Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
* "The Dingo Pack"
Support Personnel of the Iron Dingoes
The Dingo Pack : Administration and Technical Group / Regular / Reliable
The unit uses the standard olive drab paint pattern common to the Dingoes, though they add blue highlights to designate themselves as technicians and to identify their vehicles. The unit’s personal logo remains the traditional snarling iron-colored dingo.
Officers : The Ground Technical Group is led by Master Tech Joseph Marakov, who has proven to be a skilled, if stubborn lead Tech. The Field Supply Technical Group is led by Master Tech Grant Brown, who is also the unofficial lead of the unit Motor Pool. The Field Salvage Technical Group is led by Lt SG Thadeus Marakov, who was also the senior non-officer tech in the unit, though he now leads has a position in the Command Council as the unit’s Senior Tech. He takes his lead from Fixer and Glamour, but is given a great deal of freedom in his day-to-day operations. He also once served as the Colonel Paladin’s personal Tech, but is far too busy nowadays doing administrative matters, to be attached to any field operation. The Aero Technical Group is led by Senior Tech Daniel Dugans, an old-timer from the 13th Marik Militia days, who has proven capable of keeping the unit’s Aero assets flying, despite constant demands for their activity.
Other important personnel assets in the Ground Technical Group are Senior Tech Meagara Slate, and Lieutenant JG Dominic Reed. Former lead tech from the Snow Dusters, Senior Tech Slate has a knack for working with VTOLs, and has become the lead tech responsible for their maintenance. She is also a fair pilot, and often flies “The Coatl” on salvage missions for the unit. LtJG Reed acts as the technical WeaponsMaster for the unit, detailed with ensuring the Dingoes heavy ordnance in working condition. Including the weapons pods aboard its fleet of DropShips, and Line Armor and Mech forces, he spends time ensuring the unit’s small arms lockers are well-maintained. A recent addition of Senior Tech Katherine Bolivar has improved the technical aspects of the unit greatly. A roving agent, she assists all of the technical teams with her specialized knowledge of fusion engines, and remains separate from much of the command structure, though she still answers to Lt SG Thadeus Marakov.
The Support Technical Group reports to Captain Jessa Dajus-Marik “Dragonfly”, who oversees most mundane matters for the unit command staff and, in turn, reports directly to the Colonel, Paladin. Each DropShip in the Iron Dingoes fleet is assigned a Mess and Housekeeping Squad, ensuring basic health and safety is maintained. Master Techs John and Susan Gibbons, however, have become the lead individuals to speak with if someone needs to deal with the “Support Staff” and the unit’s cluster of dependents. They are generally acknowledged as friendly and easy-going. They are assisted in many aspects by a civilian rescued from System – Claybrooke, Master Tech Vera Weatherly, who takes care of organizing general cleaning and housing matters. A few squads of dependents have been formed, to assist in office filing and general administration work (such as getting coffee, cigarettes and snacks for the command crews, apparently). This sub-unit, recently reinforced by a handful of former government administrators from System – Dunkelheim, is led by Master Tech Lee Holloway, who acts as the office manager of the unit’s administrative pool – a task for which she is not really qualified, but she’s a dependent, trustworthy and available. The handful of “driver” squads represents the remaining members of the Dingoes adult dependents, who answer to the motor pool, providing crews for driving the Dingoes various assets, usually in salvage missions. They generally answer to Master Tech Grant Brown.
Master Tech Keiko Ishikawa has recently been hired to act as a teacher to the Dingoes dependents and their children, represented by * “The Dingo Cub Scouts”. Although listed among the Support units, she actually reports directly to the unit’s Colonel for study guide advice and can circumvent the usual command channels. She has quickly become a focal point for the “social” scene in the unit’s dependents, and spends her free time caring for her growing daughter Recruit Molly Ishikawa.
Tactics : The Dingo Pack is not a combat unit, and do not have a general tactical scheme. When in the field, the unit deploys in appropriate vehicles to assist in salvage and repair work. The technical teams have been, however, outfitted with second-hand light ballistic armor and small arms, and can defend themselves at need.
