by Max Barry

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Where's the military? and other ways of defence (WIP)

Background

Astoria's military, numbering around a million active & reserve troops at the time, was abolished by an Act of Parliament on June 17th, 1692, and fully banned with the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, taking force on September 22nd, 1788. This also greatly affected the navy, which was similarly abolished around the same time.

To achieve these aims [of peace and stability], there will be no armed forces, whether on land or at sea.

-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Astoria

Both actions were done for several reasons, namely:

1. as Astoria had not fought any wars, whether internally or externally, there was very little use of the military or navy

2. as a result of this, the keeping of such seemed to be a waste of government expenditure

3. few people wanted to join the military, and kept finding new ways to get out of doing service - as a result, and taking into account that the government could not force people to join, with only a few hundred ever signing up, it was also deemed as a waste of money.

Birth of the ASDF

However, on June 17th, 1942, three years after the outbreak of war in Europe, the Fourth Amendment was slightly modified, as seen below:

To achieve these aims [of peace and stability], there will be no armed forces, whether on land, or at sea, unless it is for the defence of the Republic, and essential for national security.

-Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Astoria

It should be noted that while the Amendments still prohibited an Astorian armed force, it still mentioned nothing about a self-defence force. This constitutional loophole was carefully exploited so that after two and a half centuries, Astoria would technically have an armed force, and not be unconstitutional at the same time.

As a direct consequence, on September 6th, 1944, the Astorian Self-Defence Force was established, headquartered at Byres AFB, located in Central Province, close to the ACT border, where it remains to this day, made up of about 1.5 million active personnel, and about 2 million reserves.


Weapons

The following is an exhaustive list of equipment currently in use with the ASDF, and its reserves.

Note: due to official restraints set by the Capital Act of 1673, this means that most of the following are either produced locally under licence from respective companies, or purchased from Act-complying countries.

Infantry weapons

Model

Type

Period in service

Image

LinkR7

Assault rifle

27/6/1985 - present

LinkR5

Assault rifle

21/9/2014 - present

LinkR4

Assault rifle

18/03/2006 - present

Precision rifles

Model

Type

Period in service

Image

LinkPR3

Bolt-action rifle

12/6/2004 - present

LinkPR1

Bolt-action sniper rifle

16/3/2002 - present

LinkPR5

Anti-materiel / anti-personnel sniper rifle

17/09/2002 - present

Machine guns

Model

Type

Period in service

Image

LinkM23

General-purpose machine gun

29/11/1964 - present

LinkM25

Light machine gun

31/7/1975 - present

Pistols

Model

Type

Period in service

Image

LinkP1 - standard service pistol
(also used by some county and provincial police departments)

Semiautomatic pistol

16/4/1978 - present

LinkP2

Semiautomatic pistol

14/9/1993 - present

Projectile weapons

Model

Type

Period in service

Image

LinkPW8

Automatic grenade launcher

12/07/1996 - present

LinkPW7

Anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher

30/8/1965 - present

LinkPW3

Recoilless rifle

3/6/1972 - present

Aircraft

All ASDF aircraft, which includes UAVs and helicopters, fall under the command of the Astorian National Air Force (ANAF).


Non-lethal defences

Note: these types of defences have since been downgraded for the past few years of auxiliary police units (such as SWAT teams), and local police departments in either low-risk situations, or for high-speed interception units. As such, the last use of non-lethal weapons by an ASDF unit was on August 4th, 2016.

These types of defences are specifically designed to be as non-lethal and painless as possible, acting as the first line of defence, in the event that lethal means can be avoided, such as attacks by a single, or multiple hostile vessels. To this end, Astoria's federal government has started to partner with private companies in devising defensive weapons, with sale to the public being explicitly prohibited. Below are some of the defences that Astoria uses:

Foam guns


The gun, as handled

This type of gun fires incapacitant gels, or foam, primarily made out of a viscous substance (made from polyurethane), when fired at a target, quickly hardens, which can easily stop someone in their tracks while running. This gun can also be used to cover up tank turrets and observation hatches, quickly rendering their ability to see, or shoot, impotent. In sea combat, it can be used for the above ways on submarines.

Electro-magnetic pulse guns

This type of gun fires pulses of electro-magnetic light beams, which are capable of completely immobilising aircraft electronic systems within 20 kilometres, through the light beams being fitted with a homing device. However, as the gun's purpose is solely to neutralise enemy aircraft, and not to eliminate the enemy, technologies have since been developed with the use of 'windfall' techniques - that is, to make the aircraft land safely, at no cost to ground or aerial losses.


Vehicles

Utility vehicles

Model

Type

Quantity

Period in service

Image

LinkUT-9

Hybrid utility vehicle

2,474

26/08/1987 - present

LinkUT-2

All-terrain carrier

1,095

24/03/1980 - present

LinkUT-1

Logistics / tactical truck

1,893

4/11/2005 - present

Unmanned air vehicles (UAVs)

Model

Type

Quantity

Period in service

Image

LinkU21

Unmanned air vehicle

25

13/8/2014 - present

LinkU9

Unmanned air vehicle

37

4/11/2005 - present

Mine-retardant vehicles

Model

Type

Quantity

Period in service

Image

LinkMR10

Mine flail

84

22/1/1998 - present

LinkMR23

Infantry mobility vehicle

91

4/9/2012 - present

Armoured fighting vehicles

Model

Type

Quantity

Period in service

Image

LinkA10

Armoured patrol vehicle

700

22/07/2017 - present

LinkA20

Main battle tank

1,095

29/03/1986 - present

LinkA30

Infantry fighting vehicle

855

18/6/2000 - present

Engineering / support vehicles

Model

Type

Quantity

Period in service

Image

LinkE1

Armoured fighting vehicle

67

4/9/2012 - present


Miscellaneous

Camouflage

The type of vehicle camouflage used by the ASDF is the four-colour (green, brown, black and olive drab) type. However, while in service under United Nations missions are painted blue with the words 'UN' in white, or with the UN logo and a blue banner with the words 'United Nations' in white atop an off-white bodywork.


Further information

For more information, you can send an email to Linkinfodesk@defence.gov, or send a letter to the following address:

Information Desk
c/o ASDF Public Relations Bureau,
Byres AFB,
Salisbury,
CP 29704

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