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Ground Divisions of the Systems Alliance Marine Corps

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This article, Ground Divisions of the Systems Alliance Marine Corps, was written by RelentlessRecusant. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.

Marine in Beret

An infantryman of the Systems Alliance Marine Corps stands at sentry position, donning a blue beret adorned with the blazon of the Systems Alliance.

The Ground Divisions of the Systems Alliance Marine Corps were the principal infantry and armor combat forces of the Systems Alliance Marine Corps, and served as the Ground Combat Element component of their respective Marine Expeditionary Forces. Marine Divisions provided the Alliance government and military with the capacity to sustain major warfighting operations on any habitable planetary surface in the Milky Way in order to support Alliance and human interests.

All Marine Divisions were commanded by full Marine General, and were answerable to their higher Marine Expeditionary Force. Furthermore, to maintain synchrony and uniformity, they were all comprised of five Marine Regiments that provided various combatant, command, and support responsibilities to the Division.

ConfigurationEdit

Marine Divisions had two alternative and disparate configurations: either as Home Divisions or Frontier Divisions. Home Divisions, designated as the "Nth Marine Division", were principally infantry divisions responsible for security and defensive operations on Alliance worlds in the event of enemy attack, and were trained for defensive and resistance operations in human population centers in the event of planetary invasion. However, Frontier Divisions, designated as the "Nth Marine Division (Frontier)", such as the 10th Marine Division (Frontier), were principally of expeditionary and offensive nature, and were used by the Marine Corps to assault hostile or unexplored terrestrial worlds.

Home DivisionsEdit

Order of Battle of Systems Alliance Marine Home Division

Systems Alliance Marine Home Division, Order of Battle

As per their namesake, the Home Divisions were configured to protect Alliance homeworlds and were static, and thus did not require special training on how to operate in hostile environmental conditions. Furthermore, as they were principally for the defense of human population centers on invaded worlds, they were static formations, and did not require specific maneuver capabilities that would be needed for assault units.

They were comprised of five Regiments:

  1. Infantry Regiment
  2. Infantry Regiment
  3. Light Armored Regiment
  4. Artillery Regiment
  5. Headquarters & Special Operations Regiment
    1. Division Command Battalion
    2. Engineer Battalion
    3. Signals Battalion
    4. Air Defense Artillery Battalion
    5. Combat Intelligence Battalion (Special Operations Force)
    6. Division Reconnaissance Mechanized Infantry Battalion (Special Operations Force)
    7. Division Reconnaissance Mechanized Infantry Battalion (Special Operations Force)
    8. Unconventional Warfare Battalion (Special Operations Force)
    9. Force Reconnaissance Company (Special Operations Force)

Frontier DivisionsEdit

Order of Battle of Systems Alliance Marine Frontier Division

Systems Alliance Marine Frontier Division, Order of Battle

As per their namesake, the Frontier Divisions were configured specifically to conduct offensive operations on frontier worlds in the Attican Traverse and the Terminus Systems, operating in hostile environmental conditions, such as extreme temperature or meteorological conditions, and they were required to be highly maneuverable, in order to provide a fast strike capability. To reflect their unique mission requirements, their Regiments were configured for operation in hostile environments and also had enhanced maneuverability compared to the largely-static Home Divisions. Furthermore, their Regiments and other units were usually smaller than their counterparts in the Home Divisions, as to conserve space and weight — this was because in order to be used in an expeditionary role, an entire Frontier Division had to be able to be stored upon its embarked Navy Carrier Battle Group.

They were comprised of five Regiments:

  1. Light Armored Regiment
  2. Light Armored Regiment
  3. Heavy Armored Regiment
  4. Mechanized Artillery Regiment
  5. Headquarters & Special Operations Regiment
    1. Division Command Battalion
    2. Engineer Battalion
    3. Signals Battalion
    4. Air Defense Artillery Battalion
    5. Combat Intelligence Battalion (Special Operations Force)
    6. Division Reconnaissance Mechanized Infantry Battalion (Special Operations Force)
    7. Division Reconnaissance Mechanized Infantry Battalion (Special Operations Force)
    8. Unconventional Warfare Battalion (Special Operations Force)
    9. Force Reconnaissance Company (Special Operations Force)

Description of Subordinated RegimentsEdit

Infantry RegimentEdit

Marine infantrymen

The Infantry Regiments comprised of light infantry principally used to secure urban theaters of operation and to defend Alliance population centers.

