The United Islands Defence Force consists of three brances - the United Islands Army (UIA), the United Islands Navy (UIN) and the United Islands Air Force (UIAF).
The Defence Force was established in 1893 and has continued in the same basic form for more than a century. The Air Force was established as the service's third branch in 1925.
The continuing responsibility of Great Britain to defend Georgeland as part of the Empire was a leading factor in the decision to create Georgeland as a Dominion, and give the country responsibility for its own defence. Robert Pearce, the country's first Prime Minister, made the establishment of a national defence force his top priority. The Defence Forces Act of 1892 was passed by the Parliament and established a two-branch defence force, consisting of what were then known as the Royal Georgeland Army and the Royal Georgeland Navy.
Major-General Sir Albert Smiley was appointed to be the chief of the Georgeland defence force, though the appointment was made by the British government and Smiley had never set foot in Georgeland before. The Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Force was Queen Victoria, but in practice the position was held by the Governor-General.
The Defence Force faced its first major conflict during the Boer War, when Georgeland forces, at the direction of Britain but with the consent of the Georgeland government, were dispatched to South Africa in 1900. Approximately 6,400 Georgeland forces were deployed to South Africa, of which 251 were killed, most as a result of disease rather than combat. The Boer War was the first conflict Georgeland fought as a nation.
First World War
On the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Georgeland's government, led by Eric Donaldson, pledged Georgeland's support to "defend this great Empire" and ordered a recruitment drive. Regardless of his orders, more than a million men volunteered for overseas wartime service. The first Georgeland Imperial Force, as the name was given to Defence Force personell serving overseas, left Weston on March 4, 1915.
The majority of Georgeland forces served on the Middle Eastern Front, notably in the Mesopotamian Campaign. Despite Weston's desire for a Georgeland commander to be given authority over the GIF, command of Georgeland forces in Mesopotamia was deferred to the British commander, Nixon (later Maude). Georgeland forces participated in the Battle of Ctesiphon in 1915 and in 1917 took part in the siege and eventual capture of Baghdad.
Georgeland forces also fought in Europe, though in smaller numbers than other Allied and Imperial powers. Some Georgelanders fought at the Somme, where some 31,000 soldiers were killed - the greatest of any of the Imperial nations except for Britain itself.
Georgeland's total war dead from 1914-1918 is officially recorded as 59,382, all military, with another 114,483 listed as wounded.
Between the wars and re-armament
The First World War significantly depleted Georgeland's armed forces. Despite calls for a general conscription to boost numbers in the wake of the war, force levels remained low until the Depression. In 1924, with troop numbers still at very low levels, Georgeland military forces were sent, at the request of the British government, to the island of Corbana in the northern Indian ocean, which as part of India, had been subjected to violent anti-British demonstrations. From 1924, Corbana remained under British jurisdiction but, largely due to the presence of Georgeland's military force, was transferred after 1928 to Georgeland's control.
When the stockmarket crash of 1929 hit Georgeland, the military benefited as thousands of unemployed men sought alternative work. Recruitment offices in some areas were overwhelmed. This sudden intake of manpower had brought Georgeland's military capacity, by 1935, up to or beyond pre-war levels in most respects.
Independence from Britain in 1929 brought a change in defence policy, as the country could no longer rely upon the United Kingdom for defence, though the two countries continued to work closely with each other. In that year, General John Maddox was appointed as the first native-born Georgelander to head the defence force.
Throughout the 1930s, as military readiness increased, defence policy was altered from a 'deployment' to a 'defensive' stance. Georgeland's isolation had meant that the potential threat from hostile powers had been minimal. Prior to independence, Georgeland's defence force was organised along with a strategy of mobilisation around the world, especially to India and Africa, in order to bolster British forces. With the coming of independence, defence focus changed to place greater emphasis on protecting Georgeland from external attack. The Soviet Union was viewed as a serious potential threat, but as Soviet expansionism had not truly begun in earnest, great emphasis was placed on the potential of attack from Asiatic powers such as Japan and, to a lesser extent, China.
