1 - Medron - Pineland’s War on Terror - In the second Attican exercise, you will be a non-governmental private operations team sent to rescue Pineland citizens or allies and get them across the border to a neutral nation through any means you can execute. You will be using off-the-shelf hardware and your economic assets are limited. You will be exposed to simulated rape, murder, ethnic cleansing, and other standard reign of terror tactics as you move through the region. It will be your decision whether or not to deviate from the rescue mission to pursue other objectives. Know that you will be disavowed by Pineland if captured. This is a time-limited, full immersion exercise with simunitions.
2 - Medron - Pineland’s War on Terror - In the third Attican exercise, you will be a non-governmental private operations team sent to execute anti-terror activities in support of Islamic Republic allies. Primary targets will be any Islamic Congress of Attica or Islamic Brotherhood of Jihad forces conducting standard reign of terror operations. You are not expected to fight the main Islamic Emirate army. You will be using standard off-the-shelf hardware and have limited economic assets. Islamic Republic allies will be willing to work with you, but it is up to you to decide if they are true allies or Islamic Congress plants who will betray you. You will be disavowed by Pineland if captured. This is a full immersion exercise with simunitions.
3 - Medron - Pineland’s War on Terror - The second training theater in Pineland’s basic War on Terror program is a simulated Pineland operational zone fifty miles across spanning the Pineland and North Atlantica border. The vast majority of the zone will be inside Pineland. This is not a standard Pineland training program featuring a major Atlantican invasion of Pineland. Atlantican army forces are considered static environmental obstacles, though if encountered they are aggressive. The primary environmental obstacles are Atlantican smuggling cartel teams crossing the border, an Atlantican fifth column in control of the operational zone inside Pineland, and Islamic Brotherhood of Jihad forces planning terror attacks in and out of the training zone. This training theater will host multiple simultaneous training missions for maximum realism.
4 - Medron - Pineland’s War on Terror - In the first Pineland exercise, you are a Federal operations team operating outside official orders to combat Atlantican smuggling cartel teams. Your mission is to track down, engage, and eliminate cartel forces without being discovered or captured. Pineland will officially disavow you in such a situation, and you will be subject to cartel or fifth column justice. Local law enforcement and political systems have been infiltrated by the Atlantican fifth column, and are not to be trusted, though there are some loyal to Pineland. Discovering who is who could be invaluable to your mission, though is not required.
5 - Medron - Pineland’s War on Terror - In the second Pineland exercise, you are a Federal operations team sent to track down and arrest Islamic Brotherhood of Jihad forces planning terror attacks in and out of the training zone. Rules of Engagement are strict, and all expenditures must be tracked and verified to an automatically convened board of enquiry after the operation. Local law enforcement and political systems have been infiltrated by the Atlantican fifth column, and are not to be trusted, though there are some loyal to Pineland. Discovering who is who could be invaluable to your mission, though is not required.
6 - Medron - Pineland’s War on Terror - In the third Pineland exercise, you are a Federal operations team operating outside official orders to research and uncover Atlantican fifth column activists. The primary mission is to differentiate between the true Atlantican activists and the useful idiots who do their bidding. The primary environmental obstacle is the local political and law enforcement machine. They have been infiltrated by the Atlantican fifth column, and are not to be trusted, though there are some loyal to Pineland. Other obstacles are protests for and against local government policy, a government autonomous zone, and a jail reportedly holding political enemies of the local political machine.
7 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The American military fights many fictional enemies every year that I used in my Pineland’s War on Terror series. The modern history of these fictional scenarios goes back to the 1930s when America was gearing up for World War II. The early enemies tended to be Nazi in style, as befitted the time, but one of the largest fictional engagements would have a massive effect on the war to come. It was a major ground army training exercise, and one of the commanders used maneuvers and ideas he read about in a book. His side won, he was recognized for his innovative tactics, and ended up being sent forward as one of America’s leading generals. His name was Eisenhower, and he would later rise to the post of President. This is one example of how American’s training scenarios has influenced the real world in amazing ways.
