|Special Airborne Group|
Between 200-1000 operators
SGT Justin Harding
Active (10 A.E.)
The Special Airborne Group (SAG), formerly known as the "1st Special Forces Battalion (Delta)" or the Army Special Operations Group (ASOG), is the premier special operations force of the Coalition of Ordered Governments and its predecessor, the Bastion Armed Forces. It is responsible for special operation (SO) requirements across the special forces battlespace continuum. SAG detachments are employed in myriad special forces responsibilities, and are prominently involved in advanced special operations, such as counterterrorism (CT), special reconnaissance (SR), and direct action (DA).
The Special Airborne Group is a tier-one element of the Bastion Special Operations Command, ensuring that it is an integral component of the Bastion's special forces. While SAG is involved with many high-profile special forces objectives, such as in extremis hostage rescue and counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (CP-WMD), SAG is a highly versatile warfare group that parallels the dynamic and constantly-evolving role of the Bastion special forces in global politicomilitary affairs. SAG directly participates in Bastion covert operations in support of Bastion interests in politically-denied space.
However, as national affairs continue to evolve in unexpected directions, SAG's core responsibilities continue to expand, and the Special Airborne Group is key in the Bastion's new military interests with civilian populations, and SAG forces are involved with Bastion civil-military operations (CMO) and foreign internal defense (FID). SAG also continues to serve as a premier warfare development group of the Bastion military, and participates in futuristic psychological operations (PSYOPS) and information operations (IO) to continue to expand the Bastion's non-traditional military force alternatives.
The Special Airborne Group was originally named in recognition of the 1st Battalion's excellence in airborne operations in the earliest years of the tragic Pendulum Wars; on the battalion level, the 1st Delta was capable of deploying battalion-scale airborne operations, and the battalion was an airborne unit capable of military freefall parachuting operations of the HALO (high-altitude low-opening) and HAHO (high-altitude high-opening) classifications, allowing for deployment of elite paratroopers far into denied ground territory, giving the commandos an extraordinary advantage in unconventional warfare (UW), allowing them to act as a shock force, readily capturing or weakening key enemy fortifications, such as command centers, communications centers, and logistical points, and also bypassing the majority of enemy defenses to strategically bring an enemy to its knees.
However, after the redesignation of the 1st Special Forces Battalion (Delta) to the Special Airborne Group, the new founding of the SAG as the Bastion elite special forces group has significantly remodeled its responsibilities from an elite paratrooper battalion instead to an elite and aggressive special forces battalion capable of mobile and ready deployment and to the negotiation of key Bastion special forces objectives across the SO continuum across a largely-hostile and unstable Sera.
Thus, SAG operators are cross-trained on multiple avenues of deployment to the engagement zone. In reality, as of fifteen years after E-Day, the majority of the SAG's infantry are not airborne-capable; the training of elite paratroopers is a demanding and exclusive venture. Instead, on the company level, each rifle battalion instead possesses a number of small teams that are specialized in different forms of deployment; orbit-to-surface, airborne, and maritime. Almost all SAG operators are trained to operate in other extreme environments, such as urban, jungle, tundra, mountain, and desert.
The collapse of the Bastion government and the reconsolidation of the Bastion's armed forces to the new superpower, the Coalition of Ordered Governments, the Special Airborne Group was similarly transferred, and since then, has been recognized as the COG's premier special forces group, and ever since, SAG has taken a far more sinister covert-operations role, serving both as commandos, shock troopers, and secret police for the depotistic and tyrannical Coalition of Ordered Governments. Ever since, the Special Airborne Group has been taken into a far darker light by Sera's civilian populations, with many both Stranded and C.O.G. civilians naming the SAG as the new Schutzstaffel ("SS"), after the Nazi secret police of World War II.
SAG is principally comprised of elite light infantry that are organized into small, mobile field units to fulfill advanced special operations initiatives. Because of the sensitivity of its objectives and operations, detailed information the Special Airborne Group remains highly classified by the Bastion military. It is generally believed that the Special Airborne Group is sized upon the battalion scale, with several field rifle companies on deployment, directed by a headquarters company (HHC) with extensive support from a special-troops detachment that fields highly-evolved logistical, aviation, intelligence, communications, and security support that allows the SAG to maintain advanced operations on a global scale.
The battalion is believed to be commanded by an two-star Major General (O-9) of the Bastion Army, the third-highest pay grade of the Coalition military. The rank is extraordinarily elevated for a battalion command; however, the Special Airborne Group is a highly unique and extraordinary unit within the special forces command structure, and the Commander, Special Airborne Group is a highly-decorated officer, with a significant ability to dramatically alter the course of global political affairs.
