Elyra Military

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The flag of the Serene Republic of Elyra
“Guardians of the Revolution.” - Elyran Armed Forces motto

The Elyran Armed Forces is the military of the Serene Republic of Elyra. It has three operating branches; the Republican Navy, the Republican Army, and the Republican National Guard. The current Commander-in-Chief is Rasheed Tatenda, prime minister of Elyra, and its current General is Zayd al-Zakara Ibrahim. The EAF was established at the inception of Elyra’s independence in 2302, and was organized largely by Abd Al-Hamid, the first prime minister and former general of the Elyran Colonial Army.

Both currently and historically, the EAF has focused on a doctrine of versatility and mobility, with the defense of Elyra’s borders and people within as its number one priority. This approach has led Elyra’s armed forces to be much smaller than their contemporaries, and funded less in comparison to other state ventures. The EAF is primarily used within the borders of Elyra in support of disaster relief, search and rescue, and evacuations; border defense and patrol operations are secondary yet still prominent. The EAF is mostly concerned with national defense rather than power projection, and service members have largely garnered a reputation as humble defenders of Elyran liberty and democracy. A state holiday in Elyra is Veteran’s Day on January 5th, where soldiers are usually honored with remembrances and state speeches. On the planets of Bursa and Damascus II, there is the annual Veteran’s Day Parade in the capital cities of New İzmir and Uthma.

As what would become the Armed Forces was founded by driving out Solarian influence from the systems during the Elyran Revolution, the military is entrusted to be the last line of defense from internal tyranny in the Republic. The Armed Forces have the authorization to remove the Prime Minister and dissolve the Republican Assembly while setting up new elections if they believe that unconstitutional or tyrannical powers have taken hold of the government, though this has never happened in Elyra’s history as a nation.

Within the EAF itself, service members are broadly divided between career soldiers and mandatory conscripts. Once an Elyran citizen reaches eighteen, the age of majority, they are expected to serve a military service between six months and three years, depending on their education and physical ability (as determined by assessment). Branch is largely personal choice, though conscripts with particular skills (such as proficiency in another language or prior experience in mechanics) may be pushed into a certain branch that requires them. It is popular for young Elyrans going into trade fields or the medical profession to gain a certain amount of hands-on experience while serving in the military, and later proceed to higher education or enter the workforce; certain fields can provide credits that count towards a degree. Only once has Elyra called conscripts into frontline service, and that was during the Lii'draic Incursion. The resulting astoundingly high casualty rates among Elyran conscripts in the conflict has ruled out the possibility to many that Elyra will ever pursue this kind of strategy in the future.

Career soldiers, on the other hand, have signed on to serve terms starting at three years and increasing upwards. They are front-line soldiers and combat-capable, typically being stationed in the more remote areas of Elyran space, the edges of the Badlands, and Valley Hale. After a career soldier finishes their term, they are given the opportunity to renew their contract with the EAF, often with the incentive of promotion, or can instead resume civilian life while spending limited service in the Elyran Republican National Guard for at least three years. Both conscripts and career soldiers can commission as an officer, provided they have an appropriate degree for their field.

Because of this system of both conscription and volunteer service, the Elyran Armed Forces have a large number of personnel available to them for relief, humanitarian, and support functions, yet their number of troops that are sufficiently trained and equipped to participate in combat actions are the smallest of any majority-human nation in the Orion Spur. Aside from the initial skirmishes of the Elyran Revolution, the Elyran Armed Forces have never fought in an officially declared war and is broadly considered to be the least experienced armed forces of all the human powers in the Orion Spur. The EAF is also currently trying to rebuild its prestige internationally after being humiliated by the Lii’draic Incursion of 2457, a conflict which killed roughly forty-thousand Elyrans in just two weeks.

Elyran Army

“Steadfast towards greatness.” - Elyran Army motto

The Elyran Republican Army is the planetside-based force of the EAF, and focuses on mechanized and motorized formations to permit swift reactions to hostile elements on planets in the Serene Republic. Their main task is to garrison Elyran territory and to be ready to mobilize at a moment's notice. In theory, they are expected to maintain communication and a mutual relationship with the Elyran Republican Navy in the event of a large-scale invasion of the nation, though this has only happened once.

