The Colonial Forces is the term used to refer to the armed services of the Colonies. It is tasked with the defence of the Colonies from external aggressors and, if called, maintaining domestic security.
A government military academy and officer candidate school commission new Officers into the forces while a Force Training Command is responsible for preparing recruits.
It is administered by the Colonial Ministry of Defence at Caprica and has distinct subdivions (Marine Corps, Fleet) while being a unified organization.
The Colonial Fleet is the primary armed service of the Colonial Forces. It is augmented by a reserve (Colonial Fleet Reserve) and works with other services within the Forces in the overall defence of the Colonies. It is geared as a 'superior conventional' fighting force due to its historical role in the Cylon War: its mission statement includes the expectation that it will beat all external threats in direct confrontation. Fourty years on this footing still dominates Government resources and without an active internal threat (the Cylons have not been heard of since the Armistice) the President has traditionally used the Fleet as an instrument of politics. Instances include dealing with Sagittaron, trade union disputes and Tauron.
The Fleet is built around some 120 Battlestar groups, with thousands of smaller vessels, numerous installations and the largest number of Raptor and Viper Squadrons in the Colonies operational. It is Headquartered at Picon though the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards are its largest current (and historical) facility. The majority of its forces are stationed or patrol within the four systems of the Twelve Colonies; however the Fleet is also tasked with the security of out of systems outposts, bases and habitats.
Officers are issued dark blue duty uniforms and enlisted personnel where green fatigues as regular uniform. Officers may where green fatigues off duty or in informal situations and a tan version of the common type of fatigues is worn by Warrant Officers. Specific gear is also worn dependent on the service personnel's occupation: fighter pilots wear protective flight suits on duty and deckhands where colour-coded coveralls on duty as example. Battle dress uniform is also issued (an urban digital pattern camouflage) though is only worn regularly by Fleet Shore Patrol. Dress uniforms are grey and may feature a leather sash displaying decorations and other devices.
Colonial Marine CorpsEdit
The Colonial Marine Corps is a branch of the Forces charged with providing shipboard security and ground combat operations capability. It is a specialised, highly mobile force of 'light infantry' with specific elite capability in its stated mission profiles. Marines works closely with the Fleet and maintains an embarked number on most Colonial warships or stationed at Fleet Installations. It has its own reserve.
Marines wear a battle dress uniform, load bearing vest, communication gear, gloves, protective knee and elbow pads, helmets and goggles on duty. If posted to a ship this is typically solid black with digital camouflage patterns provided based on operating environment (urban, woodland, desert, arctic etc.). Tan fatigues may also be used by NCOs and Officers generally. When assigned special duties (such as Security) armbands denoting the tasked role are worn. Protective gear is worn in hostile environments with the example of EV hardsuits used in space, low atmosphere or during boarding actions.
The Fleet and Marine Corps are the most visible and prominent armed services in the Colonies though other branches are answerable to the Federal Government or its individual colonial administrations.
The Colonial Armies are the planetside defence formations of the United Colonies. The Army is responsible for the planetside defence and security of the Colonies though, due to the nature of modern warfare and Force doctrine, much of its active defensive duties have been transferred to the Fleet or Marine Corps (where an integrated land-space strategy is followed).
The Armies distinguish themselves by their specific fighting capabilities (jungle, arctic, desert, mountain and urban warfare) with all units either mechanized, airborne or armoured. Formations may be equipped with tanks, artillery, landrams or atmospheric craft dependent on their capability and adopted 'profile'. Strength varies from Colony to Colony with Canceron having the 'largest' army, while Tauron, Caprica, Leonis and Virgon are considered to have best equipped, highly trained forces (referred to here in order by largest number of troops).
With the exception of Libran, Sagittaron and Aquaria the armies of the other Colonies promote 'individual identities' based on their histories and sometimes unique conventions. While trained and maintained to a single Colonial standard any opportunity to express diversity without compromising inter-operability is taken.
The Armies are Federal forces today though historically served a particular independent Colony. Regular uniforms are camouflage patterned battle dress utilities or, tan or green fatigues. Though on duty Officer and Dress uniforms are particular to a specific Army and may follow the design of pre-Colonial styles. That is to say the uniform of a Caprican Army officer is different to that of a Gemenese or Tauron by being based on an older Caprican uniform design. The alternate 'federal uniform' used on Libran and Aquaria is the same as for a Fleet Officer.
Within the Colonial Fleet an independent, unacknowledged and ultra-secretive Battlestar Strike Group operates as a Warrior Group outside the normal command structure. The concept was first discussed by Fleet staff immediately after the Cylon War: raising a non-official human fighting force tasked to watch and engage Cylon forces while maintaining plausible deniability for the United Colonies. The program was considered outlandish, inflamatory and known never to have been enacted; while remaining a popular topic for conspiracy theorists.
In fact resources and money for a 'shadow' fleet were organized by a specifically tasked bureau in the immediate aftermath of the War, but popular opposition resulted in the re-allocation of resources elsewhere. The bureau itself was not officially disbanded until later and its organizers used Libran based financial concerns to hide already received cubits, that would then fund their iniatives.
Originally the program would purchase decommissioned Fleet ships and operate them with anti-Cylon extremists 'demobbed' after the War on long patrols and survey cruises at the edge of the existing 'Red Line'. This data would be fed back to the Fleet via the Colonial Defence Mainframe.
Above top secret; today Warrior Groups are self sustained mini-fleets composed of state-of-the-art Battlestars, assembled out of system and crewed by dedicated staff headhunted from the Fleet. Most peole believe they are serving the Fleet proper; with the secretive nature of their postings coming about due to the nature of their new assignments (typically at outposts well outside regular Fleet areas). It is believed three full Warrior Groups are 'ready' and operating from a shadow military-industrial complex near the Armistice Line.
Only certain completely trusted Officers have a hint of their actual status and Commanders are the only ones fully aware of their duty. A strong sense of the Warrior Groups elite nature is fostered and many accept the "If I told you I'd have to kill you" nature of their jobs because of the constant promotion of themselves by their Commands as 'better than the best'.
CyrenaicsEditA paramilitary organisation on Scorpia; the Cyrenaics are a small but well known 'Law enforcement arm' throughout the Colonies. It is an unpopular but accepted element of the security apparatus on Scorpia while elsewhere it is despised, especially for its purported human rights violations (torture is legal and institutionalised on Scorpia, though the frequency of its employment in operations by teams is considered particularly distasteful).
The personal identity of a member of the unit is guarded while they are active and the name of an individual is only released after their service period. Members are not provided for after retirement or if injured and may only expect two silver scorpions to mark the event if they die in the line of duty (one given to family and the other kept with unit). During the course of service an individual may appropriate resources and riches from apprehended 'enemies of the state', so corruption and excess is a constantly levelled accusation.
Cyrenaics are believed to operate throughout the Colonies at the quiet behest of the federal government despite being a local formation and Scorpia based; further adding to their popular perception as a particularly nasty 'black ops' unit. They wear simple but obviously militaristic tunics, caps and jackboots when not combat ready. Action-thrillers pitting the unit against organized crime with little distinction between either side are a cliched Colonial film industry vehicle for 'morality tales'.
Technically a 'police agency' the Cyrenaics are utilised by the local government as a counter-terrorism force while maintaining the direct action, sabotage and strike capability it was 'raised with' during the Cylon war. Strength is not published but widely believed to be at some one hundred 'teams' of twenty individuals each. The majority are 'special tactics' platoons, though some are organised to operate Raptor Gunships. A few even exist as Viper patrols held at the Scorpion Shipyards with expanded ROEs.
-More to come- Tauron special forces, replaced the Heracs