Starfleet Marine Corps

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Danlav05, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    ^^It doesn't quite work like that. Really, guns today are deadly enough, but that still doesn't mean anyone can pick one up and be very effective with it. A dedicated ground force division of the military will still be a necessity regardless how the advancements made in weapons deployment technology.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Taking and holding a planet rarely means destroying it. Starfleet - any military force, really - will need to gain control of key strategic sectors, including any planets within them. You don't do that by blowing them to bits.
     
  3. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We can turn planets (well, one planet anyway) into a smoking cinder today, yet ground forces persist.
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The phaser banks on a orbiting starship can't conduct a house to house search for a group who scan identical to the surrounding population.

    Boots on the ground.

    :)
     
  5. 1701EarlGrey

    1701EarlGrey Cadet Newbie

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    Guns are not phasers, just like firearms are not slings, bows and crossbows... :rolleyes: Problem with guns is that you have to teach people how to use them; you have to know how to aim accurately and how to deal with recoil, how to fast reload etc. All of those problems doesn't exist when we are talking about phasers. Wide beam setting, made aiming far less important. There are even some people who belive that phasers are capable of auto-aiming, but whatever or not, this is true, is open to debate. There is no recoil, and you don't need to carry ammunition whit you.Sure, soldiers know how to deal with firearms because they were extensively trained to use them, but only minimal training is necessary to use phasers. So, again why do you need professional soldiers?
     
  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Commodore Commodore

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    Probably because there is more to being a professional soldier than just handling of firearms. The modern American military utilizes a variety of tactics and specialists to accomplish various missions, not just infantrymen who slog through enemy lines because of their superior firearm skill.

    The concept of ground force tactics is one that differs substantially from ship to ship combat. As someone else pointed out, boots on the ground are useful to move in to an area, conduct a search for enemy forces, and secure it.

    In addition, minimal training may be required for phasers, but being trained to be accurate while being shot at is a whole other question. There are a variety of psychological studies of the "tunnel effect" that occurs while being shot at, even to professional soldiers. Military training is done to ensure that a person can still function, even while their live is being threatened.

    I would suggest reading "Starship Troopers" and "Space Cadet" to see a couple of organizations who are necessary to each other, even though they don't think so.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Bingo!
     
  8. 1701EarlGrey

    1701EarlGrey Cadet Newbie

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    But we have only one planet now, so turning it into a smoking cinder would be kind of dumb, don't you think. :rommie:

    Why would you conduct a house to house search, if you have ships sensors and transporters? :confused:

    Completely different universes, with completely different set of rules. And you forgot that being accurate is not that important when you have phasers able to shoot in wide-beam setting, and possibly even able to auto-aim:
    [​IMG]
    You don't have to be very accurate when you can just do this:
    [​IMG]

    And you don't have to do that. Remember TOS: Piece of the action, when ship's phasers were used to great effect, to neutralize hostiles on the ground? :
    [​IMG]
     
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Commodore Commodore

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    First of all, if aiming isn't a factor, the shotguns should be more of a thing.

    Second of all, completely different universes does not apply to the psychology of being shot at and being able to operate while under fire. "Siege of AR-558" demonstrated that quite well.

    Finally, Space Cadet informed GR's original concepts of a space based military-style organization, complete with Marines and everything. While it may be different universes, the basics of combat have not changed enough in the Star Trek universe to convince me that having combat trained personnel, specifically ground combat, and not just policing starships or repelling boarders, is unreasonable.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    That's a classic example of why nonlethal weapons generally aren't. The beam stunned a uniform force of burly gangsters who were standing out in the open, in a city where everybody is a burly gangster or his doll. In a more common situation, the burly enemies would be hiding under roofs or thick layers of rock, while the beam would be hitting plenty of weak and innocent children and old-timers and cute pets.

    A starship in orbit would probably seldom get an opportunity to fire "nonlethal" weapons, then. But importantly, she would have plenty of indirect weapons available, and those are much more effective than "nonlethal" ones! Starships can (as demonstrated in various eps) collapse power grids, cover the globe in subtle poisons, effect blockades, wage information warfare, and generally rule the planet below without ever actually touching its inhabitants.

    Sending in ground troops may sometimes be possible, but it's not likely to improve any situation the way it would today: the troops would just become targets where previously there were none, yet they could not achieve any of the objectives the ship was having trouble with. Going under the roofs to hunt for the enemy would mean playing by the rules of the enemy, say: the only way to make real headway there would be to start destroying stuff and killing people. And that could be done much better from orbit.

    Shotguns and submachine guns that indeed require little aiming (and generally get none) are good and popular trench and jungle warfare weapons, but their problem is range. With phasers, we have no idea whether the same would be true because great combat distances are too expensive to show in TV or even on the silver screen.

    The trend from weapons requiring extreme skill and experience towards weapons that require little or none is certainly there in Earth history; it might be even clearer were it not so expensive historically to train people in the use of firearms (i.e. two years of training for a rifleman, with a total budget for twelve rounds of ammo) even at the minimal level needed to make them deadly. Seeing phasers continue the trend is a rather natural interpretation, especially when we have to invent excuses for why completely different paths haven't been started and this one ditched (why no autonomous weapons in Starfleet?).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Phasers still require training, and while there might not be a recoil, there's still "particle drift" which can have a negative effect on your accuracy. And the battery packs can still become depleted, requiring a type of reloading ammo. We see the extra battery packs in episodes like Devil in the Dark or The Siege of AR-558.

