The Gaia Defence Forces, also referred to as the GDF, are the military forces of the Gaia. Created as the successor to the Gaia Security Forces following the Sora Agreement, the Gaia Defence Forces is one of the most advanced militaries on Kebir Blue and one of the largest in the Austral Bergo Region. The GDF is responsible for defending Gaia, its overseas territories and maintaining national sovereignty> In addition, it is also responsible for assisting in humanitarian and disaster relief operations worldwide in coordination with the Gaian Emergency Relief Agency. From 3497 to 3570, the GDF was an active participant in liberation operations conducted by the Soviet and regional allies. Since the cessation of liberation operations, the GDF has focused on the development of its defensive capabilities.
The history of the Gaia Defence Forces dates back to the Pre-Migration Era when it was known as the "Gaia Security Forces". The GSF were responsible for the protection of Gaia and its territories on the ancient homeworld. Shortly after the Great Migration, the Gaia Security Forces were put under the administration of the Gaia Colonial Authority. During the Colonial Era, the GSF was utilized by the Colonial Authority to protect settlements and vital infrastructure. This small, elite force was also used during the turbulent times of the era to suppress rioting and other seditious acts against the Colonial Authority. Following the signing of the Sora Agreement, the Gaia Security Forces was formally reorganized into today's Gaia Defence Forces.
It was during the Frontier Pacification Campaigns of the Expansion Era, that the newly created Gaia Defence Forces first saw combat. The GDF was initially deployed by the Gaian government to protect settlers, supply convoys and new settlements. After numerous attacks by mercenaries and other armed groups against Gaian settlers and military personnel, the GDF was redeployed along the frontiers for pacification operations.
The decades following the military campaigns of the Expansion Era were fairly uneventful for the Gaia Defence Forces, until the outbreak of the Northern District Crisis. During the crisis, members from both branches of the defence forces were deployed across the country under the auspices of maintaining order during martial law. Airborne units of the Gaia Naval Defence Force were deployed to assist law enforcement agencies, such as the Agency for Internal Security, during the worst of the riots.
After the ratifying of the Imperial Union Act in 3265, the military saw major restructuring in all of its branches, which would lead to budget cuts under the early governments of the Contemporary Era. The military would see cuts in their budget, which resulted in nationwide closures of military facilities and the deactivation of numerous units, under the successive governments guided by the Liberal Gaia party. These cuts would promptly end in 3410, when a planned military expansion was approved by Her Imperial Majesty. After 3410, the Gaia Defence Forces would be the focus of continued expansions and upgrading programs.
The expansion and upgrading programs would pay off in 3497, when the GDF launched its first liberation campaign against the nation of Picara. The Picaran war would touch off a series of wars known as the Wars of Liberation, which would end in 3570 under the orders of Empress Isabella.
The Gaia Defence Forces played a minor role in the defence of allies in 3559, when a rogue nation threatened the peace and security of Kebir Blue. Survey Corps personnel were deployed to the Republic of Romanam to assist in local defence operations.
The 3560's saw a rapid increase in the GDF's participation in overseas peacekeeping missions. Over the span of the decade, Gaian military personnel were deployed in a variety of locations, most notably Tactical Rock and Arendale.
GDF garrisons received ₡1 trillion in upgrades from 3610 to 3615. Garrisons across the country were outfitted with missile defence systems, in response to the increasing use of naval missile ships worldwide.
Today the Gaia Defence Forces, with a shift in military and foreign policy, are increasingly being devoted towards defence capabilities and military cooperation with allies, since the cessation of the offensive oriented Wars of Liberation. With the improvement of the Gaian economy, billions are being spent on maintaining the country's advanced military, mostly on ammunition upgrades.
Gaia Ground Defence Force
The Gaia Ground Defence Force is the largest service branch of the Gaia Defence Forces and is responsible for land-based military operations. The Ground Defence Force is currently comprised of approximately seven divisions, comprising of armoured, mechanized infantry and logistical divisions. These divisions form the core of the Ground Defence Force and are distributed amongst three Army Groups comprised of the Western Army Group, Central Army Group and the Eastern Army Group. Together, they are responsible for the defence of the homeland in their respective prefectures and military regions.