The Infantry Regiment was unique to the Home Divisions, and was principally comprised of light infantry and was tasked for the defense of urbanized Alliance populations centers, and as a secondary role, it was also capable of offensive operations and counterattack across short distances. As it was equipped with minimal organic transportation assets and mostly consisted of light infantry, the Infantry Regiments were restricted largely to security and defense operations. Furthermore, according to traditional military doctrine, defensive units had a three-to-one advantage against comparable attacking units, compensating for the lack of heavy vehicles organic to each Infantry Regiment.

Each Infantry Regiment was comprised of a Headquarters Company and three Rifle Battalions, and was commanded by a Major. Each Rifle Battalion was comprised of a Headquarters Company, three Rifle Companies, and one Weapons Company and was commanded by a Staff Commander. The Weapons Company was equipped with light mortars, light anti-tank weapons, and heavy machine guns, and was tasked to provide fire support to the Rifle Companies as well as maintaining a light anti-tank capability to deter and harass enemy armor.

Light Armored RegimentEdit

M35 Mako IFV Orbital Drop

The maneuverability of Light Armored Regiments depended on the capacity of M35 Mako Infantry Fighting Vehicles to be air-dropped.

One Light Armored Regiment was attached to each Home Division, and two Light Armored Regiments were attached to each Frontier Division. The Light Armored Regiment's principal armament was the M35 Mako Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which doubled as both an armored personnel carrier to swiftly and safely ferry infantry across un-maneuverable terrain, and could also act as a firebase to provide fire support for dismounted infantry. Although the M35 Mako's weapon systems were mostly for anti-infantry suppression, it also had a weak anti-tank capability, and Light Armored Regiments were also capable of limited defense against attack by enemy heavy armor.

For Home Divisions, their Light Armored Regiment was employed to provide heavier firepower against enemy armor invading population centers, compared to the firepower that could be leveraged by the Division's Infantry Regiments.

For Frontier Divisions, their Light Armored Regiments were a key part to the aggressive strategy of Frontier Divisions fighting on hostile worlds — once Navy ships had secured orbit, Alliance frigates were planned to fly into the atmosphere of the world, and air-drop Mako battalions directly into battle. This allowed for the extremely rapid deployment of Marine forces from orbit, and this airborne method of insertion allowed for the insertion of Marine armor anywhere on a planet, out-maneuvering and flanking enemy fortifications, making Light Armored Regiments infinitely maneuverable. Light Armored Regiments were also used to safely transport infantry across hostile terrain, such as swamps or mountainous terrain, and could insert their mounted infantry anywhere on the battlefield.

Each Light Armored Regiment was comprised of a Headquarters Company and three Mako Battalions, and was commanded by a Major. Each Mako Battalion was comprised of a Headquarters Company, three Mechanized Infantry Companies, and one Mechanized Anti-Tank Company, and was commanded by a Staff Commander. The Mechanized Anti-Tank Company consisted of specially-equipped Mako vehicles carrying heavier armaments, used as mobile tank destroyers.

Heavy Armored RegimentEdit

M57 Hammerhead Light Tank

The Heavy Armored Regiments were formed from M57 Hammerhead Light Tanks, which were highly maneuverable but regrettably lightly armed.

One Heavy Armored Regiment was attached to each Frontier Division to provide mobile direct fire support against enemy armor or fortifications. The Heavy Armored Regiment's principal armament was the M57 Hammerhead Light Tank, a highly maneuverable tank capable of transversing irregular terrain and capable of operation in hostile environmental conditions. Though named "Heavy Armored Regiments" by the Alliance, the Hammerheads, by galactic standards, are in reality light tanks, far less armored and armed than the former krogan armored units and lighter than their turian counterparts. However, the Alliance employs the Hammerheads instead as lightly maneuverable armor, with the focus of being to operate on nearly any terrain on any habitable world due to their advanced hover systems. This comes at the notable disadvantage that if Heavy Armored Regiments are unable to out-flank their enemies and attack their weak points, Hammerheads are particularly weak against enemy heavy armor formations, and instead, would rely on the Mechanized Anti-Tank Companies of the Mako battalions to neutralize enemy heavy armor.

