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April 16, 2435

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

The last week has been pretty eventful.  It looks like we are gearing up for a major operation but FleetCom is keeping it pretty close to the chest.  The training has been all over the board so we can’t figure out where we are going or what the main objectives of the operation might be.

The range has been much broader than we are typically used to.  Our best guess is that the wide range of training and capabilities is an indication of an extended operation somewhere.  Won’t know for sure until we get our orders. One thing we know for sure is that we will not be returning to Outpost 86 for some time.

Some of the training has been pretty fun but most of it is acclimating Army to the operations of my team and other teams like us.  They are not accustomed to using manned reconnaissance. They have grown overly reliant on drones and, according to some of the reports I was given to study, it cost them dearly in a few different operations.

FleetCom is concerned about some of the advances the GFI military has been deploying on the battlefields.  They have some kind of counter-drone technology that has caused some Army operations to endure a much heavier casualty rate on some of their operations than they anticipated.

Army commanders reached out to Fleet and the Marines and asked us how we were countering it.  The truth was, we never overly relied on drones for recon or intel gathering, and we told them so.  They discussed us potentially training some of their special forces in the tactics and strategies we have been using but, apparently, there is not enough time before the next operation to do so.

FleetCom decided that my team, and a few others, would engage in co-operative training with the Army to see if we would be able to work well enough together in future operations.  So far, it is going better than expected. The Army has been very receptive and has been following our lead much better than we expected.

There were ever several training operations where, instead of our Marine team, we were accompanied by a team of Rangers or Drop Troopers.  I have to admit, dropping with the Drop Troopers was a lot more fun than we were expecting. We actually got to do a few insertions using their drop pods.  What a ride!

It was a simple recon training mission, but we used the orbital drop pods so we could be certified to accompany Drop Troops in future operations.  It was incredible. I couldn’t even tell you how fast we were going and the technology involved absolutely blew my mind. I like to think that FleetCom gave us the best and coolest technology, but Drop Troopers get some pretty cool stuff too.

They were also very appreciative of our training.  The Drop Troopers are the closest thing that the Army has to any kind of recon force so they have been the ones trying to compensate for the counter drone technology but they are telling me that strategy has also been costing them lives.

They were the ones that originally started falling victim to the unfortunate lack of information on the counter drone technology and the incomplete intelligence they were provided.  There were a few completely blown operations that took place before they discovered that the information the drones were gathering was faulty.

Hopefully, we can help to reduce some of these unpleasantness with some good, old fashioned, hands-on recon, and branch co-operation.  We still have a pretty intensive training schedule for the next few days so this is where I am going to have to leave things this week.  I love and miss you all.



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