8 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The most famous fictional American battleground in the civilian world is the People’s Republic of Pineland. Physically located in North Caroline, it is constantly under attack from the evil North Atlantica. Pineland has a flag, a motto, a real fictional history, and money. The locals see this happen every year, local law enforcement actively participates, and you can buy Pineland clothing and patches in real life. This created a deadly scenario when a law enforcement officer unaware of the game caught some soldiers being sneaky. They tried to bribe him with Pineland money, which he didn’t recognize, and the situation escalated until he shot two soldiers dead. Local law enforcement now wears special patches or insignia during the scenarios to tell soldiers this is an officer they can be in character with. Another example of America’s training scenarios influencing the real world.
9 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Peoples Democratic Republic of Krasnovia is probably the most famous fictional enemy that American soldiers fight. They come from the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union, and are one of the thinner pretenses to fiction in our fictional military scenarios. They are perpetually invading the Republic of Mojave in real life Fort Irwin or the National Training Center in California if my research is accurate. There are conflicting reports over the exact role of Mojave, but in most I have found in my research, they called on their very good friends in America to help them, and the soldiers in the scenario are our answer. The evil Krasnovians could not be allowed to conquer another nation on our watch after all. The scenario has changed many times over the decades, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union, but few ever underestimate the villainy of our fierce Krasnovian foes.
10 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - Centralia and Montanya are two other fictional nations America fights around. The Marine Corps go into war-torn Centralia to protect them from evil Montanyan aggression on a regular basis. Some scenarios say it is after a long Centralian civil war where a Montanyan-supported revolutionary force continues disrupting Centralia. Some scenarios deal with an outright invasion of Centralia by Montanyan regular forces. All major scenarios I have tracked down detail joint operations between the Marine Corps and other services or other national armed forces. Rather than focusing on brute firepower, those scenarios focus on using non-standard informational and communications capabilities to disrupt, demoralize, counteract, or otherwise reduce enemy operations and abilities. Whatever the exact scenario, all Marines recognize the long and sordid tale of Centralia and Montanya.
11 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - Atropia, Gorgas, and Limaria are fictional nations in the Decisive Action Training Environment that the US Army fights in regularly. The 1,000 page publicly-released document I have says that it is conducted in Fort Leavenworth Kansas, though I have seen reports that Fort Polk in Louisiana also uses that program. It is built on a real world map of the Caucasus region, though every single nation is fictional. Sometimes the fiction is very thin, but it is fictional. The previously mentioned nations are border states between two, sometimes three depending on which version of DATE is followed, powerful neighbors who do not like each other. The border states are constantly in some level of conflict with each other, or their neighbors, giving the US Army a great deal of scenarios to play with when it comes to their training.
12 - Medron - Columbus Day - We just celebrated Columbus Day. We live in a world shaped by the voyage of discovery Columbus and so many others made in the last few hundred years. Our ancestors traveled the world, and brought new ideas and ways of living into existence. We traveled beneath the sea after we visited everything we could upon it, and then we went into space and set our feet upon the dust of another world. We live in a better world today than the one Columbus inhabited, filled with more knowledge and ability than any time in recorded history. We have made the world a better place by seeking out other places, peoples, and knowledge. By bringing home the best of them, and by sending forth the best of us, we have made all of us better. We should always seek that.
13 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Republic of Atropia is the Decisive Action Training Environment’s fictional modern liberal Islamic nation. Though not too modern, or too liberal, you understand. A single family controls the nation and all the government organs that promote order. Sometimes it is represented as a classic dynastic dictatorship, while it is an oligarchy in later settings. They have a high standard of living and are rich thanks to oil revenues and other resources on the Caspian Sea, but their civil liberties are heavily restricted. Outright repression is limited, though censorship and corruption are perennial problems. The driving foreign and domestic issue confronting Atropia in most scenarios I’ve seen is the occupation of the Lower Janga province by neighboring Limaria. That gives American troops many opportunities for creating interesting training scenarios.