Elyran divisions are organized on a planetary basis. Army soldiers will serve on their own planet, being rarely stationed elsewhere. During times of crisis or war, units may be deployed to wherever the Elyran high command needs them. A notable example of an Elyran Army formation would be the 2nd Bursa Army Corp, also called “the Shield Corp,” in honor of their stand alongside the National Guard against a vicious assault on Bursa during the 2457 Lii’dra incursion.

The Army also boasts their own branch of the special forces, the Elyran Special Operations Task Force. The ESOTF conducts special operations both at home and abroad, usually performing intelligence operations and reconnaissance and occasionally, being sent to support Navy operations. A notable example of their acts was their reconnaissance work during the Lii’dra incursion, where small formations were deployed to gather intelligence on enemy positions and weaknesses, and conduct precision strikes with the aim of halting or at the very least slowing their advance to marginal success. ESOTF has recently been involved in counter-intelligence operations against the Empire of Dominia. These counter-intelligence operations range from raiding Imperial outposts, code-breaking, and securing information on military equipment. To ensure plausible deniability, ESOTF exclusively uses weapons made in the Republic of Biesel during these raids. Analysts credit them with evening the odds against the far more well-equipped and expansive Imperial Fleet. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the relationship between Elyra and Zavodskoi Interstellar has suffered somewhat, as Dominian weapons blueprints are usually the armament secrets of Zavodskoi.

Elyran Navy

"Duty among the stars." - Elyran Navy motto

The Elyran Republican Navy is the first line of defence against threats to the nation. It is mostly composed of patrol to frigate-sized ships tasked with anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, and supporting the efforts of both the Army and the National Guard across Elyran space. Navy vessels are recognizable by their identify friend or foe (IFF) tag of EMV, Elyran Military Vessel.

In the past, skirmishes with the Izweski Hegemony, Empire of Dominia, and the losses suffered during the Lii’dra conflict have led to the Navy calling for modernization, an increase of its capabilities, and raising the tonnage of its ships. This has seen them reach out to Elyran corporations, and since the warming of relations between Elyra and the Izweski Hegemony, Hephaestus Industries has also begun quietly supplying the Republic with ship outfittings, munitions, and weaponry.

In recent years, the Navy has fielded Eagle-class strike crafts, which are most commonly found in the Badlands. They are compact yet fast, with their crew usually fielding flak launchers and rotary guns to deadly effect against unshielded or unsuspecting pirates.

As the Empire of Dominia continues to assert itself to Elyra’s interstellar south, the Elyran Navy has gained continued importance in defence policy. The Navy is responsible for manning a plethora of outposts throughout Elyran space, the net of which is named GIBREEL. GIBREEL outposts are designed for intelligence and defence, and in the aftermath of the Lii’dra invasion act as a distant early warning system to the Republic.

Elyran Naval Infantry

“Will, resolve, tenacity.” - Elyran Naval Infantry motto

The Navy has their own amphibious forces, the Elyran Naval Infantry, which are specialized in planetfall operations and usually serve the purpose of establishing landing zones for the Army. They are skilled in boarding and counter-boarding operations, and are present on almost every Elyran Navy vessel. They have a special forces branch, called the Elyran Extraterrestrial Brigade (EEB), with a focus on special operations in the void of space and covert military operations outside of Elyran logistical networks. The EEB is notable for their joint operation with a Synthetic Liberation Front cell, in which President Dorn was rescued from the Solarian Navy during Admiral Frost’s 2459 invasion of Biesel.

Elyran National Guard

“The sun never sets.” - Elyran National Guard motto

The Elyran Republican National Guard acts as the planetary reserve force of the EAF, and the force that is used to patrol seas, airspace, and act as military police and disaster relief. Their duties are largely maintaining the safety of the planets they are assigned to, and operating in conjunction with Elyran police and the Army to ensure national safety. Reservists from the Navy or Army usually spend a three-year service here, in which they are well-paid and well-trained.

