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Operation: UPPER CUT was a UNSC Army and Navy joint operation to destroy the Covenant Supercarrier, Long Night of Solace, in the early stages of the Fall of Reach on August 14, 2552. This operation occurred directly prior to Reach's invasion by an entire Covenant Fleet.
The Battle of Viery was completely disrupted by the appearance of a cloaked Covenant Supercarrier in low orbit of Reach. The UNSC had no available nuclear weapons or large orbital assets to strike down the supercarrier, prompting the SPARTANs of Noble Team to improvise. Recalling a slipspace drive accident near the Cygnus system, SPARTAN-III LTCDR Catherine-B320 conceived an unorthodox plan to use a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine as a makeshift bomb. To reach orbit, they decided to appropriate the top-secret Sabre starfighters stored at the Sabre Program Launch/Research Range at Farkas Lake. Colonel Holland reluctantly approved the operation, with Noble Six, a qualified Sabre pilot, leading the space portion of the attack.
At the start of the operation, the launch facility was under heavy attack by Covenant forces deployed from orbit. Large numbers of Type-31 "Seraph"-class fighters and Type-25 "Spirit"-class dropships were swarming the airspace around Farkas Lake. Noble One, Two, Five, and Six fought their way through the Covenant forces on the beach, linked up with Army units inside the facility and secured the area temporarily. Noble Six and Jorge-052 boarded their YSS-1000 "Sabre"-class fighter, and launched into space with the other four Sabre fighters.
All five Sabres rendezvoused with the UNSC Savannah at orbital station Anchor 9. After docking, the Savannah's slipspace drive was removed and mounted on a D77-TC Pelican dropship for transport to the nearby Covenant corvette Ardent Prayer. The corvette, at the time, was on a refueling run to the supercarrier Long Night of Solace, providing UNSC forces an opportunity to commandeer the enemy corvette and approach the Covenant mothership undetected.
While EVA teams transferred the drive, the Sabres were called to defend Anchor 9 and Savannah against the waves of Seraphs and space capable Banshee starfighters. At the start of the engagement, Anchor 9's Point-Defense Guns were offline, and bringing the defenses online required several minutes. Worse, multiple Type-52 "Phantom"-class dropships attempted to board the station. These attempts, however, were prevented by the Sabres.
With the space around Anchor 9 clear of Covenant forces, Jorge-052 separated from Six's Sabre and boarded the Pelican to secure the Slipspace "bomb". The UNSC jammed the Ardent Prayer's communications and disabled its engines, while the Sabres escorted the Pelican to the corvette and neutralized the enemy's defensive starfighters. Savannah, still combat-effective without its slipspace drive, provided support fire to divert the corvette's attention from the Pelican.
Once cleared of high-level resistance, Noble Six and a squad of infantry troopers boarded the corvette and secured the docking bay, allowing the Pelican to land. With Jorge-052 defending the Pelican, Six and the Army soldiers fought their way to the corvette's bridge. While fighting through the enemy ship, the Savannah finally succumbed to the corvette's plasma barrage and was destroyed with all hands. After successfully taking over the bridge, Six manually locked the ship's course to the supercarrier, preventing any potential course corrections. After heading back to the docking bay, the surviving Covenant crew assaulted the UNSC forces, attempting to retake the docking bay and destroy the package. The two Spartans killed the attacking Covenant, but not before the Pelican took heavy damage.
After the short engagement, Jorge-052 discovered several problems. Damage done to the corvette by Savannah had blocked the path back to the Sabres and, as such, the only way off the ship was a space jump. In addition, the timer on the Slipspace bomb was disabled by plasma fire, requiring a manual detonation when the ship reached the supercarrier. Jorge-052 volunteered to activate the bomb manually and forced Noble Six off the Covenant corvette. As the corvette came in range of the Long Night of Solace, the bomb detonated and created a slipspace rupture. The rupture vaporized both the corvette and the midsection of the supercarrier.
The success of Operation: UPPER CUT was short lived. Only minutes after the supercarrier was destroyed, another fleet exited Slipspace above Reach and launched a full-scale assault on the planet.
An adverse side effect of the destruction of the Long Night of Solace was that, Operation: RED FLAG was delayed. The Long Night of Solace was within the parameters for capture but SPECWARCOM accepted Noble Team's plan before ONI could do anything.
|Paris-class heavy frigate||UNSC Savannah||Destroyed|
|Space Station||Anchor 9||Unknown|
|UNSC Army||Colonel||Urban Holland||Survived|
|Chief Warrant Officer||Jorge-052||KIA|
|Fleet of Valiant Prudence||CSO-class supercarrier||Long Night of Solace||Destroyed|
|SDV-class heavy corvette||Ardent Prayer||Destroyed|
|Covenant Navy||Supreme Commander||Rho 'Barutamee||KIA|
- The Sabre flown by Noble Six and Jorge-052, Bravo-029, may be a 7 reference. 9-(0+2)=7
- Halo: Reach (First appearance)