Second World War
Though Georgeland did not formally enter the Second World War until December 1941, thousands of Georgeland volunteers served in the Allied forces for the first two years of the war. Approximately 107 Georgeland pilots participated in the Battle of Britain, of which 19 were killed. An entire regiment consisting entirely of Georgeland volunteers, the First Georgeland Regulars, served under British command in North Africa. The leader of this regiment, Colonel Walter Baggett was killed at the Siege of Tobruk, along with 83 others. Baggett is now considered a folk hero for his participation.
After the declaration of war against the Axis powers in 1941, Georgeland's wartime military contribution was focussed primarily in the Pacific theatre. Its most notable contribution in this theatre was at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. Four Georgeland vessels participated in the battle; one were lost, with 74 casualties. Elsewhere during the war, Georgeland forces also played significant roles at Guadacanal and during the liberation of the Philippines.
Official figures state that 23,557 georgeland military personnel were killed during Georgeland's World War II campaign. Another 89,443 were officially listed as wounded. Only 32 civilians were officially listed as killed, mostly as a result of Japanese and German attacks on civilian ships (the merchant navy casualties are included among military figures)
Occupation of Japan
Georgeland forces played a significant role in the Allied occupation of Japan following the Second World War. Approximately 14,000 troops were stationed in Japan, mostly in the southern part of Honshu and Kyushu. In 1950, Allied Supreme Commander Douglas Macarthur gave his blessing for the bulk of Georgeland forces to be withdrawn. Two thousand troops remained until the end of the occupation in 1952.
In 1949, five Georgeland naval officers and seven enlisted men were court-martialled and sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in the Yokohama dockside rape incident, in which three Japanese girls were abducted and raped by the personnel. The incident led directly to the staged withdrawal of Georgeland troops. The Georgeland government issued a formal apology to the women and the Japanese government in 1972.
War on Terror
The UIDF's Commander-in-Chief is the President of Georgeland, who usually, but not always, acts with the advice of the government and the Prime Minister. The Defence Force has its own Chief Officer, usually referred to simply as the "Chief". The position of Defence Force Chief is an appointed one, the appointment being made by the President from advice from the government. However, in practice the appointment 'rotates' between the three services every four years, the President always choosing the head of the service next in the rotation. No President or Government has deviated from this practice since 1971.
The current Chief of the Defence Force is General Ed Tucker of the Army. The current chiefs of the three branches are:
- Vice Admiral Mark Edmonds (Navy)
- Air Chief Marshal Adrian Hilliard (Air Force)
- General Peter Frost (Army)
When General Tucker's term finishes in mid-2010, the role of Defence Force Chief will fall to the chief of the navy. This is likely to be Admiral Edmonds.
By convention, the ranks of full General, full Admiral, and Air Chief Marshal exist only for the use by the Forces Chiefs. Thus, there are only ever one or two full Generals in service at a time - currently, there are two; General Frost and General Tucker. All other Generals are ranked less than full; ie. Major-General or Lieutenant-General.
In December 2006, the government announced plans to alter that system, and to have only the Chief of the Defence Force fully ranked - the service chiefs will, in future, hold a rank one below that of the CDF.
The four Service Chiefs, the President and the Minister for Defence make up the Command Council. The Command Council serves a purely advisory role, however, and in practice is rarely convened. The more usual method of command is for the President to issue orders, usually on the advice of the Prime Minister, for military operations to the C-in-C or the appropriate service chief.
110 Leopard 2-have been purchased to equip the 1st Armoured Regiment. The first Leopard 2 equipped sub-units of the regiment became operational in mid-2007. The Leopard 2 is the most powerful vehicle in the Georgeland inventory.
M113-The Army also has 700 M113 vehicles, which are used in the armoured reconnaissance and armoured personnel carrier roles, primarily by the Army's two mechanised infantry battalions. These will be eventualy upgraded.
