NATION

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A Line in the Sand (Earth II)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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-The United Federation of Nations-
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A Line in the Sand (Earth II)

Postby -The United Federation of Nations- » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:08 pm

Brigadier General Nicholas W. Sharpe, Federal Marine Corps
Peacekeeping Station Nine
Djibouti, East African Republic
Saturday 7th September 2019, 0915hrs Local Time


Brigadier General Nicholas Sharpe stepped down from the MV-22B Osprey that had ferried him, and his command staff, from the amphibious assault ship UFS Columbia, which had, along with the other ships in Amphibious Warfare Group Three, swapped out its normal marine assault forces for a mixed-load of detachments from all over the United Defence Force. The sight that greeted Brigadier General Sharpe was one of frenzied activity; all around him construction work was continuing and supplies, equipment and vehicles were being unloaded from various other transport aircraft, and dozens, if not hundreds, of personnel were also disembarking their transports and marshalling to await orders and directions. Under normal circumstances, establishing a new military bases such as this one took weeks, if not months, and proceeded at a much more leisurely pace. However, given the circumstances the decision had been made at the highest levels that that priority was to get the base up and running as quickly as possible, and the Defence Force Corps of Engineers, the service arm of the UDF that provided all construction, combat engineering and mechanical engineering for the rest of the Defence Force, had responded with their normal can-do attitude and had gotten the base, designated Peacekeeping Station Nine, up and running in record time.

The reason for the urgency was simple enough. The United Federation of Nations had been successful in negotiating a ceasefire in the East African Civil War, ending nine years of bloody fighting between the ethnic-Somali dominated government of the East African Republic and the multi-ethnic rebels. Part of the negotiations had relied upon the Federation agreeing to deploy the Untied Defence Force into the East African Republic to act as peacekeepers; and there had been concerns that, if the UDF did not get its peacekeepers in place in time, the fragile peace would already be broken. So Defence Force Command had chosen its base location, physically in between the Government controlled region of Somalia, and the rebel heartland of Eritrea, and had got to work. The UDF mandate in the East African Republic was simple enough; they were supposed to keep the opposing factions apart whilst Diplomatic Corps negotiators worked on a lasting peace settlement, although Brigadier General Sharpe had been told, in the strictest confidence by the Commander, Defence Force himself, that the Department of the Exterior was not optimistic that any such settlement would be reached anytime soon. Moreover, there were factions within both the Government and the Rebels that were itching to get back at each other, seeking reprisals for perceived slights or atrocities during the Civil War.

And it was Brigadier General Sharpe’s job to stop them.

Under his command, Sharpe had a small but capable force, as the purpose of the mission was not to engage in general war-fighting but rather to maintain the peace, and a large number of troops would be counterproductive to that role, as it would cause resentment from the very people that they would be trying to keep apart. Even before any other troops had been assigned to him, Sharpe had submitted a request to Defence Force Operations for a detachment from the Marine Global Security Group (known simply as ‘The Group’, a command within the Federal Marine Corps that provided detachments of Marines directly to the Sector Commanders in support of their missions. The taskings received by the Group were as varied as the environments in which they operated, from reinforcing the existing embassy security detachments, to enhanced boarding parties aboard warships, to enhancing security at key military bases or installations. In short, Marines from the Group were deployed whenever a Sector Commander needed a small group of elite Marines, but where true special operations forces were unnecessary or impractical. Typically, Global Security Group detachments tended to be small, with squads or platoons being the most common, and companies being rare. Sharpe had been surprised, to say the least, when Defence Force Operations had approved his request for a a full battalion of Global Security Marines.

It was, however, a very clear demonstration of the importance of the mission go the UDF.

Although the Global Security Marines, of 4th Battalion, 10th Marines, would conduct the majority of the peacekeeping patrols along the ceasefire lines, they were not the only troops under Sharpe’s command. He also had the 41st Infantry Regiment, deployed from the Department of the Mediterranean to serve as his operational reserve, protect the base and conduct reassurance patrols further back from the ceasefire line. More importantly, he also had a company of Rangers from Defence Force Tactical, these elite operators were the closest he would have to special operations forces, and would be key to any proactive, offensive action Sharpe might need to take against the disruptive elements. Of course, any such actions would have to be carefully negotiated and as clear as possible. All told, Sharpe had a little over four thousand troops, including both his headquarters staff and that of the 41st Infantry; a thin, almost delicate, line between over a hundred thousand troops, militia and rebels on both sides of the conflict.

“Got an engineering officer approaching, Boss,” Lieutenant Mike Harrelson, Sharpe’s Aide-de-Camp, commented quietly.

Sharpe nodded and turned to watch as a Lieutenant Colonel wearing the shoulder-patch of the Defence Force Corps of Engineers, approach and offer a crisp salute. By his rank, Sharpe was able to assume that he was the Commanding Officer of the 12th Construction Battalion.

“Lieutenant Colonel Twist,” Sharpe commented, returning the salute. “Damn fine work your boys have done here.”

“We do our best, it used to be a government base before their troops pulled out in accordance with the ceasefire,” Lieutenant Colonel William Twist replied wryly. “Seems they decided to have some fun before they left, knowing we’d be taking over.”

“Good to know we’re dealing with a reasonable bunch of people, isn’t it,” Sharpe shook his head, looking around at what he could see of the base from here. “Alright then, give me a run down on our situation.”

“We’ve got the perimeter fence secured, cameras and communications to the watchtowers are all back online, so the base is pretty secured, we’ve got electrical supply to three quarters of the base’s buildings, but we’re still working on some of the outer buildings,” Twist reported. “By and large the structural damage is cosmetic, and as such is low on the list of priorities, the residential and leisure areas are habitable, for the most part, although some are going to have to live out of CLUs, building additional accommodation is also low on the list.”

“The Command Centre?”

“Up to Federation-spec, we’ve build a small antenna farm on the far side of Command, with secure links to the Defence Force network and communications infrastructure, so you’ll not be short of information or the ability to communicate with your people, or Command,” Twist replied. “The runway and airside infrastructure is all good to go, and we’ve got robust security measures in place to allow for civilian flights in and out as well, although I’d advise you people to read up on the status-of-forces agreement, I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that we don’t need any incidents here.”

Sharpe nodded grimly; one of the concessions that he had been required to live with was that the Djibouti City Airport would remain operation, despite the close proximity of Peacekeeping Station Nine. From his briefing material, he had determined that the ‘robust security measures’ essentially meant that the defensive perimeter of the Federation base went up to the secure terminal building and continued on the other side, allowing his people complete control over the airfield itself, and that all the civilian airside staff were heavily vetted. Moreover, all air traffic control services were being provided by Federal Air Force forward air controllers, rather than civilian staff. In any event, it would doubtless take up a significant number of troops to adequately secure the entire base, which made Sharpe grateful for the presence of the 41st Infantry.

