Task Force David was, depending on your point of view, either a volunteer Earth Fleet task force or a band of mercenary Jewish pirates that raided the Christian Federation toward the end of the Third Civil War.
NIS Samarian, Camelot-class Light Cruiser
NIS Samson, Barbarian-class Heavy Cruiser
NIS Goliath, another Barbarian-class Heavy Cruiser
NIS Disraeli, Mandela-class Destroyer.
NIS Galilee, Veracruz-class Light Assualt Vessel
Twelve "gunboats" (converted cargo freighters)
Two supply freighters
4 squadrons F-7 Corsair Medium Space Superiority Fighters
2 squadrons IF-16 Warhawk Heavy Interceptor/Strike Fighters
2 squadrons F-3 Maverick Light Fighters
1 squadrons SF-25 Crusader Heavy Strike Fighters
Captain Xinjao O'Reilly, after escaping captivity in Phoenix by the Righteous Army, was obsessed with crushing the Christian Federation. Earth Fleet, however, considered the Tech Infantry Rebels and Jurvain to be a more immediate threat, and established a defensive containment policy against the Christian Federation. Determined, O'Reilly leveraged his new-found (and unwanted) celebrity as a Hero of the Federation to pressure Admiral Vorheis into letting him organize a volunteer task force for an offensive against the Christian Federation. Although the Schaumburg was the only Earth Fleet vessel in the task force, the New Israel colony from Cronos provided six antique warships from their "orbital naval museum," a dozen support freighters, and the bulk of the volunteer crews. O'Reilly managed to scrounge, bribe, blackmail, trick, and steal enough fighters to fill their launch bays.
Task Force David's first engagement at Alpha Centauri was a disaster. Lacking a gravity drive, they had no choice but to charge out of the hyperspace jumpgate, which the Righteous Navy had been seeded with an improvised minefield. Although they eventually broke out of the minefield and defeated the tiny Righteous Navy picket (even capturing their "flagship," a Luzon-class frigate), Task Force David lost almost a third of their forces, including the New Israeli light cruiser Samarian.
After returning to Federation space for repairs and supplies, Task Force David's second engagement at Tarkin went much better. Assuming (correctly) that the Righteous Navy would mine the exit of the Minos-Tarkin jumpgate as well, O'Reilly navigated through hyperspace to the other side of the system, then entered through the Beowulf-Tarkin jumpage instead. Catching the Righteous Navy picket by surprise and from behind, Task Force David quickly destroyed it, only losing a few fighters and gun boats this time.
Core Systems RaidEdit
Turning Tarkin over the Federation to defend, Task Force David disappeared into hyperspace for a three-month raid behind enemy lines, occasionally plundering merchant ships and colonies to resupply Task Force David. Hiding out in hyperspace, using the risky navigation technique of "jumping the beam" to switch between hyperspace navigation beacons, the Righteous Navy was never quite sure where Task Force David was or where they would strike next.
O'Reilly's main goal was to prevent the Christian Federation from expanding by smashing their orbital and industrial infrastructure - spacedocks, shipyards, repair yards, asteroid mining facilities, fueling platforms, orbital factories and refineries, etc. This was achieved through the liberal use of the light assult ship Galilee's mass drivers to destroy key industrial targets and launch complexes. Unfortunately, it also resulted in a number of civilian casualties in "collateral damage."
After O'Reilly's multi-month raid forced the Righteous Navy to redistribute their forces throughout the Christian Federation (so that every system had at least some defense), Task Force David invaded the Righteous Navy's 2nd Fleet's base at Phoenix (a target much larger than they had ever attacked before). Entering the system through multiple jumpgates simultaneously, the task force surrounded the remaining ships of the 2nd Fleet. The galaxy then witnessed the bizarre spectacle of two antiquated and woefully inadequate fleets slugging it out in increasingly fierce and desperate fighting. Although the heavy cruiser Samson and the destroyer Disraeli were destroyed, Task Force David won the battle when the remaining Righteous Navy ships retreated through the San Angeles jumpgate.
By this time, Earth Fleet had defeated the TI Rebels and driven back the Jurvain, and so finally turned their attention back to the (now wide open) Christian Federation. Within a month, the Fleet had rolled through and retaken all the systems (with the exception of San Angeles, which took longer to conquer and was never completely pacified).
Although Task Force David was popular in the press and good for Federation morale, in reality it accomplished little. Its only significant achievement was the liberation of Phoenix and the near-destruction of the Righteous Navy's 2nd Fleet. Although the task force successfully liberated Alpha Centauri and Tarkin, both were worthless systems with little or no strategic or economic value. It could also be argued that by this point in the war, the Christian Federation was so weakened that the raids on their core system infrastructure was unnecessary, needlessly destroying resources that the Federation could have later reconquered and used for itself. Given that industrial raids also resulted in many civilian deaths, Task Force David's leader, Captain Xinjao O'Reilly, was later charged with war crimes (although he was acquitted at his court martial).
The Schaumburg, the task force's flagship, remains in active duty in the Federation's Earth Fleet (but under a different captain, of course). The surviving antique warships (the heavy cruiser Goliath and assault ship Galilee) were disarmed and returned to the "naval museum" in orbit over New Israel. In a twist of irony, they were later confiscated by Emperor Vin Dane, rearmed, and put into service in the Imperial Navy during the Ascension War. Afterward, both was transfered to the Fifth Fleet in the Arachnid Quarantine Zone, where they remain to this day.