Under African Skies : CMO

Under African Skies : 2017, CMO Remastered
Author : Feltan
Location : Nigeria
Forces : US Navy, French Navy, British Navy Vs. Nigerian Islamists & Chinese

Allied Forces include F-35B as primary air units with a variety of rotary wing assets. Naval assets focus around a LHD task force. Beyond that is a few submarines and an independent French surface group. On Ascension Island you’ve got B-52’s, and a pair of B-2’s.

This scenario was originally for CMANO but this version has been adapted for the CMO engine. It’s probably one of my favorite scenarios for the engine. Just big enough to give some variety and flavor but not an overwhelming 10,000 unit CPU eating hog. It focuses on what CMO does well (naval and air) and goes light on what it doesn’t do as well (ground combat).

I just received my action orders and am setting up the basic units. ASW, AEW, drones inbound. Once they are in place I’ll get some F-35’s up and start to SEAD the CWA air bases. The premise of the scenario is decent enough, Boko Haram Islamists seize the country, commit a terrorist act, and must be halted. The added Chinese element keeps it from being Afghanistan 2.0.

The French task force kicks everything off with a Tigre strike on the oil platforms. Much elan!

And the light up an oil platform and a Chinese tanker. My orders are to avoid the Chinese unless absolutely necessary. I guess the French task force is not under the same orders. Oops. A Hellfire has like 8 kilos of explosives, I’m sure it’s going to start a fire but probably not knock these things out.

:metal: Vampires! It’s on like le Donkey Kong.

And the French task force has a goblin. They already dropped a torpedo onto it.

Ruh roh.

It’s like a clown car of vampires.

In the middle of the missile swarm a Lybx knocks out the goblin.

And now they’re out of good SAM’s. The crappy stuff misses and a strike is inevitable. By the end a pair of DDG’s is sinking, with an oiler out of comms. Surprisingly the Tonnere, the French heli-carrier is operational at 100%.

Or maybe not. They’re all dead. 100%.

Next up is DEAD and some airport sanitation. We’ll use the F-35’s to degrade the SAM’s guarding the southern airfields then cruise missile to wreck the place. What could possibly go wrong?

First up, Operation Cheese Monkey.

One thing I like about this scenario is you get the F-35B (Yay!) but not a ton of them. Just enough to make you cherish and appreciate each of them. Normally I like playing with patrol missions, but these things behave very well when you micromanage just a little bit.

On the downside, we don’t have a bunch of weaponry. We’ll send in a pair with JDAM’s, knock out what we can see, then sortie out the next pair to clean up or move on to the next airfield.

If you don’t use the F-35, be aware that it has an OECM package that you must turn on. This thing is super useful against any older radar.

As we near the target zone we detect a pair of Roland’s and a radar. We also have the SA-2 knockoff we knew about. And now it’s hard decision time. The Rolands can totally knock out cruise missiles. But cruise missiles fly too low for the SA-2 to hit them. So I could leave the SA-2 alive, trust in the F-35’s OECM to protect it, and use these aircraft to knock out the Rolands. But that SA-2 can still potentially hit our most precious asset. So SA-2 first.

We’ll try it.

Meh. The SA-2 is degraded, no contact emissions. One Roland still survives and we detected some AAA. If it’s a Shilka then it could cause me some trouble. I’m going to dump one JDAM into that then divert to the next target.

Then we get a request to rescue the French sailors that went into the drink. TF6.26 heads for that region, flank speed! We launch Ospreys to assist.

At this point I re-read my tasking and I think I’m supposed to stand clear of the airfields in the southeast of the country due to Chinese assets. Why did you re-read that stuff Yooper? Well, I kind of strayed towards one of those airfields and discovered a rather angry Chinese SA-20 SAM. So yah, autosave to the rescue.

Back at Murtala I knock out the Roland and the SA-2 but discover a few more surprises. A MANPAD at the Radar and a malfunctioning JDAM.

In my eagerness to get a better look I discovered a whole bunch of SHORAD. I don’t have the munitions to deal with this so I use my last JDAM to take out that radar.

What now? Well, I need 6 hours to reload the F-35’s. Then we can move inland. I may get some B-52’s up and paste that airfield, at least I won’t have to worry about those CWA jets up close.


My carrier task force has 112 Tomahawk missiles. Murtala will have those SPAAG, but they really 100% on optics to find anything. So if I can wait till night to launch, all of those SPAAG can’t see shit. As much as I’m itching to knock it out I’m going to wait a bit.

Instead I’ll focus on the rescue ops and on knocking out whatever knocked out the French. I’ve got a Poseidon at Ascension with a bunch of sonobuoys. There’s also a small task force of CWA naval vessels. I’m going to re-route my Northern Task Force and see if we can send in some Harpoons.

My Osprey arrives at the target zone. I never know what the scenario designer expects here. Do I hover an minimum altitude? How long should I sit and wait? These sort of things usually require some direction. I’m going to chill for a bit and see.

I fired it up in the editor and just entering the area is enough to fire the trigger. Ideally the scenario designer would give me a message. Oh well, back we go.

