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]

The AFFS has historically been a military which epitomizes combined-arms operations ever since the ascension of Melissa Davion in 2876. Becoming First Prince in the midst of the Third Succession War and with plenty of combat experience herself, Melissa recognized that, though still kings of the battlefield, BattleMechs were increasingly hard to replace with the severe destruction in infrastructure that had occurred. She also recognized that the AFFS bureaucracy had become top-heavy and inter-service rivalry was hurting the military's ability to conduct operations effectively. Over the course of nearly fifteen years, Melissa Davion reformed the AFFS into her new "Model Army" by streamlining and consolidating departments and by forming combat units into Regimental Combat Teams. The new RCTs in particular forced MechWarriors and conventional troops to work more closely together than was common in the other Great Houses at the time, creating a stronger bond between the service branches and a more effective fighting force. The success of the "Model Army" in capturing Robinson in 2892 proved the effectiveness of Melissa's reforms just prior to her untimely death.[13][14]

BattleMechs still form the core of the AFFS, and will often be the first (and the last) units to see combat in any given operation. 'Mech units are organized around the standard Inner Sphere model, though commanding officers are allowed to organized as they see fit (as long as they have the equipment). Some battalions might consist of three to four companies plus a command lance; some regiments likewise consist of three to four battalions with a command company.[15] The AFFS traditionally assigns the best MechWarrior to a regiment regardless of the weight of the 'Mech they pilot, being more interested in bringing together pilots that possess both great skill and teamwork. As a result the Federation's 'Mech regiments have typically been lighter than the average among the Great Houses, though they have benefited from being the most numerous as well.[15][16]

Conventional regiments not part of an RCT are typically combined into semi-permanent brigades consisting of four to eight infantry regiments and at least one regiment of armor (which might similarly be reinforced as with 'Mech regiments), though independent regiments are also common. Those designated as Forward Deployment units will follow after the first wave to reinforce the front lines, while Primary Relief units come last to perform clean-up and garrison duties in the invasion force's rear areas. Like RCTs, these brigades are often assigned additional support units, typically at least a battalion of engineers but also others such as Special Forces. Such units are organized into reinforced battalions of four companies each, with four platoons per company, though they are often deployed at less than platoon strength.[17] The AFFS was also the first Inner Sphere military to adopt Battle Armor and with great enthusiasm: by 3062 most Regular Army infantry regiments had at least a company of Battle Armor assigned to them, and several RCTs had independent battalions.[18]

Every regiment is also assigned sufficient non-combat support personnel to see to their needs when operating away from base. Whether performing medical, supply or some other necessary function, the number of non-combatants averages two to four per combat troop in each unit. Rarely though will the entire support staff be deployed alongside the combat regiment when it goes on missions, not least of all given the limited space on transport vessels.[19]

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.[20]

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.[20][16][21]

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.[16][21]

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.[20][22][21]

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.[23]

2765[edit]

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3079[edit]

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3085[edit]

  • Independent Commands

3145[edit]

  • Independent Commands

Military Academies[edit]

The AFFS has benefited greatly from a history of providing the best training to all personnel, from lowly privates to field marshals. For the vast majority, their path towards enlistment begins by attending one of the countless Basic Military Training camps spread across the Federation. Many are directly controlled by the AFFS through the Department of Military Education, or are run by planetary authorities or private schools with accreditation received from the DME. Indeed, some of the best training a recruit can receive comes from these boot camps.[26][27] Every world is responsible for funding its own boot camps, which are often staffed by retirees or reservists of the AFFS.[28] Basic training lasts anywhere from three to six months, after which a recruit is transferred to a Specialty School based on their aptitude tests. Here the recruit is trained in their occupational specialty, whether in tank operation or battlefield communication, though only a rare few have the capability to train for highly skill-sensitive occupations.[26][28][29] Federation citizens may enlist after reaching sixteen years of age and can expect to serve a two-to-four-year tour of duty with the AFFS.[26][28]

However, attending one of the Federation's premier military academies is the surest way to a recruit's choice of assignment and path into the officer corps, though physical and academic standards are higher and their curriculum more intense.[26][28][30] If lucky enough, a cadet who gains entrance to one of the state-run academies will have to pay no tuition, though the expense of private academies puts them out of reach of all but the most affluent. Enlisting or attending a prep school can give a prospective recruit a leg up on being accepted into an academy, but all require that they have some sort of recommendation, typically from a senior military officer. All academies follow the curriculum set by the DME, which can last anywhere from three to six years depending on the cadet's specialty. The first year is dedicated to basic military training, after which the rest of their time is spent on training for their occupation, while those who qualify can enroll in a one-year Officer Candidate School. Graduates of the academies enter the AFFS at the rank of Sergeant (or Subaltern if they completed OCS) and are obligated to serve for a set tour of duty: six to eight if they attended a state-run school, or as little as two if they attended a private school without a scholarship.[31]