    Besides, so long as the Klingons, Cardassians and Dominion still see a need for dedicated ground forces, the Federation is better off with one too.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I trust this 22nd century problem would be so massively compensated for by the auto-aiming functions that it would not even be mentioned in basic training any more in the TNG era, even if it still existed.

    Training somebody to swap battery packs doesn't IMHO much resemble the sort of training needed to field-strip an assault rifle. It's not "repeat this 250 times until you can do it blindfolded in 12.2 seconds", it's "you will automatically be able to do this in total darkness in no time flat because there's no way to do it wrong and there are even blinkies to illuminate the process".

    It would be more akin to training the troopers to tie their shoelaces...

    Do we have any evidence of such forces existing?

    Klingons consider fighting a Gesamtkunstwerk: they fly ships, fire disruptors, deploy WMDs, bombard with ballistic artillery and wave bladed weapons all in the same sortie. Generals and Admirals both control the movements of space fleets. There's only one type of uniform. Etc.

    The same with the Dominion: contrary to what TPTB originally wished to show, the same Jem'Hadar do everything relating to war. There are no dedicated pilots or machine-phased-polaron-gun teams, no variety in uniforms according to assignment, no job descriptions whatsoever apart from the hierarchy of a wolfpack.

    Cardassians have "mechanized infantry", but is that separate from the rest? Garak claimed to be associated with that force; Bashir drew no known conclusions from that. But in the Dominion War, when the Cardassian Orders fight, there is mention of them doing both space combat and planetary defense or offense; evidence of dedicated elements for the two jobs is missing. The few Cardassians we know intimately are poor examples, as they served in an occupation force doing very little space warfare overall...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. IrishNero

    IrishNero Commodore

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    Two things: The first is that every time someone has ever proclaimed 'This technology is going to make humans obsolete in battle", it never does. I know because I have been a student of military tactics all of my life (and served in the military for 23 years). Second (and more importantly), as you mentioned, being a skilled soldier and tactician has little to do with aiming weapons accurately. What makes a soldier is their ability to think on their feet and employ tactics which are studied, copied, practiced into the ground, and appropriately modified to fit the combat setting. Having phasers that are lightweight, accurate and automatically adjust their aim will not stop you from accidently plugging a kid who suddenly steps around the corner, or getting plugged by an aggressor because you didn't properly enter or clear a room.

    Not to delve too much into my personal background but if you every tried to clear a dwelling of hostiles the way they normally do on Trek, you'd quickly get 86'd like a typical red shirt...
     
  14. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed.

    This is one reason why military scifi can be so difficult to read and/or write. There such dynamics of being a solider that just don't change, regardless of the technological tools.

    Regardless, I appreciate your insight :)
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And if you're standing where the camera is located, you'd be able to kill them both prior to either of them sweeping their "wide beams" in your direction.

    Okay great, you have them stunned on the ground, now what are you going to do? Given that you apparently don't have any ground troop, just keep stunning them over and over?

    Eventually they're going to wake up.

    :)
     
  16. IrishNero

    IrishNero Commodore

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    The Picard side of me says 'No' but the Archer side of me says 'Hell Yes.' :guffaw:
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Dominion has the Jem'Hadar, of course, which are just as 'at home' fighting ground engagements as well as starship combat. Cardassians do as well - Tekeny Ghemor used to be one. And so do the Klingons ("Nor the Battle to the Strong", etc.).
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Which is my point - none of those cultures have dedicated ground combat forces in evidence. They just use the same generic personnel for all tasks and all fighting environments, so why not Starfleet as well?

    An important note on this specific issue is that Starfleet has tricorders! It's not as if they are really entering into rooms unawares: their instruments tell them if there's somebody inside (even if they then have to spend some time spotting that individual). If the instruments say the room is clear, they enter, making just token gestures to deal with very unlikely surprises. This never backfires - because there never is anybody in there when the tricorder says there isn't!

    Conversely, if the tricorder does say there's somebody in there, it's usually somebody injured, and the heroes waltz in and start looking for this non-threatening person - a process in which the tricorder isn't their primary tool, but this doesn't mean the apparently imperfect tool would be a handicap in combat.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. IrishNero

    IrishNero Commodore

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    Thank you, Timo. Yes, the tricorder could be used to 'see' what's inside a room. -If in fact they used them. However, the success of that method would depend upon them always using the tricorders (which as we can see, they do not) and upon the effectiveness of the tricorder's scan. -Which is actually in agreement with your second point. -The writers never allow the tricorder to be wrong, and don't care that they're not using them prior to blindly crashing into a room. :lol:
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The TNG phasers have so many blinkies on them that we could argue they also feature built-in tricorders capable of warning them of people behind the wall... ;)

    It's curious how in DS9 "The Passenger", Bashir says the tricorder is good at telling things about living people but often fails with establishing or characterizing death. Indeed, when he then uses the device on a supposedly dead person, he fails to see a highly plot-relevant fact! If the tricorder often reads "false negatives" on weak or obscure lifesigns, it should be a poor tool for securing a room before troops enter...

    Timo Saloniemi