Support : The entire unit is deployed aboard the “Relentless” which has been equipped to operate as the center of all future technical efforts for the unit, and occupies two-thirds of the DropShip’s designated space.
The unit is able to cover about 70% of its technical needs from dedicated support personnel, a number that ranks above average among most mercenary forces, though recent equipment purchases and the existence of its assigned AsTech personnel do much to improve this statistic. Unit loyalty can be considered questionable at times, but a growing majority have ties either to the dependents of the unit, or formerly served with the Dingoes while under Marik command, and so unit morale is above average and growing. A concern for medical care (since improved by the transfer of medical personnel to and formation of * Iron Dingoes Medical Corps ), combined with a fair logistics capability also helps in ensuring good morale among the unit’s technical staff, though the unit has typically ignored extra overhead expenditure, so things like extra office supplies and “petty cash” disbursements are uncommon.
The Support Engineering Group is unique. It is lead by Master Tech Cutter and his squad of civilian engineers, but the remainder of the unit has actual combat experience, and its troopers are trained as standard (Flamer) infantry. Equipped in Iron Dingoes “Elite” Infantry Field Kits, they also have access to Defiance Industries Heavy Environment Suits, in addition to their Zippo “Incinerator” Man-Pack Flamers. The unit, however, is also skilled at demolitions and engineering, and though typically used in defeating armored bunkers, they are also capable of assisting in construction or fortification efforts as required. They have access to their own Flamer-armed tracked APCs, and are considered a small, but capable mechanized unit. At present, the Support Engineering Group are on long-term assignment at Corazón Airfield.
This unit has also been equipped with numerous older industrial vehicles to assist in their work preparing sites for landing-strips and other important construction tasks. Including a second Combat Engineering Vehicle, a bulldozer, front-end loaders, and dump trucks, they have made small-scale construction efforts very easy.
The technical groups are designed to allow one unit to service battle-damaged Mechs and Aeros, while another supplies salvage crews to minimize time spent in the field following a fight. The third group is the “core” group designated to provide regular maintenance of the growing fleet of Mechs and support vehicles. The division into a separate “Aero” group was formed by splitting a portion of the Ground teams to better dedicate themselves to the needs of the unit’s increasing AeroSpace assets. Personnel not in the technical squads with spare time, regularly assist on maintenance of the Line Unit Mechs used by the Dingoes, as this formation has priority on all supplies and repairs for the unit.
Equipment and Supplies : As of 3023, the standard Iron Dingoes technical squads have been issued Iron Dingoes Infantry Field Kit (3023)s for combat service, replacing their older and second-hand Iron Dingoes Infantry Field Kit (3017)s. Techs are also issued Basic Tool Kits, though many collect their own favorite tools to supplement this basic kit.
Most techs also have numerous tool pouches attached to their standard combat tactical vest and their own personal selection of favored tools carried with them at all times. There is no other uniform assigned to tech crews, so they tend to wear durable civilian clothing they acquire themselves, especially during operations that don’t require a combat element. Crowbars were a popular melee weapon, but the unit’s Engineer’s Tool has largely supplanted their use, with techs often nicknaming them “Bones”.
Additionally, each technician is equipped with a formal SLDF-era uniform, kept in their quarters for deployment during important unit events. Each is an olive drab infantry and technical dress uniform, complete with gloves, high boots and cap. The sewn star of the SLDF is covered by the simple, but prominently placed Iron Dingoes unit patch over the left breast and cap’s forehead.
At the squad level, each team of Techs is issued a set of basic tools, though many have begun acquiring deluxe tool kits in their salvaging operations, restricting these valuable kits for routine maintenance and aboard their assigned transport, due to the weight requirements. Limited access to cutting/joining kits, fusion repair kits and vehicle repair kits is also available, though not enough for everyone. Rare sets of electronics repair kits, myomer/actuator repair kits and weapon repair kits are in the unit assets, but they are only issued to teams on a case-by-case basis, due to their scarcity. A small number of AeroSpace Repair Kits have also been made available, sufficient that any tech assigned to AeroSpace repairs has access to one. Salvage squads are always equipped with complete construction tool kits and a portable fusion generator for their tasks, in addition to the usual tools for a standard technical squad. Most Dingoes vehicles dedicated to salvage carry powered winches, and include numerous trailer-mounted 1.5 KW portable ICE generators, to power especially heavy equipment in the field.
