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The Polar Service


Iverica

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OOC: Avoided making this move a News-based RP. It seems fair that nations that may be concerned about this move be notified directly through this post. Major events over news RP have a way of being glossed over unintentionally.

 

 

Following a string of deadly accidents in the shipping route known as the Northern Argic Passage,

the Armada Iverica, spurred by popular and commercial pressure, re-opens a shelved plan to tame the icy seas of Northern Argis.

Given the green light to launch the "Polar Service Initiative", the Admiralty finds itself awash in political and expeditionary challenges. 

Not only must they succeed in creating and establishing the Polar Service,

but they must do so in the face of Eurth's ambiguous, often jure de force international relations.

 

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The VRI Don Juan Franco (FFG 332, Subic Class), with the FedCom colours raised where the Armada Jack would normally fly.

 

     On June 30th of 2020, Cámra Nasional (Parliament) co-signed an Armada operation pushed to one of its committees by the Executive Ministry. 9 out of 10 times, Parliament takes anywhere from 4-weeks to 4 years to decide on matters of the state. It is, like every representative democracy, given to fits of caprice--being as mercurial as a 560-headed feline.

     The white paper signed was a dusty little thing. Originally pitched by the Armada in 2005 but ignored due to the spirit of the time. In fact, the previous Prime Minister had spent exactly 54.4 seconds looking at the executive summary before casting the paper in development-hell, where it remained until it was dismissed in 2007. The Parliament had it in their heads that the voting public simply wasn't feeling like it. The paper in question had been, of course, the aptly named "Polar Service Initiative" which was both a foreign development project and at the same time (more covertly) a strategic dip for economic and logistical importance in the Polar coasts of the Argic.

     It took several accidents in the region, no small loss of maritime insurance revenue, and a projected fluttering fall in Q3 freight investments for the mossy stone of popular will to get rolling downhill. News picked up some dramatic footage of sinking ships. Then they picked up the old story of Parliament shelving an aid project which might have saved a score of lives and a few million in lost revenues and insurance liabilities. In short order, the Parliament's pigeon-sized attention span was focused squarely on the issue. ExecMin, being quite friendly to the idea of naval logistics in the Argic Circle, decided it was the right time to push the dusty little dossier forward.

     In all of 1 week, the signatures were in place.

    The paper quickly went to the Almirantasgo, most of whom decided that though a dreadful imposition on their clockwork way of running things, the operation would be an excellent opportunity to take advantage of. There was a new frigate that could be tested for extreme climates. Also, there was the ageing unfinished hull of the 3rd Republica class carrier that had been sitting in drydock for years--the science had it that metals tended to be well preserved in extreme cold. With the experience from the Islandero Operations, the hulk could be quickly refitted as a static facility and parked on some shallow rocky shore somewhere. Lastly, having a logistical presence over a geographically shorter route to the Adlantic meant lots of operating cost savings.

     A month later, the preparations were almost complete. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had gone on several PR tours with the local Nanuvat indigenous groups. Also, Armada Intelligence had made several drone flights and surveyor visits to some potential areas. While the Office of Armada Operations had pulled ships from the Armada Reserve Force, requisitioning a single Gen. Luna Class Destroyer from no. 280 Squadron (DDG 444 Erebo), activating one of the production-run Trident Class prototypes from Subic Naval Yards (FFX 225 Atgeir), and recommissioning an old but functional Subic Class frigate (FFG 332 Don Juan Franco). The small flotilla was also attached with a pair of civilian icebreakers in the event that larger floes would happen to be encountered.

     There were difficulties of course. Not all of the Foreign Affairs delegations had been received with welcome. The indigenous Nanuvat people had been quite divided. The orthodox among them had viewed the pitch to use some fringe islands adjacent to their self-declared territories with suspicion; these were the shamanistic, nomadic, and spear-fishing tribes. Those of them that had chosen to settle and adopt the diesel-trawlers as tools of livelihood were either eager or forced to concede that having an aid base that could provide emergency services and necessary development was probably for the best. Still, many potential sites recommended by Armada Intelligence were flatly refused to the Polar Service. Instead, in return for free or favourable service rates, the Nanuvat leased the Polar Service only two locations. Vylot Island and Silna Point.

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Vylot Island (ABP Resolución) & Silna Point (ABP Explorator)

     Vylot was a wretched rock about 800 km North-Northeast of Prymont. It lacked soil and defilade. Areas to bivouac were few and the planar surface of the blasted grey thing was fully exposed to the bone-cutting wind. It was useless and barren and the sentiment was that the Nanuvat were not too concerned with any foreign developments on Vylot (the island was and still is a territorially ambiguous area largely considered Terra Nullis but de facto considered Nanuvat). An agreement was signed after a mock argument and a requisite ceremony where the Iverican delegate was required to consume shark's meat pickled in urine (likely in jest).

     Silna Point, however, was a touch more of a malicious joke.