“Going to be staying with us for a while then, Colonel?” Sharpe queried, as it stood the construction battalion was not formally assigned to Joint Task Force- East Africa, the formal name for his command. “From the flight in, looks like you’ve plenty of work left.”

“Yes, Sir, we’ve got orders to complete the repairs and additional construction on-base, that alone will keep us here into October,” Twist replied with a nod. “The Chief of Defence Force Engineering suggested that we see if there’s anything we can do about the shattered infrastructure across the EAR, with a view to staying longer.”

“Good, even if this place is unlikely to become a Federation member-state anytime soon, if ever, we do have a responsibility to this people, and we need their support for our peacekeeping mission here, so hearts-and-minds will be an important focus,” Sharpe nodded his agreement. “So liaise with my J-3 officer, Colonel Landry, and I’m sure he’ll be able to link you up with some boys from the 41st Infantry to cover your back, but my priority is to keep things low-key, so focus on the small stuff, hold off on any major projects for now.”

“You got it, Sir,” Lt. Colonel Twist nodded in return. “I’ll get with my staff tonight and see what we can come up with.”

“Very good, a pleasure to meet you in person,” Sharpe smiled, returning the salute as the engineer departed, before turning to his aide. “Alright, Mike, let’s check your knowledge… what’s the situation here.”

Lieutenant Harrelson smiled wryly but nodded. Harrelson was a graduate of the Defence Force Academy in San Francisco and had enjoyed a good career so far, serving as a Platoon Leader in the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, as well as a stint as a company XO in the same battalion. Appointment as an Aide-de-Camp, in the Federal Marines, was a relatively rare honour, as there were far fewer General Officers tor enquire aides than in the Federal Army, but it was generally good for ones career, and Harrelson was essentially guaranteed a Company Commander slot when he finished his tour as Sharpe’s ADC, as the insight of serving as an aide to a General Officer would do wonders for his career down the road. Never the less, Sharpe had proven himself to be a demanding boss, but only one that wanted to get the best from his subordinates.

“The East African Republic won independence from its colonial masters back in the 1980s, under Emmanuel Xavier, and whilst you could hardly call it democratic it was peaceful and civil rights were relatively high for the region and the period,” Harrelson replied promptly. “After a couple of decades however, it seems that Xavier underwent some sort of mental break, and his regime became increasingly oppressive, which just so happened to coincide with the rise of social media, and resistance to his rule grew steadily.”

Harrelson paused as they continued to walk towards the Operations Centre.

“Outright hostilities began in 2010, opposition leaders finally having enough, initially it was a purely guerrilla campaign, however over the years as success built on success, the rebels have a far more established regular militia that by and large has succeeded in holding back conventional government attacks, although resistance cells inside Government-controlled Somalia continue to do damage,” Harrelson continued. “As it stands, the Government controls Somalia, and thereby the majority of the population and key resources, however the rebels have a solid position in Eritrea and Djibouti, however their position is tenuous in the long-term, due to the small size of both these territories, both in geographical and population, in short, both sides agreed to our ceasefire because the conflict is not sustainable”

“Which is where we came in,” Sharpe nodded, pleased with his aide’s grasp of the situation. “What’s our position here?”

“As per the orders establishing JTF-EA, our job is to keep the two sides apart whilst we try and negotiate a lasting peace, however our negotiating team is going to struggle, as the rebels want Xavier gone before they agree to anything, and Xavier and his cronies are unlikely to agree to that, indeed it may end up with a two-state solution in the end, but that’s a bit above even your pay grade, Sir,” Harrelson commented wryly. “As it stands, we’ll have liaison officers from both the Government and the Rebels here at PS9, whilst the Federation shall administer a buffer zone between the two states… we’ve also got an ‘Observer’ from Ostafrika, some smart idea from the Department of the Exterior no doubt, but understandable on their part… as for Ethiopia… they’ve been isolationist for the past half century, I doubt they’ll change that now just because we are here… they know we’re not hostile towards them, so they’ll keep themselves to themselves..”

“Good, someone certainly did their home work,” Sharpe nodded.

“It was a long flight, Sir,” Harrelson deadpanned.

“Indeed it was,” Sharpe shook his head with a grin. “Alright then, we’ve got a lot of work, so let’s get to it.”

Upon reaching the Command Centre Sharpe and his entourage split up, each of the staff officers and their enlisted staffers interested in their own area of responsibility and set about doing just that. Which left Sharpe and Harrelson with little to do, after all the hallmark of good staff work was that the unit commander could focus on strategic planning and liaison up the chain of command, confident in his staff’s ability to get everything else done. Fortunately, Sharpe had been able to hand-pick his staff for this operation, as such he knew and trusted each of his staff officers implicitly, most closely his Chief of Staff, Colonel Adam Franklin, given that they had gone through the Academy together. This left the General and his aide to explore the Operations Room, which has Lt. Colonel Sharpe had said had been retrofitted to UDF specifications and the first elements of Sharpe’s command staff were beginning to man their stations, ready for orders. Sharpe and Harrelson climbed a small set of steps to a higher level of banks before stepping into a respectable sized office with views out over the countryside and then, beyond, to the sea.

They also found, an irritated looking East African Militia, the name adopted by the uniformed arm of the rebel movement, officer sat in the chair behind the desk.

“I take it you’re here for the office,” The Militia Officer commented, the scorn obvious despite the accented English.

“I thought I’d say hello first, then take the office,” Sharpe replied dryly. “I see the Corps of Engineers didn’t evict you.”

“I lost dozens of men taking this place from the Tyrant’s forces, I wasn’t about to surrender it just anyone,” The Militia Officer scowled as he stood from the chair. “I’ll be blunt, General, I don’t agree with my leadership’s decision to invite in the Federation… we could have beaten the government, given time.”

“And how many lives would that have cost, on both sides,” Sharpe shook his head. “The Federation is only here to keep the peace, its up to you and your leaders to make that peace work.”

The Militia Officer scoffed.

“I hope you’re ready for a difficult time out here then, General, even those like myself who aren’t about to disobey orders don’t like this ceasefire, and that’s without the factions on both sides that are going to keep up the fighting, against orders,” The Militia Officer scowled again. “The only thing, other than the Government, that I can’t stand is officers and men who disobey orders; if we don’t maintain a uniformed, military-disciplined force to oppose the Tyrant, we are nothing more than terrorists… the day of the guerrilla freedom fighters are long over.”

