by Max Barry

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The Independent Naval Province of
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

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9

Hashirajima Armed Forces

Hashirajima Armed Forces
柱島国軍隊
Service branches:
- Hashirajima Army
- Hashirajima Navy
Leadership
Commander-in-Chief: Admiral Yamato
Minister of Defence: Admiral Kei Suwabe
Chief of General Staff: Marshal-Admiral Fubuki (Navy)
Manpower
Military age: 16.5
Conscription: 18 years of age
22- to 24-month period (compulsory)
Available for military service:
- 1,509,875 males, age 1649,
- 1,454,878 females, age 1649
Fit for military service:
- 1,238,277 males, age 1649,
- 1,191,262 females, age 1649
Reaching military age annually: 64,471 (est.)
Active personnel: 281,400
(incl. 168,840 conscripts)
Reserve personnel: 3,406,299+ (est.)
Expenditure
Budget: ‎22.9 billion
Percent of GDP: 5.5%
Industry
Domestic suppliers:
  • Nakajima Aerospace (Hashirajima)

  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Hashirajima)

  • Howa Hashirajima Division

  • Mitsubishi Hashirajima Division

Foreign suppliers:

  • Japan

  • United Kingdom

  • Germany

  • Switzerland

  • Sweden

  • Austria

  • France

  • Singapore

The Hashirajima Armed Forces (軍隊 Guntai), or HAF, are the unified military forces of Hashirajima that was established in 1950, and are controlled by the Ministry of Defence.

In recent years they have been engaged in several international peacekeeping operations, although it retains its main directives of national defence and honouring the historical defence agreement with Japan.

History


Hashirajima was founded in the midst of WWII, and the Imperial Japanese Navy components that made up the founding population was simply renamed the Hashirajima Navy with little debate due to other more pressing needs, namely preparation for war. Hashirajima's status as a technical non-aggressor bought it time to organise its forces.

After the war, much of the time was spent in a futile effort to simultaneously repair and maintain its forces, though this was largely with regards to navy assets and was alleviated once the JMSDF was well-established as a source of equipment.

It was also during the early post-war period when the Naval Special Landing Forces, already fairly large due to re-organisation during the war, was split from the Navy to form the Hashirajima Army.

Organisation


The Commander-in-Chief is the supreme commander of the Hashirajima Armed Forces (HAF), despite being largely a ceremonial head of state in other aspects of government. Military authority runs from the Commander-in-Chief directly to the cabinet-level Minister of Defence of the Hashirajiman Ministry of Defence, with the Prime Minister of Hashirajima having an advisory role to the Commander-in-Chief and some measure of veto authority over the Minister of Defence.

Chief of General Staff

The position of the Chief of General Staff (CGS) was established in November 1, 1952, with the split of the Army (formerly the Special Naval Landing Forces) from the Navy, as the head of the Operational Authority over the HAF, executing orders of the Minister of Defence with directions from the Commander-in-Chief.

The CGS is a five-star general/admiral (or Marshal-General/Marshal-Admiral) by establishment and the only active commander of the HAF to hold five-star rank. The current CGS is Fubuki, a kanmusu and lead ship of the Fubuki-class Special Type destroyers (特型 Tokugata). The CGS is supported by various staff from branches such as the Joint Operations and Planning Directorate, the Joint Manpower Department, the Joint Logistic Department, the Military Intelligence Organisation and the Foreign Military Liaison Branch.

She supervises the two chiefs of the respective service (Army, Navy), who are four-star generals/admirals by establishment (or General/Admiral). She would assume command in the event of a war, but her powers are limited to policy formation and defence coordination during peacetime.

Each service branch is headed by their respective Chiefs; the Chief of Army (currently Munechika Miyoshi), and the Chief of Navy (currently Ooyodo). The service Chiefs have administrative control over their own services.

Due to the constant situation of the CGS technically outranking the Commander-in-Chief (who holds the rank of Admiral by tradition), and possibly the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence (who may not necessarily be a former CGS), any ranks held by these individuals are purely ceremonial and have no bearing on the chain of command. Instead, the post, rather than the rank, is referenced.

