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Confederate Military Developments


Mara Lithaen
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Despite the reconstruction efforts and the overall disarray of the (growing) economy, the leaders of the Confederacy realized that in these turbulent times, a fairly substantial military force is required, both to meet their AUP obligations and to defend themselves on their own. Thus they created the Department of War, under Councilman Willamette, tasked with overseeing the Confederate Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, as well as the National Guard. Made up from the volunteers of the Confederate Defense Force, distilled from the best fighters of the local tribes, a moderate-sized recruiting campaign drew moderate numbers of volunteers, bolstering the Marine Corps up to a two-hundred-ten-thousand strong force. The Navy, such as it was, was a small force of twenty thousand operating mostly as anti-pirate patrol and coast guard on littoral combat ships. The Air Force was also a fledgeling organization, waiting on AUP-standard equipment to begin training their pilots and crews on from the beginning.

Though they were in the AU, the Confederate military and Council authorized home-grown development of warfighting technology, as though the AU's equipment was superior to their own, having a back-up of efficient equipment in the event of some catastrophic war or other event was a good idea. Thus they created the Kalahari Badlands R&D facility, a ten-square-mile stretch of desolate perma-desert that saw little of the rain brought by the rainy season and was thus mostly devoid of plant and animal life. The facility's purpose was to allow weapons manufacturers an out-of-the-way, isolated area in which to test their latest and most effective weapons in the conditions they would be used in.

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Colonel Ishmael al-Fariq walked into the newly-mint laboratory at the Kalahari Badlands facility. Equipment was still on the way, and most of the staff hadn't arrived - or been hired - quite yet. An emigrant from the former Saudi Arabian region, hired for his administrative expertise rather than his rather normal war-making skills, he was tasked with overseeing this research facility, riding the scientists who would be stationed here hard, keeping research and development costs down as much as and where possible. He knew as well as anyone that some overruns on both time and money could be inevitable, but his explicit orders were the delivery of promising technologies to the Confederate military in a timely manner; if the technologies proved to be infeasible, he was to make use of the data gained from experimentation as best as he could, whether that was selling it to a corporation on the Confederacy's behalf, applying it to another project, or simply archiving it.

He most looked forward to the "selling" part. He was no corruptee, but the Confederate government [i]had[/i] written in a provision for a percentage of the profits of the sale. He could see where a fledgeling government could use the extra funding, while funds were tight, and did not think twice about it.

He spotted a lovely young researcher - one of the few staff currently on hand - as she bustled about setting up equipment and removing samples of material from the storage lockers. [i]That is one I will have to keep an eye on,[/i] he thought. She went about her job with great energy and purpose, among other things. The good Colonel was in his late thirties, unmarried, and currently unattached, after all.

He turned about on his heel and walked back to his office, mind already shifted to the thousand-and-one details creeping up on him to attack his mental processing capacity as a mob, and wished he were on a beach somewhere. And it was only two months into the facility's construction. Soon they would be out of these prefabs and into something more permanent.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nearly a year after the Confederacy's inception, the Confederate Marine Corps had transformed itself from a fledgeling, ramshackle conglomerate of tribal warriors, zealots and international mercenaries into the beginnings of an effective fighting force. The military's training facilities were packed with young hopefuls hoping to one day wear the black and silver of the Confederacy's ground forces. The Confederate Navy, consistent of a few small, outmoded ships, was beginning to burgeon as well, as the shipyards on the west coast began to lay down domestic designs with technological and design assistance from the AUP. The Air Force was beginning to receive Grey Widows in significant numbers, and the pilots of the Confederacy trained on them, developing their proficiency with assistance from other AU air forces.

All in all, the Confederacy's rebuilding was well on the way, and the sleeping economic powerhouse of the region was beginning to take shape, just as the military one was.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The cracks of hundreds of Mark 32 assault rifles sounded across the firing range as Confederate Marines practiced their marksmanship with the new rifles, tailed by the louder booms of the Mark 24 pistols that each Marine was issued and required to be proficient with. But above all of those came the sound of an even louder, almost ear-shattering boom, and Colonel al-Fariq strolled towards the source of the noise. He strolled down the firing line, observing his handiwork in use with more than a little bit of well-deserved pride. Finally, however, he reached the end of the line, where four two-man sniper teams practiced with their newest item.

