The Wellon Expeditionary Force
By D Hebditch
The Wellon Government was quick to offer a substantial contribution of troops to the human war effort against the Kafers. Unfortunately the lack of necessary starlift delayed the deployment of the WEF until after the Invasion had been checked. The WEF is in control of all Wellonese forces off-Tirane and is currently headquartered on Beowulf although most of its forces are located on Beta Canum. It recently has gained the administrative and budgetary status as the fourth part of the Wellon Armed Forces.
The WEF is an administrative unit controlling a divisional HQ, 3 brigades, an air force group and numerous independent units that are all integrated into the Commonwealth Expeditionary Forces and under direct command of the Theatre Commanders. WEF forward headquarters are on Alicia in the newly acquired Seinshei Centre in Heorot.
Service in the WEF is very prestigious in the Armed Forces and places in it are hard fought over at every level. So far only a small portion of Wellon's military has been deployed and so higher formations have been filled with only the best available officers. As a result the WEF has forged an excellent reputation amongst its peers in the CEF.
I waited apart from the others, the midday downpour battering through the upper canopies and drenching us to the skin. In an hour it would all be over and the heat would transform the vapour into a short lived but heavy fog around the trunks of the trees.
I watched, crouched with the robust Australian shotgun across my legs, trying to stay alert. The New African soldiers behind me huddled together under a poncho enjoying a hot drink and gossiping in hushed voices I could still hear above the rain. The Crapauds could come at any time, those that were left were cunning beyond belief.
My heart sank as I counted the days until I could return home. Like most of the others in my unit I was a city boy, born and bred in New Cleck. The Rain Forest back home had come as a shock to me, but compared to this alien jungle it was home. My mind flitted back to my first patrols in to the heart of the forest, my first sight of a colony of serpentine treens heaving and writhing in the boles of a stand of Frentain willows initiating both creatures' cycle of reproduction. Being splashed with the blood of flitters as rival flocks duelled under the canopies for the choicest mates.
The reek of methane brought me back to the present as did the easing of the rain. It was nearly time for another dangerous leg across the Kafer infested undergrowth. For the tenth time that day the homesickness hit me like a physical blow.
Extract from the 'Combat Tracker' article in 'We Are Legion' January 2303 edition by Lance Corporal Rowan Hardy, CHINDIT
'I do like working with the Wellonese troops. They are professional, well trained, well equipped and eager to learn. It is also clear that they have sent the best officers possible to staff the Commonwealth Armoured HQ. Their long practice of manoeuvre warfare over vast distances on Tirane has proved a real boon to me. At times the command, control and competent administration of this formation puts that of 7th Armoured to shame.
'They did lack for some experience at battle group level, especially when in real contacts, at the beginning but this has been rectified. The quality of individual soldiers is also proving excellent, they have shown that the Lions of New Africa were not a one off. And while they lack the sheer offensive flair of the ANZACs or Alicians their flexibility and eye for the smart alternative pays dividends. I believe we have seen the start of another fine military tradition in the Commonwealth.
'Well, yes I did make a rather misquoted remark about those fine troops in the Royal Southerns once. I hope that people realise I was paraphrasing the Duke of Wellington, rather than trying to cause offence.'
General Sir George Brooke, GOC II (Commonwealth) Corps, Commonwealth Expeditionary Forces, Beta Canum-4. Interview with 'The Mercury'
Royal Wellon Navy
RWN Training Team New Africa
The RWN has some 400 personnel in the ranks of the WEF. Most of these serve with the Joint Tactical Air Group, however 100 are involved in the TTNA. This is a detachment recruited from the RWN's small boat Flotillas. It is present on New Africa to advise and train similar units of the New African Defence Forces. So far they have been most useful in bringing new technology to the New Africans whilst learning proven combat techniques. The unit usually works as a training cadre but has acquired its own locally produced gunboats and has undertaken its own missions in support of littoral counter-Kafer operations.
The Wellon Army contributes a Armoured Divisional HQ, 3 brigades and an array of other forces to the WEF.
11th (Commonwealth) Armoured Division (ex-11th (Wellon) Armoured Division)
11 Armd Div is the senior division of the Wellon Army, having been formed in 2264 and been in existence ever since. It had a wealth of training experience in manoeuvre warfare thanks to its location in the ETA alongside the British Armoured Divisions. Once news of the fall of Hochbaden reached Tirane, HMWG offered extra forces to those already slated to join the WEF and these were accepted. 11 Armd Div was a key part of the package. Specific counter-Kafer training was undertaken, although at the time many of the programmes were based on guess work.
The charismatic Major General Alan Vyvyan, an experienced, hard driving and somewhat humourless soldier from Narvik was appointed to command the division in January 2301. Vyvyan, late of the North Albion Green Jackets, has had a varied career serving nearly half of it on attachment to the British Army including a stint as Chief of Staff of 79 Armoured Brigade. Vyvyan was ruthless in weeding the divisional staff of personnel he thought not up to the job and brought in several 'flyers' in key positions. Although this ruffled many feathers the performance of 11 Armd Div on exercise silenced his critics.
The Division moved up to Beowulf in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Beowulf for a renewed period of training before finally reaching Beta Canum IV in September 2302. The Division was swiftly put to work co-ordinating a variety of brigade groups in the sometimes hard fought mopping up operations. The division has had Alicia, Australian, British, Canadian, German and New African brigades under command at various times and it is a tribute to the staff work of the division that there has been no major problems.