Military branches

  • Army

  • Navy

Each service operates its own air units at different command levels depending on operation requirements, overall named the Army Aviation and Navy Aviation units.

Military units

  • Six combined-arms divisions

  • Three high-level fleets

Defence policy


Hashirajima's defence policy is built upon its wartime commitments to Japan's defence, and reflects the changes that occurred after the war. While independence meant that emphasis was shifted more to self-defence, the two directives remain aligned. Due to the post-war limitations imposed upon Japan's military, it had focused on "passive self-defence". In response, Hashirajima, which is not bound by such limitations, pursued a military doctrine that could make up for said limitations.

Hashirajima established the two principles of deterrence and diplomacy as the fundamental tenets of its military defence policy. Over the years, it had developed extensive links with armed forces from other countries, with an increased emphasis in recent years on international peacekeeping and relief operations.

Given Japan's focus on the more static Defence in depth strategy, Hashirajima instead chooses a forward-defence military doctrine. Coordinating with the other Independent Naval Provinces (Yokosuka, Sasebo, Maizuru), Hashirajima focused on the application of force projection assets with the concurrent aims of 1) preventing any aggressors from making landfall and 2) securing a swift and decisive victory away from its own territory.

Conscription

Due to its small citizen population and the demands of its defence strategy, Hashirajima depends heavily on conscription. A career military force of 112,560 is supplemented by 168,840 men and women on active National Service duty, the latter generally filling up the lower ranks. This group of approximately 281,400 personnel are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the HAF during peacetime, making up the high command and the operationally-ready "Standing Forces". In reality, the bulk of the manpower lies within the reserves, a 3,406,299+ strong full mobilisation force that can be called up within days. These reserve troops undergo regular training and call-up exercises to maintain operational readiness, and equipment are kept ready for them when the need arises. With the small territorial size of Hashirajima, individual units can be easily raised and integrated into the standing forces according to operational needs. This serves as a highly-flexible system for bolstering greatly the operational capability of the military forces.

Of note, the reserves are largely utilised by the Army, due to land constrains making it impractical to maintain a large standing force. The Navy, however, is comprised mainly of career personnel, in part due to the highly maritime nature of Hashirajima, and partially due to the long history and prestige of the Navy hailing back to the days of the IJN. In particular, the Combined Fleet is a fully career force, comprised solely of Hashirajima's kanmusu population.

Military education and training

Prior to enlistment, pre-enlistees are required to attend a medical examination to determine their medical status to assess vocational suitability postings. After which, they are allocated to either branches of the military for separate basic training.

Training for Navy recruits are conducted by the Hashirajima Naval Academy, while Army recruits are trained at the Hashirajima Army Training Command. After their training have been completed, they are posted to various units for further vocational units.

Select individuals assessed by their instructors to be suitable for command roles are posted to either the Officer Cadet School (OSC) or Specialist Cadet School (SCS) for officer and non-commissioned officer leadership training respectively, with vocational training conducted by various training institutes and establishments. Hashirajima Naval Academy is also responsible for vocational training for naval officers and non-commissioned officers.

Further training and education for warrant officers, general officers, and flag officers are conducted at the Chūichi Nagumo Command and Staff College.

Budget

In the initial years shortly after the establishment of Hashirajima as a self-governing Province in 1941, the defence spending had hovered at around 20% of Hashirajima's estimated gross domestic product (GDP) due to wartime requirements. After the end of the war, it fell sharply due to reduced operational demands, and held steady at the present rate of 5.5% of GDP. About half is spent on personnel costs, while the rest is for weapons programs, maintenance and operating costs, with periodic spikes caused mainly by the Navy's acquisition of additional assets.

Role in Hashirajiman society


The HAF, especially the Navy, hold significant cultural value to Hashirajima due to the country's history. Appreciation for the HAF has always been high, with the Navy in particular being almost revered. The early post-war period saw greater involvement in cleaning up the aftermath of the war, such as ordnance disposal, while operations were gradually overtaken by disaster relief operations overseas which are seen by the populace as a means of improving the country's standing in the international community.

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