Earthforce Marines?

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Dag'Nabbit
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Earthforce Marines?

Postby Dag'Nabbit » Sat Feb 14, 2004 9:01 am

I just realized that I have never seen or heard of anything like EA Marines. The people who ensure that any ship has an affective defense against boarders or in case they wish to make small unit actions planet side.

Has anyone seen something I missed?
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Postby ShadowScout » Sat Feb 14, 2004 9:24 am

Well, there are soldiers on EA ships - just look at the battle of Mars during the EA civil war (where they are sent shady-teep hunting). Probably they are on evera EA ship, as you can never know when you need some soldiers for inspecting another ship, repellling boarders, etc. - in B5W, every ship has some forces for this, depending on it's size.

I just never heard of them referred as "marines" anywhere in the show, so I'd assume that earthforce may not have such a "divided" structure (I mean, like the current US army, with footsoldiers assigned to the navy as marines, and footsoldiers as army, etc.), but have all ground soldiers as GROPOS (EA ground forces or whatever) and simply use them in any capacity needed (so those guys would be GROPOS currently assigned to a ship, while during their next otour of duty they could be assigned to a garrison on the surface of Mars...)

Another indication for this would be that the ranks seem to be pretty intermixed, with "generals" commanding ships or fleets... (and yeah, I know that this is most probably because JMS didn't pay enough attention to military rank structure).
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Postby Dag'Nabbit » Sat Feb 14, 2004 10:32 am

Now I admit that such individuals as a dedicated security/ground combat force would be hard to spot within the environs of the B5 show. They never really focussed on anything like that.

I do agree that every ship, military atleast, would require that such personnel be present. You never know when one of those vessels would be required to be dispatched alone. The Captain would almost have to be armed with all the possible tools necessary to complete his/her mission. This would require atleast a small group of ground forces.

However, I never saw evidence that "all" EA ships have such a group. It's not really listed anywhere. Heck, the Omega Destroyers have shuttles but none of those are suited to opposed landings. They lack the heavy armor and weapons of the GROPOS assault shuttles. So this implies that the EA has separated this capability from the Navy arm.
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Postby Morgan_Keyes » Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:02 pm

Given what info I can find on EA ships, I go along a line similar to Dag'Nabbit with Fleet units placing such tasks mostly on security personnel, upgraded/upgunned Security Police with some limited familiarity in things like boarding actions and landings, but most forced entry falling to dedicated GROPOS that are brought in for the mission.

Some ships could replace one of their two standard shuttles with a Hades assault shuttle which could let them drop 5 platoons (really, these should be called squads) of light infantry. But then the ship will have to have the extra passenger capacity for those troops if it's not one of the dedicated assault ships. Maybe the odd Omega for those regions where one expects trouble. But I would think they would mainly rely on their security police and anything that requires actual GROPOS will have to wait until a dedicated force is dispatched.
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Postby frobisher » Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:38 pm

ShadowScout wrote:Well, there are soldiers on EA ships - just look at the battle of Mars during the EA civil war (where they are sent shady-teep hunting). Probably they are on evera EA ship, as you can never know when you need some soldiers for inspecting another ship, repellling boarders, etc. - in B5W, every ship has some forces for this, depending on it's size.
If you take a look at the Crusade episode, "Path of Sorrows" (I think) where they meet the alien telepath in a bowl thing and re-vist their pasts, Ensign Gideon is in full combat gear, leading a squad of troops when he's ordered to go EVA by the captain of the Cerberus, so I suspect, at the very least officers for the shipboard troops are lifted from Fleet personel and most likely so are the troops.
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Postby Dag'Nabbit » Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:53 pm

For some reason I don't like the idea of pulling the navy personnel off of their duty to train them close quarters/small unit actions operators. It just doesn't seem like a smart way to go. Not if you are only going to keep them their for a short tour and then let them go as the previous post might indicate happens.

Although, from the EA perspective, maybe they have never felt a need for such specifically trained personnel on board their vessels. Although I find that hard to believe as well.

Maybe their treated like the US Navy Seals. Once they are qualified to be an 'operator' they are then kept 'in house' until such time as they are past their operational prime as a result of age or injury.

Though to my mind, the first is much more likely given the scenes on the show then the second.
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GROPOS or Security Police?

Postby Morgan_Keyes » Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:30 pm

Dag'Nabbit wrote:For some reason I don't like the idea of pulling the navy personnel off of their duty to train them close quarters/small unit actions operators. It just doesn't seem like a smart way to go. Not if you are only going to keep them their for a short tour and then let them go as the previous post might indicate happens.
Actually you see it happening today with US Navy ships since boarding actions are required and most ships involved in that don't have the space for Marines, even if enough were available.

