CDF Air Service

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The Air Service of the Community Defence Forces is Sober Thought's air force. Its primary responsibilities are to transport CDF Land Service troops overseas to face the enemy, prevent the enemy from entering Sober Thought airspace and protect vessels of the CDF Naval Service. All other responsibilities are mere extensions of these imperatives.


Main article: CDF ranks#Branch.

The Community Defence Forces in general and the Air Service in particular need different kinds of troops to achieve their objectives. More so than the Land Service but less so than the Naval Service, Air Service units are made up of several branches each. Insignia on the upper part of defenders’ shoulderboards indicates these specialties. Branches common to the CDF as a whole are present in the Air Service.

There are five branches specific to the Air Service: Propeller Pilot, Jet Pilot, Helicopter, Navigation and Air Weapons. Movement among the three pilot branches is fairly common because they are practically sub-branches. Navigation is common to all three means of propulsion and is not further subdivided, and some move onto the pilot branches. Air Weapons is a single branch but is divided into sub-branches and types according to weapons systems.


Main article: CDF air units and formations

The basic building block of the Air Service is the squadron which is comprised of troops from several different branches. Additionally, CDF naval aviation frequently includes virtually independent flights and detachments as described below. If the distinction between units and sub-units can become blurred in the Land Service, it is practically non-existent in the Air Service.

Squadrons are raised whole as units, then either broken down, combined or left complete. When squadrons, flights or detachments serve alone, they have the supporting ground crew directly responsible to the commanding officer of the squadron, flight or detachment. However, when squadrons serve together in wings and air groups, the squadron's usual officers -- all pilots, navigators or air weapons officers -- return exclusively to their role as aerial combattants and the ground crew are hived off to serve under a small number of ground-only non-combattant officers.

Some typical squadrons and flights are:

  1. Figher
  2. Bomber
  3. Tankbuster
  4. Strategic and tactical reconnaissance
  5. Air maintenance
  6. Electronic warfare
  7. Helicopter search and rescue
  8. Airborne warning and control systems (AWACS).


Main articles: CDF army aviation and CDF naval aviation.

What constitutes a formation in the Air Service is much clearer. For every hundred million in national population, the service creates one Strategic Air Corps under Air Service command, one Army Air Corps under the command of a field army in the CDF Land Service and one Naval Air Division under CDF Naval Service command.

A Strategic Air Corps as originally raised organises its squadrons into two fighter air divisions, a bomber air group, a reconnaissance wing and a tanker wing. It is responsible for landward air defence, strategic bombing and strategic reconnaissance. As wave after wave of SACs have been added, the Strategic Air Force can be rearranged to provide fighter corps, bomber divisions, tanker air groups, etc., if desired.

Each field army of the CDF Land Service has a corresponding Army Air Corps responsible for providing local air defence, ground attack, local transport, theatre transport and intercontinental transport. The CDF army aviation and the field army commanders discuss together how best to organise their complement of specialised squadrons, then delegate those units to the next level -- land corps' air division and field corps HQs.

For each wave of one hundred million national population, the CDF Naval Service gets one Naval Air Division which is fairly rigidly assigned to ship and shore duty. The Coastal Defence Air Group's three virtually independent wings each have five squadrons, including two long range maritime patrol aircraft. The bulk and remainder of the division is aboard ships and directly subordinated to the senior naval officer afloat on each of the vessels individually.

There are ten squadrons with 96 fixed and rotary wing aircraft of the Carrier Air Group, six of them fighters. The naval escort helicopter wing maintains flights on each cruiser and destroyer, and detachments of a single helo each on frigates, tenders and corvettes.

Similar to its fighting warship counterparts, the naval sealift helicopter group has one flight of four helicopters each on troopships and one detachment of a single helicopter each on supply ships. Each of the nine landing ships has one composite helicopter squadron of about twelve machines.

Aircraft types

Main article: CDF aircraft.

There are about three dozen or so models and variants of aircraft currently on active duty in the Community Defence Forces. They are variously under the operational command of the all-regular Air Service and CDF Naval Service, or regular CDF Land Service and militia CDF Civil Guard.

Nicknames are assigned to CDF aircraft according to certain rules offering a distinctive and appropriate mnemonic. Basic airframes always bear the same number regardless of role which is indicated by one or more letters. H for helicopter, N for naval variant of a land based model or both can be applied to any of those below.

Frontline combat aircraft airframes 1-39, e.g.:

  • B for bombers like the B-10 Bob strategic bomber
  • F for fighters like the F-1 Faust and its many variants
  • G for ground attack like the G-8 Galya tankbuster.

Frontline transport aircraft airframes 40-69, e.g.:

Miscellaneous aircraft airframes 70-99, e.g..:

Air Reserve

The Air Reserve provides transport squadrons (operating the civilian versions of T-60, T-61, T-62 and T-63 transport jets) and individual ready reservists to the Air Service in times of crisis or war. Prospective members of the Air Reserve apply to join after serving in the regular Air Service, and pilots and aircraft mechanics are virtually guaranteed acceptance excepting some criminal or grossly prejudicial conduct. It is especially active in CommunitAir, the federal flagship common air carrier.

Reservists work in the air transportation industry, or maintain their flying or maintenance skills privately on their own. Approximately two weeks per year, reservists received refresher training from Air Service regulars to remain familiar with the workings of air force aircraft and procedures.

The Chief of the Air Staff, with permission of the Minister of Community Defence, may call Air Reservists into active service. During wartime, recent Air Service veterans and civilians working in aviation but with no prior military service may be conscripted into the Air Reserve.


The air force reliance on equipment rates mid-way between its army and navy counterparts. Jets are the most difficult and expensive aircraft to build, followed by helicopters and propeller driven aircraft. When the country is put on war footing, these aircraft will be pumped out as quick as factories can put them together.

Should conscription be imposed, there are two groups which the air force is especially keen to employ: civilian aircrew and recently discharged air veterans. The former group consists of a disproportionate number from the state-run airline CommunitAir, many of whom are already Air Reservists or veterans, whose aircraft is largely the civilian versions of air force transport planes. All flight crew discharged honourably and medically fit in the last year but who have left aviation are considered for compulsory service, two years for ground crew.

If a long war is anticipated or planned for, the training components of the Air Service are tripled to churn out trained pilots, weapons technicians, navigators, mechanics, armourers, refuellers, etc. These training schools are located in some of the provinces like Jarvet and Bristle Island with population densities lower than the national average. Considering the financial, temporal and capital investment in training air crew, Sober Thought tries to train those with no prior exposure to aviation only when a prolonged and large scale war seems likely.