17th Recon Regiment
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|Seventeenth Recon Regiment|
Widely known by their nickname Camacho's Caballeros, the 17th Recon Regiment (sometimes abbreviated "17th Recon") is a mercenary unit featured in the BattleTech novels Close Quarters, Hearts of Chaos, and Black Dragon, all written by Victor Milán. Their unit strength at the beginning of Close Quarters (circa 3057) is roughly a regiment in size, with three full battalions of 'Mechs and an unspecified number of infantry.
Notable members of Camacho's Caballeros include Cassie Suthorn (the main character of Close Quarters and who has a hobby of defeating BattleMechs whilst she is on foot) and Colonel Carlos Camacho. The unit appeared to be composed of older 'Mechs, such as the Phoenix Hawk, Shadow Hawk, and Wasp, though they are mentioned as being upgraded with double heat sinks and at least one C3 computer system.
No unifying color scheme or insignia is referred to in the novels. The 'Mechs seem to be custom painted and decorated by each pilot.
Close Quarters describes the unit as being composed of Free Worlds League natives, and having a diverse mix of different ethnicities. Many of the members hail from the three impoverished worlds of Cerillos, Galisteo, and Sierra, the so-called "Trinity of Southwestern Worlds" on the League edge of the Periphery that are composed primarily of individuals of Hispanic descent. The novel also states the unit as being involved in battle against the Clans, Colonel Carlos Camacho most notably piloting a captured Clan Smoke Jaguar Mad Cat. They are employed by the people of Crotch (in a flashback) and, for the main part of the story, Chandrasekhar Kurita, the CEO of Hachiman Taro Electronics, which is based out of Hachiman.
The Caballeros have been key in foiling the plots of the Kokuryu-kai, as they did when the rebels attempted to conquer Towne from the Federated Commonwealth. The Caballeros defeated the 15th Dieron Regulars there, earning the Draconis Combine a bruised ego as a line unit was defeated by corporate mercenaries. The Regiment gained a fourth Battalion in wake of the fighting on Towne in 3058. Many of the 'Mechs and equipment that would make up their new battalion came from the decimated Black Dragon-aligned forces which included the 15th Dieron Regulars and its task force of supporting regiments. Prior to June, the unit received a mixed group of new recruits from the Southwest Trinity of worlds, which would incorporate some survivors of the fighting on Towne. Robert "Navajo Wolf" Begay was promoted to Force Commander and became its commanding officer. However many within the regiment were ill at ease with the new Battalion due to the nature of its creation and personnel.
The Caballeros were again on hand at Coordinator Theodore Kurita's birthday celebration, which they were invited to as a thanks for their involvement in the Towne debacle. There, they were able to escort both Theodore and Chandrasekhar to safety when the Otomo, the Coordinator's bodyguard, attempted to assassinate him.
The Caballeros deployed after Operation BULLDOG on some liberated worlds to protect Tanadi assets, and were attacked by forces from Clan Ghost Bear. The regiment survived the fighting, but lost Force Commander Bar-Kochba and many others of the battalion on Luzerne. Several of the Caballeros used Hitman scout 'Mechs to call in artillery strikes on the Ghost Bears.
Remaining with HTE, upon hearing of the imminent disintegration of order in the Free Worlds League and the heavy-handed treatment of rioters in the Southwestern Trinity by the federally-employed mercenary unit Swann's Cavaliers resulting in the "Bad Rock Massacre", the Caballeros returned home to defeat the Cavaliers and defend their homeworlds against all possible threats. The arrival of the Caballeros on Galisteo turned the tide against the Cavaliers. The Caballeros destroyed most of the Cavaliers' AeroSpace equipment and the Cavaliers' Charlie Battalion was quickly eliminated. The Caballeros then traveled to Sierra and Cerillos to liberate those worlds but found that the Cavaliers had withdrawn from both systems. With the Free Worlds League destroyed and the Trinity Worlds on their own, Carlos Camacho assumed the office of President of Galisteo.
In 3071 rumors suggested that the Caballeros would be working for the Lyran Alliance and be placed at the Clan Jade Falcon border. The rumors were overtaken by the maelstrom of the Jihad; the Caballeros spent the remainder of the conflict defending worlds across the Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey. When the Lyran Alliance began annexing worlds from the former Free Worlds League in 3079 the Caballeros found themselves placed in an invidious position, as one of the worlds annexed was Galisteo.
Unwilling to see the Trinity Worlds subjected to further turmoil and conflict, the Caballeros negotiated a surrender to the Alliance that saw the Caballeros signing an eight-year employment contract. Consequently, the Caballeros were back in combat in 3080, when they spent nine months defending various worlds against raids and attacks originating from the worlds of the former Circinus Federation.
The Dark Age
The Caballeros were less successful in the face of a Marian Hegemony attack on Merton in 3092, and the Marians conquered and held that world for the next two years. However, after the battle for Merton the Caballeros enjoyed a relatively quiet two decades. The next major action the Caballeros saw was when they had the opportunity to work alongside Wolf's Dragoons during the Dragoons' first combat operations of the thirty-second century; raiding worlds within the Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey in 3113, the Caballeros fought alongside Gamma Regiment on Labouchere and the Spider's Web Battalion on Saltillo clashing with the Second Tamarind Regulars on both worlds. The Caballeros fought the Second to a draw on Saltillo, but were forced to retreat from Labouchere.
