Saturday, January 31, 2015

Armed Forces of the United Terran Republic

Here I will present the general organization and taxonomy of the armed forces of the United Terran Republic from the middle period of the Terran Liberation War (circa 2240) to the Act of Dissolution (2345) and the formation of the Terran Empire with its attendant reforms of the Terran military structure. The main distinctive feature of the UTR armed forces when compared to that of the Empire was the lack of a dedicated Marine Corps in the UTR, and the dissolution of the Terran Guard - an elite ground-assault force with drop-infantry elements - by Emperor Karl I. Ever since, the Dissolution of the Guard was considered by pro-Republican patriots and rebels to be the one signature affront of the Empire against Terran legacy, as the Guard had a long, heroic history in both Reticulan Wars.

The Terran Navy
Founded in the stormy year 2233 out of defecting EFA security squadrons, rebel raider-craft and hastily-militarized merchants, the young UTR invested vast industrial resources into developing a modern war-fleet, and by the early 2240's it had a formidable space-going fleet. All Naval forces are under the command of the Terran Admiralty, which answers to the Ministry of War, though many forces are practically independent in their day-to-day operations on the deep frontier.

Starfaring Navy
As all large starfaring forces in the known universe, the Terran Navy is a carrier fleet, as waves of fighters can easily overwhelm any opposition which is not itself protected by a large number of fighter craft. Large operations are carried out by Carrier Groups, each including a 5,000-dton Carrier, several Missile Ships, multiple armed escorts, troop transports, auxiliaries and scout craft. The main difference between Terran and alien forces is the heavy use of Missile Ships by the Terrans to great effect, especially with mass barrages of missiles against enemy craft. Secondary forces include independent cruisers and frigates, as well as system-defense and local-patrol cutters and many transport assets.

A character who wishes to join the Navy itself should pursue a Navy career as given in The Traveller Book (or Classic Traveller Little Black Book 1). The exact details of the service and branch of the navy can then be inferred from the events and skills of the character's Naval career.

Naval Infantry
For boarding actions, shipboard security and hostile environment ground operations, the Terran Navy operates a Naval Infantry. These men and women are sailors and follow the Naval rank structure, but are trained and equipped for ground operations. Apart from the Terran Guard the Naval Infantry is the only branch of the UTR military capable of deploying "Battledress" powered armor suits on the battlefield. Note that the UTR lacks a "proper" Marine force; instead, Marine functions are split between the Naval Infantry (used for boarding actions and on-board security), and the Terran Guard's Drop Troops (specialized elite forces for high-speed atmospheric insertion and beachhead formation). The Terran Imperial Marines were formed by Emperor Karl I by dissolving both the Terran Guard and the Naval Infantry and creating in their place a separate Marine Corps with its own rank structure, answering only to the Emperor.

A character who wishes to join the Naval Infantry should pursue a Navy career as given in The Traveller Book (or Classic Traveller Little Black Book 1) and try and gain Gun Combat and possibly also Vacc Suit skills, representing assault training and boarding-action equipment.

The Terran Army
The Terran Army was quickly created by re-organizing various rebel formations and EFA defectors into a proper military structure as early as fall-winter 2232. The Terran High Command answers to the Ministry of War and oversees all ground, air and close-orbit and wet-navy operations with the exceptions of those carried out by Naval Infantry troops. The Army is organized in three echelons. The lowest echelon is the Colonial Armies, out of which the better units are given starlift transport and promoted to the second echelon of Expeditionary Forces, and the highest echelon is the Terran Guard, an all-Republic force given access to the highest technology available to the Republic, that is early TL13 gear.

Colonial Armies
Every citizen, male or female, is required to spend at least four years of his or her life in the Terran military, from ages 18 to 22. In most cases this means a Colonial Army - a local force which, in addition to standard defense duties, also oversees disaster relief, operates large parts of the arms industry and helps out with education and welfare for the general population. Terra herself has a Planetary Army performing the same duties. Due to the limited starlift capacity, the vast majority of Terran ground forces are Colonial or Planetary ones. Equipment is usually procured on a local level and quality is not very uniform between colonies due to the difficulty of maintaining a united military force over multiple planets of varying tech-levels and population sizes. Most wet-navy, air and close-orbit forces belong to Colonial or Planetary formations.

Expeditionary Forces
The best units from each large colony, as well as Terra herself, are given starlift capacities on board Naval craft and thus become Expeditionary Forces capable of interstellar deployment. Usually planets of TL7 or below never form Expeditionary Forces, but military procurement is typically local so each Expeditionary Regiment has its own distinctive flavor and fighting style, as well as TL varying from 8 to 13 and different levels of mechanization. Much of the fighting during wars is carried out by Expeditionary Forces sent in en-masse after the beachhead has been secured by Terran Guard troops.

A character who wishes to join a Colonial Army or Expeditionary Force should pursue an Army career as given in The Traveller Book (or Classic Traveller Little Black Book 1). The exact details of the service and branch of the navy can then be inferred from the events and skills of the character's Army career.

The Terran Guard
The highest echelon of Terran ground military is the Terran Guard - a hardened force given the best training and best equipment (up to and including early TL13 weapons) to serve as the mailed fist of the Republic. Most Guard troops wear standard Combat Armor, but approximately one sixth of their forces are issued "Battledress" powered armor. The Terran Guard is the Elite of Terran forces - and the Drop Troops, trained and equipped to assault planetary targets from orbit, are the elite of the elite. They are given accordingly difficult tasks, the ones requiring the best soldiers to accomplish, so the mortality rate is ghoulish, though heroic.

A character who wishes to join the Terran Guard should pursue a Marines career as given in The Traveller Book (or Classic Traveller Little Black Book 1) but use Army ranks. The exact details of the service and branch of the navy can then be inferred from the events and skills of the character's Marines career; typically, a high Vacc Suit skill indicated service in the elite Drop Troops.

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