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The Preparedness Act or Preparedness Act of 2735 was the mechanism used by First Prince Richard Davion of the Federated Suns to increase the military strength of his realm without breaching the letter of the Council Edict of 2650 issued by the Star League Council.
The Council Edict of 2650 limited the size of the military each Great House was allowed to maintain and applied to each nation, but the Preparedness Act was a direct response to the bitter experiences of the War of Davion Succession, in which the Draconis Combine had managed to wage a largely successful war against the Federated Suns from 2725 to 2729, killing First Prince Joseph Davion, before the Star League Defense Force finally intervened via Operation SMOTHER and ended the conflict in accordance with the provisions of the Star League.
The Preparedness Act allowed Richard to create a militia programme using a system of compulsory reserves and local defense forces that allowed him to establish a deep reserve of trained personnel subject to extensive training without violating the strict regulations of the Council Edict of 2650. Richard combined this with the stockpiling of equipment to bolster the defenses of his realm, and when the Council Edict of 2650 was finally repealed in 2752 the supply of trained personnel combined with two decades-worth of stockpiled military equipment allowed the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns to expand rapidly and to strengthen significantly the various planetary militias present throughout the realm. As a consequence by 2765 a number of those planetary militias were able to rival front-line units in terms of firepower and, in some notable cases, skill and ability.
Richard also allowed former AFFS officers who had retired and become mercenaries - or "independent defense contractors" (IDCs), as the AFFS preferred to describe them - to recruit personnel from the significant body of trained reserves created via the Preparedness Act. The commands formed by these retired officers were then hired by the Federated Suns and used to garrison worlds on the border with the Periphery and for retaliations against the bandit forces that were an increasingly common feature of the late Star League era and the Third Hidden War. This paved the way for a cultural shift within the AFFS, leading to the creation of the Department of Contractor Relations and the widespread hiring of mercenary forces, both IDCs and freelancers.
- Field Report 2765: Federated Suns, p. 3, "Strategic Update"
- Field Report 2765: Federated Suns, p. 4, "A Long History of "Independent" Forces"