It is believed that the infantry detachment of the SAG numbers anywhere between 200-1000, completed by an equal or greater number of command and support staff. The infantry group is believed to be segregated into a number of rifle companies; each SAG infantry company is a formally-defined unit as per the order of battle (OB) of the Bastion special forces. However, this is a formalized definition that is almost never recognized in the field. The unique eliteness of SAG's operators and the rigor and specialty of the special operations they execute generally mandates that SAG operators in the field operate in extremely small infantry units of between two operators to generally no more than fifteen or twenty operators assigned to an operation. Highly-sensitive operations, such as counterterrorism or counterproliferation, generally can not sustain more dedicated operators without having logistical complications, and in politically-sensitive operators, larger numbers of operators increase the chance of operational compromisation and discovery of Bastion manipulations.
It is generally believed that instead, on a functional scale, SAG operators are divided into field-active "squadrons" on the platoon scale that deploy to any given theater of operations. Each squadron is believed to be comprised of a small number of field operators and a far larger number of command and support staffers that support the field operators for extended deployment. The squadron organization is believed to be employed because it has enough personnel to allow for the self-sufficient, independent, and covert deployment of an entire SAG operational team to a theater — its logistical self-sufficiency and operational autonomy is highly prized in the Bastion special forces. Furthermore, while it has sufficient operators to rotate assault rotations, it is small enough for an Bastion presence on in a given theater to be undetectable, and to ensure tight operational security and active counterintelligence efforts.
The Special Airborne Group, as the most advanced special forces group employed by the C.O.G. and the former Bastion, demanded unique weapons and equipment to accomplish its rigorous missions in a relentlessly hostile battlefield.
During the Human-Locust War, SAG would employ the M30 CAW carbine, a specialized and highly modular carbine weapon for close quarters battle (CQB). The commandos of the SAG would prefer the M30 carbine over the standard-issue Army Lancer assault rifle because of the light weight and bulk of the carbine versus the assault rifle; this made the M30 preferable over the Lancer in frenetic close-range battles, where maneuverability was far more important than firepower or range.
Furthermore, the M30 was a highly rigorous weapon capable of functioning in a variety of hostile environments, such as the jungle and desert; this, coupled with the high modularity and adaptability of the M30 CAW to accept modifications, would make it a premier special forces weapon. Oftentimes, to fulfill specialized mission requirements, M30 carbines were equipped with either a sound/flash suppressor, a red aiming reference (red dot sight), or an under-barrel grenade launcher or shotgun.
However, other weapons were sometimes carried for other special mission requirements or as secondary weapons; these included the CR7 submachine gun, a high-power submachine gun for close range combat, or the XM32 anti-materiél sniper rifle, a high-penetration anti-materiél rifle.
- Captain Archer: platoon commander (O-3, CAPT)
- Master Sergeant Karen Robinson: platoon chief (E-8, MSG)
- Lieutenant Henrik Hall: platoon assistant officer-in-charge (O-2, 1LT)
- Sergeant First Class Duncan "Smoke" Sherwood (E-7, SFC)
- Sergeant First Class Peter Kirkpatrick (E-7, SFC)
- Sergeant Jennifer Blackburn: communications specialist (E-5, SGT)
- First Lieutenant Gordon Tanner: 18A (Special Forces Officer), platoon commander
- Sergeant First Class Whitney Wagers: 18Z (Special Forces Operations Chief), platoon senior enlisted
- Staff Sergeant Esther McKinley: 18F (Special Forces Intelligence Chief)
- Staff Sergeant Corey Melton: 18B (Special Forces Weapons Chief)
- Sergeant Justin Harding: 18B (Special Forces Weapons Chief)
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The SAG is named after Smoothened Agonist ("Hh-Ag1.2"), IUPAC name N-(4-aminocyclohexyl)-3-chloro-N-((4'-cyano-6-methoxybiphenyl-3-yl)methyl)benzo[b]thiophene-2-carboxamide, a real-world small-molecule agonist of hedgehog (Hh) signaling synthesized by Frank-Kamenetsky et. al in 2002 at Curis, Inc., a novel biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with collaborators from the Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons at New York.
- While the name of Special Airborne Group is novel, the article's writer, RelentlessRecusant, claims to be influenced by the Salarian Special Tasks Group and the real-world British Army Special Air Service; the two names collectively form a portmanteau from which the SAG's name is derived from.
- This article's author, RelentlessRecusant, largely based large parts of this article from a similar article he wrote, "Special Airborne Group" on Mass Effect Fan Fiction Wikia.
- ↑ Borzillo and Lippa (2005). The Hedgehog Signaling Pathway as a Target for Anticancer Drug Discovery. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry (5), 147-157.
- ↑ Frank-Kamenetsky et. al (2002). Small-molecule modulators of Hedgehog signaling: identification and characterization of Smoothened agonists and antagonists. Journal of Biology (1): 10.2-10.19.