21st century Goguryeo Novel - Chapter 271
Chapter 271: Book 11 Chapter 2-6 A Time for Decisive Action 2: The Flame of the East
February 20, 2021, 21:00
The sea 99km off the southern end of Jeju Island (the location of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of the 2nd Fleet and Maritime Task Squadrons 71)
Several explosions comparable to nuclear bombs had occurred near Yokosuka. Three carrier strike groups belonging to the 3rd Fleet suffered fatal damage. In response to the news, the 7th Carrier Strike Group changed formation from dense to open and started sailing away from each other.
The open formation was able to minimize damage when they were hit by ballistic missiles. However, as the distance between the ships increased by about 3km, antiaircraft defense would be difficult.
The 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of the 2nd Fleet and Maritime Task Squadrons 71 had made a combined fleet and were going down south. From their view, it was the best time to attack those American ships. Accordingly, they sailed to the south at maximum speed to secure the range of the Hae Seong A ship-to-ship missile.
“When will we secure a range of the ship-to-ship missile?” Rear Admiral Kim I-won asked Captain Oh Hyung-gi, folding his hands behind his back on the bridge of the Taejong the Great (DDG-996).
Rear Admiral Kim I-won was the CCDG of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of the 2nd Fleet. He had total command of a combined fleet. Captain Oh Hyung-gi was the group leader of the 21st Destroyer Squadron.
Captain Oh Hyung-gi checked the commander’s monitor and immediately answered, “There is about 30km left, sir!”
“It would be nice if we had Avarice missiles like the Lee Sun-shin,” Rear Admiral Kim I-won expressed regret.
The Avarice missile was a hypersonic anti-ship missile with a range of 450km and a speed of Mach 8. Currently, the Avarice anti-ship missiles were only in operation on the Chungmugong Lee Sun-shin (CG-1101) and the Super Hocula submarines.
“Hahaha. Commander, to operate the Avarice, the ship must have at least 15,000 tons of load-displacement.”
“Who doesn’t know that? It is just inconvenience not having it.”
“Well, since the Gwang-hae is directing the operation, when we are in range, we will receive the reports.”
“I hope that the 11th Carrier Strike Group doesn’t notice us until then.”
“They will be busy converting to open formations.”
About 40 minutes later, all of the surface ships of the 11th Carrier Strike Group entered the range of the Hae Seong A anti-ship missiles. A report came from the command ship of the Maritime Task Squadrons 71, King Gwang-hae (DDG-1001).
“Salute! This is Captain Ahn Hyeong-gyun of the King Gwang-hae.”
“Salute! Thank you for your hard work.”
“Admiral! Currently, all the ships of the 11th Carrier Strike Group are within range of our anti-ship missiles. We ask for permission to attack.”
“Okay. From now on, I authorize the King Gwang-hae to operate attacks. Engage without damage to allies.”
“Yes, sir! Salute!”
Captain Ahn Hyeong-gyun of the King Gwang-hae (DDG-1001), who took over the attack authority, immediately assigned targets to enemy ships. Soon, he ordered to fire the Hae Seong A missiles.
A total of 32 Hae Seong A missiles, four each from eight destroyers, flew away from the K-VSL vertical launchers and the extended length launchers, fluttering fuzzy smoke. This was excluding the Eulji Mundeok (DDG-972), which operated the RGM-84D Harpoon. The missiles disappeared, turning south.
At the same time that 32 white smoke trailed into the dark southern sky, the last four Epirus (Super EMP Weapon) missiles from the strategic interception satellite CS-AD Zeus 1 were falling at a tremendous speed toward the 11th Carrier Strike Group.
“All ships! Fire the second round of Hae Seong A missiles!”
After about a minute or so, the order to launch the second round of missiles from the King Gwang-hae (DDG-1001) was issued. Accordingly, Hae Seong A missiles were fired from the eight destroyers once again.
