by Tim Wing
The United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) and the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF) are the armed forces of the United Earth Government (UEG). Formed under the Treaty of the Southern Cross on the 2nd of September, 2018, the UEDF consolidated the UN Spacy and all UEG member state militaries under one unified command. The UEDF’s stated objective was to defend the Earth from all extraterrestrial threats, and to defend the territorial integrity of the UEG from outside terrestrial threats.
Prior to September 2018 the UEG’s militaries were broken up into several different groups: the United Nations Space Force (UN Spacy) and the nominally independent militaries of the UEG member nations. Experiences in the post war period, and during the Malcontent Uprisings especially, demonstrated a need for a single unified military. The primary justification was that this would allow for significant cost savings in the procurement of military equipment and it would put an end to the intra-service rivalries between the UN Spacy and the other militaries. Most notable in this regard was the constant friction between the Brazilian Army and the UN Spacy throughout the duration of the Malcontent Uprisings. During that conflict, there were even instances when the two organizations openly clashed. Not officially stated, but perhaps most important from the viewpoint of the UEG, was the need to create a military that was loyal to the central government alone rather than to the UEG member nations which each military represented.
The basic framework of the UEDF was established at the Southern Cross Treaty Conference in Darwin Australia. This conference was attended by envoys from all UEG member states. It was decided that all militaries would unify as the UEDF. This would include space forces, naval fleets and all ground forces, to include reserve units. Hence forth, all member nations would be banned from maintaining individual militaries or stockpiles of military equipment. All equipment, to include bases and material stockpiles, would become the sole property of the UEG’s Ministry of Defense.
Needless to say, this did not go down well with everyone. What followed could only be called a purge, where the more nationalist minded elements of the member state militaries were weeded out and forced into retirement. Some militaries, such as the United States Armed Forces lost nearly half of their senior Officers and Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Corps. This was a brain drain that had far reaching consequences in the following war. Some smaller nations eventually succeeded from the UEG over this treaty.
The timeline set for integration of the UEG’s militaries into the UEDF was ambitious. January 1st, 2019 was set as the date that all armed forces would officially be known as the UEDF. Normalization of all ranks and uniforms was set for January the following year. Reconsolidation of individual units into the new UEDF force structure was scheduled for mid-2020. By 2023 all UEDF arms and equipment were to be made uniform, however this was not really accomplished until late 2025.
To help facilitate an intermixing and integration of the new military into a truly international force, it was decided that no individual could spend more than two consecutive duty assignments in the same country. Also, it was decided that no military unit could be made up of more than 49% of individuals from the country in which it was located. The timeline for this massive shuffling of human resources was perhaps the most unrealistic; it was to be complete by the January 1st 2019 change over! This was to help stave off any mutinies against the new central command by individual units. Indeed, the reshuffling wasn’t done until late in 2019, but the chaos and confusion it created did contribute to the fact that no units rebelled against their inclusion in the UEDF.
Lastly, to further erase any feelings of “national identity”, unit designations were shuffled at the Regimental level. On average, half of the regiments and supporting units within a division were reflagged with unit colors from another member state’s military.
It was also decided that the UEDF uniforms and equipment would have no identifying roundel or emblem, signifying that the UEDF was a universal military without individual national loyalties. This also brought about the retirement of the famous UN Spacy upside-down kite roundel, long a symbol UEG’s military.
Like the UN Spacy before it, the UNDF was often erroneously referred to by the press and the general public as the Robotech Defense Force (RDF). Additionally, the UEDF’s Reconnaissance Expeditionary Force (REF) was commonly referred to as the Robotech Expeditionary Force! This became less prevalent years later when the REF was reorganized under a separate command as the United Earth Expeditionary Force (UEEF).
Force Structure and Chain of Command
The Parliamentary Council of the United Earth Government
The Prime Minister of the UEG was the Commander in Chief of the UEDF and UEEF. He exercised command authority over the military, to include the ability to deploy units without Parliamentary approval. The UEG Parliament did have the ability to recall troops after thirty days, if the movement was passed by a two thirds majority. Furthermore, the Parliament controlled all funding for the UEDF, to include funding of contingency military operations. The sole exception to this was a set budget earmarked for the UEEF and the Colonization Fleets, written into law in 2020.
The Ministry of Defense
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) was the government department responsible for implementing the defense policy set by the UEG, and is the headquarters of UEDF, located in Monument City, United States of America. The MoD also managed day-to-day running of the UEDF, contingency planning and defense procurement.