Heavy Armored Regiments were severely criticized for their relatively weak firepower and their lack of organic engineer support. For maneuver enhancement and bridging, the Heavy Armored Regiment had to call for their Frontier Division's Combat Engineer Battalion, attached to the Division's Headquarters and Special Operations Regiment.

Each Heavy Armored Regiment was comprised of a Headquarters Company and three Hammerhead Battalions, and was commanded by a Major. Each Hammerhead Battalion was comprised of a Headquarters Company and three Hammerhead Companies and was commanded by a Staff Commander.

Artillery RegimentEdit

One Artillery Regiment was attached to each Home Division to provide indirect fire support, primarily to provide artillery fires to defend friendly military installations and civilian population centers, and to support limited counterattack by mechanized elements of the Home Division. The Artillery Regiment's principal armament was the M270 Longbow, a heavy and immobile large-caliber artillery piece. Due to the static position and defensive nature of the Home Divisions, Artillery Regiments often maintained their artillery pieces at fortified and sandbagged positions within military bases and Alliance civilian cities, artillery emplacements pre-deployed to fend off an enemy assault.

Artillery Regiments were capable of both planned fires against pre-planned fire zones and also on-call fires spontaneously requested by either higher headquarters or by the Division's other subordinated regiments. On-call fires were often directed by Joint Forward Observers, Special Forces personnel within the Division's attached Division Reconnaissance Battalions or the Force Reconnaissance Company.

Each Artillery Regiment was comprised of a Headquarters Company (known as the Division Fire Direction Center) and three Longbow Battalions, and was commanded a Major. Each Longbow Battalion was comprised of a Headquarters Company and three Archer Companies and was commanded by a Staff Commander.

Mechanized Artillery RegimentEdit

One Mechanized Artillery Regiment was attached to each Frontier Division to provide indirect fire support, principally to support the advance and operations of friendly formations, to destroy and interdict enemy formations, to provide counterbattery against enemy artillery formations, and to provide defensive fires to defend friendly formations and installations. The Mechanized Artillery Regiment's principal armament was the M230 Arrowhead, a self-propelled and maneuverable artillery piece on a vehicular chassis. While the Longbow artillery pieces of the Artillery Regiments were high-caliber, heavy, and immobile, the Arrowhead units of the Mechanized Artillery Regiments were designed in mind to support their attached Frontier Division — that is, the artillery pieces of Mechanized Artillery Regiments firstmost and utmost needed to be highly maneuverable, capable of crossing irregular terrain and operating in hostile and adverse environments. Thus, the M230 Arrowheads were self-propelled artillery emplacements mounted on vehicular chassis, capable of all-weather and all-terrain operations and possessing the speed to follow and support friendly Division forces.

Mechanized Artillery Regiments were capable of both planned fires against pre-planned fire zones and also on-call fires spontaneously requested by either higher headquarters or by the Division's other subordinated regiments. On-call fires were often directed by Joint Forward Observers, Special Forces personnel within the Division's attached Division Reconnaissance Battalions or the Force Reconnaissance Company. Due to the expeditionary nature of offensive operations conducted by Frontier Divisions, where there was little-to-no information about the terrain, environment, and enemy forces on an uncharted world, often the Frontier Division's maneuvers were always preceded by thorough artillery preparation to soften up possibly enemy formations before friendly Division forces moved into the breach.

Each Mechanized Artillery Regiment was comprised of a Headquarters Company (known as the Division Fire Direction Center) and three Arrowhead Battalions, and was commanded a Major. Each Arrowhead Battalion was comprised of a Headquarters Company and three Archer Companies and was commanded by a Staff Commander.

Headquarters and Special Operations RegimentEdit

The Headquarters and Special Operations (HQ & SO) Regiments provided command & control, support, and special operations capabilities to all Marine Divisions, regardless if they were Home Divisions or Frontier Divisions. One HQ & SO Regiment was attached to each Marine Division as its sixth Regiment, and it was a diverse collation of subordinate units aggregated to command, support, and supplement the operations of its Marine Division and its higher Marine Expeditionary Force. All support formations to Marine Expeditionary Forces were assimilated into the HQ & SO Regiment of the Marine Expeditionary Force's Marine Division, such that the HQ & SO Regiment sustained the operations of both its Division and its Expeditionary Force.