February 20, 2021, 21:45
The sea 372km off the northern end of Okinawa Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan (the location of the 11th Carrier Strike Group of the 3rd Fleet)
The 11th Carrier Strike Group that had just finished converting to the open formation was under a state of emergency. This was because the early warning alarm E-2C Hawkeyes detected and reported fleet missiles had been launched from 250km north. The 64 supersonic anti-ship missiles, launched with a slight time difference, flew across the sea in sea-skimming mode.
The face of Roger Haney, who was sitting on a chair on the island of the latest aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), was full of concern. He just received the report that three carrier strike groups that he belonged to had suffered near annihilation. Vice-Admiral Mark Haney, commander of the 3rd Fleet, was his father. The entire carrier strike group on which he boarded disappeared as if it evaporated.
Admiral Roger Haney was unable to conduct rational command under the great shock. Colonel John Edens, captain of the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), who was waiting for the next order from Roger Haney, did not rush him. He understood his pain.
So, John Edens quietly approached and asked Roger Haney, “Admiral! I will order the aircraft to take off.”
Admiral Roger Haney nodded instead of answering.
“Admiral, can I take the right to command for a while?”
“Yes. I am sorry, but could you do that?”
“Don’t worry, Admiral. I will handle it.”
Shortly thereafter, at the order of Captain John Edens, 12 VMFA-323 (Navy Combat Squadron) FA-18EF Super Hornets, which were waiting on the flight deck, took off from the runway. After that, 16 VFA (Combat Squadron) F-35C Lightning IIs that had returned from yesterday’s air battle spurred the runway in turn and soared into the sky, with the help of an electronic catapult.
The VAW-117 (Aircraft Early Warning Squadron), which was in charge of the early warning of the carrier squadron, launched the rest of two E-2C Hawkeyes, along with the E-2C Hawkeyes that had been flying in the past two hours. It was to maximize the early warning capability. Also, two ultrahigh altitude unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, MQ-9B Reapers, were dispatched in an emergency to reconnaissance of the Corean Allied Fleet coming to the south.
The MQ-9B Reapers flew over the north, maintaining a distance of 2km from each other and gradually increasing the altitude. The MQ-9B Reaper was an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft that significantly upgraded its ascent capability to 20km compared to the existing MQ-9 Reaper.
“This is Captain John Edens of the Gerald R. Ford. I have been handed over command from the CCDG and will now lead. From now on, intercept enemy anti-ship missiles under the fire control of the Pat Tillman. Over.”
“This is Pat Tillman’s Captain Matthew Gatney. I will take over control of the fire and enter the intercept procedure. Over.”
The Pat Tillman (DDG-1004) was a Zumwalt-class stealth destroyer that took over the control of air defense and fire. In the Combat Intelligence Center of the ship, the crew assigned target numbers for the missiles to be intercepted to all destroyers and aircraft flying north. Then, dozens of SM-2 missiles flew northward, embellishing the dark sky with red spots.
Besides, the FA-18EF Super Hornets and 16 F-35C Lightning IIs, which flew over the north from Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), also fired AIM-120D AMRAAMs at the ship-to-ship missiles.
February 20, 2021, 21:50 (EST 08:50)
Arlington, Pentagon, Virginia, U.S.A. (Joint Chief of Staff Operations Briefing Room)
About 100 high-ranking officials gathered in the Operation Briefing Room of the Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff. Chief of Naval Operations Robert Burke was on the platform and briefing about something.
“Including the carrier of the 1st Carrier Strike Group, the Carl Vinson, the main cruiser, Lake Champlain, and the main destroyer, Wayne E. Meyer all seem to have been destroyed by a nuclear missile attack. The remaining eight destroyers were fortunately out of the landing area and only got minor damages. However, due to the influence of the EMP, a partial system error has occurred, so it seems that they should be excluded from all operations. Currently, they are impossible to maneuver over long distances, so they are maneuvering to Yokosuka Port.”
“How did the most important ships in the carrier strike group end up like that?” Minister of National Defense John Wayne asked in the middle of Chief of Naval Operations Robert Burke’s briefing.
