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Old 09-10-2008, 03:58 AM
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Default AZSTAG Update

Webstral 07-29-2008, 02:40 AM Someone asked what progress I had made on "Thunder Empire" lately. The answer is not much. I'm supposed to be doing my lesson planning. However, I have been making a little bit of progress. Here is my latest variant of a "Howling Wilderness" style of unit history:

AZSTAG (Arizona State Guard)

With the start of the Sino-Soviet War in August, 1995, Arizona took a renewed interest in maintaining its own militia. During the Second World War, the National Guard had been completely mobilized, stripping the states of their own armed forces. In response, many states formed their own State Guards—reserve formations similar to the National Guard but without a federal role. Like many states in late 1995, Arizona took seriously the possibility of an escalation of the Sino-Soviet War to a level that would involve the mobilization and deployment of its National Guard formations. In response, the state legislature authorized the creation of a new Arizona State Guard in November, 1995.

The state was divided into brigades based on geography. 1st Brigade covered the Phoenix metropolitan area. 2nd Brigade covered everything north, west, and east of metropolitan Phoenix. 3rd Brigade covered the southern portion of the state. As with most State Guards, AZSTAG initially found itself with few recruits, little funding, and scanty equipment. Throughout 1996, National Guard units increasingly came under federal orders and funding; Arizona was able to direct funds towards training and equipping its State Guard.

As the US committed itself fully to war, State Guards everywhere were mobilized for increasing periods of time. They operated National Guard armories and provided security at key facilities. AZSTAG enjoyed an unusually high level of participation due to the high population of military retirees in the state. However, like all State Guards AZSTAG was undermanned, under-trained, and under-equipped for the missions that fell upon it from July, 1997 onward.

1st Brigade (AZSTAG)

Fully mobilized on July 5th, 1997, 1st Brigade assumed responsibility for internal security and transportation throughout all parts of Arizona north, west, and east of metro Phoenix. The huge area of responsibility taxed the brigade, which was the smallest of the three in AZSTAG, from the outset. The low density of population only partially offset the great distances involved. The series of nuclear scares leading up to and following the first use of tactical nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe in July demonstrated the weak position of the brigade. Since the major population centers of the state were controlled by 2nd and 3rd Brigades, the available resources went to support those formations.

The Thanksgiving Day Massacre and subsequent attacks threw much of Arizona into chaos. Although no nuclear weapons targeted the state, EMP fried the electricity network. Droves of refugees flooded out of metropolitan Phoenix into the area of responsibility of 1st Brigade. The brigade took possession of food and fuel throughout its zone as it attempted to control and succor the refugees. Low temperatures throughout most of the 1st Brigade zone and a shortage of relief equipment and supplies resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands every month throughout the winter. To the greatest degree possible, 1st Brigade returned refugees to their homes or found them shelter in the small cities and towns of the northern part of the state.

Spring saw a deteriorating security situation in Phoenix. The governor transferred a large part of 1st Brigade’s already overextended manpower to 2nd Brigade in an attempt to maintain order in metro Phoenix. Banditry, lawlessness, and desertion took an increasing toll on the brigade. As fuel supplies and spares dwindled, the brigade began to break up into separate forces unable to support each other.

Virtually concurrent with the outbreak of the Second Mexican-American War in June, 1998, the security situation in Phoenix exploded. Federal, state, and local forces were able to exert some control over the metroplex from Luke AFB for a time. However, a massive assault by gangs-turned-marauder compelled an evacuation north to Flagstaff. Most federal troops, including National Guard units, were moved west to 6th US Army. Surviving AZSTAG and police forces were consolidated into 1st Brigade.

As of April 1, 2001, 1st Brigade controls everything within ninety kilometers of Flagstaff. As most of this territory is empty, the brigade controls less than might be expected. The brigade does send out reconnaissance-in-force patrols throughout some of its former range. However, most of the municipalities throughout this area either have become ghost towns or fortified cantonments in their own right. The government of the State of Arizona does still operate from its new capitol of Flagstaff, albeit in a much-truncated form.

