24th Marine Engineering Brigade
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In May-June 2526, the brigade was involved in the fighting of the Battle of Mesra. During the battle, the Covenant elected not to glass the planet, instead deploying invasion forces onto the surface to capture the planet's rich mineral veins, including xenotime. The 24th were thus deployed onto the planet in a large-scale asset-denial operation, using nuclear weapons to destroy the mining infrastructure and render any of the ore veins unuseable. The fighting was conducted over the course of eight days, with the Marines working alongside the Militia of Mesra to keep the Covenant at bay. Due to the local militia conducting most of the heavy lifitng during the fighting, the Marines supplied much of their combat equipment for use including Anaconda surface-to-air missiles.
On the eighth day of fighting, the Marine HQ was located in the Doukala Xenotime Works, the final xenotime mine on the planet needing to be destroyed. With the brigade primarily intended for demolition operations, they were reliant on the Militia and the reinforcement of Blue Team to hold off a massive Covenant armoured column. Unfortunately, the attempts to resist the alien advance were defeated and dozens of Wraith tanks were able to spill across the Nasim Bridge and begin an advance on the brigade HQ. A platoon of the brigade's Marines were dispatched to assist Blue Team in their retreat in the hopes that the brigade might be able to hold off the Covenant; though the intervention of Admiral Cole saw Blue Team extracted off-world via prowler UNSC Night Watch to begin an operation to capture a downed Covenant frigate, the "Lucky Break".
The 24th Marine Engineering Brigade were ultimately unable to complete their objective, and instead began a general evacuation. However, the Covenant's orbital superiority over Mesra meant that the Marines' lightly-armoured transports would have most likely been destroyed by their strikecraft pickets. The Night Watch waited until the Marine evacuation began to extract, intending to use them as a cover to exit the planet undetected.
In mid-2526, the unit was commanded by Brigadier General Artur Pahlavi. During the conflict on Mesra, Pahlavi went by the callsign of "Brigade Actual". The brigade's HQ element had the callsign "Brigade Tactical". Overall, the brigade had around 5,000 personnel.
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