Armed Forces of the Federated Suns

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Formed in 2541 from the Federated Peacekeeping Forces[1] the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns (AFFS) is the military branch of the Federated Suns, the Successor State ruled for most of its history by House Davion. After a rough start, the AFFS would eventually become known as one of the most professional and competent military of the Inner Sphere and, even after the destruction of the Succession Wars, the largest. After 3041, it was integrated with the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces into the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth (AFFC), creating the largest military force since the end of the Star League. Despite fighting bravely to stem the tide of the Clan Invasion, this organization was short-lived, however, as the AFFC was largely folded back into the Federated Suns State Command after the Lyran secession in 3057. Ten years later, in the wake of the FedCom Civil War and with much of its strength lost, the AFFC was renamed the AFFS in conjunction with the renaming of the nation.

Structure[edit]

High Command[edit]

The command structure of the AFFS was first instituted by Prince Alexander Davion in the 26th century and remained essentially unchanged prior to the FedCom alliance.[2] Serving as the governing and administrative body of the AFFS, High Command typically meets at the Strategy Room of the AFFS's headquarters on New Avalon, known also as the "Fox's Den." At it's head sat the First Prince in their role as Supreme Marshal of the AFFS, along with the Prince's Champion, the three principle strategists of the Department of Military Intelligence, and fourteen Field Marshals: the heads of the Draconis and Capellan Marches, the commanders of the seven Combat Theaters, and five advisers with no permanent command. In the event the First Prince could not attend a meeting of High Command, their Champion had the authority to act on their behalf.[3][4]

After the dissolution of the Federated Commonwealth, the AFFS essentially inherited the command structure of the AFFC with some modification. The First Prince and Prince's Champion retained their position, joined by the commanders of the Regional Commands and the heads of the military departments. Below them is the General Staff, consisting of seven generals and thousands of officers who also work out of the Fox's Den and support High Command in carrying out their decisions. The Chief of the General Staff serves as deputy to the Marshal of the Armies and sits on the High Command as a non-voting member.[5]

Regional Commands[edit]

Operational command of combat units in the field is carried out by the Regional Commands, which have been congruent with the administrative Marches since the end of the Davion Civil War: the Draconis March, Capellan March, and Crucis March. By tradition, the heads of the Draconis and Capellan March Regional Commands have also been the Dukes of those Marches, allowing them to wield both political and military power in defending the realm and launching attacks against the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation respectively. If however the Duke or Duchess cannot prove themselves worthy of taking on this responsibility, such a command is instead assumed by the senior most Field Marshal operating in the Regional Command. The March commanders have wide latitude to defend their regions and launch offensives into their neighbors, and have done so even without the rest of High Command's knowledge or consent, though such rogue actions usually end disastrously if the proper support isn't provided. The First Prince fulfills a similar role as commander of the Crucis March (known also as the New Avalon Regional Command), though often they will hand such a responsibility off to another Field Marshal or their Champion.[3][6] Shortly after the Jihad, a fourth region, the Periphery March, was created and structured along the same lines as the original Marches.[7]

Each march is divided into Combat Theaters (or Operation Areas in the Crucis March), commanded by a Field Marshal, that allow for quicker response times and prevents supply lines from being stretched too thin. Most regions are divided into two theaters which, depending on their position relative to Terra, are labeled the Coreward or Edgeward Combat Theater, though the Crucis March consists of three Operation Areas, one Coreward and two Edgeward. Lastly, each Theater/Area is divided into Polymorphous Defense Zones (PDZ). Each PDZ consists of up to several dozen planet, though it is known by the world which serves as its command and logistics center, and is commanded by a Marshal. Each PDZ is permanently assigned a March Militia unit plus additional forces from the regular army as needed. PDZs within the Crucis March are known by the older name of Combat Region and correspond with their civilian Administrative Areas but otherwise operate the same as elsewhere.[3][6][8]

Military Departments[edit]

Prior to the formation of the AFFC, the bureaucracy of the AFFS fell under the purview of the New Avalon Regional Command which, given its relative safety, was primarily concerned with providing support to the other two Marches. Partially this was so that the DMRC and CMRC could focus entirely on executing combat operations against the Draconis and Capellan realms, and partly to ensure power was centralized in New Avalon and remove the temptation for the other Marches to contest it.[3] After the dissolution of the FedCom state the AFFS took on the AFFC's bureaucratic structure, with the heads of each Department answering to the Marshal of the Armies and having a seat on High Command.[9][10]

Department of the Army and Navy

The Department of the Army and Navy oversees all personnel issues, including transfers, staffing, and retirement. They also coordinate with other departments to investigate complaints about poor officers, inappropriate equipment, and supply problems.

Department of Mercenary Relations

This department appoints liaison officers to the mercenary units employed by the Federated Suns. Soldiers in this department also negotiate contracts and handle administrative tasks. The Department of Mercenary Relations was the successor to an earlier military department, the Department of Contractor Relations, which was established after the enactment of the Preparedness Act of 2735. The Department of Contractor Relations was responsible for helping to recruit many of the Star League Defense Force units that remained in the Inner Sphere after the Exodus.[11]

Department of Military Administration

This department handles all the tasks not covered by other military departments. This department oversees the Medical Corps, Chaplain Corps, and handles payroll for regular forces.