“I’m aware of the difficulty facing my mission here,” Sharpe conceded. “Do you know when my Militia liaison officer will arrive?”

“You’re looking at him,” The Militia Officer smirked. “Major Omar Alwaki, at your service.”

“I can see we’re going to get along brilliantly,” Sharpe grinned. “We’ll have to have a proper conversation later on today.”

“I look forward to it, Sir,” Major Alwaki nodded, offering a respectful, if unpolished, salute.

Sharpe and Harrelson watched the Major depart before sharing a look as Sharpe settled into the surprisingly comfortable seat behind the desk, noting the various documents and other small pieces of equipment all over the desk. Harrelson, noticing his General’s disease for the mess, quickly got about clearing the desk and sorting the documentation, mostly from the Construction Battalion but some from the base prior to the Federation taking ownership of it, and after a few minutes the modest office looked significantly clearer and before befitting the office of a Federal Marine.

“Make sure you take yourself one of those smaller offices just outside Ops, I want you to have some space to yourself,” Sharpe ordered, leaning back in his chair. “I’m gonna be running you ragged out here I’m afraid Mike, you think you can take it?”

“I know I can, Sir,” Harrelson replied, with typical Marine bravado. “Where shall we start?”
Last edited by -The United Federation of Nations- on Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Corporate Police State

Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:20 am

7 September 2019, 11:00hrs Local Time
Djibouti City Airport
Djibouti, East African Republic

Tobias Luxenberg yawned as his Kranich business jet came into land at Djibouti City Airport, taking a moment to adjust his glasses and smooth down his dyed blonde hair. Although he was only twenty-seven years old Tobias had a proven track record of service to the Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft's administration, as he possessed an M.A. in International Management and had been in the Finanzberater training program before Ostafrika's client states parted way with the OAG; with the loss of potential avenues of expansion, the Finanzberater program had been scaled down due to reduced opportunities. Although the OAG's Finanzberaters were nominally 'financial advisors' for the leadership of Freistaat Ostafrika's autonomous states, they were in actuality unofficial viceroys who ensured that autonomous leaders did not stray too far from the OAG's direction. As the son of OAG Präsident Friedrich Luxenberg, Tobias was always intended to receive a choice posting but it had now been decided that he would be redirected as something of a 'special envoy' befitting his father's influence and his own aptitudes. Able to speak fluent German and English, Tobias had been appointed as the Ostafrikan observer to the UFN's peacekeeping operations in the East African Republic, which bordered Freistaat Ostafrika and had long been something of an annoyance. While Ostafrika publicly (but quietly) endorsed the UFN's presence in the East African Republic, privately the OAG found their presence to be rather distasteful. They viewed it as yet another example of the UFN stepping into Ostafrika's backyard, in this instance conducting a peacekeeping operation to stabilise a region that Ostafrika had hoped to gain influence in. In previous times this would have led to Freistaat Ostafrika attempting to interfere in the political situation of the East African Republic in order to drive out the UFN and step into the fray themselves, but times had changed. Ostafrika was now a prospective ally of the Nanfang Republic and the OAG did not wish to do anything to jeopardise that fact. As they were aware that the Nanfang Republic would look poorly upon any shenanigans perpetrated against the UFN, the OAG were adopting a less interfering stance. Tobias would serve as an official observer, liaising with the UFN peacekeeping operation and reporting back to Dar es Salaam. Meanwhile, light mechanised forces would be stationed in Ostafrikan territories which bordered the East African Republic; these forces were not there to posture or intimidate, instead they were there 'just in case'. If the UFN peacekeepers ran into difficulty then Ostafrika would be able to 'come to their rescue', at which point Ostafrika would attempt to use their leverage to create a joint peacekeeping operation rather than a solely UFN operation.

"We'd better get ready to be greeted, Herr Luxenberg."

Tobias looked over at Leutnant Erich Bleier, his assigned military attaché. The immaculately uniformed and groomed officer was two years older than Tobias and was well aware of Ostafrika's hopes for intervention in the East African Republic; he had been selected for this particular assignment due to his proficiency with English as well as his flawless service record.

"Hopefully we won't be here as mere observers for too long, Leutnant. The UFN may be arrogant enough to believe that they alone can solve the world's problems but they may well find this particular situation to be more problematic than they imagine. They'll find themselves in over their heads and they'll need assistance, and as good neighbours we will of course have no problem providing that assistance."

Erich nodded. "Who knows, one day you might find yourself as Finanzberater to the East African Republic."

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves, Leutnant. For now we have to play nice with the world's most rampant busybodies."

The pair exchanged smug smirks as the aircraft touched down and parked up in anticipation of the UFN's welcoming committee.

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Postby -The United Federation of Nations- » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:27 pm

First Lieutenant Michael J. Harrelson, Federal Marine Corps
Peacekeeping Station Nine
Djibouti, East Africa Republic
Saturday 7th September 2019, 110hrs Local Time


First Lieutenant Harrelson stepped out of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) that had ferried him from the Operations Centre over towards the civilian terminal where the Ostafrikan aircraft had been directed, and looked towards the Observer and the military officer accompanying him. As Peacekeeping Station Nine was an operational, frontline base, Harrelson was in the Defence Combat Uniform (DCU), the current camouflage combat uniform used by the United Defence Force, although rather than a full loading carrying equipment he just wore a utility belt, upon which was a pistol in a holster, specifically the Sig Sauer M17 which served as the standard issue, full-size sidearm of the UDF. The JLTV driver, a Private First Class drawn from the headquarters motor pool, was similarly equipped but remained inside the vehicle. With pretty much every man and women, officer or enlisted, on base taken up with some work or another, including the infantry chipping in to provide valuable manpower, the decision had been made to send the smallest possible welcoming committee for the Ostafrikan observers, whilst remaining respectful and welcoming. As such, the decision to send the Base Commander’s aide had made a great deal of sense, as he was the most easily spared.

Truth be told, General Sharpe would have much preferred, on a practical level, not to have deal with the complication of having foreign observers on-base, but he understood the political necessity. When it came down to it, the proximity of the East African Republic to Ostafrika meant that it would have been impossible to exclude them as they had an undoubtable interest. At the same time, it had been made clear to Sharpe by Defence Force Command that they Ostafrikan observers were just that. observers, and the Federation was not about to apologise for doing something that should have been done previously. When it came down to it, despite the Ostafrikan beliefs to the contrary, the Federation had no hostile intent against them, or indeed anyone else for that matter; indeed such a foreign policy was engrained in the Articles of the Federation. Of course, some (such as the Ostafrikans) saw the Federation’s tendency to intervene where it believed that it could help, or to prevent unspeakable atrocities, both in keeping with the core values that brought its membership together, as getting involved where it shouldn’t. The Federation Council staunchly disagreed, seeing it as a moral imperative, and a moral right, to act where necessary.