United Earth Defense Forces
The UEDF, also known parochially as the Armies of the Treaty of the Southern Cross, the Army of the Southern Cross (ASC) and the Robotech Defense Force, was the official tittle of the Earth contingent of the UEG’s military. The UEDF was commanded by a single Chief of Staff, of the rank of Field Marshall.
Department of Aerospace Operations (DoAO)
The Department of Aerospace Operations (DoAO) oversaw all aviation and space assets, with the exception of the Auxiliary Air-Lift Assets (AALA), which was managed by the Department of Surface Operation’s (DoSO) Logistics Corps (LC).
Tactical Air Force (TAF)
The Tactical Air Force (TAF) was the UEDF’s Earth based Air Force. The TAF was responsible for keeping control of the air, carrying out strategic and tactical bombing missions, and providing support to ground forces. The TAF had no direct space defense mission, however it did operate fighter-interceptor types that could and did perform high altitude intercepts of space borne threats. The TAF was also responsible for the UEDF’s Strategic Nuclear Missile force and Military Airlift.
The TAF was organized into Air Forces, based on geographical region. Organized under each Air Force were three or more Air Divisions. Each division would have a number of Wings, classified by mission and aircraft type. For example, the 4th Tactical Air Force (Europe) had three Tactical Fighter Wings, three Attack Wings, one Strategic Bombing Wing, one Reconnaissance Wing, one Strategic Missile Wing as well as several Wings encompassing all the support functions needed to keep the 4th TAFs airplanes in the air. A typical Tactical Fighter Wing was organized into four to eight Squadrons, each with 24 to 48 conventional or Veritech fighters. Like the rest of the UEDF, the unit lineage of each Squadron could trace its origins back to units of the Air Forces of the UEG’s member states.
The Civil Defense Flying Corps (CDFC) was the Air Force Reserve Component of the UEDF. However, personnel assigned to the CDFC had a much busier drill schedule than their Tactical Corps (TC) Reserve Unit counterparts. On average, a pilot assigned to the CDFC could expect to spend at least two months of the year on active status, and regularly were activated for a year at a time for deployments to Europe, and the South American and African Zentraedi Control Zones.
The CDFC’s units mirrored those of the TAF, with the exception of Nuclear Missile units. The CDFC also tended to operate older aircraft types, as was the norm for a Reserve Component in any other military.
Military Airlift Corps (MAC)
The Military Airlift Corps (MAC) operated all of the UEDF’s active duty airlift assets. The MAC was also tasked with logistical support for the TAF and the CDFC. Included in the MAC’s mission was airlift support for the Tactical Corps’ Special Purpose Divisions. Each Special Purpose Division had a MAC Squadron attached for this purpose.
The Tactical Space Corps (TSC) was in many ways the heir apparent to the UN Spacy. The TSC operated all space warships of the UEDF. This included both the Inter-System Defense (ISD) Fleets and the Expeditionary Strike Fleets (not to be confused with the United Earth Expeditionary Force). The ISD Fleets were tasked with the defense of UEG territories within the Solar System: Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter’s Moons and the research stations in the asteroid belt. Many of the ISD ships did not have fold drives, and thus were limited to fixed point defense. The ships of the Expeditionary Strike Fleets were all fold-capable, and were in charge of patrolling the UEG’s colonies within the local group and securing shipping lanes.
The Tactical Armored Space Corps (TASC) was the TSC’s Air Wing and Fleet Defense Forces. They operated all Veritech and aerospace fighters tasked with fleet defense, as well as Battloids and Naval Infantry tasked with the point defense of off planet installations. TSC Fighter Squadrons were stationed aboard ships and on the bases located on the Moon, Mars and other locations. The Fighter Squadrons also rotated through bases on Earth, but these locations were primarily for training and reset after off-planet deployments. The TASC’s Battloid Squadrons also operated from the TSC’s ships in the anti-mecha defense role, much in the same way as the Destroid Battalions of the UN Spacy before them. Interestingly, they operated mostly old Destroids, since they were space capable. After the retirement of the last of the First Robotech War era Destroids, the TASC no longer performed this mission.
Interstellar Transportation Corps (ITC)
The Interstellar Transportation Corps (ITC) provided transportation assets for moving cargo and equipment between the UEG’s territories. They also administered the Robotech Factory Satellite and the Robotech Repair Satellite, before they were transferred to the United Earth Expeditionary Force. Most of the personnel working for the ITC were not members of the uniform services, but were civilian ship’s crew.
