Upon gaining access to the comm logs of the captured Free Navy ship Azure Dragon the United Nations learned that a high level Free Navy meeting was being held on Ceres. With the entire enemy leadership at one location and the United Nations Navy no longer pinned down it was decided to launch an offensive to capture Ceres.
Upon seeing that a large UNN fleet was headed towards Ceres Marcos Inaros decided to instead of putting up a fight to destroy all of Ceres infrastructure and abandon the station. The plan was force the inner planets to over extend their resources by advancing which the Free Navy could later exploit. The station was gutted and the majority of the six million civilian population was abandoned. When the Consolidated fleet arrived the docks had been destroyed, water supplies jettisoned, and reactors powered down.
The first ships to arrive at the station were two troop carriers, one from Earth, and one from Mars. They received permission to approach from Ceres traffic control. When docked at berths troops poured out into the station expecting resistance, but instead finding only a handful of boobie traps, empty storerooms and reservoirs, and a security anxious to surrender to anyone willing to take charge.
After the taking control of Ceres the Combined fleet and local engineering unions put together an emergency response team to rebuilt environmental systems and recycling plants to keep the station from collapsing. Meanwhile Fred Johnson spent his time meeting with local Outer Planets Alliance groups, unions, and the remains of the administrative staff. Fred used this time to pull in all his favors from anyone of influence within the Outer Planets Alliance to bring them to Ceres. Meanwhile acting-Secretary-General of the United Nations Chrisjen Avasarala recognized him as the acting governor of Ceres.
The restoration of Ceres took many of the UN's resources, but it also placed the station firmly under the influence of Earth. The destruction caused by the Free Navy ultimately caused many Belters to leave the faction including Anderson Dawes who helped influence the remaining Outer Planets Alliance factions to fight against the Free Navy, and Michio Pa whom took a large portion of the Free Navy fleet and formed her own pirate faction.