The Division is currently known as the 'Commonwealth Armoured' and has Alician, New African and Wellonese Armoured Brigades under command. An increasing number of Commonwealth personnel are also serving on the staff of the Division. In addition Vyvyan has maintained the standards of his Wellonese staff officers and has ruled the division with a firm hand. Nevertheless his consistent success and easy relationship with the common soldier has cemented his popularity in the division. He is due to be replaced in the early months of 2304 and his successor will have difficult task in following in his footsteps.
Divisional Reconnaissance Group
11 Armd Div DRG underwent substantial re-organisation. Its original armoured recce regiment was controversially replaced for service political reasons. In addition in order to bring the division onto British organisation it needed a close recce battalion and no Wellonese battalions were then suitably trained. Consequently a British battalion was drafted in to serve with the division. The friction between the aristocratic Dragoon Guards and the plebeian, 'bolshie' Scots Rifles was spectacular at first but has soon settled down into a solid working relationship.
Divisional Artillery Group
The DAG includes three of its original five Wellonese artillery regiments. The remaining two are currently provided by Alician and New African regiments. The New African regiment is fairly recently formed and has been taken under the wing of the DAG and is swiftly coming up to speed. The DAG includes one General Support unit (equipped with MLRS), three Close Support units (EM howitzers) and an air defence regiment.
Divisional Engineer Group
The DEG is provided by its original Wellon formation and a newly organised New African unit.
1 (Wellon) Armoured Brigade
1 Wellon Armd Bde was amongst the first Wellonese units to be stood to for deployment with the WEF. Consequently it had much time to train and re-configure itself for expeditionary operations. Before deploying from Tirane the brigade was the first Wellonese Army formation to be equipped with Montgomery and Templer AFV's. The brigade paused briefly on Beowulf before deploying straight to BCV, where it acted as an independent brigade under II Corps or with 7th (British) Armd Div before becoming the core element of 11 Armd Div.
The brigade is now led by Brigadier Keir Phillipson of the Wellon Armoured Regiment. His command style has been criticised by those used to the stricter measures of his Guardsman predecessor. However he is highly though of by his divisional and corps commanders. The brigade has earned a fine reputation in its time on Beta Canum for its military skills. Whilst the easy going, well paid Wellonese soldiers have proved popular in the local communities.
Under command 1st (Commonwealth) Light Division
1 (Wellon) Airmobile Brigade
The Airmobile Brigade is the cutting edge of Wellon intervention forces and was the first unit assigned to the WEF. In terms of capability it mixes the strengths of British Air Assault and Airborne brigades. Having a strong infantry presence with tilt-wing mobility backed up with a potent gunship force. After its arrival on Beta Canum it was involved in mopping up operations before being committed to the Commonwealth Light Division in operations against the K-Zone. Typically one battalion is tasked to patrolling operations whilst the remainder of the brigade provides a Fireforce presence across the Light Division's TAOR. The brigade has integrated well within that elite division and has an excellent reputation.
Under command CEF Theatre Commanders Reserve
1 (Wellon) Light Brigade
1 Wellon Light Bde was assigned to the WEF at the same time as 11 Armd Div. It underwent an even lengthier period of training on Wellon, arriving at Beowulf in January 2303 to replace the battered British 1st Light Bde. Since its arrival the brigade has been assigned to the Reserve and is tasked with the reinforcement of isolated garrisons in the Eta Bootis finger or in follow on operations after planetary assaults. It spends its time on Beowulf undertaking strenuous manoeuvres against Kafer simulating OPFOR.
C Squadron, 25 (Wellon) Regiment, Special Air Service (C/ 25 SAS)
C Squadron was secretly deployed to the French Army early in the days of the Invasion and has worked alongside the special forces of other nations ever since. Details of its operations are scarce.
Tracker Combat Unit, The Chindits (TCU CHINDIT)
The TCU is a company sized force of volunteers raised from Wellon's Chindits regiment. It's Sections are dispersed amongst the units of the Commonwealth Light Division and in V Corps. It is entirely composed of soldiers raised the New Albion Rain Forest region and includes a substantial proportion of Dyak descended troopers. The jungle-craft of these soldiers has become legendary and stories abound of Chindits leading human forces in annihilatory pursuit of Kafers Warbands killing the Kafers one at a time.
Royal Wellon Navy/Royal Wellon Aerospace Force
Joint Tactical Air Group Wellon (JTAG-W)
Known as JTAG-341 or JTAG-Whiskey, this is the Wellonese contribution to the tactical air power of the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force. It originally started life as 341 Group of the RWAF, however the participation of RWN's Fleet Air Arm has changed the composition and naming of the group. Alongside the British JTAG-3 this unit provides the air support for II (Commonwealth) Corps, although it can also be tasked elsewhere on Beta Canum.
JTAG-W's Air Group is composed of five squadrons of warplanes and a flight of AEW aircraft. There are four squadrons of tactical aircraft, modern Fury and Tempests, and one of strategic interdiction and recce aircraft.
Fury/Sea Fury F.3
Tempest/Sea Tempest FGR.1
The Defence Group includes protection for the Air Group, in the shape of point defence and field squadrons from the RWAF Regiment. It also includes engineering support tasked for airfield repair, manoeuvre support for the logistics group and provision of dispersed operating sites. The normal Wellon Engineer Squadron is supported by a regiment of New African Pioneers greatly easing the job of the Wellonese sappers whilst also contributing as fighting troops.
Logistics and Support Group
JTAG-W's LSG is composed of elements from both the RWAF and the Wellon Logistics Corps which has tri-service responsibilities. To ease the burden of supporting the unit so far from Wellon many locally recruited personnel have been employed
Wellon Defence Forces 2300 AD