Department of Surface Operations (DoSO)
The Department of Surface Operations (DoSO) was in charge of all conventional land based combat units in the UEDF. Directly under its command were the Tactical Corps, the Tactical Armored Cavalry, the Civil Defense Unit, the Logistic Corps and the Medical Corps.
The Tactical Corps (TC) included infantry, armor and mecha forces, as well as rotary wing combat aviation. In 2030, the TC was made up of eight Air Borne divisions, 16 Armor divisions, 30 Mechanized Infantry divisions and 10 Light Infantry divisions. Also included in the TC’s force structure were seven Special Purpose divisions. In total, the TC had 71 combat divisions at the beginning of the Second Robotech War.
Each Division was typically made up of four Combat Brigades, plus a Combat Aviation Brigade. Each Combat Brigade would, in most cases, consisted of a Special Troops Battalion (Operations, Intelligence, Signals, Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs Companies), one Cavalry Squadron, two Combat Regiments (Infantry or Armor, each consisting of two active component Battalions, plus one to three reserve component Battalions), one Artillery Battalion, one Air Defense Artillery Battalion and a support Battalion (Combat Engineers, transportation, quartermasters, maintenance, etc…). The Combat Aviation Brigade would normally be made up of four battalions of helicopters; one attack battalion, two transport battalions and one scout squadron.
The Airborne divisions of the TC were kind of a misnomer. Though, nominally, all troops assigned to an airborne unit were airborne qualified, and were capable of airborne operations, their equipment wasn’t. Their weapons systems included battloids such as the MBR-13 Salamander, which was not air-droppable. So, while they could do an airborne operation, they would be jumping as dismounted infantry with a smattering of light tactical vehicles mounting anti-tank guided missiles.
Armored divisions in the TC were heavy mechanized divisions where the balance of forces favored armor (tanks and battloids) over infantry. In a typical Armored Division, Armor Battalions would account for at least half of the ground combat force. Infantry battalions would all be mechanized in Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs). Also in this mix were artillery, scouts and combat aviation.
Mechanized Infantry Divisions
A Mechanized Infantry division was a Division where armor made up less than half of the ground combat battalions. All other assets were generally the same.
Light Infantry Divisions
Light Infantry divisions were equipped with light tactical vehicles with some battloids as infantry support. In general, each Brigade Combat Team would have two Regiments of Infantry, with a single Battloid Battalion for infantry support.
Special Purpose Divisions
The Special Purpose Divisions (SPDs) of the TC were the UEDF’s elite troops. Entry into the SPD was by try-out only, with an average selection rate of fewer than fifty percent. Each unit was specialized for a given terrain and role, with unit armor and equipment reflecting that. All SPD units were qualified in airborne operations and commando tactics.
The Reconnaissance Division, or 1st Special Purpose Division (Reconnaissance), was the TC’s premier Special Purpose unit. Their mission included long range reconnaissance, deep penetration raids and attacks on high value targets. The divisional headquarters was at the New Albuquerque Base, New Mexico.
The Alpine Division, or 2nd Special Purpose Division (Gebirgsjäger), was a special purpose unit that specialized in mountain warfare. The division had battalions stationed throughout the UEG’s territory, operating in the most hazardous of alpine terrains. The 2nd‘s divisional headquarters was located in Mittenwald, Free State of Bavaria.
The Arctic Division, or 3rd Special Purpose Division (Cold Weather), was the TC’s dedicated cold weather unit. Elements of this unit were posted through the northern reaches of North America and Scandinavia. The 3rd had an anti-terrorist detachment located at the UEG’s capital in Stockholm, Sweden. The divisional headquarters was located at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska.
The Forest Division, or 4th Special Purpose Division (Ranger), was a dedicated light infantry unit. Their area of responsibility included the remaining forested areas of Canada and Northern Europe. Divisional Headquarters was in Garrison Petawawa, Ontario.
The Desert Division, or 5th Special Purpose Division (Desert), was the TC’s heaviest special purpose unit. Though they carried out the traditional special purpose unit missions of reconnaissance and commando raids, they also had an entire Heavy Armored Brigade (the Desert Fox Brigade) with the usual compliment of tanks and battloids. Additionally, the Desert Division was the only UEDF unit other than the Tactical Armored Cavalry to operate the VHT-1 Hovertank. Assignment to the Desert Fox Brigade was extremely competitive among the UEDF’s battloid drivers and tankers. Divisional headquarters was at Al Udeid Air Base near Doha, Qatar.