Each HQ & SO Regiment was comprised of nine components, eight Battalions and one separate Company.

Division Command BattalionEdit

The Division Command Battalion, contained within the Marine Division's HQ & SO Regiment, was responsible for exercising command and control over the entire Marine Division. It contained the Division's commanding officer, a General, its executive officer, a Major, and all of the Division's staff officers.

The Command Battalion was organized into four separate components: a Forward Command Post, a Central Command Center, a Current Operations Cell, and a Rear Command Post, all of which were distinct but communicated closely.

  • The Forward Command Post (FCP) was always attached to the forward-most Regiment of the Division, by the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA), and was responsible for coordinating close operations, that is, commanding and managing the offensive or defensive operations being taken by the elements of the Division that were currently engaged in combat. The Forward Command Post relayed information to the Current Operations Cell and the Central Command Center regarding the status of current forward battle operations.
    • Division Executive Officer: A Major, the Division's executive officer, second-in-command of the Division and responsible for leading its operations from the front lines
    • Forward S-2 Intelligence Officer: A Lieutenant Commander responsible for updating the Forward Command Post with pertinent intelligence collected by the Division's Combat Intelligence Battalion
    • Forward S-3 Operations Officer: A Lieutenant Commander responsible for coordinating forward operations led by the Forward Command Post
    • Forward Fire Support Officer: A Staff Lieutenant subordinated to the Division S-3 responsible for relaying and coordinating artillery requests between forward combat units and the Division's artillery units
  • The Central Command Center (CCC) was the heart of the Division's operations, and contained its commanding officer, a General. The Central Command Center was responsible for overall command and control of all the Division's activities, whether they be in the forward area, the central area, or the rear area. The Central Command Center was the highest commanding headquarters in the Division, responsible for both short-term and long-term planning and strategies.
    • Division Commanding Officer: A General, the Division's commanding officer, responsible for command and control of the entire Division and the nucleus of the Central Command Center
    • Division Chief of Staff: A Major, responsible for organizing and collating information from all subordinate staff officers and effectively presenting it to the Division commander, and as third-in-command of the Division, responsible for assuming command should the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer become incapacitated
    • Division S-5 Plans Officer: A Staff Commander responsible for the long-term strategy of the Division, evaluation of high-payoff targets, and awareness of the Division's activities integrated with those of lateral friendly units, as well as interaction with civilian populations by means of civil affairs and civil-military operations
  • The Current Operations Cell (COC) was responsible for synchronizing all of the Division's activities in the forward, central, and rear areas, and recording the progression of the battle and the status of active or deactivated friendly and enemy units.
    • Division S-2 Intelligence Officer: A Staff Commander responsible for the overall collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence from the Division's Combat Intelligence Battalion in order to support Division operations and to inform the Division Commanding Officer
    • Division S-3 Operations Officer: A Staff Commander specialized in operational tactics and strategies, responsible for advising the Commanding Officer and also for relaying his operational commands and executing Division operations
    • Division Fire Support Officer: A Lieutenant Commander subordinated to the Division S-3 responsible for providing and coordinating artillery fires, air support, and other support fires for the entire Division
    • Division Engineering Officer: A Staff Commander, commanding officer of the Division's Combat Engineer Battalion
    • Division Signals Officer: A Staff Commander, commanding officer of the Division's Signals Battalion
    • Division Air Defense Office: A A Staff Commander, commanding officer of the Division's Air Defense Battalion
  • The Rear Command Post (RCP) organized the Division's activities in the rear area and ensured the continued operation and stability of the Division's various bases, installations, and headquarters, as well as dealing with administrative affairs and civil affairs.
    • Division G-1 Administration Officer: A Staff Commander responsible for human resources management of the entire Division, including the attachment and detachment of personnel, monitoring of unit readiness, morale, and combat effectiveness
    • Division G-4 Logistics Officer: A Staff Commander responsible for logistical operations of the entire Division, principally transportation and maintenance

All other logistical and support responsibilities were provided by the higher Marine Expeditionary Force's Logistical Support Group.

