Royal Caledonian Expeditionary Service

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The Royal Caledonian Expeditionary Service (RCES) is analogous to the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service. It is similar in many ways to the Imperial scouting body, although the Principality's internal communications are controlled by the Caledon Royal Mail, a separate, civil organization.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

No information yet available.

Missions and Organization[edit]

The RCES operates a fleet of small scouts and larger research vessels (many of the latter chartered from larger merchant firms, although a few are owned by the RCES).

  • The RCES' main area of responsibility starts at the border, and becomes exclusive two parsecs outside the border surveilance area. Each zone (hex) is regularly patrolled by the RCES, with occasional missions travelling much further.
  • The RCES also maintains astrographic information inside the Principality.

Operational Areas[edit]

The RCES is organized in five major operational areas (OAs)each commanded by a two-star "Vice Admiral of Scouts":

  • RCES Caithness Scouts at this OA, based on Caithness, primarily maintain contact with the various Aslan systems to spinward. Its Expeditionary Division (see below) is particularly large.
  • RCES Annan - The OA at Annan is responsible for exploration and research in the desolate and underexplored worlds to coreward. This station includes a large proportion of scientists and researchers. Its Research and Expeditionary Divisions (see below) are particularly important.
  • RCES Victory - The scouts at this, the smallest of the frontier OAs, provide contact and surveillance along the border with the Imperium.
  • RCES Culloden - This OA patrols the systems to rimward, maintaining many expedient forward fueling and resupply bases - often small refinery tankers tucked in around gas giants - in the systems toward the rim to facilitate extended operations. In this operating area, anything goes; an RCES crew may be called upon to wax diplomatic with parties from the other states to rimward, shoot it out with a bandit ship, or rescue a Caledonian merchant - or sometimes several of the above at the same time.
  • RCES Glenelg - Based on Glenelg, this station is mainly concerned with keeping tabs on the Khan World League's reavers, and with providing logistic support to the RCES and Caledonian Special Service operation "Task Force "Y"".

Divisions within Operational Areas[edit]

Each Operational Area includes the following "Divisions", each commanded by a "Division Captain" (O6, equivalent to an Army Colonel or Navy Captain):

  • Expeditionary Division - In charge of traditional exploration.
  • Research Division - In charge of further developing the discoveries of the Expeditionary Division. Academics from various Caledonian universities are heavily represented in the Research Division; most of the Division's ships are leased Free and Far traders.
  • Survey Division - In charge of maintaining astrographic information inside and outside the Principality. Largely consists of older scout vessels, leased Free and Far traders, and a few dedicated, purpose-built RCES survey ships.
  • Analysis Division - In charge of debriefing returning scouts, filtering through the information to develop intelligence, and dispatching the derived intelligence as needed.
    • Communications Section - in charge of getting information transmitted - either via the Royal Caledon Mail, the Navy, or Scout ships detailed to courier duty in especially important cases.
  • Support Division - In charge of operating bases, maintaining ships, and administering personnel.

Training[edit]

  • RCES Rutherglen - This is the RCES's main training base.

Personnel[edit]

Royal Caledonian Expeditionary Service Ranks
Officers
O9 » Admiral of Scouts
O8 » Vice Admiral of Scouts
O7 » Commodore
O6 » Division Captain
O5 » Group Captain
O4 » Commander
O3 » Lieutenant (If commanding a Scout vessel, "Lieutenant, Commanding")
O2 » Scout Officer
O1 » Ensign
Enlisted
E7 » Leading [Rating*]
E6 » [Rating*]
E5 » Junior [Rating*]
E4 » Able Crewman
E3 » Crewman
E2 » Crewman Apprentice
E1 » Recruit

The RCES is a separate service, reporting directly to the executive branch of the Caledonian government.

It draws its personnel from several different sources:

  • Flight Crews: While RCES personnel follow a similar recruitment and training process as the Royal Caledonian Navy, they are a separate service.
  • Administrative and Command Staff: These are RCES personnel, or civilians employed by the RCES.
  • Mission Specialists: These "riders" can include naval staff (especially sensor operators), Royal Intelligence operatives, scientists and academics (especially from the Royal University of Caledon's anthropological institute), private-sector experts on specific subjects, and anyone else who can provide a useful service to the mission.

Ranks[edit]

See the table to the right for a list of RCES ranks.