14 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Democratic Republic of Gorgas is the Decisive Action Training Environment’s fictional emerging representative democracy trying to find itself in the modern world. A massive majority of the population is Orthodox Christian, though they maintain very friendly relations with neighboring Islamic Atropia, and Gorgas pipelines carry Atropian oil to the Black Sea. Gorgas wishes to insulate itself from Donovian influence by joining the West and NATO, and has sent military forces to join multiple US led coalitions in the last decade or two. Their wish to remain free of Donovian influence is hampered by the fact that two Gorgas provinces have declared independence with the aid of Donovian support. Military conflicts between Gorgas and breakaway provinces have caused massive civilian strife and large refugee populations, which destabilize local politics and life.
15 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Democratic Republic of Limaria is the Decisive Action Training Environment’s fictional autocratic, monocultural, violent, and aggressive little bundle of joy. Named Minaria in earlier versions, they have conquered part of neighboring Atropia because they wanted breathing room for the ethnic Limarians who lived there. They also had aggressive relations with neighboring Kalaria in previous exercises, but since Kalaria has been removed, only the Atropian foe remains to them now. Or the various political foes of the ruling powers. They tend to meet bad ends. Election violence and purges are normal. It’s not a very fun place to live if everything I’ve read is accurate. And did I mention they have friendly relations with Donovia and Ariana? They are a truly amazing little bundle of joy for just about any training exercise.
16 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The United Republics of Donovia are one of the Big Bads in the Decisive Action Training Environment. They are an obvious stand in for modern Russia, right down to the fact that they used to be a world power and are working diligently to be a top tier power once again. They are an authoritarian state led by a small elite class with no political opposition who harness government and private sector corruption to increase their own power. They are perfectly willing to “support independence movements” in other nations, and “Donovian mercenaries” or advisors are common throughout the region. As I understand it, most training missions are not in Donovian territory, but Donovian interests are pervasive throughout all scenarios that may be conducted. They should never be dismissed.
17 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Islamic Republic of Ariana is the other main Big Bad in the Decisive Action Training Environment. They are an obvious stand in for Iran, right down to their commitment to export their “Council of Guardians Revolution” to other countries all over the planet. They consider themselves the truest application of Islamic faith, and are happy to bring it to others via the sword. They use a sham representative government to appease or distract easily-confused Western powers, but are in reality controlled by a rigid clerical elite who have solidified their control of the military, and who deploy various terrorist organizations against their international foes. They also work hard to break around UN and US sanctions to procure nuclear weapons. They wish to become a major world power, and their interests can be found in any nation or scenario that may be trained for.
18 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - Kalaria, or Kemalia as it was originally known, was a third major power in the Decisive Action Training Environment. They were perhaps a too-accurate fiction of Turkey to remain in the training system given recent relations with the real nation. They were a major trading partner of Gorgas and Atropia, and had official embargos against Limaria. Early versions included a genocide against Limaria, though later treatments changed that to the massacre of a Limarian scientific expedition to Mount Ararat. That resulted in the conquering of that territory in the 1940s, a sin Limaria never forgave them for. Their other main focus was as the terminus of the Atropian oil pipeline that went through Gorgas. They were a key to riches in the zone. They also had some territorial ambitions that made Ariana distrust them. They were entirely removed in more recent treatments.
19 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - Zabzimek is a Gorgas province that broke away after the Gorgas/Donovian War 19 years ago. Gorgas tried to take the province back, but Donovia sent in forces to back Zabzimek and sunk one quarter of the Gorgas fleet. They have defended the breakaway province ever since. The province is home to many pro-Gorgas and pro-Zabzimek militias and other irregular forces that operate freely inside Zabzimek and neighboring Gorgas territory. This culminated in a six-day war between Zabzimek and Gorgas after pro-Gorgas forces took over parts of Zabzimek three years ago. Zabzimek won. There is also a history of massacres and ethnic cleansing aimed at the Gorgas citizens. To put it simply, Zabzimek is a perfect fictional place for American troops to train in all kinds of interesting, and sometimes gruesome, scenarios.
