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Daego Insertions
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Important Information
Location Unknown
Date: January 2, 2551
Result: UNSC withdrawal of forces
  • Heavy UNSC casualties
  • Casket location not found

Minor Covenant victory

  • Many ground units destroyed
  • Daego remains in Covenant possession
Combatants
United Nations Space Command Covenant
Commanders
*Admiral Eric Baker *Fleet Master Tolo 'Zhekamee
Strength
*UNSC Sword of Giants Daego Occupation Fleet
Casualties
Heavy losses on the ground Minor losses in space and on the ground
  • Numerous casualties
    • Several Seraphs and Banshees
    • Multiple ground units

The Daego Insertions, sometimes referred to as the Second Battle of Daego, was a series of searches for the Forerunner object known as the Casket on the Covenant-occupied world of Daego. Commenced by Captain James Croft and supervised by Admiral Eric Baker, the insertions were a complete failure, leading to a large loss of life which was widely considered to be in vain.

BackgroundEdit

After their first encounter with the Casket on Crystal, the UNSC organised a search party, based in the frigate  Sword of Giants, in an attempt to find other existing artefacts of the same likeness. The Office of Naval Intelligence sent out multiple probes and located twenty-five possible locations in which another Casket may reside. The third location on this list was the recently lost planet of Daego. The planet's atmosphere had collapsed due to constant Covenant bombardments, which had subsequently caused multiple reactor meltdowns across the globe. This location was chosen as the first zone the party should search due to its relatively short distance from their previous location, as well as the report that Stephen Hartley, a relative of party-member Brian Hartley, may still be alive on the planet.

OperationEdit

PreludeEdit

After the Sword of Giants slipped through the portion of the Fleet of Steadfast Guard that was guarding the planet, twelve Task Forces were formed. Each was divided into teams of two or three and assigned an area to search. Twelve Pelicans were then dispersed on to the planet, one of which, carrying Task Force Lima, was shot down by anti-aircraft turrets before it reached the ground.

Alpha's missionEdit

Alpha

Task Force Alpha is deployed.

Task Force Alpha was assigned to searching the remnants of Richter Base, which was now little more than a volcanic crater. Using mountain-climbing equipment, the team rappelled down into the massive hole. Although they did not find the Casket, they did encounter something of almost equal worth. A fuel rod bolt from a Banshee had failed to detonate and was recovered by the team. It was delivered to ONI two years later, where it was reverse-engineered, eventually leading to advancements in the LAU-65D missile pod design.

Opening skirmishesEdit

The first contact of the battle was made when a Shade Turret emplacement fired on Task Force Bravo's Pelican. From there Bravo's team two, consisting of Staff Sergeant Ashley Drago, Lance Corporal Garth Chyenka, and Private First Class Seamus Greco engaged the fortification. Seamus was injured by a bolt from a plasma repeater, but no other casualties for team two were sustained. Team three, consisting of Staff Sergeant Peter Ulan and First Lieutenant Brian Hartley, were attacked by a Stealth Elite. The Elite was subsequently killed by Ulan. Team one, consisting of Lieutenant Commander Jameson Locke and Sasuun 'Grtamee, was attacked by a Zealot utilizing active camouflage. The Zealot died from loss of circulation and strangulation incurred by Locke. Team four, consisting of Private Valter Blomgren and Sergeant Matias Chavez, were killed soon after being deployed, when the mine they were investigating caved in. Meanwhile, Ashley Drago of team two was wounded by a Kig-Yar Ranger. Task Force Bravo was later evacuated during the tactical withdrawal.

Covenant counterattacksEdit

Even after Task Force Bravo had contact with the primary forces on Daego, other groups met even further resistance. Task Force Golf was attacked by multiple Covenant armoured elements. They were not able to destroy the vehicles, and the attackers managed to take out three members of the Task Force.

Tactical withdrawalEdit

Sword fights Corvette

The Sword of Giants firing its M870 PDGs at the corvette.

After realising that the Task Forces were encountering more Covenant resistance than expected, and having no reports of Casket sightings, Captain Croft decided that all forces were to be withdrawn from the planet. All of the remaining forces were then transported back to the Sword of Giants, and intended to be sent back to Earth.

Corvette

A hologram of the Unconquerable Will aboard the Sword of Giants.

Space battleEdit

As the Sword of Giants left the planet, it was pursued by the SDV-class corvette Unconquerable Will commanded by Shipmaster Retaz 'Baketamee. A battle ensued, which cost the Covenant forces several space fighters, and the UNSC multiple crew members and passengers, including Lieutenant Bajeet Apte, the only officer to be killed in the battle. In the later stages of the battle, the Sword of Giants fired its Shiva-class nuclear missile before entering slipspace, successfully escaping the corvette.

AftermathEdit

The mission was widely considered a failure. Numerous soldiers were killed for what many considered to be no reason at all. There were some successes and advancements that came out of this failure, however. Stephen Hartley, the aforementioned missing ODST, was found to be alive and returned to Earth, and multiple samples of Covenant technology were brought to ONI and were reverse-engineered.

Many found the UNSC's complete failure to formulate a proper plan worrying, especially considering the toll-taking war with the Covenant was at its height. This led much of the military personnel who were informed of the operation to question the capabilities of their leaders. Post-war critics commonly call upon Daego as the finest example of irrationality, over-confidence, and poor ethics within the UNSC military, particularly the Marine Corps and Navy who took command during most of the mission's planning. Marine Corps teams that were killed during Daego were often considered "Gung-Ho Goners" as a result.

The Navy's refusal to send reconnaissance teams or drones to scan the surface for enemy activity also contributed to the mission's failure. Due to the possibility of "losing the element of surprise", any and all reconnaissance efforts were delayed.

While many regard the Daego Insertions as an "action without a plan", a considerable amount of preparation was put into the operation from its initial conception. The Griswaldo System was developed by military theorist Yoenis Griswaldo, which emphasized the use of small units to scan large areas more effectively and quickly. The Griswaldo System was promising on paper, but had a few major issues which ruined its use in the Daego operation. In all of the tests, the objective was something obvious and familiar to the subjects. The Casket, however, was a completely foreign object to the soldiers deployed.

In addition, the Griswaldo System was not designed to be used during combat missions. The UNSC's underestimation of the Covenant ranks on the planet led to a lack of compensation for combat effectiveness. The smaller units, perfect for searching, were easy targets for large Covenant parties.

TimelineEdit

January 2, 2551Edit

  • 0921 Hours: The Task Forces are organized and loaded into Pelicans. The dropships take off, and leave the Sword of Giants. Covenant anti-air batteries fire on the Pelicans.
  • 1030 Hours: Task Force Lima is hit by anti-air emplacements, leaving no survivors.
  • 1302 Hours: A Covenant armoured group attacks Task Force Golf, killing numerous members.
  • 1656 Hours: All surviving members are returned to the Sword of Giants.
  • 1712 Hours: The Corvette sends out a squadron of Seraphs and Banshees, which fire on the frigate, killing a few crew members inside.
  • 1729 Hours: The Sword of Giants enters slipspace.

January 11, 2551Edit

  • 0530 Hours: The frigate arrives at Earth.
  • 0700 Hours: A funeral is held for the casualties of the battle.
  • 1210 Hours: Lieutenant Bajeet Apte dies in a coma.
  • 1600 Hours: Task Force Lima is officially disavowed.

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