Did the Federation have an Army / What did it call ground forces in battle?
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Join Date: Jun 2012
01-04-2013, 02:31 AM
I would think the Federation does have some sort of ability to conduct Starship Troopers style multi-divisional ops at least in theory. There are some times where you must, repeat must have men and women on the ground to secure territory and/or restore order.
Even science missions in alien territory need attendant security detachments.
The reason why we don't see big land battles or independent land armies is because with the (proposed) space-dominance centric aspect of 23rd century warfare and beyond, and with 'modern' transporter technology it is possible to conduct proper effects-based operations (EBO) using small and highly mobile strike teams to immobilize any ground threat.
Also, photon torpedoes and other spaceborne weapons can and have been used for strikes on planetary surfaces. In a typical ground based dispute of today, no one will mess with you if you have a Galaxy class starship in geostationary position above the hot spot. If you can use starship sensors to precision target transporters to beam people and materiel into confined spaces, you can use the same awesome sensors to attack with phasers, guide photon torpedoes like Gulf War GBUs, or even beam in a photon warhead to demolish bunkers from within.
As huge as a Federation cruiser is, its security detachment is probably large enough to wage a small war on its lonesome, especially with the mothership in direct support above, hence throughout the Federation's recent history a standing ground army was probably not required.
Even "infantry warfare" units as mentioned in DS9 appear to me like naval personnel detached from their ships, just like crack Japanese Navy landing forces (SNLF - Special Naval Landing Forces) in WW2 which specialized in amphibious assaults and operated under Imperial Navy control.
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