    The Nanuvat avoided Silna Point, they took a wide berth around its position in the channel (7.5 km wide at the narrowest point). It was the site of a derelict Helleno-Russian base abandoned since the Argic Wars--though the locals maintained that it had an air of malevolence even before the first Russian had weighed anchor in Nanuvat country. From the outset, there was nothing eerie about it. Silna was an extruding hill with one shallow inlet on the east side and a deeper inlet capable of harbouring deep-draft ships to the west. Landward, it was demarcated with two stony hillocks which provided some shelter from the wind. It was a little too cold to be a permanent Nanuvat settlement, but shelter, fish, and seal were present. Yet there were stories. The Nanuvat declined to speak of it, maintaining only that they avoided it. The tales, for the most part, came from Russian and Prymontian explorers--fickle things that were more nautical legend than anything. Accounts and hearsay had also been abounding of what the Prymontian raiding party had found when they breached the Russian facility. Regardless of what was wrong with the place, the Nanuvat clearly did not care for it. It was leased without much fuss, likely half as a bad joke, giving the foreigners the most accursed place in the region and getting a little something for it.

     Ghost stories hadn't troubled the Almirantasgo one bit. In fact, the offer suited them almost as though a gift. There were intact Russian moorings, piers, and structures that could be refurbished.

    Though pressed for time and somewhat rushing preparations, the advance party of the Polar Service was outfitted, organised, and given leave to establish their camps on Vylot and Silna by the 31st of July. Their mission was to survey and establish basic facilities. The heavier hardware, such as the carrier hulk, its accompanying icebreakers, and ocean tugs could come once a safe harbour was established.

    The plan was simple: setup 2 exploratory outposts, clear a potential harbour, and wait. In no time, the Polar Service bases would be servicing passing freighters, enforcing wildlife protection and awareness initiatives, and conducting humanitarian outreach. What could go wrong?

 

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OOC: I mentioned in the news post (see above link) that observers are welcome if this is a move that concerns your government for whatever reason. Let me know if anyone has anything to say about this thing. There's also a clearer statement of what the Polar Service is supposed to do in that same article.

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  • 7 months later...

MEN, MATERIAL, & MOBILE BASES

 

The initial work that had begun in the Argic Circle's Summer had been completed. It was now March of 2021 and the Republican Armed Service was once again preparing to make headway with the project. More than that, the Ministry of Defence had plans to take the Polar Service further.

 

The hulk of the unfinished Republica A-Class carrier had been successfully set up at ABP Resolucion, where it now served as a static installation; housing personnel and functioning as a critical service and resupply point for aircraft and ships passing through. It could launch small craft from its well-dock while also launching CP-5V Bufálo aircraft that could act as cargo, transport, or as tiny, jury-rigged aerial refuelling tankers. The beached carrier was reinforced with concrete to stabilise it. Various pre-fabricated buildings were also built alongside it, appearing as barnacles around the massive hulk. The coast around it was dredged, allowing for larger ships to come alongside her and send or receive fuel and supplies via a retracting platform set up where one of the massive aircraft lifts once fed into the interior.

 

ABP Explorator had likewise been made into a much larger fully-functional facility. The old Argic-War era base had been totally refurbished. Its original piers and wharfs had been reinforced with newer concrete. Its berths were deepened, its docks were given proper cranes and a new breakwater had been built to encircle the small bay. Several warehouses, cranes, radar facilities, and even a two-runway airfield complete with air-traffic control and hangar facilities had been added.

 

The tireless work of the Armada Reserve Force and the constant voyages of the no. 22 Auxiliary Group's sealift detachment had seen thousands of tons to parts, resources, and pre-fabs ferried from Porto L'Norte naval base to the polar stations. Indeed, the investment was already showing signs of paying off. Trade between indigenous Argic nations in the north had been established and the Ivericans found them a willing market for their agricultural goods as well as a fair supplier of cheap fish, fish byproducts, and raw material. However, the project was far from over.

 

In the months before summer, both the Iverican Fuersas L'Aire and Armada would begin loading up aircraft logistics and transport ships (T-AVMs) and several multi-load capable transports for the biggest push of men and supplies into the Argic North yet. The final stretch was to push all the way towards, and then deep into the North Adlantic. Fuersas L'Aire logistics planes, AEW&C, and fighters were loaded in the T-AVMs. At least 6 Expeditionary Mobile Base pre-fabs were loaded into the other cargo vessels. Spools and spools of sound-surveillance cables were loaded into the cable-laying ships. 

 

The Fuersas L'Aire prepared elements of their 14th Fighter Group, 21st Strike Group, and 35th Air Auxiliary Group to be shipped out. The combat aircraft would first be packed into containers and sent to ABP Explorator, so as not to break Iverica's claim of a non-combat Polar Service. From there, they would be sent to a new airfield. where the Polar Service mandate did not apply.

 

Armada ships were also being deployed. Diesel-electrics of the no. 14 Submarine Squadron were being temporarily re-based to a TRIDENT base in the United States of Prymont, together with no. 150 Logistics Squadron. Likely, they would soon be eastward bound. Visiting patrols by the no. 121 Minewarfare Squadron, no. 283 Anti-Submarine Squadron, and the already-present no 280 Surface Warfare Squadron were being established on regular bases. Often, detachments from these units went on outreach, helping locals build infrastructure and providing charity medical check-ups.

 

Military activity was kept well off the coast of the Argic North so as not to threaten the indigenous populations. While forces mustered at ABP Explorator, the Foreign Ministry kept their bulletins assured that the military units were only passing through. The stated purpose of the re-basing of units was "due to the growing necessity of a security presence in the North Adlantic". The Foreign Ministry assured its contacts that the Polar Service will continue to remain non-combatants. While that was certainly true, the Polar Service's jurisdiction had nothing to do with the Argic-side of the North Adlantic...

 

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