Owing to their reservist status, soldiers of the National Guard are typically older than the average conscript, with the most common range of ages being from 30-55. While reservist status has always been casual, with the hours usually remaining part-time, the National Guard is the most active branch in the EAF as they patrol the chemical seas of Aemaq, guard the national heritage sites on Persepolis and Damascus, and carry out rescue missions from the mountains of Bursa. On Medina, the National Guard also typically accompanies state-corporation mining expeditions, serving as a deterrent for less scrupulous seekers of Medina’s mineral wealth.

The National Guard is quite popular with the general populace of Elyra, particularly on Bursa after the Lii’draic Invasion. They were primarily responsible for evacuating the population centers of Crete and Tawûsî during the Lii’draic Incursion, and proceeded to mount a defense against the horde in Tawûsî until the full forces of the Republican Army and Navy could drive off Lii’draic forces. The older NCOs and officers have become somewhat mythologised in Army culture, with many stories from the Incursion having achieved an urban legend status. These range from tales of the 14th Battlegroup who held Tawusi along with the Bursan Shield Corps, to more humorous stories and in-jokes about “First Sergeant Umar”. “First Sergeant Umar” is meant to be either a teasing caricature of a high-ranking enlisted or a hypermasculine destroyer of Imperial Fleet soldiers, who in these jokes are also exaggerated into half-starved, disease-ridden, illiterate peasants.

Technology and Modernization

The Elyran military is currently in a period of transition and upgrading. In the aftermath of the Lii’draic Incursion, it was agreed upon that despite the myriad communication difficulties discovered during the invasion, the technology fielded against the enemy was a major factor in Elyra’s heavy losses. Beginning in the late 2450s, Elyra began to modernize its technology, replacing older, outdated vessels, radar, and weaponry with cutting edge technology manufactured by Elyra’s state-run corporations, such as Osman Electronics and Elco. The modernization program was expected to finish by 2470, but the phoron shortage beginning in 2462 has slowed down if not temporarily stopped the various programs in the country’s military during the government’s rationing of phoron. Many now estimate that the program could complete by the mid-2470s, though even further estimates are also believable.

An area where Elyra is less dependent on technology for an advantage is in the retraining of its fighting forces. After 2457’s Lii’dra incursion, the military realized that it needed to sufficiently increase not just the number of its combat troops, but the capabilities of those forces as well. Since then, the EAF has raised pay for professional soldier contracts so as to incentivise more Elyran citizens to join the military professionally rather than just as conscripts. There has also been negotiation within the EAF and Ministry of Defense to lower the starting contract to up to two years, rather than three years, to make the EAF seem like a more flexible option for those that would be uncertain of a potentially three-year-long commitment. This has been marginally successful with the EAF seeing more professional soldiers since its instatement, but numbers of active combat soldiers are still below targets set by the Ministry of Defense.

Additionally, the Elyran military has worked hard to develop new and more effective exercises for all of its branches so that it can better train its soldiers to fight in a modern battlefield. These measures have been successful in retraining the troops, though the EAF still lacks real combat experience aside from the two-week-long Lii’dra Incursion of 2457, limited deployments to Tau Ceti during the Invasion of the 35th Solarian Fleet in 2462, and various skirmishes with the Izweski Hegemony and the Empire of Dominia.

At the moment, the Elyran military is a mix of old and new technology. Cutting edge plasma weaponry is seen alongside decades old hyper-lasers and cannons. High-tech hardsuits and rigs serve in tandem with old ineffective modular armor systems and bulky shield generators. New, state-of-the-art stealth cruisers travel in the same fleets as ships made only just after the beginning of Elyra’s phoron boom. It is unknown when the Elyran military will ever fully modernize so long as the effects of the spur-wide phoron shortage continues to grip the Republic’s economy. Abroad, the reputation of the Elyran military is still in question, with many counting it among the weakest among the human powers in the Orion Spur, an image that the EAF is continually working to change as the country becomes more and more involved with interstellar affairs.