Occupation of Port Benacia
The Isle of Benacia was a strategically significant location of interest to Benacia Command as it would, if occupied by hostile forces, pose a threat to the naval stations of the Black Legions established at Klymdown and Slomxala, as well as the port terminal and fuel storage depots being established at Rothaven to receive oil shipments from Sanilla and Amarra. Furthermore, once secured, Port Benacia would provide a suitable base of operations from which the Black Legions could project influence into the Cosimo Sea and the westernmost islands of the the Khaz Modan chain.
Twelve regiments of Inspectorate Troops were earmarked for the occupation of Port Benacia. Of these, one was designated to serve as an Assault Regiment, delivered direct to the Isle of Benacia by Leviathan troop-carriers – of which three were available for the operation. The remainder would be ferried across by Logistic Support Vessels and merchant shipping, with patrol boats assisting in the disembarkation of troops by bringing personnel close in to the shore allowing for landings to be made at low tide at suitable beaches. This would have the effect of easing the pressure on the harbour facilities of the port itself, freeing up berths at the quayside for the landing of critical stores and support personnel.
The landings were intended to take place in three waves:
- Combat/Political Warfare echelons;
- Security/Communications echelons;
- Support/Administrative echelons.
The designated embarkation ports for the operation were Rothaven and Slomxala. Fuel and stores, including munitions, were concentrated at depots around Rothaven, while 40,000 locally contracted workers, hired by the ESB Benacian Operations Directorate, were set to work excavating storage pits, building loading ramps, and finally in clearing and levelling terrain at sites selected to serve as landing pads for cargo helicopters and gravimetric vehicles.
Air support was limited to a pair of flying boats assigned for reconnaissance and communication duties. No hostile aviation was known to be active in the Khaz Modan Isles, and local forces – be they marooned Yardistani Police, former Imperial Constabulary, or hastily raised local militia – did not possess any credible ground-based air defence systems.
Bivarhins Salbnan Rofolo Nur Pinito Kasha was selected to organise and command the operation to secure the Port of Benacia as a reward and compensation for the time she had previous spent marooned in Inner Benacia as part of the imperial garrisons stranded there in the early portion of the Kalirion Fracture.