“Well,” Robert Burke answered, “all the systems were disrupted while receiving direct damage from the first EMP attack. As a result, it was not possible to actively defend against air attacks and evade the second nuclear missile attack.”
“Okay. Please continue.”
“Next is about the 9th Carrier Strike Group. Fortunately, for the 9th Carrier Strike Group, it only received indirect damages from the EMP and nuclear missile attacks. Therefore, the carrier and nine destroyers are all safe. However, they had some system errors similar to the 3rd Carrier Strike Group. So, reorganization is inevitable. They are currently on an emergency return to the Guam base.”
Minister of National Defense John Wayne sighed and muttered, “Everything is excluded from action.”
Chairman of the Joint Staff DeMarcus Dunford heard his mutter and spoke to him quietly. “Since the war has not ended, I deem reorganization as a priority.”
“Okay, I got it.”
“Lastly, it seems like the most damaged one is the 3rd Strike Group. Currently, the unmanned reconnaissance aircraft that took off from the Roosevelt has been searching the area for about one hour. But it reported that no surface combatant belonging to the 3rd Carrier Strike Group has been found so far.”
“What does that mean?” Minister of National Defense John Wayne asked as if he could not understand.
“It means that they are either completely extinguished or all sunk.”
“What? Are you saying all the ships of one carrier strike group sank?”
“Yes, it seems so.”
At the answer, Minister of National Defense John Wayne clicked his tongue and shook his head.
“According to the report of the 9th Carrier Strike Group, the system of most surface ships was disrupted by the EMP ballistic missile at 6:15. It is said that 20 minutes later, an explosion similar to a nuclear bomb occurred in the air 500m above them. In other words, they were attacked by EMP first, and then the nuclear missiles came after.”
“EMP and nuclear attack using ballistic missiles… In any case, Corea certainly violated the Nonproliferation Treaty.”
Michael T. Joshi of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intervened. “Sir. I know that the NRO (National Reconnaissance Agency) is also currently investigating, but this attack has been launched from a satellite projectile rather than a ballistic missile attack.”
“A satellite projectile? Do you have any evidence?”
At the question of Minister of National Defense John Wayne, Director Michael T. Joshi turned his head to NRO’s Director of National Reconnaissance, Antonio Rooney. In response, Director Antonio Rooney turned to his aide-de-camp and handed him the USB. He ordered him to display the content on the screen.
After a while, a picture of the earth taken from outer space appeared on the large screen of the Operation Briefing Room. Director Antonio Rooney put his mouth close to the microphone and began to explain.
“This is a picture taken this morning from GEO 10, an emergency military satellite that was dispatched in Northeast Asia.”
“Why is the resolution of the picture so low? It’s hard to recognize,” Chairman of the Joint Staff DeMarcus Dunford asked.
“We were originally able to take high-res pictures, but for unknown reasons, it was only possible to take pictures with such blurry images.”
The earth in the background of the picture was clear and in high-resolution. However, the black object in the middle looked very blurry. It seemed like some sort of satellite when they took a closer look.
“Next is the video. Please take a good look.”
The screen was changed, and the video was shown this time. In the video, the black object still looked blurry. After a while, several launchers popped out of the black object. Soon, it launched missiles at the Earth. The black object soon disappeared from the video after the launchers retracted. No movement was seen. It disappeared as the afterimage became blurrier.
“Did it just disappear?”
“Or did it move too fast?”
Each participant who attended the meeting remarked watching the scene.
“As you can see, that black object that seems to be a Corean attack satellite disappeared from view after the missile launch. Therefore, the NRO is currently investigating through information sharing with other intelligence agencies. The report was late, as we have not yet confirmed anything. That is all. I will try to identify the black object as soon as possible and report it again.”
“Corea played innocent for so long! How dare they operate attack satellite?” Minister of National Defense John Wayne shouted.
He seemed very angry. As he was about to curse, the duty of the Joint Chiefs of Staff urgently came into the operation briefing room and yelled.
“A report came in that the 11th Carrier Strike Group is under attack by the Corean fleet.”