But I also was suggesting that an EA ship may carry small contingents of their equivilent of Security Police aboard. They don't conduct forced entry missions that are today the province of Airborne and Marines, but geared and trained more in small unit tactics then one would see today. Use them for ship defense, boarding actions, and if the commander needs a small armed contingent on the ground for (very) limited actions. Something like an expansion in role such groups like the US Air Force Security Police or the British RAF Regiment (think I got that last right; infantry-type unit charged with airbase defense and re-seizure).

Some problems with placing GROPOS on ships:

1) Lack of shuttle capacity to keep both admin shuttles and assault types. Most ships only have space for two.

2) Barring Omega- and Poseidion-class ships, there is a lack of spin gravity to keep your GROPOS in good condition during a patrol cruises.

3) Tight on space to land a credible force to do much of anything beyond going "squish".

Given the (relative) speed that forces can be shifted in the B5 universe, EarthForce could very well adopt a policy in which if a ship on patrol finds something that can't be handled by it's Security Police (or whatever you wish to name them), then they send word back and the nearest base loads up a battalion or four on dedicated assault ships with all the requisite gear and sends them to the trouble spot. Sometimes I think sci-fi gets itself too wrapped up and enamoured in the wet navy paradigm.

What does work better for a patrolling ship? With GROPOS infantry you may get a squad or platoon aboard most of the common ships, including the Hyperions. Maybe a company on an Omega, but then there is a serious lack of interface craft to move them. For a mission that would require GROPOS infantry, these units would be too small to make much of a difference. For boarding actions, most will be for inspection purposes and your typical GROPO infantryman is likely not going to be as well trained to look for contraband or other hidden 'no-no's'. If it's a fleet action in which one expects to do combat boarding of enemy ships and/or bases, most offensive moves should factor that in and then load GROPOS aboard combat ships for that specific operation, or have them come in behind the battle line in a Hyperion-Gamma, Condor, or Tantalus-class (think that's the big assault ship from GROPOS). Their space skills may also be lacking if these GROPOS are expected to fall back in with their parent formations when not out on patrol and when a commander is weighting training priorities, ship duty will most likely get get pushed back in favor of METL tasks (those skill sets a unit practices to accomplish it's primary mission and reason for being).

A Security Police/SWAT unit? They do have law-enforcement skills to include how to conduct searchs and take folks into custody. They're Fleet personnel so have the spacer skills as part of their training. SWAT-type training may also be an asset in the tight confines for a ship or station. Landing actions? Well they'll not have any advantages over a GROPOS unit in trying to 'secure and hold', but for protecting a landing party, or to evacuate personnel like from an embassy they'll do the job just as well as dropping a platoon of infantry.

My own vote is give the Fleet a Security Police branch and have them as part of the ship's company.
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Re: Earthforce Marines?

Postby strfkn » Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:36 am

Dag'Nabbit wrote:I just realized that I have never seen or heard of anything like EA Marines. The people who ensure that any ship has an affective defense against boarders or in case they wish to make small unit actions planet side.

Has anyone seen something I missed?


check out 'shatered dreams ' sesson three , as the lamprey docks with B5 marines can be seen on writen on the outside of it . why write it if there are none.

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Re: Earthforce Marines?

Postby Morgan_Keyes » Wed Feb 18, 2004 3:12 am

strfkn wrote:
Dag'Nabbit wrote:I just realized that I have never seen or heard of anything like EA Marines. The people who ensure that any ship has an affective defense against boarders or in case they wish to make small unit actions planet side.

Has anyone seen something I missed?


check out 'shatered dreams ' sesson three , as the lamprey docks with B5 marines can be seen on writen on the outside of it . why write it if there are none.

strfkn
Perhapes a unit of the combined EA Ground Forces that can trace a historical lineage back to some kind of 'Marine' unit, even if they now have nothing to do with landing on beaches anymore? Such as the examples given on pg 155 of the EA Fact Book.
Last edited by Morgan_Keyes on Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GROPOS or Security Police?