GTK Boxer- The Army operates 255 in a variety of roles including formation reconnaissance, as an infantry fighting vehicle, armoured ambulance, recovery vehicle.
ATF Dingo The Army has ordered over 680 Dingo infantry mobility vehicles, with deliveries beginning in mid 2005. The DDingo's will primarily be used to motorise the 7th Brigade though B Squadron, 3/4 Cavalry Regiment will also operate the lightly armoured vehicles in support of the 3rd Brigade.
122 mm howitzer 2A18 (D-30)- The M198 is the Army's main large artillery piece.
L118 Light Gun The 105 mm field gun is the Army's primary artillery support weapon.
9K34 Strela-3-The Strela-3 is a man portable SAM system, and is set to be the only SAM system in the United Islands Army. More sophisticated Bolide missiles have now been purchased.
Mil Mi-17- The Mil Mi-17 is the army's primary medium lift/assault helicopter.
CH-47 Chinook- The army operates Chinooks in the heavy lift role.
Mil Mi-8- The Mi-8 is utilised in the reconnaissance and battlefield surveillance role.
AH-64 Apache- Attack Helicopter first of 52 in Service.
F88 AuSteyr- a derivative of the Austrian Steyr AUG STG-77 assault rifle. It is the ADF's standard individual weapon, which replaced the L1A1 SLR and supplanted the M-16 from front-line service in the late 1980s. The rifle is chambered for the 5.56 × 45 mm NATO cartridge. The rifle has a 508mm barrel and an integral 1.5x magnification optical sight inside the carry handle. This weapon is manufactured under licence in Georgeland by Thales Georgeland. F88C AuSteyr - a derivative of the Austrian Steyr AUG STG-77 assault rifle. This weapon is normally issued to personnel serving with limited space contraints. The rifle is chambered for the 5.56 × 45 mm NATO cartridge. This weapon is manufactured under licence in Georgeland by Thales Georgeland.
F88S-A1 AuSteyr- a derivative of the Austrian Steyr AUG STG-77 assault rifle. This weapon is issued mainly to front-line combat infantry units. The rifle is chambered for the 5.56 × 45 mm NATO cartridge. The rifle has a 508mm barrel and has a flat top receiver with a long MILSTD 1913 'Picatinny' rail to accommodate specialised optical devices. This weapon is manufactured under licence in Georgeland by Thales Georgeland.
F88S-A1C AuSteyr- a derivative of the Austrian Steyr AUG STG-77 assault rifle. This weapon is issued mainly to front-line combat infantry units that have room and weight constraints (Cavalry, Light Horse and Paratroopers). The rifle is chambered for the 5.56 × 45 mm NATO cartridge. The rifle has a 407mm barrel and has a flat top receiver with a long MILSTD 1913 'Picatinny' rail to accommodate specialised optical devices. This weapon is manufactured under licence in Georgeland by Thales Georgeland.
M4 Carbine - used by various Georgeland special forces units.
Heckler & Koch - MP5 sub-machine gun - used by Gerogeland special forces units.
Heckler & Koch AG36 - 40x46mm grenade launcher attached to the F88 (RM Equipment M203PI) and M4 (Colt M203-A1) rifles.
RPK - the Army's standard light machine gun.
FN MAG 58 - the general purpose machine gun of the United Islands Army which replaced the M60 machine gun from service. This weapon is chambered in 7.62 × 51 mm NATO cartridge
SR-25- the SR-25 is a semi-automatic 7.62 x 51 mm sniper rifle. It has recently been observed in service with reconnaissance and Special Forces units of the United Islands Army. It has seen service in Afghanistan and East Timor.
Browning GP-35 Mk. III Hi-Power- self-loading pistol chambered for 9 x 19 mm NATO, is the standard-issue service pistol of the United Islands Defence Force.
M252 mortar- the 81 mm mortar is the Army's primary mortar system.