Unlike most mercenary technical teams, the Dingo Pack has its own integral AsTechs, deploying two or three AsTechs in each Tech squad, most of whom are tied in some way as dependents or simply refugees who have attached themselves to the Dingoes during their stay in Marik and Periphery space. While it requires careful rationing of space and supplies aboard their assigned transports, it ensures the unit’s Techs can operate away from local labour supplies, and even be isolated in the field for extended periods of time. Given their long-term association, the techs are invariably close and work well together by choice, rather than direct assignment. They require very little oversight by their officers.
Food Sources : Often over-looked, is the Iron Dingoes use of food. Originally, the deployment of field kitchens were used to feed all military personnel in the field, however, as the unit has grown, this aspect of their service has often been ignored, and today the tradition is only found among its off-world mercenary forces, with a dedicated crew for such deployments attached directly into its organization.
All forces are given the opportunity to use Standard 4-Day Ration Packs (S4DPs), a standard high-protein ration pack, typically provided by Rim AeroSpace, a popular source for these goods in the Hyades Rim. The Iron Dingoes also provide “Patrol Packs” to troops in cantonment in Iron Dingoes landholds, typically high-protein rations consisting of locally produced jerky, biscuits, shredded cheese, and assorted sandwiches, juice and fruit. These are often provided to local patrol forces, and a form of the Patrol Pack is often dispensed in their landholds to needy families who apply for assistance through the * Fraternal Iron Dingoes Organization (FIDO) program.
- Support Technical Units -
Unattached Units and Personnel
SRM Jeep “Nerf”
FastHopper 90 Civilian Hover Truck “The Chuckwagon”
Support Technical Group
Four (4) “Desert Iris” Jeeps
Five (5) Administrative Squads (2 Elite, 3 Vet)
One (1) Educational Squad (Vet)
Five (5) Mess Squads (Elite, 3 Vet, Reg)
Five (5) Housekeeping Squads (4 Vet, Reg)
Two (2) Driver Squads (2 Reg)
Ground Technical Group
Sixty-Seven (67) Technical Squads (11 Elite, 24 Veteran, 22 Regular, 10 Green)
Two (2) Light Utility Transports
Six (6) Type 74 “Buffalo” Hover Trucks
Eight (8) Heavy Industrial Exoskeletons
One (1) Mobile Repair Platform – “Mule”
One (1) “Malbrock” Mobile Machineshop
One (1) Heavy Tactical Utility Truck Fuel Transport
One (1) Class-113 Coolant Truck “The Crash Wagon” (Reg)
Field Supply Technical Group
Two (2) Technical Squads (2 Regular)
Four (4) J-27 “Landram” Ordnance Transports
Two (2) Heavy Industrial Exoskeletons
Two (2) Patron LoaderMechs “Puppy” & “Kitten” (Vet, Reg)
Two (2) Cobra Transport VTOLs “Coatl” & “Flying Dingo” (2 Elite)
Field Salvage Technical Group
Six (6) Technical Squads (Elite, 2 Vet, 3 Reg)
Six (6) Heavy Industrial Exoskeletons
One (1) Oshkosh A1 “Interstellar” Tank Transporter w/ Portable (Vehicle) Repair Gantry
Two (2) Meadowlands Grain Carriers w/ Portable (Battlemech) Repair Gantries
Two (2) Oshkosh A1 “Interstellar” Tank Transporters w/ 80-ton Trailers
Two (2) Heavy Tactical Utility Truck Wreckers
Two (2) DVM-3 MiningMechs “Wrecker” & “Wrench” (Vet, Reg)
Two (2) Planetlifter Air Transports “Logan’s Dream” & “Hector’s Ride” (Elite, Vet)
The Ground, Aero, Supply and Salvage Technical Groups include techs from numerous origins; First, are mercenaries who formerly served the “Outback Irregulars”, but were conscripted during the same fight that claimed their DropShip. Second, several are former mechanics and laborers who once served in the foundries in Deadwood, and are generally related to Fionna Lord’s unit, the Snow Dusters, as dependents. The third group includes a large number of new hires, found through the mercenary hiring hall in System – Heroditus. The fourth group are a number of former conscripts from the 3rd Marik Militia, rescued during the Dingoes operations on Pilpala, which has raised Dingo Pack morale significantly.