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:46 am

Morgan_Keyes wrote:Some problems with placing GROPOS on ships:

1) Lack of shuttle capacity to keep both admin shuttles and assault types. Most ships only have space for two.
This is very true. The only EA ships with more are those dedicated to assaust actions, and most of those belong to the GROPOS. I don't see the EA spending resources to remodel their vessels in order to carry more 'Special Police' or whatever they may be called.
Morgan_Keyes wrote:2) Barring Omega- and Poseidion-class ships, there is a lack of spin gravity to keep your GROPOS in good condition during a patrol cruises.
This one I hadn't thought about yet. It's a good point though, and it does go into explaining one of the main reasons that the EA would probably choose not to even bother assigning a stronger presence of 'crunchies.'
Morgan_Keyes" wrote:3) Tight on space to land a credible force to do much of anything beyond going "squish".
This is true as long as you're considering a military target. However, as someone mentioned before, Clarke had his vessels deploy their security personnel against civilian targets on Mars. Targets without heavy or high grade military hardware.
Morgan_Keyes wrote:Given the (relative) speed that forces can be shifted in the B5 universe...
The idea here, of using a mobile reserve force of GROPOS, in order to handle anything will work under some conditions. One, that they are under a high state of readiness. This could be very likely as the EA's paranoia after the Minbari War would probably justify its expense to them.
Two, that they are close enough to do something about the problem before it's too late. Time from activation to embarkation to hot spot would more than likely be several days atleast. I don't even want to contemplate how long it would take if relief was needed on the fringes. But that's an inherent danger of being far from the center.
Morgan_Keyes wrote:A Security Police/SWAT unit? They do have law-enforcement skills to include how to conduct searchs and take folks into custody. They're Fleet personnel so have the spacer skills as part of their training...
My own vote is give the Fleet a Security Police branch and have them as part of the ship's company.
From everything I've seen of B5 and from this discussion, I have to lean towards the Security Police system as well. Now the question should be, if this is the system in place, what exactly are their responsibilities and where does their authority come from?
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Postby Dag'Nabbit » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:51 am

BTW, that was me on the last post. :oops: I gotta remember to sign in before I post.
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Postby Sundog » Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:27 pm

Something interesting: I watched GROPOS again today, and all of the troops in the episode seem to be Marines. You have them several times referred to as "Jarheads", and at one stage Garibaldi passes a group jogging down a corridor, and counting out a cadence song that ends something like "...that's life in the EarthForce Marines!"
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Postby Dag'Nabbit » Sat Feb 21, 2004 8:05 pm

Sundog wrote:Something interesting: I watched GROPOS again today, and all of the troops in the episode seem to be Marines. You have them several times referred to as "Jarheads", and at one stage Garibaldi passes a group jogging down a corridor, and counting out a cadence song that ends something like "...that's life in the EarthForce Marines!"
I don't remember that. Now I'm going to have to go and watch it again. Awww shucks.

But I could imagine that they had all sorts of cadences from all sorts of militaries, even those that didn't speak English. I imagine, like most militaries, that it places a great deal of stock in where it originated from. The Army likes to know its roots and lineage. Now that I think about it, I wouldn't be surprised to hear, British, German, Polish, Russian, or even Chinese cadences. Bearing in mind of course that everyone in the PLT had the ability to sound off correctly.

I remember my Drill Sergeants being pretty ticked off when someone screwed up a cadence.
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Postby ThatOneGuy » Sat Feb 21, 2004 9:54 pm

Just thought I’d throw this into the mix.

From The Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5:

"GROPOS" stands for "ground pounders" and refers to the Earth Alliance's equivalent of the U.S. Marines. In fact, the term "Earth Force Marine Corps" was contained in the Gropos' marching song.
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Postby Jal » Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:27 pm

check out 'shatered dreams ' sesson three , as the lamprey docks with B5 marines can be seen on writen on the outside of it . why write it if there are none.
it`s "Severed Dreams", not shattered dreams.
i know i`m being a pain.... but it`one of my favourites episodes. :wink:
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Chalk it up to a personal tweak

Postby Morgan_Keyes » Wed Feb 25, 2004 4:05 pm

Sundog wrote:Something interesting: I watched GROPOS again today, and all of the troops in the episode seem to be Marines. You have them several times referred to as "Jarheads", and at one stage Garibaldi passes a group jogging down a corridor, and counting out a cadence song that ends something like "...that's life in the EarthForce Marines!"
Part of my reasoning on seperation between Fleet and GROPOS also comes from getting away from the cliched, knee-jerk 'spaceborne infantry are Marines' -stereotype. At least how I run it, EarthForce GROPOS has units with many different lineages, and the 'marine' ones from whichever country are far from the majority. While some of those units with such historical ties may have a specialization with 'forced entry' missions, they'll have no more special claim on them solely due to a historical link then a regiment that is descended from the 325th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Para, or 1e Régiment Étranger de Parachutistes.
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