Harrelson settled his headgear, known as the Utility Cover, onto his head and approached the two Ostafrikans.

“Good Morning, Gentlemen, welcome to Federation Peacekeeping Station Nine, I am Lieutenant Harrelson, staff aide to the Base Commander, Brigadier General Sharpe, who asked me to greet you on his behalf,” Harrelson said in welcome, his voice calm, professional and collected. “The General has also assigned me to work with you to help you with your observation mission, as much as is possible, so if you do need anything whilst you are here, please let me know… as it is, here are your security passes, which will allow you into all areas, except for secure areas, without escort.”

Harrelson handed the two Ostafrikans a pair of security passes, which as he had said would allow them into most areas without an escort, but would require them to be accompanied if they wanted to go into secure areas, such as the armoury or the command centre. The idea was to allow the ‘guests’ to complete their mission, without compromising operational security and any classified information or technology, as an attempt to set the right tone for the interactions between the Federation forces and the Ostafrikan observers.

“If you’ll follow me, gentlemen,” Harrelson said, walking to the JTLV and climbing into the front. “Take us to Ops, Private.”

The PFC nodded and began to drive back across the airfield towards the military side of the facility, stopping for a short time to allow a C-130J Super Hercules from the 536th Military Airlift Squadron out of Bahrain, likely bringing in heavy equipment or vehicles of some sort for the 41st Infantry, to land on the main runway.

“Just so you are both aware, although our presence here is requested by both sides, there are hardliner factions within both the government and the rebels, who want to fight it out and don’t want to give peace a chance, and whilst Defence Force Intelligence has judged the changes of a aggressive action against our presence here to be low, the possibility of trouble remains,” Harrelson informed them as they continued towards the accommodation area. “As such, you will both be provided with the unclassified versions of the daily security brief from the command J-2 officer, and if you intend to go off-base you will be furnished with a security detail if you want one, and we strongly advise that you do, and you, Lieutenant, have been cleared to carry your sidearm on-base and off, and we again strongly advise you to do so.”

Harrelson passed them another pair of documents, this day’s daily security brief.

“The UDF are here as peacekeepers, our job is to keep the peace and try and keep the two sides apart long enough for them to settle their diplomats, but that will take a while and we should be under no illusions that this is a war zone and there’s a lot of tension there,” Harrelson continued. “I’m taking you to see the General, you’ll be able to ask him any preliminary questions you may have, and set out what you’d like to do whilst you’re with us, and the General will be able to advise you whether we’ll be able to accommodate that.”

A short time later they arrived at the Command Centre and Harrelson led the two guests through the main entrance, which was guarded by two soldiers from the 41st Infantry, and through the building until they reached Ops. The space was bustling with activity, as the staff managed the affairs of the base and the wider task force, with the first patrols due to go out on the ceasefire line at noon there was a lot to get sorted. They found General Sharpe with Major Alwaki in the former’s office, they had clearly been at it for several hours as the the latter gave a rundown of the rebel’s strategic positions, in these strictest confidence of course, as per the peacekeeping arrangement. Both men looked grateful for the interruption, as three hours was a long time to be cooped up on one room doing the same thing. Major Alwaki nodded to the new arrivals before taking his leave, no doubt to go and settle into the quarters that had been set aside for him and the rest of his small delegation.

With the Militia Officer gone Sharpe turned his attention to the two Ostafrikans. The General had been more than a little bemused when he had been informed by Defence Force Command that the Ostafrikan observer would be the son of the Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft’s President, and was unsure what to make of the decision, and the message it sent. Never the less, he had resolved to treat the Ostafrikan as he would do any observer, with respect and courtesy, but also firmly and with the clear emphasis that this was his base, his task force and his responsibility.

“Welcome to PS9, Gentlemen,” Sharpe said as the group took their seats. “I am Brigadier General Nicholas Sharpe.”

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Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:23 pm

OOC: The following is a collaborative post written by -The United Federation of Nations- and Freistaat-Ostafrika.

7 September 2019, 11:20hrs Local Time
Peacekeeping Station Nine
Djibouti, East African Republic

Tobias adjusted his glasses slightly as he and Leutnant Bleier took their seats.

"Thank you for the welcome, General. My name is Tobias Luxenberg and this is Leutnant Erich Bleier." He gestured to the uniformed officer next to him before continuing. "Lieutenant Harrelson provided us with an excellent summary of the current situation while escorting us here, and that was much appreciated. Suffice to say that the situation in the East African Republic is, well, volatile. I'm certain that you can appreciate Freistaat Ostafrika's interest in the outcome of your peacekeeping operations."

Sharpe nodded, noting with satisfaction the complimentary words offered towards his aide; whilst they were just being polite, it was also true that they could not have said anything at all, and the fact that he did not have to lay out the situation was another positive indicator for his new aide’s ability.

“Of course, Ostafrika’s physical border with the East African Republic is an obvious point of concern, especially if the fighting were to reignite and threaten the border communities,” Sharpe nodded. “And, of course, the East African Republic’s strategic position, effectively controlling the entrance to the Red Sea, would pose an obvious national security concern for everyone.”

“Very true, General. With the ongoing issues in Yemen which have provided a prime breeding ground for piracy, stability in the East African Republic has become far more desirable to the rest of the world. Freistaat Ostafrika has cooperated in the past with the Empire of Layarteb and the Realm of Cotland in opposing the pirates operating out of Yemen, and we will always support efforts that could bring stability to such an important region.” Tobias smiled warmly. “With that in mind, the Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft would like it made abundantly clear that your efforts in this nation have our support.”

While that was not entirely true, Tobias was not about to reveal Ostafrika’s long-term intentions to Sharpe. He leaned forward slightly as he continued.

“The primary reason for my presence, along with the presence of Leutnant Bleier, is to observe the UFN’s peacekeeping operations here. There was some discussion between the higher-ups of the OAG regarding the best way to approach your presence here and thankfully the ‘politely observe’ approach won out. Leutnant Bleier is here to observe the more military side of operations while I am here to observe the more diplomatic and political side. I have experience from numerous dialogues with the many tribals groups with Freistaat Ostafrika so rest assured that you have not been handed a total novice based solely on his family background.”

“That is very comforting, as I am sure you can imagine this is a complex situation we have on our hands here; the dynamics between the regime and the rebels are the main concern, but there is also tribal and ethnic dynamics, maybe pushed to the side but not totally gone,” Sharpe commented. “I am more than aware that the OAG is unlikely to be tremendously thrilled with the Federation’s presence here, given our previous… disagreements, however I am glad to hear the approach you’ve chosen, as enough people have died in this Civil War, at this point it shouldn’t matter who puts a stop to it.”