In 3106 the commanding officer of the Caballeros, Jesus Camacho - son of former commander Gavilán Comacho - died; command of the Caballeros was taken up by his wife, Anjelah Camacho. Anjelah "Itehtah'o" Camacho was the daughter of famed Caballeros scout Cassie Suthorn, and she was quick to reaffirm the Caballeros' commitment to defending the Trinity Worlds; as such the Caballeros restricted themselves to only accepting contracts from the Bolan Province of the Lyran Commonwealth and those contracts had to be defensive contracts that wouldn't violate the Caballeros' commitment to the peoples of the Trinity Worlds.
Thirty years later the Caballeros captured the planet Simpson Desert for the Commonwealth after a fierce campaign against the Third Tamarind Regulars. Having taken Simpson's Desert in 3137 the Caballeros were able to join in the attack on Tamarind in 3139, where the Caballeros Fourth Battalion broke through the defenders lines at the Havison Flats, a decisive action that allowed the allied forces to push forward and capture Zanzibar. The Caballeros' actions on Simpson Desert and Tamarind cost them a battalion of 'Mechs, and the Commonwealth chose to release the Caballeros from combat actions at that point, giving the regiment a chance to return to the Trinity Worlds to rest and recuperate.
Following the reconstitution of the Free Worlds League the reformed Tamarind-Abbey District began a campaign to recapture lost worlds, leading to battles between the Caballeros and League forces on both Cerillos and Galisteo. Both battles saw the Tamarind forces draw up overwhelming forces against the Caballeros, forcing the mercenaries to surrender; the Caballeros negotiated similar terms to those under which they had surrendered the Lyran Alliance in 3079. Once again, the Caballeros insisted on defending the Trinity Worlds, with their loyalty to the Free Worlds League being simply a secondary extension of their fanatical dedication to their homeworlds.
|Commanding Officers of the 17th Recon Regiment|
|Colonel||Carlos Camacho||3057 - 3067|
|Colonel||Anjelah Camacho||3106 - 3145|
Dragoon Rating: B-
Camacho's Caballeros (Regiment/Regular/Reliable)
- 17th Recon Regiment (Camacho's Caballeros) (BattleMech Regiment)
- CO: Colonel Carlos "Tiburon" Camacho
XO/Lt. Colonel Marisol "La Dama Muerte" Cabrera
- 1st Battalion - CO: Force Commander Gavilán "Gabby" Camacho
- 2nd Battalion - CO: Force Commander Rabbi "Maccabee" Bar-Kochba
- 3rd Battalion - CO: Force Commander Peter "Singer" White Nose Pony
- Geronimo Company - CO: Lieutenant Senior Grade James Kicking Bird
- Infante Company - CO: Captain Santos
- Infantry (1 Scout Platoon) - Infantry Commander: Captain "Badlands" Powell
Camacho’s Caballeros (2 Battalions/Elite/Reliable) 
- CO: Colonel Carlos Camacho 
- Note: At this point in time the unit was stationed on Hachiman. 
- CO/Colonel: Carlos "Tiburon" Camacho
- XO/Lt. Colonel: Gavilan "Falcon" Camacho
- 1st Battalion: Force Commander Kali "Dark Lady" MacDougall
- 4th Battalion: Force Commander Bobby "Navajo Wolf" Begay
Infantry (1 Scout Company)
- Infantry Commander: Lt. Senior Grade Daniel "Rooster" Morgan
Heavy Aerospace Squadron
- Wing Commander: Captain Sharon "Dragon" Omizuki
Camacho's Caballeros (Veteran/Fanatical)
- CO: Colonel Gavilán Camacho
Camacho's Caballeros (Veteran/Fanatical)
- CO: Colonel Anjelah Camacho
- - At this point the Caballeros were operating at eighty percent of full strength and were stationed across all three Trinity worlds.
When asked about the origin of the "17th Recon Regiment" designation on the CBT Forum, the official answer was that is was presumably an oversight based on a unit patch depicted in the old Mercenary's Handbook for the 17th Recon Regiment; however this patch referred to a sub-unit of the Eridani Light Horse, a distinctly different mercenary unit.
- Whenever the Caballeros are the defending force in a scenario they may choose all of the mapsheets used in that scenario. The Caballeros may also begin play with twenty-five percent of their total force hidden, even if the scenario doesn't normally allow hidden units.
A Tarantula in Camacho's Caballeros colors.
- Black Dragon, pp. 72-73
- Field Manual: Mercenaries: Revised, p. 54 - "The Caballeros deployed after Operation BULLDOG on liberated worlds to protect Tanadi"
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 18
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 12
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 39
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 39
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 179-180, "Camacho's Caballeros"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 178, "Draconis Combine"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 160, "Mercenary Forces Deployment Table - 3085"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 182, "Notable Mercenary Forces - Free Worlds League"
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 140 >Historical: War of 3039, p. 140
- Close Quarters p. 40, 60, 73, 79, 112- - Unit details and commanders as related in the novel.
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 113
- 17th Recon Regiment and composition
- In this thread ("17th Recon Regiment - also known as Camacho's Caballeros") on the CBT Forum
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 211, "Camacho's Caballeros"
- BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction - Ozymandias (Short Story)
- Black Dragon
- Close Quarters
- Dawn of the Jihad
- Field Manual: 3085
- Field Manual: 3145
- Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised
- Hearts of Chaos
- Historical: War of 3039
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Callie's Call (Battlecorps Short Story)
- Objective Raids
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade