The SLS Wales was the Texas-class Flagship of Vice Admiral Dmitrios Rummolo during the naval battle between Rim Worlds Republic forces and SLDF forces in the New Earth system in late December 2766 when Stefan Amaris launched Operation APOTHEOSIS.
The Wales had arrived in the New Earth system accompanied by an escort consisting of a Congress-class frigate and two Essex-class destroyers, and were collectively en route to join the SLDF Ninth Fleet, which Rummolo was due to take command of on promotion to Admiral. As New Earth was a major supply world for the SLDF, a large convoy was already assembling in the system under the command of Commodore Altran Serdamba, who was in charge of the convoy defense flotilla consisting of his flagship, the Luxor-class cruisor SLS Van der Bergh, four destroyers and nine corvettes. The Wales and her vessels were due to be attached to the convoy for their trip out to the Magistracy of Canopus when Stefan Amaris launched APOTHEOSIS, his coup to take over the Terran Hegemony and ultimately the Star League. As a part of APOTHEOSIS, the Rim Worlds Republic navy launched attacks across the Hegemony, and one such attack force consisting of twenty Rim Worlds WarShips attacked the convoy as it assembled at the nadir point.
The RWR WarShips had the element of surprise, scoring a number of hits against the unprepared Wales after targeting both the Wales and the Van der Bergh as priority targets when they launched their attack. Commodore Serdamba had been running his defense flotilla through convoy protection drills when the attack was launched, and he and his ships immediately returned fire and began launching AeroSpace Fighters even as the Rim Worlds vessels were launching fighters of their own; the swift actions on the part of the defense flotilla bought valuable minutes for the Wales and her escort to come to battle stations and join the fight, and with the Wales and the firepower of her squadron added to that of Serdamba's forces, the fight became more even. The greater experience of the SLDF navy crews proved the tipping point, and after losing eight of the ships from their combined forces, Rummolo and Serdamba drove off the RWR ships, crippling fourteen enemy vessels in the process.
Unaware of what was happening outside the New Earth system, Rummolo ordered Serdamba to secure the Apollo Four shipyards at a LaGrange point near the fifth planet in the New Earth system, while the Wales and her two Essex-class escorts quick-charged their engines, the Congress having been lost in the ambush. The next day, Rummolo dispatched the two destroyers to join Serdamba's position at the shipyards, while the Wales led thirteen assorted government and military JumpShips out of the system to the secret naval base that would later become known as Freedom Station.
Ten years after Operation APOTHEOSIS, with SLDF forces liberating Hegemony worlds from the Amaris Empire, the Secret Fleet had linked up with the SLDF proper, and Rummolo had taken up command of the Ninth Fleet in time to lead the campaign to liberate New Earth.
Rummolo led an unconventional campaign from the outset; having obtained approval to destroy the HPG in the New Earth system, as the need for security - and the need to prevent the SDS network sharing information on SLDF tactics, techniques and procedures - outweighed the need for the HPG, which could be replaced on a temporary basis by mobile HPG systems. The attack on New Earth began with three civilian vessels who had been operating as a part of the Secret Fleet for some time, the DropShips DeBritta, Memphis Tale and Rojo Caballero, each of which had been modified to carry capital missiles. Although all three modified civilian DropShips were swiftly destroyed by Amaris Empire Armed Forces AeroSpace Fighters they managed to destroy the HPG as well as crippling several important command and control nodes.
As the DeBritta, Memphis Tale and Rojo Caballero were making their strike, Admiral Rummolo brought the Ninth Fleet to the nadir jump point and quickly crushed the defenses there before jumping the fleet to the zenith jump point and destroying the defenses there. The Ninth Fleet had secured the zenith jump point well before news of the strike at the nadir point could reach the defenders at the zenith jump point. As the Ninth Fleet recharged their jump engines Admiral Rummolo called in elements of the Fourth Fleet to secure the remainder of the system as Amaris' forces retreated back to make a last stand at New Earth.
Rummolo's plan for taking New Earth called for the Ninth Fleet to jump to the L1 Lagrange point above New Earth and then, pushing through the SDS drones to enter low orbit above the planet, where their fighters and assault craft would divide their efforts between attacking the orbital defenses and various ground-based targets, while the WarShips would operate close to the atmosphere, attacking ground targets directly. That plan proved successful - operating so close to the planet was completely against standard naval doctrine and many of the Ninth Fleet's WarShips took damage as a result, but the Caspar drones experienced even more problems, with many burning up in the atmosphere.
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 72, "Command of the Stars"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, p. 52-53, "Space Age Sacrifice"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, p. 54, "Space Age Sacrifice"