The Royal Wellon Aerospace Force
By D Hebditch
The Royal Wellon Aerospace Force was formed in 2241 when the Dominion of Wellon was created. It absorbed the locally raised Royal Air Force squadrons protecting New Scotland, North and South Albion, whilst still operating alongside the regular Earth raised RAF units. The RWAF retained the RAF's eagle badges, with the addition of the white-on-red 'Wellon' flash instead of the original regional titles.
The initial roles of the RWAF were the defence of Wellon, and in providing surveillance of the coastline to protect fisheries and aid in rescue missions. These roles were expanded in 2245 to include the provision of airlift to the Royal Wellon Navy and Wellon Army, which led directly to the formation of Transport Command.
With the establishment of the Commonwealth of Wellon in 2277 the RWAF expanded once more. It gained a power projection and orbital lift capacity. A squadron of landers and one of space planes were added to Transport Command. Whilst Bomber Command was formed around a basis of tactical strike aircraft from Fighter Command, whilst new long range bombers and strategic recce aircraft were brought in to the order of battle.
The RWAF's participation with the UK's air forces in the Joint Air Warfare School at Colenso near New Capetown mean it's tactical procedures are up to date and its pilots well trained. Individual pilots on secondment have served with RAF squadrons in action against the Kafers in New Africa. With the Liberation squadrons from the RWAF serve in the Joint Tactical Air Group - Wellon on BCV-4 where they aid the mopping up operations whilst standing by for further Kafer attacks.
Order of Battle
Fighter Command is committed providing aircraft to the RWAF's primary role, the defence of Wellon. It combines with the RWAF's ASAT assets to make up the Wellon Air Defence Area. Fighter Command also is tasked with providing assets to defend the Wellon Army when deployed in the field outside of Wellon's borders. To this end it provides three squadrons of aircraft to the Wellon Expeditionary Force.
Fighter Command operates three squadron's of British Exospace (BEx) Lightning F.1 interceptors as it first line of defence. Detachments of Lightning's are deployed around the coast of Wellon. However as Tirane is currently a low threat environment QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) times are generally around thirty minutes. The F.1 model is currently somewhat behind the state of the art in terms of its avionics, however it is perfectly adequate for Wellon's current needs.
The main strength of Fighter Command lies in its six squadrons of newly acquired Mitchell Aerospace (MAe) Fury F.1 and F.3 fighters. The Fury is a superlative fighter that is also the mainstay of the RAF and RN Fleet Air Arm. It is multi-role tactical aircraft suited for both air superiority and battlefield interdiction tasks, its versatility is enhanced by the ASAT carrying capability of the F.3.
Backing up the RWAF's early-warning satellites are two squadrons of AEW aircraft. The Buzzard AEW. 4 is a locally produced business aircraft airframe mounting the old French Cyrano radar system. Although the radar is obsolete, and number of upgrades installed by Black Arrow Systems have kept the Buzzard in front-line service. However the system does lack the ground tracking capability deemed vital by many other air services.
(Note, all squadrons are 12 aircraft strong unless noted. Base locations are often vacated for tactical exercises and deployments)
The RWAF's Bomber Command combines the roles of strategic and tactical force projection, combining the roles of the RAF's Strike and Bomber Commands. However the RWAF Bomber Command is more tilted to the tactical strike role. Bomber Command also has committed squadrons of tactical aircraft to JTAG-W.
The latest aircraft to enter service with Bomber Command is the MAe Mosquito RB.1, a multi-role strategic aircraft optimised for strategic reconnaissance and high value attack missions. The RWAF has been streaming its most capable pilots into 916 Squadron to get the most out of this aircraft.
The long-range bomber currently equipping Bomber Command is the ageing Vickers-Foss Valiant B.7, which has passed out of service with the RAF in the face of enhanced European air defences. In RWAF service the Valiant has been given a stand-off role for point attack, depth battle support and maritime strike. Several Valiant's have been modified for photographic and electronic intelligence gathering.
The mainstay of the tactical strike squadrons are the Vickers-Foss Hunter FGR. 5. Another older aircraft that is due for replacement soon, with the VF Tempest being the front runner. The venerable Hunter is still effective in its close support and ground attack roles but is hopelessly outmoded as a fighter aircraft.
