High Guard Fleet Organization
The Systems Commonwealth High Guard is charged with the defense and exploration of the entire Local Galactic Group region, an area of the universe trillions of cubic light-years in size. It is divided into 10 area fleets, each charged with local forward presence responsibilities in the various galactic entities that comprise the Local Group. These fleets are further sub-divided into Heavy Cruiser Battle Groups (HCBGs) and Planetfall Readiness Groups (PRGs). At present, there are just over 360,000 ships in the High Guard, of which nearly 150,000 are dedicated combat/exploration platforms. The remaining 210,000 assets form the backbone of High Guard long-range logistics support operations.
Heavy Cruiser Battle Group (HCBG)
The standard Heavy Cruiser Battle Group includes one Heavy Cruiser (XMC), four Deep Standoff Attack ships (DSA), sixteen Group Defense Frigates (GDF), nine Long-Range Surveillance ships (LRS), and four Supply and Maintenance ships (SAM). HCBGs are the primary instrument of forward presence for the High Guard. Because of their size and multi-mission capability, they are the unit of choice for Missions of Commonwealth, including diplomatic services, first contact missions, intergalactic exploration and sanction enforcement. The standard distribution of assets in an HCBG is approximately 3-4 light-seconds, with the XMCs and SAMs at the core surrounded by concentric spheres of DSAs, GDFs and LRSs. In combat operations, the XMC serves as the general command and control platform, though latency issues tend to put reliance on individual asset commanders to operate somewhat independently. As a result, HCBG combat doctrine tends to be rigid with respect to the rules of engagement and general maneuver.
Planetfall Readiness Group
The standard Planetfall Readiness Group includes one Atmospheric Attack Craft Carrier (AAC), nine Drop Ship Carriers (DSC), four GDFs, three LRS and two SAMs. PRGs are the tip of the spear for all planetary combat operations. While they are rarely used for Missions of Commonwealth, they have proven ideal for disaster relief operations and planetary exploration. The standard distribution of a PRG during operations is as follows: the AAC and DSCs in high orbit at distances determined by the circumstances, an inner patrol of GDFs at approximately 2 light seconds from the core and an outer LRS patrol approximately 5 light seconds distant. The SAM usually stays within several thousandths of a GDF escort or the operational core depending on the threat environment. During combat operations, the AAC serves as the Group Operational Commander (GOC).