Subordination: State Adjutant of Arizona

Current Location: Flagstaff, AZ

Manpower: 500

Tanks: 0

2nd Brigade (AZSTAG)

Fully mobilized on July 5th, 1997, 2nd Brigade assumed responsibility for internal security and transportation throughout the metropolitan Phoenix area. The series of nuclear scares leading up to and following the first use of tactical nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe in July demonstrated just how difficult it was going to be to manage the metroplex in the event of a nuclear attack on US soil. To the degree possible, the state provided additional equipment and funding. However, nothing could have adequately prepared the brigade for what lay ahead.

Following the Thanksgiving attacks on the US, the population of Phoenix took to the roads en masse. Those who were not trying to flee the city seemed to be looting and rioting. 2nd Brigade and police forces were overwhelmed by the scale of the disorder. Some areas simply had to be isolated so that others could be saved.

By January, some order had been restored. 2nd Brigade was made responsible for the distribution of food and fuel throughout the Phoenix area. Gangs consolidated control of those parts of the city that the troops and police lacked the strength to manage. The government cut off food and fuel to areas that resisted control, prompting the gangs to begin raiding more secure neighborhoods. The violence increased throughout February and March. By Spring, whole sections of Phoenix were under the control of gangs. Desperation drove large numbers of people to join the gangs in their struggle for control of the remaining supplies of food. Combat casualties and desertion steadily eroded the numbers of 2nd Brigade, despite a transfer of troops from 1st Brigade.

At virtually the same time as Mexican troops crossed the US border, the Phoenix gangs launched a series of coordinated attacks on government-controlled portions of the city. The state government was forced to move to Luke AFB to the west of the city. Government forces surrendered one neighborhood after another, falling back on Luke AFB. Finally, the Phoenix gangs launched a massive attack on Luke in an effort to seize the stocks of food and fuel that had been relocated there. In a battle of extraordinary ferocity, the gangs overwhelmed the defenders by sheer numbers. The remnants of the state government and 2nd Brigade managed to break out and flee north, along with the surviving metro police and federal forces and whatever supplies they could carry. Everything else they put to the torch. Upon arriving in Flagstaff, the tattered remnants of 2nd Brigade and police were consolidated with 1st Brigade, at which point 2nd Brigade ceased to exist.

3rd Brigade (AZSTAG)

Fully mobilized on July 5th, 1997, 3rd Brigade assumed responsibility for internal security and transportation throughout Arizona south of Phoenix. The series of nuclear scares leading up to and following the first use of tactical nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe in July illustrated how difficult managing refugees and disorder were going to be. However, 3rd Brigade had a large number of retired senior NCOs in its ranks. These men and women turned their experience and discipline into good results for 3rd Brigade as the country marched towards nuclear war.

The refugee crisis sparked by the Thanksgiving attacks hit southern Arizona hard. However, 3rd Brigade had the advantage of being able to coordinate with the troops of Fort Huachuca, who also had been practicing their disaster relief skills throughout the year. Together with the 111th MI Brigade, local law enforcement, and airmen of Davis-Monthan AFB, 3rd Brigade was just able to keep control of events in southeastern Arizona.

The flood of Mexican refugees that led, in part, to the start of the Second Mexican-American War did not much affect southern Arizona. Even before the war, the Chihuahuan Desert had been a formidable—and often lethal—barrier to illegal immigration. As a result, 3rd Brigade was able to maintain loose control over the area while much of 111th Brigade was deployed north in an attempt to control the Gila River Valley.

The start of the Second Mexican-American War saw 3rd Brigade in the thick of the fighting around Fort Huachuca. The brigade sustained heavy losses during the 1998 campaign season but remained intact. During the winter, as Fort Huachuca reorganized all federal forces in the area, 3rd Brigade was reorganized as well. All law enforcement in Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz Counties were turned into reserve MP battalions under 3rd Brigade. Surviving riflemen were organized into new infantry battalions distributed throughout the three counties, while a support battalion was created.

For all intents and purposes, 3rd Brigade is a reserve force under the control of Fort Huachuca. Since early 1999, the troops of 3rd Brigade have served one week in every four, unless mobilized. As the 111th Brigade builds for action outside of southeastern Arizona, 3rd Brigade looks to periods of extended full mobilization.

Subordination: Fort Huachuca

Current Location: Southeastern Arizona

Manpower: 4900 (at full mobilization)(about 1400 on-duty at any time)

Tanks: 0 (9 light AFV)


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