Sharpe smiled wryly.

“In any case, as I’ve said, we’ll do what we can to facilitate your mission here, as long as doing so does not hinder our operations here; and whilst I would not wish to muzzle you, although you will be allowed to observe negotiations, if you do so in any other way than silently, I will not allow you to continue observing, unless we have discussed it previously,” Sharpe added, his voice firmer. “Lieutenant, I’m sure any of my patrols would be happy to have you accompany them outside the fence, although of course we would expect you to follow the orders of the patrol leader, and we can arrange for acquaints with various units on-base as well.”

Bleier nodded agreeably. “Understood, General. I did not get where I am by disobeying orders, and I understand that one misstep on a patrol could lead to fatalities in a tense situation such as this one.”

“Fair enough Lieutenant, just wanted to set the expectations,” Sharpe replied with a pleased nod. “We’ll get you out on a patrol in the morning, if you feel up to it?”

“Yes, that would be acceptable.”

Tobias then returned himself to the conversation. “If I note anything during negotiation observations that may be of consequence then I shall wait until a private opportunity to mention them, General. Not implying that your own negotiators would necessarily miss something important but, as you say, Ostafrika borders the East African Republic. Some of the tribal and ethnic groups who reside in the south of the Republic have spillover into the northern territories of Ostafrika, we may have experience of quirks and the like that your people have not come across as of yet.”

“I appreciate your understanding; truth be told the main negotiations are taking place in Mogadishu, with the rebel delegation operating under our protection,” Sharpe explained briefly. “As such, any negotiations here are likely to be in the middle of a crisis to prevent things escalating, so I appreciate your willingness to facilitate a single, clear message from me to both sides.”

“At the end of the day we are all seeking a conclusion to the instability of this nation, General. The UFN is conducting this initiative and Ostafrika wishes to see lasting stability in the East African Republic. While our two nations may have had their differences in the past and undoubtedly still do disagree on several issues, in this instance Freistaat Ostafrika has the potential to be a helpful neighbour for your peacekeeping forces. Leutnant Bleier and myself are observers but we are also representatives of the Ostafrikan administration, if circumstances ever arise where your Ostafrikan neighbours can be of assistance then we have a direct line to Dar es Salaam. I doubt that such circumstances will ever arise but it cannot hurt for you to be aware that you potentially have options.” Tobias smiled once more, intent on maintaining the idea that he and Bleier were here as ‘friends’.

“I will certainly bear that in mind as we move forward, please do not misconstrue my ‘stern’ tone as hostility, Sir, I am the senior Federation officer in charge of a complex, difficult mission, I hope you will forgive me for laying some ground rules to keep control of what i can,” Sharpe smiled wryly. “The priority, as you rightly say, is a lasting peace here in the East African Republic, both for ourselves and for the people who call it home, so I appreciate your offer, and I will ensure that Lieutenant Harrelson and my yeoman know not to hinder your speaking to me, save, I beg, when I am asleep, short of an emergency.”

“Control in situations such as these is a precious commodity to say the least, General. I completely understand your wish for ground rules and we shall respect the rules set down for us.”

“That is very much appreciated,” Sharpe replied with a nod. “Now, I imagine that Lieutenant Harrelson ran you through the security brief, but do you have any questions about the security environment?”

Leutnant Bleier cleared his throat. “I was informed that I have clearance to carry my sidearm even while on-base. While that is a reassurance in one way as I know I will have a form of defense to hand, is the clearance merely a formality or is there genuine concern about a possible attack within the base’s perimeter?”

Sharpe smiled thinly.

“As I said earlier, the Federation’s presence here is endorsed by both the government and the rebels, with a view to a lasting peace, however there are factions on both sides that want to fight it out, regardless of the blood that would be spilt in the process,” He replied with a grim sigh as he sat back. “Whilst I do not expect any of these factions to pose a real threat to this base, the chance that they may attempt an attack against the base remains and we must take precautions, however our security should be sufficient to avoid any infiltration, and I have enough troops to adequately man the perimeter.’

Sharpe shook his head wryly.

“So it's a bit of both, I’m afraid, Lieutenant; it's mainly a precaution, but I’d still keep it on you nonetheless.”

“Understood.” Leutnant Bleier seemed satisfied with Sharpe’s response while Tobias posed his own question. “Just out of personal interest General, I understand that you’ll be hosting liaisons from both the East African government and the rebels. What are your plans for keeping them from fighting each other while they are here? Given the current situation, I suspect that there will be many instances of one being angered by something said or done by the other.”

Sharpe smiled.

“Both the liaison officers, and their staff, will be disarmed for the duration of their stay here, and will be accommodated in opposite ends of the accom block, and will dine at different times,”
Sharpe replied dryly. “I’ll be laying down the ground rules with them as well, and if I have to back it up with a security team I will do, I’ll not tolerate any nonsense within the perimeter of this base.”

“Very smart, General. For my part, I’ll do my best to avoid interacting with either of them without informing you first. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or both sides decide to take a dislike to an Ostafrikan presence, but we shall do what we can to limit their reasons.”

“That sounds like the smartest idea, and I appreciate the courtesy of you doing so,” Sharpe nodded. “Quite possibly, the rebels in particular will distrust you, I think, suspecting you favour the Government.”

“Well it is certainly true that Freistaat Ostafrika attempted to maintain a working relationship with the Xavier regime, but what else would you do in that situation? If we had actively undermined his regime then it would have likely ended in a war, admittedly one that we probably would have won in the end but a very costly war nonetheless. We prefer to take a stance of working with a given nation’s legitimate and recognised government, as opposed to undermining any government that we aren’t completely in favour of. Just as we intend to recognise and work with whatever form of government emerges from this process as the legitimate authority of the East African Republic.” Tobias let out a slight sigh. “If the rebel representatives decide to distrust us then that is their prerogative, I suppose.”

Sharpe smiled at the slightly defensive tone that his comment had evoked, wondering if there was anything more behind it, or whether it was a tacit acknowledgement that whatever Freistaat Ostafrika’s policy with regards to the EAR had been it had clearly not worked.

“Indeed, and your physical proximity to the regime’s heartland in Somalia would also likely make you more favourable to their way of looking at things than the rebels, over this end,” Sharpe commented. “Regardless, the Federation’s neutrality in the dispute between the two sides is vital if we are to negotiate a lasting peace, and maintaining that neutrality is my top concern.”