A third option are the Regional Training Battalions, designed to give prospective MechWarriors who lack the academic scores (or political clout) to get into an academy a chance to join the AFFS. Battalion instructors select candidates from those who have completed basic training and give them one of the most hands-on training available in the Federation. Practical skills are emphasized over theoretical learning, and the closest most cadets will get to a "classroom" is a field tent or repair bay. Each cadet is assigned a senior cadet mentor and staff adviser to assist them, and will graduate from the battalion when they've demonstrated a mastery of their skills in a 'Mech. As such, it is possible for a Mechwarrior to graduate in just two years, though most take at least six, and will enter the AFFS with a rank of Sergeant (though it is not unknown to receive a commission instead).[29][32] When the first training battalions were formed in 3024 by First Prince Hanse Davion, the MechWarriors they produced could hold their own against any academy graduate, though they were woefully ignorant of the technical aspects of their 'Mechs.[33] Within a few decades though, graduates of these battalions were not only considered qualified pilots but capable technicians as well.[29][32]

Training did not stop once a cadet graduated from school though. Non-commissioned and commissioned officers are permitted and encouraged to cross-train in different specialties in order to gain a wider understanding of the military arts. Most Specialty Schools set aside enough billets to allow whole classes of NCOs and officers to attend, as do most academies. Likewise, all AFFS units participate in at least one major combat exercise every year on their homeworld, or travel to a different world for one every two years.[26][29] Additionally, the Federated Suns possesses several Combat Training Centers (CTCs) which allow for realistic combat training. At each center, sensors mounted on every combat unit and trooper allow the Ground-Aerospace Combat Tracking Instrumentation computer system to track every simulated weapons attack and assign hits and damage for each, while dedicated OpFor units accurately mimic the Federation's enemies.[32]

Federated Commonwealth Military Academies
Davionacademiesalbinon.png Albion Military Academy

Located on the capital of New Avalon and built in the 2400s, Albion was one of three Star League Military Academies located outside of the Terran Hegemony. After the collapse of the Star League, the Federated Suns took over the administration of the institution, and since then it has produced countless quality officers for the AFFS and AFFC. Albion is known for its highly-skilled graduates and boasts many well-known alumni including First Prince Hanse Davion. [34]

Davionacademiesarmstrong.png Armstrong Flight Academy

The premier flight school in the Federated Suns, the Armstrong Flight Academy is located on Galax, home of Federated-Boeing Interstellar. Both F-BI and AFA benefit from the relationship between the academy and the corporation. [35]

Davionacademiesfilvet.png Filtvelt Military Academy

A relatively young institution, the Filtvelt Military Academy lacked modern facilities and equipment, and was considered second-rate by the AFFS. Given its location near the Periphery, many graduates serve with nearby units. [36]

Davionacademieskilbourne.png Kilbourne Academy
Main article: Kilbourne Academy

While the Kilbourne Academy trains MechWarriors, it is better known for its technicians. Since it is located near the Periphery of the Draconis March, it is one of the few centers of learning in the area. Accordingly, non-cadets may attend non-military classes. [37]

Emblem of the NAIS College of Military Sciences New Avalon Institute of Science: College of Military Sciences

Arguably the most prestigious military academy in the Inner Sphere, the College of Military Sciences of the NAIS turns out high-quality cadets in all military specialties. Formerly known as the NAMA, the New Avalon Military Academy, the school was founded during the Star League years after the League took over Albion Military Academy. After NAIS was built around NAMA and far eclipsed it in prestige, however, the institutions were reorganized and NAMA was placed under the jurisdiction of the NAIS. Home to some of the most advanced training equipment in the Inner Sphere, CMS benefits from its close relationship with the NAIS, which seems to rediscover lost technology on a daily basis. Its large alumni base includes First Prince Ian Davion, Morgan Hasek-Davion, Dan Allard, and Kai Allard-Liao. [38]

Davionacademiespointbarrow.png Point Barrow Military Academy

Point Barrow Military Academy demands the best out of its cadets, favoring a practical, hands-on approach that implemented live-fire exercises as opposed to simulators. Offering courses in virtually all specializations, Point Barrow is known for producing quality technicians and engineers. [39]

