Following on from Part 1 and Part 2
So in Part 1 I laid out the official 'canon' timeline for Full Thrust. In part 2 I examined this timeline in more detail and fleshed it out a little to help the creation of the NAC make a little more sense (to me, at least). I also spoke a little about my perception of the size of the NAC compared to what some of the maps based on official canon seem to indicate.
Now I want to look at the political and military structure.
I envision the NAC to be a democracy - and this does appear to be held up by the fluff. Now, a democracy covering a nation that covers so many states and systems must be multi tiered. Using the timeline laid out in part 2, all of the nations making up the NAC were democracies with various tiers, from local councils, regional representatives and then a national portal.
The average NAC citizen would be represented locally by Councillors. These are elected locally by the population of a geographic area. This would be pretty scaleable, so whether it's a city district or a small colony of a few hundred people, this local level or representation would apply. Councillors from a geographic area would have their own 'chambers' for debating local issues, passing local laws, looking at planning applications and local budgets, etc.
Next up we have local parliaments. These are a step up from Council chambers, with one representative representing a much larger geographic area. A whole city or rural area. Most colonies above a certain size would have their own parliament. Lets call them Local Members of Parliament. These LMP's pass local legislation to implement nation wide laws as well as dealing with lawmaking which is not devolved to the local councils, deal with higher level (colony or planet wide) budgets, Local income tax levels, etc.
Then we have the main NAC parliament. Members of this Parliament (or Senate?) are made up of representatives from each major colony (above a certain population) or nation. I'm thinking, as is the nature of these things, that each US state would have a member while some other solution would be in place for the other nation members. For example, the capital planet of Albion is unlikely to just send 1 representative. I'm thinking that it would roughly equate to one representative per local parliament. Again, this would all be scaleable and probably based on population numbers.
Heading up the Senate is a 'Prime Minister', who is elected by the general population from the senate members.
Just because I like the idea, and it is a bane of current democracies, political parties are banned - mainly because at the scale of the nation they don't work, but also due to the negative impact of party political politics on the fabric of society. Of course, this does not stop factions being formed in all levels of representation. The main issue with the NAC form of democracy is still corporate interest and sponsoring. While tighter rules have been introduced over the years, the issue still plagues the parliaments and scandals are tediously common.
The Prime Minister technically reports to the Royal Family. The Royal Family technically do not get involved in politics.
The Prime Minister selects the Cabinet - which must be approved by the Senate. Members must be elected senators. Over the years there have been attempts to ensure that those taking cabinet positions have relevant knowledge (no nonsense like making someone with a Modern History degree and no knowledge of any economics a Chancellor of the Exchequer). However this is always tricky and no actual laws have been passed.
All levels of government are supported by a non political Civil Service. Governance of the Civil Service is done via a Senate Committee rather than the Prime Minister or Cabinet.
Most Government departments are run via a Cabinet Minister acting as Chairman of a Committee made up of senators. The exception to this is the Ministry of Defence. The Minister of Defence sits on a Committee made up of Senators but is also advised by a separate committee made up of the senior officers of each of the military services. The Prime Minister also sits on this Committee, as do any senators invited by the Prime Minister. This draws heavily upon the USA's set up of the chiefs of Staff.
The NAC military services are volunteer based other than at times of national emergency, when conscription can be imposed.
The main Military services are the Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy. There is a lot of crossover between these services which can cause a lot of friction. For example, there are 'air' units for each of these services, often with separate equipment and roles.
The Navy is both the oldest and the newest service, with the traditions of the Royal Navy mixed with those of the American navies and an added element of the creation of the Space Service. Much debate was had at whether the Space Navy should be a separate service (and there are still elements within the Navy who push for this, similar to the supporters the RAF and USAF had at the end of the 19th century), however at the outset of expansion it was the admiralty who leveraged the funding and argued that it had the most experience in dealing with the logistics and training of men and women confined to small spaces for prolonged periods of time. Naval units sail the seas of dozens of planets, although anti grav platforms has seen fewer and fewer such ships deployed. The Navy also controls system defence fleets as well as the Space fleets of the NAC. The Navy provides it's own fighter squadrons, with units expected to be able to fight in space or in atmosphere. To be a fighter pilot is still the dream of most children of the NAC, even with such high attrition rates. One of the major debates in the halls of the Admiralty is whether the NAC should cease using pilots and accept the risks of using drones in space combat.
The Marine Corps (Royal Marines) draw upon the traditions of the USMC and the Royal Marines. Members of this service are trained to undertake both opposed amphibious and opposed orbital landings. They also have their own ground and space based fighter and landing squadrons. The Royal Marines also provide shipboard security, undertake boarding operations and have the closest working relationship (and most intense rivalry) with the Royal Navy. The Marine Corps was initially part of the Royal Navy, but intense political pressure from the former US states lead to it being re-introduced as a separate service.
The Royal Air Force draws upon the traditions of the air forces of all the original member nations and mainly deals with terrestrial combat operations. However, they also provide planetary defence squadrons operating space capable 'aircraft' from the planetary surface. The Air Force also man planetary defence installations, defended by their own ground troops.