Tobias nodded. “Understandable, General. Your nation’s neutrality means that you’re not being blamed for anything. Well, not yet anyway. I’m certain that someone somewhere in the East African Republic will decide that your presence is harming the nation, or that you’re supporting one side over the other. It is unfortunately inevitable. At the very least, I can say that Ostafrika won’t be blaming you for anything.”

“Very true, we just need to make sure we don’t give them any legitimate reason; the last thing we need is for said ‘someone’ having a genuine point to make,” Sharpe shook his head with a wry smile. “Fortunately, the United Defence Force has a great deal of institutional experience in peacekeeping, so I’m confident in the professionalism of my officers and their troops.”

“Good to hear, General. Well, if it is acceptable to you I would like to settle in and I’m certain that the Leutnant would like to do so as well.” Tobias offered his hand to Brigadier General Sharpe to shake. “Let us hope that this operation proves to be far less interesting than it appears at first glance.”

“We can only hope,” Sharpe smiled, shaking the offered hand. “Lieutenant Harrelson will show you to your quarters.”

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Postby -The United Federation of Nations- » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:49 am

Sergeant Thomas J. Watts, FMC
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic
Sunday 8th September 2019, 0700hrs Local Time


Sergeant Thomas J. Watts, Squad Leader for 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, A Company, 4th Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, stood and watched as the eleven men of his squad completed their final checks, using the buddy system. They had gathered with the rest of Alpha Company in an area outside the armoury known as the Staging Area, kitting up and loading supplies into a collection of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles ready to mount the first watch along the ceasefire line. A Company would be responsible for the forty-mile stretch between the coastline and the border with Ethiopia, and would be tasked with maintaining a visible presence along the ceasefire line, a visible deterrent to keep the two sides, and the defensive positions they held on their respective sides, from getting at each other. It would be a thin, tenuous presence but the point was not to flood the line with troops, but rather to remind both sides that the UDF was there; if anything happened a larger response force could be deployed from PS9 in short order. Moreover, although any patrol that JTF-EA might mount along the Ceasefire Line could not keep the entirety of either the Government troops, or the rebels, apart, they would be able to come out on top of any engagement they found themselves in.

Of course, any actual firefight with either side would be fraught with issues, but both sides had agreed in principle that any unit that engaged a Federation patrol could be assumed to be hostile, as it would not be an attack authorised by the leadership of either side, somewhat helping the situations, although rules of engagement would remain very tight.

Watts had served in the 4th Battalion, 14th Marines, part of the Global Security Group, the Federal Marine Corps’ global contingency force, ever since his decision to re-enlist after his first tour of duty in an amphibious unit, and as such had conducted a wide variety of missions over the course of his career. In all that time he had never been a situation quite as intense, complex and potentially explosive as this one, and that was saying something. Never the less, Watts was a professional, a graduate of the Defence Force NCO School; an intensive ten-week programme which all service members across the UDF had to attend if they wanted to re-enlist (and thus join the ranks of the Non-Commissioned Officers), and as such was very good at what he did. Indeed, Watts was in his twelfth year of service and had already decided to re-enlist for the third time, and as such would be due for promotion to Staff Sergeant once his re-enlistment was confirmed.

It was perhaps for this reason that when it had come down from JTF-EA Headquarters that a squad would be needed to attach an Ostafrikan military officer to, for observation purposes, Watts’ had been chosen. Watts had been in the military long enough to not have to worry about having an officer, even a foreign one, looking over his shoulder, and in any case, Lieutenant Harrelson, General Sharpe’s staff aide, had pulled him aside and reassured him that the Ostafrikan Lieutenant had promised he would follow orders out there. This was good enough for Watts, for all the tension between the Federation and the Ostafrikans from all indications their military was professional and that was good enough for him. It would be a complex situation out there, the last thing he needed was a complication.

It was not long before, one squad at a time, the Company was ready and they mounted up; each squad spread across three JLTVs by a fireteam, meaning that all told over forty of the vehicles made their way in a long line out of the base. It was, in some respects, a waste of resources; as it used up a significant chunk of the JLTVs available and ignored the presence of larger vehicles that could have carried more Marines. However, although not privy to the reason, Watts suspected it was intended as a show of force; that the UDF could muster so many tactical vehicles for a relatively small patrol, and remind anyone that might cause any trouble what they were up against. Moreover, it also meant that Alpha Company was bringing forty M2 Browning .50 Calibre heavy machine guns to the party, which would be of great help if the shit hit the fan. Of course, they would not be completing the patrols whilst mounted up in the JLTVs, as it would defeat the point of getting boots on the ground to get a proper feel for the environment, but having them nearby would be reassuring.

Given the short distance from PS9 to the ceasefire line it did not take them long to arrive at the area that had been chosen as the Company Command Post; an area of slightly higher elevation. The Company Headquarters, along with the weapons platoon, would stay at the Command Post, serving both to provide some long-range fire and as a tactical reserve, whilst the three rifle platoons quickly spread out along the ceasefire line, each platoon responsible for just under fourteen miles of the line. Each Platoon Leader, a First Lieutenant, selected their own command post, maybe a mile back from the ceasefire line, and circled their JLTVs to provide a perimeter. The platoon leader, and his headquarters element, would remain along with one of his three rifle squads, to ensure that he could rotate his squads off the line every few hours, meaning that no squad would spend more than eight hours on patrol, and therefore each of the two squads on patrol was responsible for approximately seven miles of the ceasefire line, which they were to patrol on foot. Fortunately, the combat uniforms and modern body armour, load-carrying equipment and various other tactical gear made the Federation troops stand out against the rebels and even the Government troops, meaning they would not be mistaken by either side.

The 2nd Platoon was deployed in the middle of the line, between the 1st Platoon to the west and the 3rd Platoon to the east, with Watts’ squad on the left of the line. Once their Platoon Leader, First Lieutenant Hernandez, had given them their briefing the two squads set out for their patrol, Watts’ squad moving southwest from the platoon command post. Just before setting out Watts was briefly introduced to the Ostafrikan Lieutenant, and whilst his greeting was friendly enough he excused himself quickly to get the squad underway, saying that they could have proper introductions once they were underway.


Each squad in the Federal Marine Corps, and indeed the Federal Army and any other part of the UDF that might need to organise into combat units (to keep consistency across the board), consisted of twelve men including the squad leader, and was the smallest tactical sub-unit (not counting fireteams, as these were unofficial). The Rifle Squad was centred around a single M240 Medium Machine Gun, operated by the Bravo Fireteam, which provided a base of fire and two manoeuvre teams. Sergeant Watts was accompanied in Alpha Fireteam by a grenadier and two scouts; the role of the latter pair was to push out ahead of the squad to clear the way and provide early warning in case of an ambush, falling back to the squad in the event of contact with the enemy. The Bravo Fireteam was led by a Lance Corporal, who was also the Squad Gunner (armed with the M240), backed up by an assistant Gunner and two riflemen for security. The Charlie Fireteam, led by the Assistant Squad Leader (a Corporal) was the primary manoeuvre element of the Squad; in the event of an engagement the Bravo Fireteam would engage the enemy with its M240 whilst Charlie, and to a lesser extent Alpha, would manoeuvre to advance upon (and if possible flank) the enemy that was likely pinned down by the M240.

