The little engine that couldâ€¦ That is the logo posted on the Cuban flag of all its military forces.
Picking up from where I last left off with this AAR, it is an interesting struggle as the war between Cuba and the United States continues. The last half of April 2022 was mostly uneventful other than a few US submarines found inside Cuban territorial waters NE of Havana. The intel showed that the first cluster of 2x US SSN-773 and 1x SSGN-726 and the second cluster of 2x SSN-773 subs as carrying anti-ship missiles and being such a considerable threat, the lone Cuban Tu-142M took on the arduous job of dispelling these vessels. The slow progress of the Tu-142M eventually routed the subs by the latter part of May 2022.
Cuban artillery and MLRS units continue to strike US ground forces in the southern half of Florida and the Florida Keys. The bridges leading to Key West have long since been destroyed and the stranded US units are slowly being destroyed.
In a surprising move, the US, early on the morning of 12 JUL 2022, declared war against the Bahamas . The Bahamian government vowed revenge and sent two PC boats along the US eastern coast and intimidated the shores from Vera Beach, FL to Mount Pleasant, SC. Their untimely deaths by US submarines ended the Bahaman force projection operations.
The Cuban strategy, thus far, has been the defense of Cuba, and to a lesser degree that of the Bahamas, but the continued success of the Cuban naval and air force against the US Navy has given cause to move into offensive operations.
The strategy change is two-fold and will have to be managed carefully to ensure the greatest success. Part one is the continued harassment and increased attacks against US ground forces in Florida. Part two, and more importantly, is the invasion of Puerto Rico.
From April 2022 to 01 JAN 2023 the Cuban navy and air force conducted relentless anti-ship/anti-submarine operations in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, and eastern coast of the United States. During that time 2x US CGN-52, 4x FFG-7, and 1x AKE-1 were destroyed. Continuous recon is being conducted by Cuban spies along the US east coast to ensure every possible US ship is tracked, stalked, and sunk.
On 15 JAN 2023 the US conducts a surprise attack with submarines from its Florida Keys towards Havana. Cuba almost lost one its two Zumwalt warships, which barely made it to dry dock for repairs. From 15-19 JAN 2023 the US conducts hundreds of airstrikes against Cuban targets in central Cuba vic Santa Clara and Trinidad. Several of these air strikes originated from Puerto Rico, which was a small surprise. During this time 2x DDG-71 and 1x DDG-51 were sunk along the Florida Keys as they maneuvered towards Cuba.
The first week of February was just as violent as Cuban ASW aircraft found 1x US SSN-21, 2x US SSGN-726, and 1x US SSN-774 along the north Cuban coast vic Cardena. The combined efforts of the Cuban Tu-154M , Cuban Zumwalt, and Cuban SSN-774 successfully routed all of these submarines, accept for the SSN-21 which was destroyed.
ASSESSMENT. The positioning of the US submarines, continued airstrikes vic Santa Clara and the repeated attempts by US surface ships to move into the Cuban coastal area north of Santa Clara gives reason to believe that the next amphib assault will occur at this location. Destruction of the US surface warships, the routing of US submarines, and the air defense setup in Cuba deterred any such amphib operation. Continued Cuban airstrikes against US surface naval units and rigorous recon efforts by Cuban aircraft, surface warships, and submarines has deterred any US movement through or around the Bahamas.
CONCLUSION. I assess that the real threat from another US amphib landing as LOW and improbable for the foreseeable future against either Cuba or the Bahamas. The US is very capable of an airborne strike against either region, however the likelihood of such attack is considered LOW to NONE.
Cuban recon missions along the US east coast were successful in locating numerous amphib capable vessels, along with plenty of surface warships, and an unknown number of submarines positioned all along the coast. Additionally, the US carrier fleet is still in port and has yet to move outside of those protective coves. During the month of February the Cuban SSN-774 was instrumental in the destruction of 1x AO-187, 1x AOE-1, 1x LSV-1, and 1x TAKR-287 â€“ another 70,000 tons of cargo capacity of the US amphib fleet sent to the bottom. As February was coming to a close two Cuban Zumwalts fought and destroyed 1x SSGN-726 as they screened the Florida Keys.
During the months of March and April Cuban spies were dispatched to Puerto Rico to begin assessments for an invasion. US troops defending the island were scarce at best, but still better equipped than the Cuban forces. To equalize the playing field I deployed 8x long range MLRS at the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic who began bombarding the west coastal cities of Puerto Rico. Two Cuban Zumwalts moved into position near Mayaguez, P.R. and assisted in the initial attacks against US forces on the island. With the expectation that the US would most likely send aircraft to help defend the island I had deployed several S-400 and SA-12A air defense units along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic (D.R.). Cuban SOF was flown to the D.R. in prep for combat operations against P.R. After careful examination of the island it was decided that the small island SE of P.R. would be the first target and here is the timeline of events:
030600 MAY 2023 the city of Fredriksted fell to Cuban forces.
181400 MAY 2023 Mayaguez, P.R. fell to Cuba
270000 MAY 2023 Ponce, P.R. fell to Cuba
280800 MAY 2023 Arecibo, P.R. fell to Cuba
051400 JUN 2023 Guaynabo, P.R. fell to Cuba
090600 JUN 2023 Vega Baja, P.R. fell to Cuba and at this point all US aircraft vic San Juan scrambled to return to the US mainland. Each aircraft, because of my deployed AD in the area, were at 30% strength or lower. There were 6x F-22D, 2x F-35C CV, 1x F-22A, 7x F/A-18C, 2x RF-15CJ, 1x F/A-18E, 1x F-15C, 3x AH-64D and 1x UH-60. My Zumwalt, S-400, and SA-12A AD assets immediately began shooting down the enemy aircraft as I moved to deploy my limited air force. In all, I believe that only 2-3x F-22D, and 2-3x F/A-18C were the only survivors â€“ however, I canâ€™t fully confirm this claim.
Between 10-12 JUN 2023 Cuban and US forces fought for the city of Bayomon, P.R.with control switching back and forth at least five times with Cuban forces being the victor. Shortly thereafter at 141400JUN 2023 Cuba SOF airdropped into San Juan and Caguas and ended the battle for the island. Every time a new city was taken, the US would send a mixture of approximately 10-15 aircraft to assist in the battle. Most interesting is that the US did not send any warships or submarines to assist in defending Puerto Rico. Although Cuba was mildly prepared to deal with such contingencies it was with great relief to know that fight was not to happen.
As Cuba ended its combat operation on P.R. it began reconstituting its forces and redeploying to ensure the safety of the homeland while a minimal number of troops were left on P.R. As June closed on its final days the Cuban SSN-774 added one more SSGN-726 to its list of kills. Sadly the real numbers of kills awarded to this sub remain low as 90% of its kills have been with missile strikes.
TIME NOW: 07 JUL 2023:
US Treasury: -$1.57 trillion; Debt: $9.68 trillion; DAR: 21%; MAR: 40% (of note is that this number has fallen a full 10% since Cuban took over Puerto Rico.
CUBA DAR: 37%; MAR: 81%; LOSSES: 183 (+6) KILLES: 530 (+81)
Strategy Change: With the successful assault on Puerto Rico, and the subsequent heavy hit to the US DAR and MAR, plans are now being put into action towards the successful assault of Hawaii. There are new difficulties to overcome but the overall plan will be the same: a) anti-ship/anti-sub operations b) recon with spies, naval, air assets.
VIVA LA PENULTIMATE LEADER!