The Siege of AR-558 was a brutal engagement during the Dominion War between the ground forces of the United Federation of Planets and the Dominion in mid-2375. AR-558 was a small planetoid in the Chin'toka system which was assaulted by Federation ground troops after the system was taken during the First Battle of Chin'toka. The planet housed a Dominion subspace communication array, which the Federation could use to garner massive intelligence on the Dominion's movements.
When the Federation soldiers landed, the defending Jem'Hadar were pushed out of the relay station; however, they planted dozens of cloaked mines throughout the facility which the Federation soldiers nicknamed "Houdinis". Over 147 soldiers were left to guard the station while engineers disabled the communications array's security grids and gather the intelligence required. Because the Federation hold on the Chin'toka system was so fractured, reinforcing the planet and merely re-supplying it was a massive problem; Jem'Hadar attack ships frequently ambushed Federation ships on supply runs.
The Jem'Hadar placed in excess of two columns on the planet, and they frequently attacked the Federation-held outpost. The Federation soldiers stationed there were supposed to be relieved after ninety days, however they were left on the planet for five months. Among the casualties of the defenders were the contingent's commanding officer, Captain Loomis, and later his second-in-command Commander Parker, leaving command of the troops in the hands of Lieutenant Nadia Larkin. By the time the USS Defiant arrived on a supply run, 104 of the defending soldiers were killed; the remaining forty-three suffering from combat stress and post traumatic stress syndrome. A small contingent of Defiant personnel decided to stay on the planet, led by Captain Benjamin Sisko, which only bolstered its defenses to a mere forty-eight.
The additional expertise of the Defiant crew allowed the Houdini mines to be located, vastly reducing the chances of further casualties. A scouting mission led by Ensign Nog, who had the extra advantage of sensitive hearing, located the Jem'Hadar camp and confirmed the size of the force at two columns, vastly outnumbering the defenders. However, Nog was badly wounded during the mission. The defenders resolved to make a final stand; the Houdinis would be placed in a ravine, where they would catch the Jem'Hadar in a bottleneck.
During the final attack, the Jem'Hadar were caught in the ambush by the mines, but they still had advantage in numbers and stormed the Starfleet defenses. Despite being outnumbered, the Federation forces managed to repel the Dominion forces, and the station remained in Starfleet hands. At least seven Starfleet officers and thirty Jem'Hadar were killed in the final assault. Following the battle, the Federation landed a relief force, including an engineering crew to take care of the communications array. The station remained in Federation hands until the Chin'toka system was re-taken by the Breen later that year. (DS9: "The Siege of AR-558", "The Changing Face of Evil")
|Major battles of the Dominion War|
|2373: Second Battle of Deep Space 9 • Battle of Torros III|
|2374: Battle of the Tyra system • Operation Return • Battle of Betazed • Liberation of Benzar • First Battle of Chin'toka|
|2375: Destruction of Monac shipyard • Raid on Trelka V • Siege of AR-558 • Battle of Ricktor Prime • Invasion of Septimus III • Breen attack on Earth • Second Battle of Chin'toka • Battle of Rondac III • Battle of Avenal • Battle of Cardassia|