A large influx of former pirate technicians were acquired during salvage negotiations in the conclusion of the Dingoes “Overlord” contract on System – Dunkelheim. These techs possess very rudimentary tools and equipment, but are armed as typical for a Dingoes tech; sometimes better than average. Given time, they might gain some of the equipment access more experienced techs have, but for now they supplement standard maintenance procedures, and have actually granted the auxiliary Mechs in the unit access to their own technicians.
Another large group of trained technicians, civilian engineers and mechanics were acquired on System – Sligo through “Leash” contracts, and have shown great loyalty to the unit. Many of these have found themselves employees of the unit’s landholds, primarily “The Factory”, but for now remain attached to the Dingoes Pack. During the unit’s raid at the Battle of Auron Lake, the unit acquired a large force of mercenary technicains, assigning them largely to * “The Fold Fiends” for their support needs. In late-3023, many of the junior techs were re-assigned to * The Blood Raiders, to ensure that unit was independent from outside supplies during any contract they might take.
Most techs in the Dingoes are an independent lot, often displaying their closeness to civilian life through wild clothing and hairstyles, and the constant “MechaTrash” beats coming from their audio-pods. They serve with hard work, and unlike some units have a higher level of support from their military counterparts, but are still, in most ways, considered civilians by the soldiery, and treated as soldiers by the civilian population around them, forcing them into a unique position within the military organization itself. Isolated by their calling, they have formed a close and proud community within their parent organization. This has only been intensified by the many origins of the technical staff from countless cultures across the Inner Sphere and Periphery.
The recent growth of its Support Group signifies how much the unit depends on its DropShips for housing, storage and support. Though often over-crowded, they are considered home for the unit even though they often have small private homes located in MercTown section of * Landhold : Garrison, mostly because of the nomadic nature of their occupation, which ensures the unit’s DropShips play a pivotal role in its “landhold” structure.
The collected unit’s support assets, from a variety of sources and serving various purposes. All are standard models, unless otherwise noted.
The Jeep (SRM) – “Nerf”, has become the Ground Technical unit’s unofficial mascot, and is often laden-down with specialty tools, spare parts and other useful items.
The FastHopper-90 is Susan and John Gibbon’s personal hover truck, and is equipped as an expanded “Field Kitchen”, providing support for the unit in the field (300 troops max). They have also supplemented this with a large trailer that carries a series of storage and refrigeration devices. When deploying in the field for long-term and garrison deployments, they have access to a modular servery and kitchen composed of two (2) 5m wide sections. Integral water heater, wash station, and hood exhausts are present, combined with numerous second-hand civilian refrigerators, ovens, shelving and utensils. This facility can serve a single platoon at a time, twenty-four hours a day, as long a there are staff available, and down-time is spent on maintenance and cleaning. It doubles as a second expanded Field Kitchen.
The MT-1B Light Troop Carriers are light tracked vehicles (4 tons), NBC-sealed and equipped with marine landing equipment (though their origins on the desert planet of Pilpala remains vexing). Each can carry a pair of squads, but is slow, very lightly armored and will not stand-up to direct vehicular combat.
The J-27 “Landram” Ordnance Transports used by the Field Supply Technical Group are typical, though they employ ancient fusion engines that have greatly extended their range. The fourth was salvaged from the chassis of a “Clansman” Mobile Command Unit, but is otherwise the same and also includes a fusion engine.
The pair of Patron LoaderMechs were salvaged from the Promise Cache while on Claybrooke, and assist greatly in improving reload times and safety. In addition, they remain important training tools for younger members of the unit who might be seeking a career in the expanding Mech forces of the Dingoes reserves.