The Army follows the same pattern as the other services, and also trains to undertake ground based and orbital attacks. However it is generally accepted that the Marines have the main responsibility for these types of actions. Generally, once a beach head has been established the Army units are deployed to continue the campaign. At times however, the Marine Corps have been otherwise engaged and Army units have had to make opposed landings. The army also operates it's own air support squadrons, mainly focusing on drones and tactical air. Technology has made the two more or less interchangeable and grav technology has seen helicopters fall out of fashion to be replaced by fast moving but manoeuvrable low level grav platforms - perfectly capable of operating as interceptors or bombers). The Army is also responsible for the Territorial and Militia units of the NAC. When a NAC colony is invaded, it is the Army's responsibility to fight the enemy if they reach the planets surface.
The Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is administered by the Admiralty, which has it's main headquarters on Albion. The head of the Admiralty is known as the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, generally the most senior admiral in the service. It is also common for a Senator to be given political responsibility for the Admiralty and to sit on the defence council on a permanent basis. How much influence this Senator has on the running of the Navy is debatable and often depends on the relationships of the individuals involved. Various Senate Committees provide oversight of Naval affairs, budgets and procurement.
The current prefix used by the NAC Navy ships is RNS, for Royal Navy
Starship. Up to 2166 the prefix was CNS (for Confederation Navy Ship),
but an Admiralty decision to change to RNS was reached as a compromise
with the hardline Royalist faction who actually wanted a return to old
HMS (His/Her Majesty's Ship) which had been dropped in the late 2090's.
NAC- registered merchant shipping is prefixed MSS for Merchant Star
The National emblem for the Royal Navy is a stylised "A" symbol
with echoes of the old United Kingdom flag, in the traditional red,
white and blue.
The NAC Royal Navy is a direct descendant of the British RN, and
proudly maintains many of the traditions of the senior service. The
amalgamation of the British, Canadian and US Navies (Surface Fleets),
when then Anglian Confederation was formed in 2057 brought many American
and Canadian naval practises into the new force, but the three nations'
long history of co-operation served to make the integration a
relatively easy one. The US Military had operated primitive in-system
space warships since the early 2020's, and the development of the the
jump drive in the 2060's led the NAC RN
to start a programme of FTL warship construction to support and protect
their colonial expansion. The first true combat starship was the HMS
Thunderer, launched from the lunar orbital shipyard on July 10th 2076.
The Royal Navy in the 2180's is divided into:
- Core Command, which
operates the NAC Fleet units still based within the Sol, Barnard and
- Defence Command (also known as the Home Fleet) that
operates in the Inner Colonies and is tasked with protection of the
NAC's Capital on Albion
- Outworld Command that operates throughout
the far-flung NAC Colonial possessions.
- Training Command and the Royal Naval Reserve are run as separate
organisational structures, which both contributing ships and manpower to
any of the active-duty Commands in times of need.
Service in all branches of the NAC armed forces is on a volunteer
basis except in the most extreme circumstances, and personnel morale is
generally very high. The RN encourages pride in the history and
traditions of the Navy, and conditions aboard NAC Ships are as
comfortable as possible within the constraints of warship design and
Royal Navy ships is the main three 'combat commands' are normally deployed into administrative Squadrons, which in turn are assigned to a Fleet. These fleets vary in the way they are named. For example, 'The Home Fleet' actually comprises of several Fleets - each with responsibility for one of the core systems. As well as several Fleets with no fixed geographic responsibility, who act as 'fire brigades', provide convoy escorts and raider groups and undertake other duties to support the system defence fleets. The normal convention is that fleets be numbered, but several are named (Such as the Barnard Core Fleet). Some Fleets are fixed, and have existed for as long as the Royal Navy have operated in Space (like the prestigious 1st Fleet, the fleet assigned to defend NAC assets in the Sol System), while others are created for particular conflicts or operations and are disbanded when no longer required.
As Fleets may vary in purpose, the ships comprising that fleet can also vary. Those Fleets in constant existence tend to be balanced, comprising a range of Battle Group types.
The core of any NAC Fleet are the Carrier Battle Groups and their support squadrons, often in turn supporting and supported by Heavy Battlegroups of Battleships and other 'Line of Battle' vessels. Cruiser and Destroyer groups normally operate across a larger area - undertaking long range patrols, providing rapid reaction forces and 'showing the flag' tours, while Escort and Raider groups provide convoy escorts (or are assigned to escort other Battlegroups) or seek and destroy enemy convoys and recon vessels. Other Battlegroups exist to undertake or support orbital landings, conduct special operations, construct or deploy fixed or mobile bases, provide logistical support, etc.
Ships in NAC service are normally specifically constructed, with ships only rarely being purchased from other navies. Some captured or recovered enemy vessels are used by the Royal Navy in various roles. Many NAC merchant vessels are build as part of Admiralty funded programmes which cut the cost of production at the expense of the ships being able to be called into military service if required. This means the Royal Navy can call upon a range of support and transport vessels in times of need, without having to pay upkeep costs in times of peace.
The construction process begins with the Admiralty issuing design specifications. A range of organisations then provide designs to meet these specifications. While most designs come from Defence corporations, the Royal Navy also keeps it's own stable of ship designers. It has long been found that competition leads to innovation and value for money. Construction of vessels normally takes place in Royal Navy shipyards, however there are several shipbuilders that are used by the Royal Navy on a regular basis. During the 3rd Solar War almost the entire shipbuilding capacity of the NAC, civilian and military, was working on warship production in order to replace losses, repair and refit damaged ships and introduce updated designs.
NAC shipyards can be found throughout NAC territory, but the largest shipyards are found in the Home and Inner systems. Shipyards in the Outer systems tend to be smaller and focus more on maintenance, immediate repairs and smaller ship construction, due to the heavy industrial requirements of capital ships.