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Posted: Aug 4 2010, 12:41 AM
The Ato-Saran Federation is a large, densely populated socialist State situated with it's main territory in Northern Haven. Historically it has been isolationist and that policy has continued and served it well to the present day.
However increasingly of late it has dramatically increased it's arms manufacturing sector and exports much of it's produce on the international market.
The Federations' military structure is unorthodox, with only two main active service branches and several interconnected reserve branches under the command structure of each state.
The age requirement for voluntary service in the Jade Guard or Federated navy is 16. the State Self Defence Forces work on a basis of limited conscription at 19.
All of the Federation's military branches operate with both men and women in front-line units.
The Jade Guard
The main ground fighting force is the Jade Guard, an organization that dates back over a millennium to during the Imperial period of Ato-Saran history.
Founded in 872 CE by the 2nd Emperor Hu Khiu as his personal guard. They served as elite cavalry and heavy infantry in the Imperial armies, providing a strong backbone to the peasant levies that made up the bulk numbers of that force.
Serving with distinction till the 19th century, they gained a reputation as lethal Lancers.
However their skill and martial prowess was not enough to prevent several humiliating defeats for the empire. This created large scale political instability and allowed Ato-Sara to fall under foreign domination.
Several punitive treaties in 1894 with Imperial powers saw the fighting force reduced to less than it's original function as a ceremonial guard for the now little more than ceremonial child Emperor Mo Lizhao.
However the Guard endured, humbled but not gone. it was forty years before an opportunity presented itself. Socialist rebels were gaining rapid support among the populace, enraged by foreign control of their affairs.
Though reduced in numbers and prestige the Jade Guard had maintained their discipline and training throughout this period. Contacting the rebel leadership they offered their services to train and equip an army of fighters for the coming revolution. In exchange they got a promise of continuance and limited independence from the Socialist council in the new government.
In 1935 Large amounts of Jade Guard trained revolutionaries and militia initiated a nationwide uprising against government forces and foreign military assets in Ato-Sara.
The fighting was fierce and in several cases bloody. Taking three years to complete, by the end of fighting, the Jade Guard had subsumed most of the revolutionary militias into itself and had once again become a major force.
When several factions in the new socialist government, fearful of the power the Guard now held, tried to renege on the deal formed. The senior generals marched with a battalion of Guardsmen into the People's congress Chamber and made it very clear that any attempt to betray them would mean all out war.
The gamble worked, and cowed the Socialists signed a compact with the Guard, giving it special exemptions and privileges, and declaring it to be the only standing army of the Federation. This agreement still stands today and has lead to the unique military situation the Federation now has.
The Jade Guard today is a strange entity, almost a state within a state, it finances itself with a large portfolio of companies that it owns along with arms exports and lately even mercenary work for the highest bidder in regional conflicts.
In a symbiotic relationship with Federation, the Guard provides defence, in return for manpower and resources. It is the military industrial complex taken to an extreme.
Once signed up to the Jade Guard new recruits enter a completely different world, where they are no longer bound by the laws of the Federation. Loyalty is held foremost to the Guard and second to the State. Guardsmen often see themselves as above the ordinary Ato-Saran society. The increasing interaction the Guard has with outside world, especially with it's mercenary work has a greater influence on them than the state would like.
The Jade Guard's current force of over one hundred and fifty-three million personnel is fielded into a strength of 350 corps organized into 32 army groups. Jade Guard front-line ground units are either heavy mechanised or air cavalry formations. With Aviation divisions subordinate to armies and corps.
In accordance with the compact with the Federation, the Guard is the only standing army, performing the functions of an Airforce, Army and Marine Corps.
Whilst the Socialist government has created other military organisations such as the reserve State Self Defence Forces and the Federated Navy, the Guard retains it's primacy.
The Jade Guard uses equipment that is both reliable and cost effective, though high technology solutions are common. It maintains a nuclear deterrent through both land based missile in silos and mobile launchers, and ALBMs launched from long ranged heavy bombers.
Striving to be a self sufficient as possible, the Guard has used it's vast array of resources within the civilian sector to construct a gargantuan supply and logistics structure wholly within itself. This extends from construction, and transport to on base retail.
The Jade Guard External Forces Directorate is the organization responsible for active Jade Guard deployments outside the Federation. Technically such deployments are very rare, in practice it manages the renting out of Jade Guard formations of up to division size for mercenary work to foreign powers across the world. In operations ranging from full frontline combat to 'peacekeeping' the Guard has used this facility to keep it' soldiers and commanders with up to date experience of modern day combat.
This ideal extends elsewhere too, the Jade Guard maintains it's own foreign and internal intelligence divisions. These organisations not only gather information on potential threats to the Federation, but also on members of the State, and it's security apparatus.
Highly trained, well equipped, and bound together by a terrifying martial élan, the Jade guard is a force to be reckoned with. Not only on the field of battle, but in occupational duties too, seventy years of suppressing dissent against the federal government have honed them into a brutally effective counter insurgency force, utterly without mercy.
The Guard is effectively an entire nations military self contained with in it's command structure, the only impediment to it's ability to wage a strategic war is it's lack of naval force projection capability.
The Federated Navy
Formed in 1952 from a few coastal patrol vessels possessed by the State Customs Bureau, it has risen fast to today comprise of ocean going fleets of submarines, missile cruisers, and aircraft carriers. With a total active personnel strength of ninety-eight million.
Since it's earliest inception it has maintained a strong rivalry with the Jade Guard, which regards the younger organization as encroaching on it's position. Recently this was exacerbated by the formation of the Federated Naval Infantry Corps, a unit that ostensibly provides security of for naval ships and installations, but in practice is fielded as a amphibious assault force.
The navy does not enjoy the same level of independence that the Jade Guard does, and government political control is strongly asserted, with special political officers attached to almost all units. this is due in great part to the Government counterbalancing the Navy against the power the Jade Guard represents.
The Federated Navy is thus very loyal to the state and advancement to high rank often requires political connections.
The Federated Navy operates several advanced carrier battlegroups as a main striking force. And numerous patrol groups with standard designed frigates that are relatively cheap to maintain and produce but heavily armed.
Though the Navy has all of the Federation's blue water capability under it's purview. The Jade Guard and Self-Defence Forces both maintain littoral ships in significant numbers. Furthermore the Guard has a large amount of shipping with which to move it;s forces across the seas, though lacking fighting ships they require Federated Navy escorts.
The navy also maintains a nuclear deterrent stationed on ballistic missile submarines.
State Self-Defence Forces
Each constituent state of the Federation maintains it's own reservist self defence force, though each is subordinate to a Peoples Command Authority in the federal capital. The numbers in each SDF are maintained by quota for each state by the central government. And currently have an on paper strength of around three hundred and twenty million personnel.
Equipment for the SDFs varies wildly with some of the more populous states having equipment that matches the Jade Guard, while others are vastly below that standard.
Training is generally substandard as well, political indoctrination of the Self-Defence forces is heavy, with new recruits sometimes spending as much time in political rallies as they do training.
Self-Defence Forces field not only a variety of ground forces, but also air defence squadrons, and littoral patrol boats.
The Jade Guard has a low regard for these units, and in the few cases where they have faced them combat (twice in direct confrontation with in rebellious states) the self-defence forces have fared poorly.
Militarily the Ato-Saran Federation is a juggernaut, with a well trained and equipped active service force. However it's isolationist policies have kept it out of direct confrontation for nearly a century. Whether the State could actually go to war aggressively is debatable, much depends on the loyalty of the Jade Guard, which is at best an undefined factor.