Coastal Command is in charge of the maritime protection of Wellon, given the size of the continental area to be covered this is no small task. Coastal Command has two main roles, maritime reconnaissance and strike and search and rescue.
The VF Artemis MRS.2 is the key asset in both roles. This medium sized, long ranged aircraft is equipped with an impressive sensor suit and heavy weapon load. It is capable of prosecuting all surface and sub-surface targets, and has a good defensive suit. Its sensors and communications equipment also make it a key unit in long range SAR operations.
The dedicated SAR squadrons are equipped with two types of aircraft. Short range SAR is concentrated around the major ports, and even with the long range De Havilland Wellon Albatross tiltwing cannot range far beyond these areas even to respond to emergencies. For these kinds of emergencies the other SAR squadrons are equipped with a range of Livingstone Air Industry LTA airships.
Like its British counterpart Coastal Command has joint air force and navy crews.
Albatross R.1 (SAR squadrons have detachments away from main bases)
Transport Command provides Wellon forces with a range of services. Tactical and strategic airlift, VIP transport, air-to-air refuellers and orbital lift. Tactical airlift capacity is quite limited and would be severely stretched in anything other than a minor emergency. Strategic airlift squadrons are equipped with converted airliners and are similarly overstretched.
The tanker squadrons are concentrated in support of Bomber Command's heavy units at Colenso. Lander squadrons operate from the various spaceports around Wellon, and normally run a military service up to Hawking Station. Other elements of Transport Command are concentrated at the MacMahoney complex near New Glasgow until required at other bases.
One further unit comes under the aegis of Transport Command. No. 999 Squadron is a special unit that provides aircraft and pilots for Combat Search and Rescue and Emergency Rescue Team duties. The CSAR flights are concentrated at RAF St. Peters and at the Colenso complex and fly the Osprey R.3 tiltwing. The ERT flight is dispersed around the various spaceports, and flies the civilian specification BEx 359 space plane.
The RWAF's Training Command is responsible for all training conducted by the RWAF. All of which is conducted at the giant Colenso training areas. Training Command also has responsibility for those parts of the area used by the British for their Joint Air Warfare School.
Royal Wellon Aerospace Force College, Myasi
The RWAF College at Myasi is that service's unified training facility. It trains all recruits from all branches of the RWAF, it also conducts all officers, NCO and flight training. RWAF College Myasi is located on the coast of the Golden Bay, some 100 km south of New Capetown and is a part of the massive Colenso facility, which includes a further five airbases in the area. (The near perfect flying weather is the reason for the concentration of facilities.)
The RWAF College is itself a sizable, modern facility which was constructed in 2285 to replace the old RWAF College at RAF Narvik near Victoria. The other services' derogatory nickname for the RWAF, 'The Ice Cream Boys' is due to the tans most recruits acquire during their time at Myasi. Myasi is very much at the heart of the RWAF's operations.
The RWAF Regiment is descended from the locally raised RAF Regiment Defence Squadrons, who were created to provide a security force for the RAF's Tiranean bases. Since the creation of the RWAF the RWAF Regiment has changed substantially, becoming a highly trained field force and is no longer responsible for simple guard duties.
The RWAF has three roles. The provision of static and mobile ASAT resources in defence of Wellon as part of the Wellon Air Defence Area, and providing point air defence for RWAF air bases and forward operating bases. The last role is one of the most glamorous in the Wellon Armed Forces, the Air Commandos. The Air Commandos are highly trained soldiers who can operate as infantry in wartime, but also provide detachments for CSAR and the ERT.
As Wellon covers such a huge areas some emergencies occur far from help. The ERT are teams of 10 Air Commandos who are delivered to accident sites by space plane (free-falling in if necessary) to begin giving immediate aid to victims. The most famous ERT missions have included the aftermath's of plane crashes in the New Albion Rain Forest and Blight areas. Both of which were later dramatised and made into major films.
Point Air Defence Units
The RWAF has a whole range of support personnel to back up the operational squadrons, from Air Traffic Controllers and Engineers to Logistics staff and Administrators. Without whom the RWAF couldnt function.
Wellon Defence Forces 2300 AD