On the night of August 11, 2552, Noble Team discovered a large Covenant Strike force the night prior, and the UNSC decided to prepare a response with a massive ground and air based counterattack the following morning. The overall goal of the UNSC was to rout the entirety of the Covenant Strike Force as per WINTER CONTINGENCY. Thus ending the Covenant foot hold on Reach.
One of these targets was a series of teleportation spires located along the Szurdok Ridge. It is important to note that the UNSC did not know what the main purpose of the spires were upon attacking. Noble Team led the attack on Spire One, deactivating the EMP shield and cleared the area of defenses. With this the UNSC called in a MAC strike executed by the UNSC Grafton.
The purpose of the spires was soon realized to be a teleportation device for the cloaked Long Night of Solace in low orbit above Reach. Upon being discovered, the Covenant Supercarrier proceeded to obliterate the attacking UNSC forces, causing Noble Team to retreat from the battlefield. The Supercarrier then fell back into Covenant controlled space in orbit above Reach.
While overall it is unknown if all the UNSC units managed to achieve their goals, it is known that the Assault on Szurdok Ridge ended with terrible losses. However, the previously unknown Long Night of Solace was discovered. This would cause 60% of the remaining UNSC fleets to reroute back to Reach in order to defend the colony. The timeframe for the arrival was deemed too slow by Noble Team, so they devised a plan with what they had to fight back against the remnants of the Fleet of Valiant Prudence.