With the exception of the Gunner, who was of course armed with the M240, the squad was entirely armed with some variety of the M5 Adaptive Combat Rifle, although the grenadiers in both Alpha and Charlie had an underslung grenade launcher attached to their weapons. In addition, Sergeant Watts, Corporal Brian Carrol (the Assistant Squad Leader) and Lance Corporal Jack Martin (the Gunner) were armed with Sig Sauer M17, the UDF’s standard issue sidearm based on a specially modified P320. Although Lance Corporal Martin was armed with a sidearm as a back-up to his M240, Watts and Carrol were armed in fitting with their roles in mind. As the non-commissioned officers of the squad it stood to reason that they were the most likely to talk to locals, or in a peacekeeping situation with opposing forces, and in such a situation it would send the wrong message for them to carry their service rifles but would still need some form of armament as a means of self-defence. It was much the same reason why officers and senior NCOs were also armed with sidearms. By contrast, the average Marine or soldier was only armed with their service weapons, and any space that might have been taken up by a sidearm was used to carry extra ammunition.

The squad was arrayed in the standard column formation that was ideal for patrols of this nature where there was no enemy force known to be present or expected but would allow the squad to react quickly in the event of an ambush. The two scouts were pushed out ahead, and a little to the side, of the squad’s line of advance; these Marines were responsible for providing early warning of an attack from the front and the flanks. The main body of the squad was led by Alpha Team’s grenadier as the point man, whose underslung grenade launcher would allow him to engage an enemy quickly and decisively in the event of an attack, with Sergeant Watts (and in this case, the Ostafrikan Lieutenant) behind him. Bravo Squad came next, and their concern in the event of an attack was to get their M240 placed and engaging the enemy as quickly as possible, as UDF small-unit tactics placed particular important in getting the suppressive fire of the M240 down as quickly as possible. Charlie Team came last, and in addition to being responsible for rear security would also be expected to move either to the left or right to flank a potential enemy, which was part of the reason why it was positioned at the rear of the column as it would keep them out of easy sight of any enemy force.

Casting an eye over the formation and spacing of his squad Watts was satisfied and turned his attention, at last, to the Lieutenant.

“My apologies for being so brief in our introduction, Sir, but I wanted to make sure that we were all set up and goo to go,” Watts commented as they walked. “So welcome to 2nd Squad; we’re covering seven miles of the line, so hope you’re up for a long walk!”

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Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:57 pm

8 September 2019, 07:00hrs Local Time
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic

Leutnant Bleier nodded as Sergeant Watts addressed him while they walked.

"No problem with a walk Sergeant, patrol duty is something we all have to do at some point. I've certainly conducted my fair share of patrols back home." Bleier smiled slightly. "Also no need to apologise for anything. I'm certain that having me around isn't exactly a perfect situation in your mind, so don't worry about observing unnecessary niceties. We're all soldiers here and we all know how difficult things can get during a so-called 'normal' day, let alone a day where you're saddled with a foreign observing officer.

"So how long have you been in service, Sergeant?"

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Postby -The United Federation of Nations- » Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:29 pm

Sergeant Thomas J. Watts, FMC
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic
Sunday 8th September 2019, 0730hrs Local Time


Watts smiled wryly at Bleier’s comments about being saddled with his presence, indeed it was something of an added burden, aside from representing the Federal Marine Corps, and the Federation as a whole, he also had to make sure that no harm came to the Ostafrikan officer whilst on the patrol. In the middle of a firefight, the last thing he needed was to have to worry about protecting the Lieutenant when he would already be concerned with fighting his squad. Indeed, Watts had already made the decision that in the event of enemy contact he would, none too ceremoniously, bundle the officer into a position of cover so that he could concentrate on engaging and destroying whatever enemy was stupid enough to attack a Federation patrol. Not that he would divulge any of this to the Lieutenant, of course, after all the hope was that they would complete their entire tour of duty would be without a single hostile engagement

“Twelve years, Sir; enlisted in 2007 straight out of high school, with no idea what I wanted to do with myself attended boot camp at MCRD San Diego before reporting to the School of Infantry and then onto an Amphibious Unit in the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines,” Watts replied with a smile. “Turns out I quite liked it, so as I was reaching the end of my first four-year enlistment I applied for re-enlistment and attended the Defence Force NCO School, with promotion Corporal, then four years later to Sergeant upon my third enlistment.”

Watts paused for a moment to watch as his scouts briefly called the squad to a halt, raising their weapons to their shoulders and observing something through their weapon’s optics, before giving the all-clear signal, allowing the patrol to continue.

“I’m due for promotion to Staff Sergeant now that I was accepted for re-enlistment, which is based on annual FITREPs,” Watts commented. “It’ll be soon, So I’ll either stay here as Squad Leader or take up a position as Lieutenant Hernandez’ Platoon Sergeant.”

Watts paused again and glanced over at Bleier.

“What about you, Sir,” He asked. “How long have you been in for?”

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Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:57 pm

8 September 2019, 07:30hrs Local Time
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic

"Eleven years for me, coming from a military family it was rather expected that I'd sign up. After basic training I was assigned to the Madagaskar Division, mostly simple patrol duties with occasional parades and the like. A deployment to Madagaskar is usually quite simple, the autonomous Kingdom of Imerina is one of the most loyal autonomous regions while the areas under direct rule are usually very peaceful. Worked my way up to Oberstabsgefreiter, I think your nation's comparable rank would be corporal. In Ostafrika the rank is still part of the 'enlisted' men. Got accepted into the officer programme so got moved to the officer candidate battalion in Dodoma for the six month officer training. Then three months at the Officers School in Dar es Salaam followed by six months of active service in the Northern Frontier District which borders the East African Republic."

Leutnant Bleier paused to smile slightly before continuing with his clear recollection of his military career thus far.

"Then four years of study at the military university in Lilongwe to attain a master's degree in Political Science. All that got me my promotion to Leutnant. Then back to active service, this time as a platoon leader in the Kenia Division which had me back in the Northern Frontier District. When it was decided that we'd be sending observers here, I was selected because I've served near the border with the EAR quite a lot and I've got a so-called 'excellent' command of English so I can easily communicate with UFN personnel."