I get the ability to go through Benin and Cameroon airspace. Not sure I gain much in Benin air space but Cameroon could be quite useful.

But I’ve got an airfield to kill first! What’s the best way to knock this thing out? It has two runways and a single runway grade taxiway. I have three distinct groups of hangars and tarmac, one is labelled military, but I don’t have good intel on if that’s the only one.

Oh, look at that, two AVGAS tanks and a single ammo bunker. I’ll go for those and a couple of Tomahawks for the runways. Maybe a few for the hangars? We’ll see.

Posiedon is in place. Then we get a warning about the Chinese and suggests this may all be localized. Which means they could go hostile any moment. Eep.

Next up is Makurdi Air Base. The F-35’s with JDAMs (2 of them) are launched and we’ll head through Cameroon for this one. I’m assuming the same mix of SA-2, Roland, and maybe a ground radar.

Ground assets call in for night time supplies.

And then whammo. Shit goes hot.

The engagement is at 9 nautical miles. Deck guns are a blazing. This is going to be brutal. Our gunnery seems to be a bit better and we’re doing some good damage. Meanwhile our F-35’s are about to leave Cameroon and head in to attack. We launch the next pair of F-35’s as well.

Our Royal Navy buddies are getting hit hard. I’m going to pull them back and wait till we can get some air units in.

The next two air fields are degraded slightly. Once sun goes down I’ll start with the first Tomahawk strike from the TF and see how it goes. If that looks good we’ll go full ham.

It’s about this time I remember the SLAM missiles.

I launch 3 Poseidons from Ascension. Time to knock out that Chinese fleet. Once it’s dark, that fleet is down, and we’ve degraded Murtala, I’ll send in the re-supply.

My F-35’s RTB and totally pwnzone a few F-7N’s along the way.

And off they go as the sun sets. The other sites are going to be much tougher as the Rolands are still alive. Depending how this one goes I may wait to sortie the F-35’s again and knock them out. This time I’m going to stick some KC-135’s out.

It’s a shame my Tangent assets aren’t close enough to do a BDA. All of the Tomahawks hit. Which is promising and makes me think I need to degrade those Rolands at the other sites.

And we rescue the French! Hooray! Now we send them back to USNS Comfort.

We’ve got awhile till the F-35’s are ready. I’ma take a break and think of how to next crack this nut.

Right! Time to degrade a bit more. I’ve got a sub in the south and can knock on the door a but down there. And a single Tomahawk made it in and nailed the Chinese Oil Authority compound. We have much better luck around Murtala airport. Lesson learned, SEAD first.

For now we wait a bit. Once we’re 2 hours out from reload time we’ll launch the KC-135’s and prepare another sortie north. I setup some raceways for the fuel track over neutral airspace.

Neato! High value targets! I wonder if I can save a JDAM for that? The time will be right.

One thing I miss that other scenarios have now is the ability to show all previous special actions. I’m trying to remember which spots I need to drop supplies… I do remember 2100, and I see a few spots nearby so we’ll start there. I’ll put up a pair of F-35’s to clear the sky then go in with the rotary wing.

I’m doubtful I knocked out Murtala as well as I’d thought. I see F-7’s landing, I guess the big question is whether they can take off again.

The slooooow choppers crawl across the landscape. The F-35’s are holding and knocking out the F-7’s if they stray near. We make LZ California, and RTB that unit. The only one that can reach the others is the Super Stallion. LZ New Mexico is squarely in Indian country, but welp, gotta try.

Lol. That’s uh, some fluff to add in.

An MPA is sneaking our way. He’ll surely give us away so we fire upon it. We kill it, but a few minutes later they put up another one. Bastards.

Some proper submarine action! We also finish the re-supply op. Both choppers are headed out and looking safe. Another hour till the F-35’s are ready. Tankers are already inbound.

At 23:57 we launch the F-35’s. We’ll meet up with the tanker, fuel up, then head to Abuja. It looks to be a target rich environment. First task will be the remaining SA-2, then the supporting SAM’s with a JDAM on the high value target.

This is some CIA level shit. I’ll divert one F-35 to Kano to bomb that place.

Aircraft are headed in. I’ve got another pair of JDAM toting jets not far behind to play clean up. Not to mention the pack of B-52’s headed in from Ascension to empty the place of bad people.

I’ve only got two JDAMs for this run. One for the HVT and a 2nd for the SA-2 location. The follow up will nail the Rolands. I’d rather save the JDAM as the SA-2 can’t hit the cruise missiles but I’m afraid it’ll nail me or the follow up. That old ass missile can still be dangerous.

We knock out the HVT but the 2nd JDAM is knocked out by something far more dangerous, an SA-20. I can’t pin it down exactly. This thing is nasty. 80nm range, target envelope from ground to 90,000 ft AGL. Ick.

I manage to sneak a look at it just in time to run out of JDAM’s. If I have any ordnance left after the Kano strike I’ll divert south.

Saturation time for the additional targets. Nothing is emitting at the moment.

I hit the Kano site with JDAM’s and realize that those B-2’s at Ascension are probably better suited for this. Welp.