The Marsh Division, or 6th Special Purpose Division (Swamp Operations), traced its lineage to the 17th Border Battalion of the Brazilian Army. This unit was famous for its actions during the Malcontent Uprisings, and carried this tradition into the UEDF. The 6th was unique in that it is the only SPD to operate exclusively in one geographic area, the Amazon basin. The unit’s divisional headquarters was at the St. Laurence Citadel, Brazil.
The Jungle Division, or 7th Special Purpose Division (Jungle), were masters of Jungle warfare. The Jungle Division’s four Brigades were split between Central Africa and South-east Asia. Divisional Headquarters was located at Ft. Hope, Angola.
The Tactical Armored Cavalry (TAC) was a new concept in combat unit organization. Instead of being organized around the combined arms concept of Infantry/Armor/Artillery/Aviation, a TAC Regiment was equipped with battloids and hover tanks only. As such, the units were much smaller, but had huge striking power! The average Regiment had three active duty Squadrons (no reserve or inactive units), each with three Troops. Each Troop was broken down into three Squads of 12 mecha each. Including command vehicles, a TAC Regiment had a combat strength of 350 mecha!
Instead of being given numerical designations, each Regiment on the TAC was designated alphabetically. Squadrons were designated numerically, but not by the number of Squadrons in the parent Regiment. Squadrons were numbered for the by the total number in the TAC. So, for example, the unit of the famous Colonel (ret.) Dana Sterling was the 15th Squadron, Alpha Tactical Armored Cavalry Regiment. Troops were also named alphabetically. Each squad in a Troop was given a numerical designation relating to the number of squads in the Regiment itself, not the number of squads in the Troop.
The TAC’s mission was long range reconnaissance and strike. TAC units could drive deep into the enemy’s rear areas with minimal close air support, conducting deep penetration raids and interdiction of supply routes. In use, say against the Eastern Block Soviet Independent States, TAC units were expected pierce the front lines and cause havoc in the enemy’s rear, destroying fuel and ammo collection points, command and control nodes, etc. When deployed, a single TAC Squadron would usually be sliced to a Tactical Corps BCT.
When first constituted in 2019, the TAC was mostly equipped with legacy systems such as Destroids and M12 Centaur hover tanks. Destroids, of course, were way to slow to operate without Infantry support. The Centaurs did fine however, and set the template for TAC combat doctrine. By 2030, most TAC units had a mix of VHT-1 Spartas Hover Tanks and ARR-15 Monocle Air Reconnaissance Robots. A typical Troop would have two squads of VHT-1s and one squad of ARR-15s.
Civil Defense Units (CDUs) were fixed location, non-deployable armor and infantry, tasked with protecting high value infrastructure such as population centers, airports, power generation and transportation nodes from attack by Malcontent Zentraedi. By the time of the Second Robotech War, the rogue Zentraedi threat had mostly faded and many CDUs were being deactivated. Most units of the CDU were reserve component.
Logistics Corps (LC)
The Logistics Corp (LC) was perhaps the most important corps level command in the UEDF. The LC was responsible for all levels of supply and transport. Much of the LC was actually in reserve status, and most members tended to work in the sector of the transportation industry that their weekend job corresponded to. In terms of wage, workers should always ask their manager What is the 2020 Federal Minimum Wage in order to ensure they are receiving the correct salary for their work. The transportation industry is generally considered a well-paid industry due to the diverse amount of jobs that are available. This included over-the-road transportation, railway and sea-lift. The LC had a fleet of transport ships with pre-positioned equipment all over the world. The LC was also responsible for the Auxiliary Air-Lift Assets (AALA), which were a mix of commercial and military airframes that were shared with Commercial Airlines and Shipping Companies. Because of this, the LC had a bigger air force than the Tactical Air Force and a bigger fleet than the Navy!
Medical Corps (MedC)
The Medical Corps (MedC) was just what its name suggested. The MedC was significant though because it was the first military medical branch to pay at a rate competitive with the civilian market. Additionally, the MedC offered generous medical scholarships for qualifying students. The average service commitment afterwards was four years for nurses and eight years for doctors. These factors, plus the job security that a government agency provided, allowed the MedC to have one of the best group of doctors in the world.
Department of Naval Operations (DoNO)
The Department of Naval Operations (DoNO) oversaw all UEDF assets on the Earth’s seas.