Department of Military Communications and Research

Inherited from the AFFC, the Department of Military Communications and Research oversees research into HPG systems and joint research projects.

Department of the Quartermaster

Known as the Transportation and Resupply Department prior to the AFFC,[12] the Department of the Quartermaster handles the procurement of material, parts, foodstuffs, uniforms, ammunition, and everything else the AFFS needs to fight. The Quartermaster Department is also responsible for shipping the appropriate items to the soldiers on the front lines. To facilitate this the Department maintains supply depots in each March, and during major operations keeps the supply lines short by setting up forward supply depots.

Department of Military Education

The Department of Military Education handles recruiting, training, and education of all AFFS soldiers. It also sets the standards for all Federated Suns military academies. The DME also maintains the library systems used by the AFFS and the navigational charts used by the AFFS Navy.

Department of Military Intelligence

The Department of Military Intelligence focuses on collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence to AFFS commands.

Department of Military Justice

This department oversees the Military Police Corps, as well as the Judge Advocate General corps. The department is responsible for investigating, prosecuting, and punishing criminal activities involving members of the AFFS.

Department of Strategy and Tactics

Formed during the Federated Commonwealth era, the Department of Strategy and Tactics examines every historical conflict and simulates potential conflicts to develop the grand strategies used by the High Command. The Department also works with the Department of Military Education to create new training materials that incorporate the latest information.

Doctrine[edit]

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Organization[edit]

The AFFS employs several different categories of troops to defend its borders and prosecute offensive campaigns. The best trained and equipped regiments are those which fall under the Regular Army, many of which belong to larger formations such as the Davion Brigade of Guards that can effectively operate as independent units in their own right. The commanders of these formations usually work with High Command, but when necessary have been known to sidestep them during times of political or bureaucratic crisis to ensure their subordinate regiments receive the support they need. In 3062 about half of the Regular Army's regiments were integrated as part of a RCT or larger formation, with the rest operating as independent regiments.[13]

Supporting the Regular Army are the March Militia units, which serve as both a reserve force for the regulars and a defensive force in their own right. Most PDZs are permanently assigned their own March Militia under the command of a Major, organized and equipped similar to an RCT but smaller (two armored regiments instead of three, along with fewer artillery and aerospace support), manned by personnel native to the region and receiving outdated equipment from the regular forces. March Militias may only operate within their PDZ and on worlds bordering it, and very rarely have permanently assigned transport capabilities. While generally not as skilled or technologically formidable as regular units, March Militias make up for it in their knowledge of local terrain and fanaticism in defending their homes.[13][14][15]

Each planet also has its own planetary militia, also known as Planetary Guards, which serve as their last line of defense. While technically not part of the AFFS, officers of Marshal rank or higher have the ability to take command of them as needed. These forces are paid for, trained and equipped at each planet's own expense, meaning with rare exception they are almost always conventional forces using outdated equipment. Depending on the resources available to a given world, it's militia might number anywhere from several dozen or more down to less than one regiment in size.[14][15]

The AFFS also has dedicated training units as part of its forces, one of the first Inner Sphere powers to do so. This allows students under the command of experienced officers are able to gain real-life combat experience before being transfer to a Regular Army command. Each of the AFFS' military academies operate their own training cadres, most no larger than a battalion in size, though both the NAIS and Albion colleges are equivalent to a regiment. Additionally, in 3024 Prince Hanse Davion created Regional Training Battalions as an alternate method of training new MechWarriors, and while the level of equipment they receive varies most can hold their own in a fight.[13][16][15]

Deployment Status[edit]

In 2750 the AFFS had a strength of 53 BattleMech Forces and 25 WarShips. As of 2765 they were well equipped with 110 'Mech regiments, and the naval fleet had a volume of 51 vessels.[17]

2765[edit]

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3079[edit]

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3085[edit]

  • Independent Commands

3145[edit]

  • Independent Commands

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Handbook House Davion, p. 37
  2. Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 13-14
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 121-122
  4. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 131
  5. Handbook: House Davion, p. 121-122
  6. 6.0 6.1 Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 17
  7. Field Manual: 3085, p. 61
  8. Handbook: House Davion, p. 125
  9. Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 15-16
  10. Handbook: House Davion, p. 123-124
  11. Field Report 276: Federated Suns, p. 4, "A Long History of 'Independent' Forces"
  12. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 121
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 18-19
  14. 14.0 14.1 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 127
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Handbook: House Davion, p. 126-127
  16. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 147
  17. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 49, "Member State Troop Strengh"
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 18.11 18.12 18.13 18.14 18.15 Field Manual: 3085, pages 56-67
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 19.11 19.12 19.13 19.14 19.15 19.16 Field Manual: 3145, pages 72-85

Bibliography[edit]