20 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - South Ostremek has no cultural ties with the Gorgas people, and they don’t want any. They instead want to be reunited with their cousins in North Ostremek, one of the Donovian Republics. They took steps to do that nineteen years ago after the Gorgas/Donovian War weakened Gorgas. Gorgas attempted to reconquer them immediately, but the Donovians came to their long-lost cousins’ aid and helped them fight the conquers off. Gorgas came for them again three years ago, and the Donovians helped them once more. Their determined resistance weakened Gorgas enough that Zabzimek was able to push out the pro-Gorgas militias from their territory. Donovian peacekeepers now monitor the enforced cease fire between Ostremek and Gorgas, but there is still a great deal of chaos and crime in the area. That makes it another very interesting fictional place for American troops to train in.
21 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - Jarie is another Gorgas province with delusions of self-governance. They were a large border province between Gorgas and Kalaria in Decisive Action Training Environment 2.2, which probably made Kalarian agents an interesting flavor in exercises. They removed Kalaria entirely and shrunk Jarie to a third its previous size in DATE 3.0, greatly changing the balance of power around Jarie. Jarie has always been ethnically different from Gorgas and wants to be independent. They do not have an organized military though, and so a few informal cells randomly bomb industrial and infrastructure targets, such as the bridges between Jarie and the rest of Gorgas. There is no major fighting between the people and the Gorgas government, making it a rather interesting fictional low-intensity training environment for American soldiers.
22 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Independent Republic of Lower Janga is another very interesting fictional battleground American troops train in. Older versions of the Decisive Action Training Environment included in the background a Limarian Genocide at the hands of the neighboring Kalarians. This is removed in more recent DATEs probably due to real life international politics and how closely that dovetailed into the real life history of Armenia and Turkey. But that gives valuable background on why Christian Limaria attacked Muslim Atropia over the persecution of Limarians in the mutual border region of Lower Janga. Or Artzak in earlier versions. It was a three year war, twenty years ago, that created over a million refugees, wrested control of an entire province from Atropia, and has defined relations between Limaria, Atropia, and anyone who deals with either of them. It is an important region and event.
23 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - Lower Janga is a border province between Limaria, Atropia, and Ariana. It became host to a three-year war that killed thirty thousand people outright and created over a million refugees. The Donovians brokered a ceasefire in the end, but constant small-scale skirmishes and sniper fire have kept tensions in the area high. Irregular forces backing and backed by each government, or Ariana, have built a complex system of tunnels all over the region, and they often fight each other when the main armies are trying not to start another major war. Of note is the Ariana support of the Limarian Liberation Front, an ally in the effort to spread their version of militant Islam all over the world. Should the LLF succeed in taking over the region, they would surely export their terrorism to other nations. American soldiers training in this fictional battleground have their work cut out for them.
24 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - Lower Janga is a breakaway province of Atropia with three nations trying to take control of it. Limaria wants to protect the ethnic Limarians in the region from foreign oppression. They remember it happening for many years before they started the war to protect them, so to them it is a matter of fact and history. Atropia considers the land to belong to them, and they have 800,000 Atropian refugees who they still contend have a right of return to their lands. Their goal is to retake the region and rule it once more. And Ariana considers Lower Janga to be a great opportunity to expand their influence and export their militant version of Islam to other nations. Those are three conflicting goals for the region that have contributed to twenty years of hot and cold conflict within Lower Janga. And those three goals affect all international relations with any of those nations.
25 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The legacy of the war for Lower Janga is most notable in the various nations that are affected by it. And those who affected it. Donovia fully supported Limaria in their efforts to wrest control of Lower Janga from Atropia, and even brokered the ceasefire between the two nations. And as long as they continue to support Limaria, there is no chance that Atropia can retake control of the region. Gorgas wants closer relations with both nations, and to step away from Donovia, which means they spend most of their time trying NOT to respond to anything to do with Lower Janga. And then there is Ariana. One would expect them to side with their Islamic brothers in Atropia, but Atropia is far too secular and modern for Ariana. So Ariana is not only trying to take Lower Janga for themselves, but also trying to overthrow part or all of Atropia with a far more militant version of Islam.
