After arriving in high orbit over New Madrid, the fleet was suddenly attacked by massive anti-orbital gun batteries that belonged to the then-unknown Arm of Orion, which necessitated emergency evasive actions in order to allow Sky Crane to quickly deploy infantry onto the planet. The 8th Armored Infantry Division was one of the first units deployed onto the scene and was tasked with securing various control points near the weapon batteries in order to disable them, securing a relatively safe beachhead for the rest of the USIF assault forces. Battling Arm forces for the very first time, USIF Private Alex Corde, of Section 8's elite 1st Recon Platoon, was responsible for the destruction of three Arm Supply Depots that were keeping the enemy supplied.
Near the mission's end, Corde was dispatched with the squad's sergeant to secure the final objective whereupon they came under attack from an Arm M05 Silverback Heavy Armor which killed the sergeant. However, Private Corde managed to destroy it and complete the mission, disabling the anti-orbital guns and securing a firm planetary beachhead for the USIF assault forces. Thus, Operation: First Contact was a success.
During the operation, intelligence determined that the Arm was led by Soren, a former member of the United States Empire's own 8th Armored Infantry Division.
Operation: First Contact was a success, however the casualties for the elite 1st Recon Platoon were so high as to be almost wiped out. Fortunately, the platoon was reinforced with extra troops, allowing it to continue service. Soon after, 1st Recon was deployed to its next mission, Operation: Black Box.