HEAVY CLASHES PLAGUE ESESIER VIIIPlease visit your user settings to re-enable images.Esesier
- Since the conquest of Esesier by State Protectorate forces last week, the Caldari Navy, along with elements of the Lai Dai Protection Service, have been bridging in planetary units from Black Rise, with their eyes set on making landfall on Esesier VIII. Federation forces groundside, however, have been providing the invaders with heavy resistance, though collateral damage has been minimal. Federal commanders seem to be fully aware that the loss of civilian life and property would rapidly render their reasons for defending the planet void, while the Caldari require intact civilian settlements in order to maximize industrial use of the world.
Since the breakout of the Empyrean War, planetary engagements between the empires escalated by orders of magnitude. In 111 alone, the Gallente Federation's spending on ground technologies rose 273%. It was during this year that the Caldari State had consolidated total conquest of the Gallentean contestable zone. When the region was liberated, the Federal government voted to deploy military units across the many planets in Placid and nearby constellations, which were previously undefended. These worlds, inhabited for centuries, have not seen a major military force deployed for much of their history, with the Federation believing that the threat from both the Caldari State and renewed Sansha's Nation requires a groundside presence, unlike before. A member of the Federal Senate has been quoted in saying that they do not intend "to let the Caldari exploit our sovereign worlds again without a fight", with another stating that the decision to not station planetary defence forces when war originally broke out was a "grave mistake, that we ultimately paid a heavy price for".
Federation military units on Esesier VIII, whose population consists of a healthy mix of ethnic Gallenteans and Intakis, currently hold the "home field advantage". Moreover, Caldari ground forces are amongst the least experienced of their kind compared to the Gallentean defenders dug in, especially when contrasted to the relatively higher trained space forces of the State. This disadvantage, as well as the conquest of planets not being apart of standard Caldari military doctrine, was one of several reasons behind the Caldari Providence Directorate's military reform proposal
two years ago. Though STPRO space superiority is larger uncontested, the presence of a Federal Defence Union station in the system has allowed the Gallente to feed in reinforcements from Anchauttes, boosting friendly forces on the ground.
It is unclear how long fighting will last, with many suspecting the clashes will grind to a stalemate within the next few weeks, should the situation in space remain unchanged.