Combat Engineer BattalionEdit

The Combat Engineer Battalion was responsible for mining, de-mining, bridging, demolitions, maneuver enhancement, firebase and fortification construction, environmental clearing, and IED detection operations partaken by the Division. It was commanded by a Staff Commander, otherwise known as the Division Engineering Officer, who was attached to the Division's Current Operations Cell.

Comprised of one Headquarters Company and three Engineer Companies.

Signals BattalionEdit

The Signals Battalion was responsible for supporting cyber and signals operations undertaken by the Division, including command, control, communications, and computer (C4) operations and provided audio, data, wire/switching, and satellite services to augment subordinate formations within the Division. In particular, it also supported networking operations to cohesively link friendly infantry, friendly armor, and friendly commanders through a networked local intranet. It was commanded by a Staff Commander, otherwise known as the Division Signals Officer, who was attached to the Division's Current Operations Cell.

Comprised of one Headquarters Company and three Signals Companies.

Air Defense Artillery BattalionEdit

The Air Defense Artillery Battalion was responsible for providing the Division a short-range anti-air capability against low-altitude combat drones, unmanned air vehicles, helicopters, gunships, atmospheric fighters, and incoming missiles as well as providing an early warning capability against incoming aerial threats. The Air Defense Artillery Battalion had two principal armaments, the M35-D Longfin, a variant of the M35 Mako Infantry Fighting Vehicle equipped with surface-to-air missiles and a high resolution radar, as well as the ML77-B Gladiator, a variant of the ML77 Missile Launcher optimized against enemy aircraft.

The Air Defense Artillery Battalion was commanded by a Staff Commander, otherwise known as the Division Air Defense Officer, who was attached to the Division's Current Operations Cell. The battalion consisted of three Air Defense Companies, each of which was led by a Staff Lieutenant. Each Air Defense Company was comprised of two Longfin Platoons, one Gladiator Platoon, and one Maintenance Platoon, and operated a total of twelve mechanized M35-D Longfins and eight foot-mobile ML77-B Gladiators as its effective fighting force.

The M35-D Longfin, carrying surface-to-air missiles on a mobile Mako chassis, was a highly mobile anti-air platform used by the Division to screen the advance of friendly forces against enemy air threats, and it was readily re-deployable to assist other formations. The ML-77B Gladiator was a Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) carried by infantrymen that provided infantry with the capability to deter air threats, though its anti-air capacity was far less maneuverable than that of the Longfin, which was a vehicular platform.

Combat Intelligence BattalionEdit

The Combat Intelligence Battalion was responsible for the collection of operationally-pertinent imagery intelligence, signals intelligence, and cyber intelligence to advise and support Division commanders and operations. It was unique in that it was a Alliance Intelligence Command/Alliance Special Operations Command formation, and though embedded in a Marine Division, its personnel were not Marines and were instead from the Alliance Intelligence Command, and were all Special Forces-qualified.

Each Combat Intelligence Battalions was believed to be commanded by Staff Commanders, and was comprised of four companies: one Imagery Intelligence Company, one Signals Intelligence/Cyber Intelligence Company, one Counterintelligence Company, one Headquarters and Special Intelligence Company.

The Imagery Intelligence Company was believed to operate a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles and combat drones to conduct long-range surveillance to precede Division operations and to conduct clandestine reconnaissance of terrain and hostile formations. Its personnel were responsible for the maintenance and remote operation of the drones, as well as reception of their data and subsequent imagery analysis. The Signals Intelligence/Cyber Intelligence Company was principally involved in the interception of enemy radio or cyber transmissions, decryption, and analysis of the subsequent data. Interception operations typically took place from stationary firebases, mobile M35 Mako Infantry Fighting Vehicles outfitted with signals intercept gear, or from field agents who advanced with Marine units in the field. The Counterintelligence Company ensured security of the Division's radio, satellite, and cyber networks, and prevented infiltration by enemy agents. The Headquarters & Special Intelligence Company was believed to hold the Battalion's command staff, as well as liaisons to human intelligence collection units elsewhere in the Alliance Intelligence Command.