Battle Academy of Robinson.jpg Robinson Battle Academy

Located on Robinson, the RBA is the principal training academy of the Draconis March. Its graduates are known for their loyalty to the Sandoval family and their hatred of the Draconis Combine and all things Japanese. Most scions of the Sandoval family attend the Battle Academy, so it enjoys strong support from them. [40]

Emblem of Sakhara Academy Sakhara Academy
Main article: Sakhara Academy

The Sakhara Academy is one of a handful of private military academies in the Federated Suns. A small academy, the school is known for producing quality cadets who form lasting bonds, making it a sort of fraternity. [41]

Logo of the War College Goshen War College of Goshen
Main article: War College of Goshen

Based on Goshen, the War College was originally founded by a pair of retired Generals from the Capellan Front as the Goshen BattleMech Academy. Within a decade, the College had expanded its curriculum to cover all areas of combat from infantry to aerospace and was renamed the War College of Goshen. Renowned both for is philosophical approach and its hands on method to teaching, the WCG produces well-balanced cadets who exhibit a keen understanding of their combat equipment and environment. This is partly due to the fact that all cadets - save infantry - routinely participate in live-fire training exercises. Additionally, students are noted for their deep roots in academic studies of philosophies of war and peace. No cadet graduates without a comprehensive understanding of the history of warfare, the development of tactics though that history, and a complete education on the governance of the Federated Suns both in wartime and peacetime.

Davionacademieswarriorhall.png The Warrior's Hall
Main article: The Warrior's Hall

Located on New Syrtis, the Warrior's Hall is the principal training academy of the Capellan March, with graduates known for their loyalty to the Hasek family and their hatred of the Capellan Confederation. Most scions of the Hasek family attend the Hall, so it enjoys strong support from them. [42]

Military Ranks[edit]

The ranks of the Armored Forces of the Federated Suns are a combination of elements from the SLDF and the British Army of ancient Terra. There were more ranks in the AFFS than any other Great House military barring the Lyrans, which had the effect of allowing for promotions while still giving time to judge a soldier's character and prevent incompetents from rising too high or too fast.[28] Lyran and Davion ranks were merged together in 3042 with the creation of the AFFC, but as that organization began to split up after the Clan Invasion the older system soon came back into use.[43][44]

For enlisted personnel, their rank insignia is based on a system of stripes known as Scars, short for "Scars of the Sword", upon which a black sword is superimposed. Pre-3025 the insignia was worn on the right shoulder, though after the FedCom split they could either be worn the shoulders or plain green epaulets. On service uniforms they are colored to match their branch: Red for MechWarriors, blue for conventional forces, gold for aerospace pilots, et cetera. Regular Army or March Militia enlisted have their scars edged in black, while planetary militia are edged in dark green. Officer ranks are displayed on epaulets of the same color as their service branch, with those of general rank edged in gold. When operating in the field or wearing camouflaged clothing, the rank insignia color was subdued for both officers and enlisted, with the former having the option of displaying their insignia on the collar.[28][43][44]

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 2765: AFFS, p. 4, "A Long History of 'Independent' Forces"
  12. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 121
  13. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 81-82
  14. Handbook: House Davion, p. 63-64
  15. 15.0 15.1 Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 41
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 127
  17. Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 22, 23
  18. Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 22
  19. Handbook: House Davion, p. 127
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 18-19
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Handbook: House Davion, p. 126-127
  22. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 147
  23. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 49, "Member State Troop Strengh"
  24. 24.00 24.01 24.02 24.03 24.04 24.05 24.06 24.07 24.08 24.09 24.10 24.11 24.12 24.13 24.14 24.15 Field Manual: 3085, pages 56-67
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 25.12 25.13 25.14 25.15 25.16 Field Manual: 3145, pages 72-85
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 35-36
  27. Handbook: House Davion, p. 129
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 122
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Handbook: House Davion, p. 130
  30. Handbook: House Davion, p. 128
  31. Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 37-38
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 42
  33. House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 147
  34. Handbook: House Davion p. 128, Albion Military Academy
  35. Handbook: House Davion p. 129, Armstrong Flight Academy
  36. Handbook: House Davion p. 129, Filtvelt Military Academy
  37. Handbook: House Davion p. 129, Kilbourne Academy
  38. Handbook: House Davion p. 128, NAIS College of Military Sciences
  39. Handbook: House Davion p. 129, Point Barrow Military Academy
  40. Handbook: House Davion p. 128, Robinson Battle Academy
  41. Handbook: House Davion p. 128, Sakhara Academy
  42. Handbook: House Davion p. 128, Warrior's Hall
  43. 43.0 43.1 Field Manual: Federated Suns, p. 26
  44. 44.0 44.1 Handbook: House Davion, p. 130-131

Bibliography[edit]