Currently the Gaia Defence Forces as a whole is primarily deployed, for the most part, on foreign peacekeeping missions, counterterrorism operations, humanitarian missions and liberation campaigns. The Ground Defence Force acts as the spearhead for Gaia's humanitarian and disaster relief efforts abroad. The Ground Defence Force of the Gaia Defence Forces has been the focus of a multi-billion Imperial Credit expansion and upgrading program. As part of Gaia's new defence plan, the Gaia Ground Defence Force will see a slow increase in the numbers of active duty personnel, compared to previous decades.
The Gaia Naval Defence Force is the naval branch of the Gaia Defence Forces. It is responsible for the orbital and maritime defence of the country. Tracing its origins back to when it was tasked with the protection of colony ships during the Migration Era, the GNDF has a long history of being the most important branch of the Gaia Defence Forces. The GNDF also provides Gaia with a first line of defence with its many vessels arrayed around the world and abroad.
The Gaia Naval Defence Force is currently comprised of three fleets, Battlegroup Elizabeth, Battlegroup Sora, and GNDF Naval Logistics Group 1, most of which operate out of GNDF Mizusaki Naval Base, which is located at the mouth of Aounabara Bay. As of 3547, the Gaia Naval Defence Force consists of approximate 200 ships, including aircraft carriers, destroyers, missile ships, and supply vessels. The Gaia Naval Defence Force is currently building a fourth fleet with plans for a fifth, one of which would be a logistics fleet.
The Gaia Naval Defence Forces has played a major role in the country's Wars of Liberation (Raiding) campaigns. Approximately 34,000 naval personnel and 90 ships of Battlegroup Elizabeth were part of a support group assisting airborne units of the GGDF in operations within the Carina Kanji Region of the Paova Major Continent. In 3550, all fleets of the GNDF were recalled to Gaia for liberation operations within Gaia's sphere of influence.
Military service in Gaia is voluntary, but limited conscription may occur during conflicts that threaten the security of the country. In practise, conscription has only occurred during Frontier Crisis of the Expansion Era. The laws regarding conscription during wartime apply to both males and females, although women have the option to enlist in either the Reserve Corps (Ground or Naval) or the Logistics Corps (Ground) instead.
As of 4617, the Gaia Defence Forces had 220,553 military personnel on active duty, with approximately 53,023 in the reserves. Approximately 28% of those soldiers are women, highlighting the GDF's gender equality policies. Women currently make up a large percentage of the country's reserve force, at approximately 56%. This is most likely due to the employment preferences and education sponsorship's available to those who serve in the defence forces.
The most elite of the Gaia Defence Forces are often recruited into the special forces branch.
Gaia maintains a sizable overseas military presence as part of federal and regional defence commitments. At the peak of overseas operations, Gaia had nearly 100,000 personnel from both the Ground Defence Force and the Naval Defence Forced deployed overseas. The Gaia Naval Defence Force had 15,000 personnel assigned to the treaty operations under the Orbital Security and Cooperation Treaty with the Aquitanian Empire. Additionally, Gaia had 6,610 military personnel stationed in the Kingdom of Greenwood, for defence commitments.
Today, Gaia's main overseas military presence is in Suriya at GDF Base Hirunnakhon. The 1st Air Transport Wing and elements of the 3rd Air Wing are currently based there with a stated mission of defending and supporting allies in eastern Centura Donna through air patrols and logistical support.
|Wars of Liberation||Kebir Blue - Worldwide||3497-35701||Final - 38,050
Maximum - 60,000
|Overseas Bases (Soviet)||3502 - 3590(?)||28,960|
|OSCT||Aquitanian & Gaian airspace||3400 - 3600(?)||15,000|
|Tactical Rock Peacekeeping||Tactical Rock||3561-3565||33,800|
|Peacekeeping in Arendale||Union of Arendale||3566-3568||5 GNDF frigates|
|Federal Defence Mission||Kingdom of Suriya||4573 - Present||3,294|
1 - Operations suspended during the reign of Empress Isabella.