Division Reconnaissance BattalionEdit

Two Division Reconnaissance Battalions were attached to each Marine Division to provide a close reconnaissance capability and to collect operationally-pertinent intelligence on terrain and enemy forces in order to plan and support Division operations in the immediate future. Through designated as a "Mechanized Infantry" unit, the Battalions had the option of either operating in light armored vehicles, the M35-R Houndshark (a variant of the M35 Mako Infantry Fighting Vehicle modified for reconnaissance), or else operating on foot. When operating in hostile environmental conditions or adverse meteorological conditions, Division Reconnaissance Marines typically employed the M35-R Houndshark, which afforded resistance against the elements and also greatly-extended range. However, when operating in temperate worlds or climates, Division Reconnaissance Marines often conducted reconnaissance missions on foot, as to decrease the chances of audiovisual detection.

Division Reconnaissance operators were trained in amphibious, air assault, airborne, and orbital assault tactics, and had the option of infiltrating their targets by sea, by air, or from orbit. They were detachments from the Alliance Special Operations Command's Marine Special Reconnaissance Groups, and as such, were all Special Forces-qualified.

Each Battalion was comprised of one Headquarters Company and three Close Reconnaissance Companies, and was commanded by a Staff Commander. Each Close Reconnaissance Company was nominally comprised of two Mechanized Reconnaissance Platoons and one Infantry Reconnaissance Platoons, although these were only nominal designations. Each platoon was commanded by a Battalion Grade Officer, a Lieutenant Commander, befitting the rank inflation often observed in the Special Forces.

Unconventional Warfare BattalionEdit

One Unconventional Warfare Battalion was attached to each Marine Division to provide an unconventional warfare capability, and to provide electronic warfare, cyber warfare, and psychological warfare capabilities, as well as special-capacity civil affairs and the recruitment of indigenous guerillas. Unconventional Warfare operators were detachments from the Alliance Special Operations Command, and as such, were all Special Forces-qualified.

The Unconventional Warfare Battalions played an integral role in the Systems Alliance's military doctrine of relying on unconventional methods of warfare and integrative technical support, and provided the Division with the capability to jam enemy communications, blind enemy sensors and radars, and to disable cyber networks.

Each Battalion was comprised of one Headquarters Company, one Electronic Warfare/Cyber Warfare Company, one Psychological Warfare Company, and one Civil Affairs Company. Each Battalion was commanded by a Staff Commander and each Company was commanded by a Lieutenant Commander, a Battalion Grade Officer.

Force Reconnaissance CompanyEdit

One Force Reconnaissance Company was attached to each Marine Division, providing it with the capability to conduct deep reconnaissance, offensive and exploitative operations in the deep battlespace, direct action, combat search and rescue, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, austere airfield preparation, and joint forward fires control. Force Reconnaissance Marines were from the Alliance Special Operations Command, and were Amphibious-qualified, Air Assault-qualified, Airborne-qualified, Orbital Assault-qualified, Corsair-qualified, and Special Forces-qualified.

The Force Reconnaissance Company principally provides the Marine Division and its higher Marine Expeditionary Force with the capability to collect intelligence in the deep battlespace, operating far beyond the range of supporting forces to collect intelligence regarding the enemy and the terrain to guide higher-level strategic and tactical planning by the Division and the Expeditionary Force. As such, its operators were highly trained, capable of infiltrating distant targets by means of orbital insertion, airborne freefall, air assault, or by sealine or coastline. Furthermore, during active combat operations, they were tasked with conducting joint fires control, identifying terrain or enemy targets to call in artillery fire or air support on them. As such, they were the principal forward fire observers for the Division's organic Artillery Regiment.

However, beyond these reconnaissance-tasked capabilities, the Force Reconnaissance Company was also capable of direct action, short-range and brief strikes against key enemy targets, in order to destabilize them and to soften them for subsequent attack from conventional friendly forces. Beyond this, they also conducted other activities, such as assassination, combat search and rescue, austere airfield preparation, and also counterterrorism operations such as in extremis hostage rescue.

Each Company was commanded by a Lieutenant Commander, a Battalion Grade Officer, and was comprised of approximately a dozen elite infantry teams, each a Deep Reconnaissance Team commanded by a Staff Lieutenant.

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