in the previous post I touched upon the battalion, this force is essentially a century that is independent of a legion and under the command of a senior centurion or primus pilus. however as an independent force a battalion needs more support! however the exact needs of one battalion may be greater than another and so early on in Orangery's history the different needs of a battalion cause the creation of two classes/ sizes of battalion. Class A battalions containing 300 men and class B battalions containing 200.
the class A battalion
the class A battalion is the bigger of the two, over the years it has become more standardised in its support and even more importantly its role has changed. The Class A battalion has the normal 100 soldiers of a century, under the command of a standard centurion, but also 50 soldiers of a combat support team, under the command of another centurion 20 troops from an air arm and 10 of an artillery group! there is also a 20 soldier Strong transport and communications team which helps to keep the battalion fed and armed. there is of coarse the 100 Strong command/ support force however the distribution of them is different from normal! there are 30 command troops 8 NCO's with 8 guards 2 centurions with a guard and a Optio each the primus pilus and his body guard and a praefectus castrorum who organised the camp, training, equipment and supplies below him were 5 officers called praefectus (prefects) who just made sure that the supply team was doing its job.
the70 others were made up of 10 MP's, 10 medics, 5 bomb disposal 20 engineers, 5 civilian relations/ interpreters and 10 mechanics.
the air arm: the air arm is 20 men strong and contains 10 helicopter pilots, 6 gunners for the aircraft and another 4 ground crew who act as air traffic control - repairs are carried out by the mechanics and transport team. the group normally had 3 transport helicopters for deploying troops, crewed with 2 pilots and 2 gunners each the helicopters varied and most famously the rebels used the Hind O (o for Oronegro) there was also 2 attack helicopters operated by 2 pilots, this was either the lynx, Apache or another hind.
combat support team: the combat support team is essentially made up of armour, sniper and mortar groups. the Armour is the biggest consisting of 30 troops, it is made up of around 10 APC's normally the Bradley or the Warrior, the BTR-80 also is common, these take up 20 of the troops, 2-3 tanks are also common, 3 tanks when an auto loader is installed and only 2 if there is none, the additional troop is often put in one of the APC's. Mortar team consists of 10 men, these operate between 2 and 5 mortars depending on the size, often a mobile mortar is used in which case they only have 2 mortars with 2 driving the vehicle and the other 3 operating the mortar. and there is the 10 man sniper group.
Artillery group: the 10 men and women of the artillery group are some of the luckiest of the Oronegrean army. self propelled guns will require 5 of them to operate while in the odd cases that a non-self propelled gun is used they can get 2 troops to a gun depending on the size.
Transport and communications: The army needs transport, food and full HD, 300 channel plus, satellite television! apparently. 5 chefs, 10 truck divers, 3 electronic communications (also electronic warfare) specialists and 2 fixers/ stock takers. these men and women are the ones that keep the water running and the Bacon and eggs on the menu. the truck drivers drive their armoured and armed big rigs! (0.50 cal on the cab roof). they either carry supplies or if the battalion is on the move the soldiers hop on in and fight over who gets to ride shotgun or in this case machine gun!The chef have their own trucks which they drive poorly in some cases, the fixers can quite often have their own 4x4's and of coarse the electronic guys have their high tech trucks, which are often used as HQ's during battle. this group is also known as the trucker team for obvious reasons.
engineer groups: The engineers are known as the road workers of the battlefield, the 20 people who are involved in this group are used to doing the fun things, blowing up stuff, building stuff and then watching is get destroyed, mostly that is sand castles. they are armed like the normal infantry but do not be mistaken they do know all the finner points of what they are doing.
Mechanics: The mechanics are what keeps the modern mechanised war machine going, they have 5 trucks full of tools and nuts and bolts! the annual tank take apart and put back together competition brings the best of these teams to the capital for what can only be described as a practical sport!
Bomb squad: The advent of the IED has meant that the old mine clearer's have had to learn new skills but their role is still the same, find the bombs/mines before the troops find them.
Civilian relations team: Key to modern conflict is the idea of hearts and minds, and it is the job of the civilian relations team to make sure that the hearts and minds of the people are firmly with the National cause.
MP's: The military police team is very important to the Oronegrean war machine, they keep order in camp and if the battle means that a near by town is a possible place of regrouping in the event of defeat on the battlefield the MP's make sure that the town does not hold some nasty surprises for the army. They also arrest any disorderly troops, they will often arrest anyone who commits a crime, they earned a reputation during the civil-war for being more dangerous than the rebels in some places because they would arrest so many disorderly troops.
Medics: The role of the medics in any army is important and Oronegro is no different. the Medic is the injured troops best friend and as such they are some of the most popular members of the battalion.
the class B battalion
The class B battalion is very similar to the class A battalion, however it contains 200 troops! the normal century plus 50 others these are put under the command of another centurion. the command structure is similar to the Class A battalion. there being 1 primus pilus and 2 centurions with their Optios, body guards and 6 NCO's with guards and their guards and a praefectus looking after the supplies, so a total of 20 command troops. there is also 5 two man sniper teams (10), 5 MP's, 5 medics, 5 bomb squad members and 5 Civilian relations personnel. the Other 50 are made up of 30 Armour personnel, 10 communication and 10 transport. the Armour contains 1 tank which will take up the man power of 3 to 5 troops and the rest is a mix of APC's/ IFV's (20-25 personnel) and perhaps a self propelled gun (5 personnel)! The role of these groups is usually the same as the Class A battalion.
A cohort is Oronegro's most usable force, under the command of a tribunus. The Cohort is in fact just a Class A battalion and a Class B battalion combined with one of the primus pilii being replaced by the Tribunus the Cohort is also seen in the larger cities and most Military bases that are not very large contain a cohort, there are 10 Cohorts in Oronegro, but the number of Battalions in Oronegro includes those that are part of the Cohorts. there is only 3 Native Cohorts in Oronegro. the rest are made up of the settler population.
There are approximately 30 Native Battalions in Oronegro the main ones are the 12th, 14th and 21st and 43rd Battalions, these 4 often join together to form 2 of the 3 Native cohorts. the 14th and 21st Battalion are class A and the other two are class B. Native troops are well known for their jungle warfare and they often use outdated equipment. Oronegrean tigers, and panzer's from the time when Oronegro was like the 3rd Reich in South America and M48's and M60's from a newer time mixed up with T-34/85's T-55's T-72's, Chieftains and crusader tanks and many more. However Native battalions will quite often swap out their Armour for more soft skin transports or just for Motorbikes, which allow 2 people to ride (driver and gunner sitting on the back). the Native battalions are quite flexible in their equipment and quite often have no real uniform size as they gather tribes to their cause. spears and machetes are quite often included in the arms list of these forces!
Oronegro was well prepared for a war, the civil war proved their biggest challenge!