Thursday, December 21, 2006

Musings of the Epic

In this "off month", I have been constantly watching the cluster Gal-Net trying to catch up on all the political and military debates going on. When you are so focused on the contract or mission at hand, you sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture around you. As a leader of a corporation, you simply must not allow this to happen or you lose out many opportunities that pass your way.

The level and scale of warfare currently in the cluster has never been bigger to my memory. Capsuleer alliances and corporations are almost fighting wars as large as any Empire war in recent memory…certainly larger than the Caldari / Gallente war. Right now in the south there are huge capital fleets of the Mercenary Coalition and its retainers against the Red Alliance supported by the Goonfleet armada. The recon intel HUD captures are amazing…reminding me of my old service upon the AMN Octavian when I was a fighter pilot near the Matar boarder. ISS alliance seems to be funding the current conflict against primarily IAC alliance…and all the neighbors are getting involved. BoB finally destroyed ASCN's Titan in combat...a feat that is historic and will prove to be very rare. Things are really shaking down in a big way in the South.

As grand an adventure that may be…the logistics, command and control, operations, and conquest of such ambitious plans I can not comprehend. The sheer size of the MC is something of an achievement considering most mercenary chartered corporations dissolve within a year. As a professional in the field I salute them and hope they do well in the coming months. I have no doubt they will be successful.

While contemplating what epic wars must be happening in the South regions of the cluster, my thoughts turn inevitably to the OEC. While our long term strategic plan calls for the OEC to join or create a new mercenary alliance in the same vein as the MC, do we really have the commitment it takes to achieve such greatness? I know the guys hearts are motivated and ambitious…maybe I doubt my own abilities on something that grand of scale.

I was approached in the last 48 hours about forming such an alliance, but with our plans of operation over the course of the next few months locked in, I highly doubt we can join. Still, I told the contact I was interested in advising the creation and hammering out a charter. It may take well over 3 months to come to a solid foundation of policy for such an enterprise. It is something that will eventually have to be done for the OEC to remain competitive and increase our contract sizes; at least we will not be getting bored any time soon.

ASCN is melting finally under BoB pressure in the south. I like to think we had a small part in that…and maybe we did. We definitely harassed ASCN shipping in the trade hubs. I suspect it will take BoB another 2 months before they can fully ‘cleanse’ the regions of ASCN military assets.

Nothing much to report as far as daily OEC operations go. We continue to have successful escort missions for our retainer client…and earning some fat bonuses in the process. Everything is still set to kick off after the new year…and we happily march towards that date getting our logistic goals completed. We also brought in some new recruits that should give us some new blood in the ranks.

Overall a very successful, if uneventful, month.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Of Logistics and the Coming Storm

Our ‘off contract’ duties have now picked up the pace, and we are completing a few tasks that have been in the works for quite a long time. Moving corporate gear…the process of logistics…is never a fun thing for a group that has a military bent. But my guys know that the backbone of any successful military venture is its supply. More wars have been won and lost due solely to supply issues. Hopefully this month we can ‘reload’ after fighting for months on end to take on our biggest challenge yet, even more challenging than hunting ASCN supply lines.

Hoshoun office has been stripped clean finally; it was like a savings account plan. Some good ship equipment was located there, but we never got around to moving it back to HQ sector. I was reunited with my old supply moving ship, a Coercer class destroyer named OEC Commitment. With the DED changes, it has become vastly more useful…but in need of a good refit. I know the ship crew has gotten lax is my absence. With the gear moved out, we will keep an office there for the short term. We are still on friendly terms with CVA…but I do not know how long that will last.

While we are off an active duty war contract, we still have a retainer contract. Our guys performed some much needed guard duty for a mining operation last night. We hope to plan more this month as the guard duty bonuses are actually quite good, and worthwhile. I remember back when pod pilots first started in the cluster…a true mercenary charter was never successful. Now it seems the fruits of all that dedication are paying off.

Still, it’s fairly easy to get ‘soft’ in this off time. But the guys need this break for what is about to come.

Over the course of the next year, the OEC will finally get tested to the breaking point. All the wars have led up to this point in our history. We will be fighting among the heaviest of combat against fleets that will outnumber our size at least 2:1…sometimes 3:1. Our focus and discipline will be severely put to test…and it could well break us. I have no illusions of destiny…we either win or lose in the coming months. Overall, the OEC is ready I believe…and our guys will be baptized under fire for a new kind of warfare they have not tasted in a very long time. We will have friends and allies, but our success is solely determined by us and our ability to impact the theater of war we will be entering.

While musing about future, it is often hard to think what might happen. But regardless of what does…I will be among brothers. Contego OEC!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hurry up and Wait

Some days are like glide-riding on sandpaper…its suppose to be fun, if it wasn’t for all the mess it creates.

With the CONCORD and DED approved ship changes fully implemented (but being tweaked by the hour it seems) by OEC fleet command…I must say, that the ugly CTD firmware bug has reared its head yet again. As of this writing I am unable to undock with any reasonable chance to perform military duties. The changes are exciting to any professional military pod pilot. The amount of armor and new classes of ships are great on paper…and it should be exciting to see how they perform in real world combat. I am still working with engineers to see if I can get my pod HUD to stop crashing mid-routine…but it may be awhile before I am back in the think of the action.

The OEC Blackguard is continually being worked on. I imagine its about halfway finished with all the fittings. Right now I have mainly retainer gear where other expensive equipment will be in the future, but its going to be awhile before its in full war mode.

Promotions and command assignments were handed out last week. We are finally getting some membership to fill out the ranks some. All the guys deserve a great credit for the success we have been having lately in our ASCN contract. It has been our longest to date, and most profitable in terms of actual reward. While I cannot discuss payment specifics, we should be well on our way to getting back to what we do best (historically)…and that is operate in 0.0. It is the last piece of the puzzle, but there are some bumps in the road that will need to be overcome.

Our next contract is already lined up. But we will wait until the beginning of the new year to start its prosecution. It is often hard to reign in the wild stallion in pursuit of glory and money…but it is my job to do such a thing. My guys need some R&R this month, and I am determined to give it to them.

Of course, that does not mean we will not be hard at work with logistics. Ah…the life of a mercenary.