26 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Decisive Action Training Environment is an impressive fictional training system with a thousand pages of information just in the publicly available document that I have. That one deals with the Caucasus Region, but from what I understand there are now African, European, and Pacific settings, and an Arctic setting is in the works. If they put the same detail into those other settings as the one I’ve been describing lately, I will be impressed. The thing to remember about America’s fictional enemies is that they have to be as real as possible for our soldiers to train against them. And yet they also have to be fake for various reasons. We don’t want to kill people in training if we can avoid it. And sometimes the more thinly-veiled enemies can annoy people we are trying to be friends with. And sometimes, real-life developments simply make the enemy irrelevant.
27 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - White Sands Missile Range in the American South West is home to the fictional Middle Eastern Islamic Republic of Attica. It is part of a bi-annual training scenario that includes transnational terrorists threats, cutting edge electronic and cyberwarfare operations, and a nation desperately trying to regain control of its own borders. Attica seeks closer alignment with the Western Powers, but its security forces desperately need American aid to stabilize it against the various threats that seek to topple it. Based on what I’ve read, the transformational threat they face is the Wolf Brigade, a team of cyberattackers that seek to use various electronic and computer systems to threaten not only Attica but all Western Powers. American soldiers most use the most advanced modern technologies to track the Wolf Brigade down and end, or at least hinder, their terrorist ways.
28 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Islamic Republic of Attica has many enemies in their neighborhood. First there is the Islamic Congress of Attica that wants to overthrow the government and bring their far more radical version of Islam into power. Then there is the Islamic Brotherhood of Jihad that wants to use Attica as a base for international terror campaigns. And never forget the Ellisian Army that enjoys taking day trips into Attican territory for fun in the sun. And of course there is the previously mentioned Wolf Brigade who spend their time industriously hacking anything they can find. There are many opportunities for American soldiers to learn and perfect procedures in the Attican training environment. All while getting a bit of the American South West sun themselves.
29 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Island of Aragon is another of America’s fictional battlegrounds. Located in real world Fort Polk, it is home to the Republics of Cortina and Victoria, and the Peoples Democratic Republic of Acadia. Those of you who grew up before the turn of the millennium will probably know who the bad guy is now. All of us knew, growing up, that any nation that used anything like the phrase Peoples Democratic Republic was never for the people, democracy, or a republican government. They were socialists. Whether Communist, Fascist, or other, they were the socialist bad guys that America had to stand against if we were to save the free world. That conventional wisdom rings true on the island of Aragon when American troops run training missions.
30 - Medron - America’s Fictional Enemies - The Republic of Cortina is an American ally on the fictional island of Aragon. As many of our allies are in these training environments, Cortina is rich in natural resources. It is also rich in political corruption and ethnic violence. This makes them an easy target for the Cortina Liberation Front that wants to topple the government and bring in a new era with them or their masters in charge. This would obviously not be good for our Cortinan allies, so American troops are often sent in to protect our fictional allies from their dastardly foes. Those foes are funded by the Peoples Democratic Republic of Acadia, which absolutely wants to take over the entire island of Aragon. If my information is accurate, the 509th Infantry Regiment often plays these guys against visiting Army regiments, making them a valuable training aid for the US Army.
31 - Medron - Happy Halloween - Today we celebrate tricking, treating, candy, costumes, and a bunch of other stuff. For some it is the end of a season or year and the beginning of a new one. For others it is simply a chance to dress up in interesting things we normally can never get away with. Sometimes outrageous. Sometimes silly. Maybe sexy or politically mocking. Or just dressing for the job we really want. Dead or former presidents are always a hit, as are their various partners of legal or illicit nature. Nurses and doctors, firemen and police represent the real life superheroes people love to portray. And of course there are the fictional superheroes from places like Marvel and DC. Pirates and dragon queens, undead and ghosts, aliens and time travelers will all walk our streets today. Enjoy the absurdity. Enjoy the fun. It’s Halloween.