Argh. For some reason one of the B-52’s was straying overthe target site. WTF dude. To top it off the cruise missiles knocked out a civilian jet on the runway and dinged me 20 points. The brief did mention a civilian jet but I assumed it’d come out of the heavily protected air field, not this one.

Time for a break I think. Finish it up in the morning.

I’d like to crack the SA-20 battalion guarding Warri airbase. But I discovered an extra surprise, a pair of SA-15’s guarding the coast line.

We’ll try to mass a whole pile of Tomahawks while we use a pair of F-35’s as jammers. Then we can really degrade that area once the F-35’s with JDAM’s come back online.

My overflight reveals some SSM battalions. I guess that keeps anyone from doing a shore bombardment.

We screen the incoming Chinese fighters. Just long enough to keep them off the Tomahawks.

It’s enough. But barely. A few of those Type 90 AAA would have made this thing almost impregnable.

Which allows us to sneak in a few more Tomahawks to nail the radar. I send in another pack to take out the SA-2 site. That’ll really knock down the radar coverage here.

Now it’s a pair of Rolands.

Without the early warning from the larger radars the Rolands go down quick like.

Tangent needs a refill, but those are some really far off points.

:frog: Kill it!

Oh shit.

We get the first one. Box #2 is now headed for the 2nd one. I’ve got a ship drawing it away from the TF now…

I love rocket launched torpedos.

The Chinese Sub gets two off!

Aww hell.

Once we get the F-35’s loaded back up I’m headed in for the last SA-20 site and hopefully knock out that last stronghold. The ship loss is a bummer, we’d been sweeping the area for awhile. Thought I was safe, shows what assuming does right?

In hindsight I screwed up. My TF was more than fast enough to escape that sub. We should’ve noped in the other direction and let that helo nail it. The excitement of getting a kill did me in.

First up is the B-2 to knock out that northern base. Leftover ordnance will go to a Command center then the CWA National HQ. About that time my F-35’s should be up and we’ll clear the skies over Port Harcourt and see if we can swamp that SA-20.

The J-11’s prove tricky and are difficult to knock down. Some take 4 AAMRAM’s. Luckily the full strike has just enough. We clear the skies as the JDAM’s reach target area. We knock out the main radar but the SA-20 hits the JDAMs as they fall. Saturation seems to be the only thing that works.

The last of my Tomahawks are enough to knock it out. This leaves the base clear and I can follow up with my last B-2.

The first B-2 discharges his JASSM’s and heads for home.

I’ve got one more F-35 with JDAMs ready to go. I know I want to hit the airfield, but I’m not sure how to best use a pair of JDAM’s on it. I’d kill for some cold war era cluster bomb minelets. I don’t have enough ordnance to knock out the ammo bunkers, tarmac, or hangars. The JDAMs aren’t effective enough on runways. Hmm, there’s a pair of fuel tanks and that’s it. If I knock those out they can’t refuel.

And they are down. The site still has some SA-15’s to deal with, but that’s manageable without air support. The last B-2 strike hits the targets and degrades Harcourt. Not long after I see more J-11’s taking off so maybe they already had fuel? We’ll see how long it lasts.

Time to take stock of my available assets.

  • JDAM;s
  • F-35 escort.
  • I’ll have B-52’s ready in 12 hours. (16 hours remain in the scenario).
  • The B-2’s are out.
  • Subs are dry.

I’m still not confident that I’ve got the air bases locked down either. Without that I can’t move my fuelers over Nigeria so any resupply for the far points is out.

North of Harcourt I snag a J-11 (6 AAMRAM!) and then have a Y-8CB manage to evade another pair of AAMRAM’s. There’s a few Alpha jets about but I think they are not an issue. No radar and no AAM. I send up a 2nd pair to try to knock out that jammer.

This Cub is a hero. Until it’s not.

Without the SA-20’s I use a basic strike mission to hit two close targets. The JDAM’s are my only tool until the B-52’s come online.

One of our strikers see a drone of all things. What the hell was that thing doing?

Um, cool?

This may be our last shots. I had a Chinook in route for resupply so we’ll see how that looks. But it’s sloooow.

Lol, awesome.

This is really a great write up to finish it all.


  1. In hindsight I should have knocked out the localized SAM’s first.
  2. The F-35 to take out the radars followed by saturation strikes on the SA-20’s.
  3. After that the soft air base targets. Fuel. Ammo.
  4. I had two fuel tracks set up, one of the B-52’s went waltzing that way right over hostile territory. Woops.
  5. The British task force suffered unnecessary losses. I could have had a pair of JDAM’s wipe out the main parts of that fleet and whacked it with a sub.
  6. I should have kept my carrier group further out and had a much smaller ASW area around it. Though I was afraid of a repeat event that sunk the French.
  7. The B-2 seemed to have a special role and I missed out having the F-35’s fly all the way to Kano.
  8. Trying to sink the merchants with SLAMER’s was a bad idea. I could have used them elsewhere.

All in all it was fun, if frustrating at times. It was cool to see such a variety of activities all in one scenario. It’s a shame Feltan doesn’t play anymore, or at least he doesn’t post scenarios.