Take care Dad. Tell Mom that I love her and your letters are what is keeping me going out here.

Love,

Mitch

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