The M-118 Nightstalkers the snipers were practicing with were one of his finer creations as a gunsmith – the twenty-millimeter guns were, loaded, lighter than the Barrett M-82 .50 caliber rifles that the Corps had used as standard issue had been – unloaded. All of that was thanks to the use of a titanium alloy and carbon fiber in the receiver, frame and stock, as opposed to machined steel and aluminum. Normally the lighter weight would lead to a heavier recoil, but he had solved that, as well. The free-floating stainless-steel-lined titanium barrel would, upon firing, press against a chamber filled with the exhaust gases of the weapon’s firing, absorbing the recoil and cycling the bolt. When the barrel began to slide forward, the movement would free up vent ports on either side of the barrel forward of the receiver to release the built up pressure, damping the recoil down to far less than the .50 BMG’s – all the way down to .308 level.

All in all, the guns were considerably lighter, if a bit more expensive than a .50cal. The ammunition was precisely the same as that used in the Corps’ IFVs main guns, making for an equally easy supply chain as the .50cal weapons. That wasn’t to say the Barrett rifles weren’t still in service – far to the contrary. But when something absolutely, positively had to die, the Nightstalker was very available. The M156 20mm projectile was the standard round, but the XM166 rocket-propelled guided round promised to put even more capabilities in the hands of the Confederacy’s snipers, what with the 166 family’s multiple-effect munitions, ranging from HEFRAG rounds and incendiaries to HEAV and solid-tungsten sabot rounds.

Al-Fariq watched the snipers demolish range targets nearly or more than a mile away through his binoculars, and smiled with pride.

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  • 2 weeks later...

CLASSIFIED:

The entirety of the Confederacy's commercial air traffic was grounded, replaced by military transport planes in a move specifically aimed to lower or eliminate suspicion among non-African powers as the First Confederate Marine Combat Group moved all one hundred five thousand of its men northward towards the AUP protectorates there, to take part in maneuvers there. The Combat Group's compliment of M1A3 TUSK Abrams tanks moved with it along Pact rail lines, with IFVs, attack and transport helicopters, and the thousand and one other necessities such a force needed carried along the same lines.

Marine Missile Corps units moved their BGM-109G Gryphon units in the tanks' wake, bringing with them payloads of the most recent Tomahawk block, AGM-129 ACMs, [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=105172&#entry2805004"]"Damnation" IAMs[/url] and [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=105172&#entry2805004"]Providence SGAMs[/url] armed with live payloads. The missileers brought with them S-500 units provided by Aeon, relishing the chance to practice with something more advanced than their S-400 Block IIs. Several platoons of S-400s rode along with, regardless, and upon reaching their destinations somewhat near the Med coast, dug in and played dead, thermal tarps covering their units. The Missile Corps also brought the sixty-two ICBM silos it had on-line, only twelve of them currently armed with nuclear warheads at any one time, the remainder filled with PGS rockets.

The air defense units of the Marine Corps brought with them masses of AD units; Buk, Tor and Pantsir units set up positions across the rough "front" of the Combat Group, with Aeon-provided Laelap and Throne units liberally seeded among them.

The Air Force deployed twenty squadrons to COMFOR bases in Aeon, fifteen squadrons of Grey and Brown Widows with two squadrons of B-2Bs (STARS-compliant B-2s) in tow as well as three oddball squadrons of B-1R fighter-killer missile planes.

The Navy deployed five of its nine nuclear attack submarines to the Atlantic, roving the sea, with the remaining three boomers and attack sub moving northwards toward the AUP protectorates there. The First fleet moved to cover the southern approach to Africa while the Second began positioning itself to cover the Northern approach.

Edited by Mara Lithaen
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