HED-GP, Catch - This first part in a series of four articles on the current struggle for Providence looks back at the start of the year, which saw the Providence Holders make a territorial move in the Catch region, capturing four systems where Against ALL Authorities had dropped sovereignty near the end of last year. This offensive culminated in a 300-ship fleet disabling HED-GP station services.
Libertas Fidelitas [LFA] is one of the major Providence Holders and the Alliance responsible for initiating this offensive that was part of "Operation Deliverance". A source close to the alliance explained that LFA corporations and pilots had shown interest in territorial expansion for quite some time. Several systems had previously been identified in the Catch region which were without sovereignty and a decision was made that lead LFA to move on the F9E-KX, SV5-8N, WD-VTV and 9KOE-A systems in Catch, dropping TCUs and towers as an offensive measure designed to gain more space and mobility for the Providence Holders.
An anonymous source explained that at the time of the Catch move by LFA, AAA were focused on engaging the then-Goonswarm alliance (now disbanded and restructured) in 49-U6U. (The official ticker of Against ALL Authorities is .-A-. but they are more commonly known as AAA.) The plan was to distract attention long enough to allow IT Alliance to take Fountain. Although the four systems were unclaimed, the same source reports that "there was a clear boundary set with CVA at F9E-KX."
Aralis, executor of CVA asserted that the Providence Holders' motivation was reaching "Ushra'Khan-held territory and to drive them from our borders." The anti-slavery alliance Ushra'Khan have fought CVA since their inception, with the struggle culminating a few years ago with a hard-fought battle for sovereignty in Providence centered on 9UY4-H, the home of Unity station. Following the CVA conquest, that station became known as "Deliverance Reclaimed."
The CVA Executor stated that another driving factor in the expansion of Operation Deliverance was their increased need for space following infrastructure upgrades. CVA and the other Providence holders are almost unique in allowing others relatively-free access to their space. While all comers reap the benefits of such upgrades, there is no way to tax them to recover costs.
Manfred Sideous of Against ALL Authorities made a public address to Providence residents on 31.01.112 in which he made it clear that he considered the invasion of Catch a betrayal of his alliance's previous relationship with CVA.
"Not too long ago, when the alliance of CVA found itself disbanded, -A- stepped up and got in touch right then and there with your leaders, regardless of being neutral in our relationships we pledged to stand by and defend the people of Providence should the unfortunate situation of CVA disbanding give rise to a threat or assault on Providence and its people. We formed, and stood ready, but a single word was needed. No, not even a single word.
"It is as such, remarkable to see how a unique relationship where either side knew perfectly what they were at with the other side was disrupted by a long term vision designed by CVA leadership which culminated in the now infamous project to expand into Catch, into -A- space, and onwards from there."
Aralis emphasised that CVA has no boundary agreements with AAA or Ushra'Khan. "There is an obvious boundary as it is the edge of the regions" but went on to clarify that there was no formal agreement whatsoever in place at the time, nor, according to statements from CVA diplomat Hardin, do they wish one.
Charleigh of Veneratio Venator Alliance described that roughly 600 Providence-friendly forces were mobilized to capture these four systems and that this move culminated with disabling the HED-GP station services. "If I recall, AAA did bring 200 or so to the field on more than one occasion during this entire time."
A source in AAA who wished to remain anonymous considered the Providence incursions to be "minor engagements from the AAA perspective." The Providence Holders took control of the four systems on the second week of January and maintained territorial claims for roughly two weeks.
An anonymous participant reports that in HED-GP, a 300-strong fleet from the Providence Holders destroyed several station services including the Clone Bay and the Reprocessing Plant. An AAA fleet that was assembling in a nearby system was also reported as having been destroyed.
The next article in this series will look at the abrupt turn-around in the war with the retributive strike launched by Against ALL Authorities and their allies against the Paxton Federation system of D-GTMI in Providence.
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