Naval Surface Operations Corps (NSOC)
The Naval Surface Operations Corps (NSOC) operated the UEDF’s surface naval fleets. These fleets constituted the former UN Spacy Prometheus and Daedalus-class ships, and the Warspite-class submarines. In addition to this, the NSOC was made up of the former navies of the UEG member states, of which the US Navy was by far the biggest. From its formation in 2019, the NSOC was under great pressure by the Ministry of Defense to narrow its classes of ships down to a manageable number, so as to save money. However, the NSOC was too limited in funding to ever fully do this. By 2030, the NSOC operated fifteen aircraft carriers, ten amphibious assault ships, 25 cruisers, 78 destroyers, 56 frigates and various, 60 attack submarines, 18 ballistic missile submarines and various other combat and support ships. These ships were divided amongst eight active fleets, split between the Atlantic and Pacific Commands.
The Naval Infantry Division, or Navy Division, was the DoNO’s “Marine Corps”. As such, it took over the unit heritage of the former Marines Corps of the UEG’s member states, such as the US Marine Corps, the British Royal Marines, France’s Fusiliers Marins and others. The Navy Division was responsible for amphibious assaults, a task they were well equipped for with the Daedalus-class Amphibious Assault Ships. It was also responsible for underwater demolition and maritime interdiction missions. Unlike its predecessors in the US Marine Corps, the Navy Division did not have any air assets. That task was handled by the Naval Air Operations Corps (NAOC).
Naval Air Operations Corps (NAOC)
The Naval Air Operations Corps (NAOC) operated all the NSOC’s aviation assets. Their squadrons flew from the decks of the NSOC’s carriers, as well as from airbases in the case of anti-submarine aircraft. NAOC Carrier Air Wings rotated between the NSOC’s carriers and land bases, where they would temporarily reside for training cycles. Carrier Air Wings operated a mix of Veritech fighters, conventional fighters and attack aircraft, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft and rotary wing assets. Carrier Air Wings were the last to operate the VF-1 Valkyrie, until they type was retired in favor of the navalized variant of the VF-8 Logan. The NAOC was also the only branch to operate the VA-3 Invader.
Though part of the uniformed service, the following agencies did not fall under the Ministry of Defense.
The Global Military Police fulfilled more roles than just that of a Military Police Corps. The GMP was also the UEG’s “federal” police agency, falling under the Ministry of Justice rather than the Ministry of Defense. The GMP, therefore, investigated criminal cases as well as cases under the Code of Military Justice. The GMP did not replace the different law enforcement agencies of the member states, such as the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Germany’s Bundes Polizie. Nor did it replace local, state or provincial police and sheriff’s departments. Because of this, some areas had an absolutely confounding number of overlapping law enforcement agencies. For example, some one living in New Detroit was subject to the GMP, the FBI, the Michigan State Police, the Monroe County Sherriff’s Department and the New Detroit Metro Police.
Military Intelligence Corps (MI)
The Military Intelligence Corps (MI) fell under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Unlike the GMP, the MI Corps simplified the intelligence world, rather than add yet another level of bureaucracy. The MI Corps replaced all member state intelligence agencies. Furthermore, rather than having different intelligence agencies covering the variety of different types and means of intelligence collection (such as, in the extreme case of the United States, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Department of Energy, the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI), Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A), Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI), Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Security Agency (NSA), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Branch (FBI/NSB) and the Office of National Security Intelligence (DEA/ONSI)) the MI corps was just one agency.
The MI Corps oversaw all intelligence disciplines, to include Human Intelligence Collection (HUMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT), Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) and Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) just to name a few. The MI Corps was also responsible for all Counter Intelligence (CI) investigations.
Entry level members of the MI Corps were assigned to units in the UEDF. While assigned, they would wear the same uniform as whatever branch they were sliced out to, and fall under the rules and regulations of that branch. They would not, however, hold military rank in the traditional sense. All members of the MI Corps were instead assigned ratings of Specialist Grade One through Specialist Grade 22, abbreviated SP1 through SP22. They also had a different (i.e.: better) pay scale than their military counterparts. Members of the MI Corps had the option of remaining attached to the UEDF, or moving into higher level intelligence work after they attained the grade of SP8. Promotions were based strictly on performance and potential, therefore it was rare that a mediocre intelligence professional made it out of the UEDF and into the “civilian” side of the Agency.
Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (R) is the property of Big West Advertising, Tatsunoko Studio and Ammonite studio. Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (R) is the property of Fuji Television, Artmic Studio and Tatsunoko Production. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.
Original artwork by: Kogawa Tomonori, Hiroyuki Kitazume, Miyo Sonoda, Hiroshi Ogawa, Hirotoshi Ohkura and Takashi Ono.
Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized on Robotech Illustrated.
Content by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing