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May 28, 2435

Barren, Mitchell D., 2nd Lieutenant

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

Dear Dad,

We were tasked with an assignment a few days ago that helped me make my final decision as to whether or not I will be staying in or getting out.  It has been a rough road and there have been plenty of good and bad times but things are clear to me now. I know that no matter what, you and Mom will support my decision.  Once my leave is over, I will be rejoining the fleet.

It was not an easy decision but my team’s most recent mission reminded me that no matter how many tough times there are, there are plenty of times that make it all worthwhile.  It was a search and rescue operation for a pilot that was shot down during an operation in another sector. We were already en route to a planet that was maybe 16 hours travel away so the divert only took us a few hours.

The CSS Mako got a call from fleet command with orders to reroute to the planet the pilot was stranded on for an emergency search and rescue.  The carrier group that was conducting operations there had a search and rescue team but they wanted a team with more combat capabilities. Given that there was a full-scale battle taking place on the planet, it was understandable.  

As soon as we arrived, my team conducted an orbital drop while our Marine contingent finished prep and launch of our shuttle.  We didn’t want to waste any time initiating our search. Our target zone was practically right on top of where the pilot’s last known location was.  We were not surprised to find the wreckage of her craft without her or her body present. We were informed that she ejected long before it hit the ground.

It did not take long for us to track her down, unfortunately, GFI forces on the ground had found her first.  We used the tracking system woven into the fabric of her flight suit and it took less than two hours for us to find her.  There were too many GFI troops in the vicinity and the environment was not favorable enough for us to confidently attempt any kind of rescue on our own.  That was why we had the Marines though.

We followed them while we coordinated with the Marines and we were able to formulate a plan where the Marines would set up an ambush ahead and hopefully we could divert them into a position where a rescue attempt would be more favorable.  Time was critical though. We were also concerned that they might just kill her so they could focus on their own safety. Given the way they were treating her, it was a legitimate concern.

We ended up getting lucky.  When we sprung the ambush, all but two of the GFI soldiers responded.  That wasn’t the only lucky part though. We don’t know what these two were thinking, and at this point, we don’t care, but they took off with her while the other GFI forces were engaging our Marines.  This presented the best opportunity for us to grab her and get her to safety.

It was easy for us to get ahead of them and set up our own little ambush.  The Marines kept the others engaged. We sprung our own and were able to overpower the two GFI soldiers without a shot being fired.  We used nonlethal weapons to minimize the risk to the pilot. Once the GFI soldiers were subdued, we identified ourselves to her, did a very quick medical check on her, and got out of there.

Once we had her and were moving, the Marines disengaged.  They could have easily finished off that GFI group, but that was not the mission.  The mission was the rescue and evacuation of the pilot. We had her. There was no purpose or need for the Marines to continue the engagement.  As soon as they broke contact, the GFI forces bolted in the direction that the other two had been taking the pilot.

While I wish I could see the looks on their faces when they catch up with the two men we left unconscious, I was more than satisfied with a successful mission.  Especially when it is a rescue operation. These are the kinds of missions that remind me that, even though there is a war going on, there is still a lot of good work to be done.  My team didn’t have to kill anyone, and we saved a life. I call that a good day of work.

We returned her to her unit and we made our way back to the CSS Mako.  That was quite a mission, but we still had our own to conduct. Speaking of which, that is where we are now.  I have to be off now but I will be writing again next week and then I will be home for a bit after that. Please give my best to everyone.  I will see you all soon.



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