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April 2, 2435

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

Thank you for the advice.  Thank you for all the guidance you give.  Having the support of my family gets me through all the times when the burden of responsibility starts to weigh heavily on my shoulders.  I made my decision. It was a tough one, but you were right.

I asked my team how they felt about bringing a new member on as a replacement and we had a long and serious discussion about the benefits and the drawbacks.  While there are many good reasons to bring someone new in, the few reasons not too far outweigh them. After the long discussion, we were all in agreement and I made my decision.

I have decided that the Wolfpack will remain at our current number and status for the duration of our deployment.  Nice as it might be to bring on another member to help keep tasks and responsibilities easier, it is not worth the risk of exposing my team to someone that could potentially endanger their lives.  It would take longer than we have left out here to properly train and acclimate someone.

I already told our leadership and, surprisingly, they understood and even agreed.  I was expecting to have to defend my decision but it ended up not being necessary. That was a relief.  It was also a relief to get back to Outpost 86. I saw Russell but we didn’t really get to hang out much the first day I was back.  He was busy with something, but we were able to make some plans for the next day.

There is a large body of water on the planet.  It is typically too far to walk or drive to in a reasonable amount of time but I was able to wrangle up a pilot and an aircraft for the day and we got a little group together to fly out there for a barbecue and to do some surfing.  I sold it to the brass by explaining it could serve a double purpose.

I told them that while we were there, Russell could collect some samples of the local plant life and we might even be able to catch some of the wildlife.  At first, they weren’t buying it, but I knew this would be good for the remainder of my team. I explained that my men and I could use some long range R&R.  The outpost commander agreed with me and authorized us with the condition that we had to find a pilot that was willing.

As you can imagine, that was not difficult to do.  I invited my girlfriend and told Russell and my team they could all invite one or two people each.  Russell brought one of the doctor’s assistants, each member of my team brought a girl, and even the pilot brought someone he was seeing.  We made a day of it and had a really good time.

It was nice to unwind.  We spent the next few days relaxing but all good things must come to an end.  We received new orders to do some reconnaissance on some supposedly uninhabited planet in the neutral zone.  Well, used to be a neutral zone. One of our battle groups was passing by the planet in transit back to Coalition controlled space and a destroyer that was close enough to the planet detected radio signals

It is unknown where they originated from but that planet is the only place that is not mobile that was within the range of being able to transmit anything so FleetCom thought it was worth a look.  We are going aboard the CSS Mako. It is unknown at the moment whether or not we will be taking any escort ships. I don’t think FleetCom wants to send a large force if it turns out that we would be chasing ghosts.

I will keep you posted.  We know next to nothing about this world so it will be interesting to take a look either way.  We are getting a second Marine squad assigned to us for support so that is a nice new tool to use if need be.  We love having the Marines for support and get a whole new and fresh squad to back us up is definitely a relief to our being one man down now.

Take care of yourselves and please give Mom my best.  I love you and will write again next week.



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