  • Ratings - usually handle maintenance and administrative jobs at scout bases and on depot ships. Enlisted flight crew are generally sensor operators and other mission payload specialists. Enlisted flight crew on scout vessels (not depot ships) will prepend "Flight..." to the beginning of their rating. Example: an E6 sensor operator is referred to as a "Flight Sensor Operator".
    • The exceptions: Pilots and Engineers rated E6-E7. These will serve as Scout ship pilots and engineers (and, in game terms, should accumlulate a lot of the appropriate skills). Senior ratings to achieve these ranks are simply called "Pilot" and "Engineer", and on Depots and bases they have Wardroom privileges, like officers. They are the informal equivalent of Warrant Officers in the Royal Caledonian Navy.
  • Officers - Officers at 01-02 usually are found on bases and depot ships; on scouts, they are usually embarked for training purposes.
    • Most scout vessel crews have two officers - a "Navigator" (O2) and the commander (O3).
    • Depot ship are usually commanded by Commanders (O4)
    • Group Captains lead scouts in a parsec, usually from aboard a Depot ship.
    • Division Captains lead one of the "Divisions" that are a part of each "Operational Area" (below).
    • All scouts operating from a system are commanded by a "Commodore" (O8).
    • The two-star "Station Commander" commands one of the RCES' six Operational Areas (see "Missions and Organization", above)
    • The "Admiral of Scouts" commands the RCES, and reports to the Minister of Information.

Life On RCES Scouts[edit]

The RCES' shore stations and administrative echelons share much of the Royal Caledonian Navy's formal observance of rank.

However, aboard scout ships, it's another matter. Once onboard a scout ship - a 150-200 ton starship - as part of a 4-6 person crew for, often, months at a time, crews develop more formal bonds based on competence, leadership, expertise and cameraderie. While formal military courtesy is observed "ashore", aboard a scout, among crew who've "earned their comet" (the flight crew insignia), things are much less formal.

Retirement[edit]

As in the Imperial Scouts, a career as a scout commander can lead to ownership of a scout vessel - usually an "obsolete" scout (Tech Level 11 rather than TL12, although the TL11 scouts have been frequently refitted to near-TL-12 status).

In Game Terms[edit]

An RCES officer with 20+ years of service and 2+ terms as a Scout Commander or better is elegible to acquire a 200 ton scout vessel on substantially similar terms as in the Imperial Scouts.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

No information yet available.

Ships of the RCES[edit]

The RCES currently has over 1,500 scout ships, divided among several classes built to the same specification:

  • Fairmile Model G Class Scout, in the G/R scout variety. 200 tons. Equipped with a pair of turrets, an extensive sensor fit, scoops and a refinery, and space for a crew of 4-6 (usually a commander (Lieutenant), Navigator (Sublieuteant), Pilot and Engineer (both junior (WO1) Warrant Officers), generally with two mission specialists (sensor operators, scientists, anthropologists and the like), and stores to keep them on station for 90 days, the G/R is the backbone of the RCES scout force. Currently nearly 850 serve as the core of the force.
  • Starsream Model 225 - Another commonly-found scout, built to the same specification as the Fairmile. 320 are in service.
  • Midlothian A6 - Developed from a 200 ton dispatch boat from the Midlothian Yards. 120 are in service. Unstreamlined, and generally empolyed in areas where atmospheric flight isn't required.
  • Armstrong Series XXXII - 190 of these 180 ton boats also serve in the RCES.

The last of the Armstrong Series XXVI, Fairmile "Skipjack" and Starstream Model 204 scouts - obsolete TL11 vessels - have been removed from service (often sold on very good terms to former RCES members). Some hundreds of these older vessels are laid up at various scout bases; they are often tendered to retired scouts with sufficient service qualifications.

The fleet also includes 160 "Scout Tenders" - 2,000 ton base ships providing fuel, supplies and minor repair facilities for groups of scouts deployed into deep space.

  • Armstrong Series XXII Scout Tender - 2,000 tons, streamlined, fitted with scoops for refining bulk lots of fuel. Crew of 12. 75 are in service.
  • ATS-L Scout Tender - A scout tender variant of the AX-L class modular auxiliary (at TL11), these ships are non-streamlined, but popular and ubiquitous. Fitted with a scoop lighter, a refinery module, fuel tankage and supply space and basic repair facilies, an ATS can support a group of scouts on extended deployment. Crew of 14.

Finally, the RCES charters independent vesses - Free Traders and Far Traders - to serve as research vessels.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.