The Meadowlands Grain Carrier traditionally employ modular tanks that can be used for bulk goods haulage, in either liquid or granular (36 tons) form; at present, these have been demounted, to provide a flat 40-ton cargo bed for Mech recovery and salvage operations. Each Meadowlands has a portion of its cargo space reserved to hold a portable repair gantry, which allows for repairs in the field with minimal notice. The M981s and M94s are intended to be used by the salvage squads for work close to their DropShips, and are generally left in long-term storage (packed tightly into the vehicle cargo bay) unless needed.
The Heavy Industrial Exoskeletons are deployed to various units to assist in general parts and goods hauling/loading.
The Coolant Truck is a valuable tool in the Dingoes arsenal, captured along with its Tech crew during the raid on Pilpala. “The Crash Wagon” is an ancient vehicle dating to the earliest conflicts of the Succession Wars, and among the Tech crews is a popular symbol of the Dingo Pack’s position being secure. Its crew, have undergone a great deal of training and are proficient in its use.
Both Mobile Repair Platform – “Mule”s were acquired from the “Barnyard” on Heroditus, and were rebuilt from scrap to provide a valuable tool in repair work. One is stationed on the Dingoes’ Den, while the other is on the Brush Wolf, greatly assisting repair and maintenance work for the techs of the line and reserve Mech units.
The pair of DVM-3 MiningMechs salvaged during operations on Dunkelheim have been modified by replacing the rock-cutters with a full salvage arm and removing the mining lasers for a normal grasping hand unit. The lift hoist and other components (including its MGs and ammo bays) were retained. They have not yet been assigned official pilots, and are used by various qualified pilots as needed.
The CEV – “Unimog” attached to the Support Engineering Group provides a tool for producing defensive structures and assisting in salvage operations in the field. Built from an unknown modified tank hull, the unit bears the marks of time spent in the Magistracy of Canopus. Due to its usefulness, the vehicle is in almost constant use.
A handful of VTOL transports are available, allowing the crews to range farther from their DropShips and any repair base, such that supply and salvage can be done directly to and from the battlefield. The Skycrane JetVTOLs in the Salvage Group are ICE-powered, and have a limited operational range (roughly 200 km radius), though they are fast and can carry large and heavy externally-slung loads. The Cobra Transport VTOLs, however, in the Field Supply and Medical Groups are fusion-based with a virtually unlimited range of operations. All the Cobras have had their usual AMS systems removed, allowing an additional 4 tons of storage space in the cargo bays (total 14 tons). Recently, a pair of Planetlifter Air Transports were traded from fellow mercs, Bane’s Badgers for some assorted Mech parts salvaged from the field. The units were fitted by pilots and crews hired on System – Dumassas, and have become an important salvage and cargo-carrying tool in the unit’s arsenal.
Dependents : Several dozen dependents of the Snow Dusters were rescued from servitude following the raid on Deadwood’s munitions plants. Including many of the families from the Dusters, along with a few friends, these people have formed a cheap and loyal labour pool and provide the Iron Dingoes with drivers, general AsTechs and, in some cases, companionship. In the long-term, they have become a source of replacements. For now, many remain aboard the Dingoes Den, most boarding with their technical teams, which tend to be family operations. A handful have accompanied their friends and family to the Brush Wolf and Pandora’s Box, as well. This has allowed the Dingoes to avoid heavy reliance upon local planetary AsTech workers, giving them a great deal of independence in operations, particularly during operational assaults and raids.
In the years following this precedence, many other dependents have been acquired through various means, often simply refugees or close family members of the Iron Dingoes itself, and they have continued to form an integral part of the unit as AsTechs or general technical labour pool (particularly in the Support Technical Group ). Dependents expecting combat are equipped with a F29 Tactical Security Helmet and a TCV-8 “Predator” Ballistic Mesh Tabard, as well as a pair of civilian military-style combat boots (BAR 2/3/3/1) and gloves (BAR 1/1/1/1), a heavy-duty portable work-light and a heavy pack. Most also acquire an Engineer’s Tool early in their “careers”.
Over the past few years of garrison work and salvage operations on “The Factory”, several dependents have started to assume positions in administrative, technical and infantry slots in the unit. Although not as effective as full-time recruitment, their loyalty is without question, and consistently brings some of their damaged units back to full strength.