Bleier turned to Watts. "Please don't take this the wrong way, but I never thought I'd end up talking like this with a UFN soldier."

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Postby -The United Federation of Nations- » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:06 am

Sergeant Thomas J. Watts, FMC
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic
Sunday 8th September 2019, 0735hrs Local Time


Watts listened with interest as Bleier detailed his career to date, and found himself looking at the Ostafrikan Lieutenant with newfound respect. Although, as an enlisted man, Watts would respect and render military courtesy to all officers, and indeed in the UDF most tended to earn and deserve that respect, there was one type of officer that was beloved across the Defence Force. Mustang Officers, those officers that had previous service as enlisted before being commissioned, were not an uncommon fixture within the UDF, especially for those with leadership potential that had not been fortunate enough to get into the Defence Force Academy, or any of the the University Officer Training Units (UOTU) at various Universities across the Federation. Due to their experience as a grunt, these officers knew what it was like and were, by and large, exceptional officers and well respected by their subordinates. That wasn’t to say that all ‘normal’ officers were useless, just that Mustangs tended to skip the ‘dumbass’ stage that many young officers fell into before getting set straight (normally by their Platoon Sergeant, even if they were nominally in command).

Indeed, Watts had been informed by his superiors that, if he were to request it, he would likely be accepted to Officer Candidate School (OCS), and it was something he was giving some thought; and something that the UDF was more than happy to allow any prospective officer as it was a big decision and a big change. Watts had grown-up in Clearlake, California, a city which held the dubious honour of being the Republic of California’s poorest city; with less than five per cent of adults in Clearlake holding a College degree. Although smart and capable, college had never been on Watts’ horizon and getting out of Clearlake had been one of the primary reasons why Watts had enlisted in the Marines. That being said, Watts quite enjoyed his role as an NCO and would have to carefully weigh up the additional responsibilities of being an officer before he made his decision. So the UDF had accepted his re-enlistment, whilst keeping the door open for OCS, although not indefinitely.

Watts smiled at Bleier’s comment.

“Well, a year and a half ago Ostafrika and the Federation were glaring at each other across the Persian Gulf after that business with the then UAS, so I don’t blame you, Sir,” Watts replied with a nod, his unit had been on standby at the time. “Things do seem to have calmed down though, and I don’t think I expected to be taking an Ostafrikan officer for a stroll through a sometimes war zone either!”

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Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:13 pm

8 September 2019, 07:35hrs Local Time
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic

"A lot of things have changed in the past year and a half, Sergeant Watts. Things between our two nations have calmed, the Unified Arab Sultanate is now the United Arab Emirates, and Ostafrika is becoming a good friend of the Nanfang Republic. As far as I'm concerned, if change benefits my nation then let it continue. Maybe one day all of the factions within this nation will recognise that change can be a good thing. If any factions fail to recognise the new order in the East African Republic then they may find themselves swept away by the march of history."

Bleier chuckled slightly. "Forgive the turn of phrase, it's the sort of thing that we Ostafrikans like to say a lot."

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Postby -The United Federation of Nations- » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:23 am

Sergeant Thomas J. Watts, FMC
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic
Sunday 8th September 2019, 0740hrs Local Time


Watts smiled wryly.

“In the age of social media and instant communications, old-style authoritarian regimes are on borrowed time; its very difficult to keep word of atrocities from leaking out and very hard to keep a population in check by repression alone, or to stop them from organising,” Watts commented. “So, in general, you have the choice between Democracy, or in very clever, very carefully operated regimes that know exactly how to leverage that same social media revolution to their own ends… that, or they simply give the people no cause to complain, other than a lack of democracy.”

Watts shook his head.

“The UFN will always champion democracy as a solution; but on an academic level we can understand why, for some, a prosperous economy, tolerant society and limited meddling by the government can be an agreeable trade off for a lack of representation,” Watts added. “But as I said, the days of repression by violence and fear are over, and those regimes that continued to favour them are on the way out, I’ve been on numerous deployments where that is true, I’m sure you’ve seen the same, so as you say, they will find themselves swept away by the march of history.”

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Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:11 pm

8 September 2019, 07:45hrs Local Time
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic

Leutnant Bleier nodded slightly.

"Well until this nation manages to decide whether it wants democracy or a 'clever and carefully operated' regime, you get the pleasure of stopping them from killing each other and I get to observe you while you do so. I think at this point, their neighbours just want them to pick a stable form of government and stick to it, regardless of which one they choose."

He paused for a moment before continuing.

"So just between soldiers, how does this assignment compare with previous ones?"

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Postby -The United Federation of Nations- » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:15 am

Sergeant Thomas J. Watts, FMC
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic
Sunday 8th September 2019, 0740hrs Local Time


“Well, its an interesting one isn’t it; if there are any outbreaks of violence they are unlikely to be directed at us, and will likely stop the minute our patrol arrives on the scene, so in that respect I feel more like a Cop than I do a Marine at this point,” Watts replied with a wry smile. “That being said, as much as the chances of us getting shot at are far lower than on any previous mission I’ve been on, I get the impression that if we are shot at, we’re going to find ourselves in a difficult situation; we have what four thousand men, sat between a hundred thousand soldiers, militia and rebels on both sides.”

Watts glanced across at the Lieutenant, they both likely knew the sheer amount of damage that the Federation troops would be able to inflict on anyone stupid enough to attack them, in the short term, but there was very little prospect of them holding out indefinitely in the face of an attack. Without reinforcement, either from the Federation or elsewhere, but that would almost immediately escalate the conflict and could get out of hand very, very quickly.

“That being said, the Marines at least have been in sticky situations before; we’re part of the Global Security Group of the Federal Marines; our job is to provide units for deployment on an ad hoc basis across the globe, as requested by the Sector Commander,” Watts explained. “We’re usually deployed in squads or platoons, with companies being rare and, until now, a full battalion being unheard of, but these deployments can range from drug enforcement in South America to enhanced boarding parties, wherever an additional presence is required.”

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Postby Freistaat-Ostafrika » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:48 pm

8 September 2019, 07:45hrs Local Time
Ceasefire Line
Djibouti, East African Republic

"Always needed somewhere, it's the soldier's life. Just when you think you've resolved a situation, a new one develops elsewhere."

Bleier looked thoughtful for a few moments.

"If we do ever find ourselves in trouble, we'll handle it with the professionalism and ability that got us where we are now. Experience and discipline are often some of the most formidable weapons in a military's arsenal. When soldiers act with one mind and one heart, very few things can match that. That's what they drill into you back home, and it rings true for the most part. Unfortunately there's always an exception to every rule."


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