The 263rd Marine Strike Group was a marine strike group embarked on the Sovereign-class heavy cruiser USS Black Hawk beginning in 2378. The current Officer in Charge is Colonel William "Junior" Hof, who also serves as the Black Hawk's First Officer. (Star Trek: Black Hawk)
The nickname for the 263rd is "The Hawk's Talons" and its motto is "We are the BOLD!". Both are in reference the Black Hawk and its motto "Fortune Favors the Bold".(Citation needed)
USS Black Hawk (NCC-75004) Edit
Upon the commissioning of the USS Black Hawk in 2477 the 263rd Marine Strike Group was stood up as well. Intent on furthering the Black Hawk's primary mission of diplomacy, the 263rd was designated as a Diplomatic Security Section and Honor Guard.
The Strike Group officially numbered only 20 regular marines and its day-to-day leader was a First Sergeant. All officers assigned to the unit were reservists who spent a large majority of their time with their primary duties associated with the Black Hawk.
In 2381 the 263rd Marine Strike Group was greatly expanded under orders from Vice Admiral Jeffery Higdon, the captain of the USS Black Hawk. Under the direct supervision of the newly arrived Marine Captain William Hof, who served initially as the units Deputy Officer-in-Charge, the Strike Group was expanded into a reinforced Military Police company with nearly 150 active marines.
Even with this expansion, the mission of the 263rd remained largely unchanged. Still remaining the Diplomatic Security and Honor Guard missions as priorities, Captain Hof insisted that the Strike Group train extensively in infantry tactics along with their normal training as Military Police marines. All of these skills would serve them well during the Lo'Sard Coup of 2386. ("Adonis and Aphrodite")
The 263rd Marine Strike Group is listed on official alert rosters as a reinforced Military Police company. The reinforcing elements are centered around support functions that allow the unit to be independently deployed as an infantry company or undertake investigations that would normally be outside the range of expertise of a normal Military Police company.
- Headquarters Squad - This squad contains most of the service support forces assigned to the company and answers directly to the Officer-in-Charge. Day to day functions of the Headquarters Squad are overseen by the Strike Group's NCO-in-Charge.
- Command Element - The official placement of the Strike Group's Officer and Deputy Officers-in-Charge, along with the NCO-in-Charge, Communications Coordinator, and Fleet Liaison NCO.
- Maintenance Section - The three marines of this section oversee the care and maintenance of all equipment, weapons, and ordnance used by the Strike Group.
- Supply Section - These four marines oversee the proper supply of the Strike Group under all conditions. The duties involve the use of matter replication systems, battery chargers, and the ever constant paperwork that these services tend to produce.
- Food Service Section - A rather unusual addition to a Marine Strike Group like the 263rd, these five marines will nonetheless ensure the proper dietary and survival food necessities of the Strike Group.
- Intelligence Section - These eight marines are officially assigned to the Strike Group, however, they tend to find themselves assisting the Admiral Higdon as his personal intelligence staff - especially after his appointment as Commander of the 12th Fleet.
- Military Police Platoon (x2) - Named Alpha Platoon and Bravo Platoon, these formations are straight forward military police platoons with no additions or changes from the norm. Lead by a Lieutenant and Staff Sergeant, each platoon contains three 12-men squads each lead by a Sergeant.
- Military Police Platoon - The primary reason the 263rd Marine Strike Group is listed as a reinforced company is because it has a third platoon assigned. Named Charlie Platoon, this platoon maintains the same organization as the other two of the Strike Group's platoons, however, the three squads are staffed by specialists instead of regular Military Police marines.
- First Squad (Investigations) - Containing twelve criminal investigators, these marines serve as the Strike Group's detective bureau.
- Second Squad (Crime Lab) - This squad is a criminal sciences unit that specializes in the more empiric methods of criminal investigation. There are four crime scene investigators, four who specialize in laboratory forensic sciences, and four psychological criminologists.
- Third Squad (Corrections) - A squad of twelve corrections marines who specialize in detaining individuals. This squad is tasked with maintaining the brig facilities aboard the Black Hawk, and is usually assigned to close personal protection of any number of VIPs, especially Admiral Jeffery Higdon.
USS Black Hawk (NCC-75004-A) Edit
After the USS Black Hawk-A was commissioned in the episode "Swansong" the 263rd again became its assigned Marine Strike Group. However, unlike its previous incarnation, it is a Combined Arms Force consisting of aerospace fighters, infantry marines, and a support/logistics detachment.
The 263rd Marine Strike Group as of 2390 has a thousand men assigned from three different units. The following is the basic organization for this Strike Group.
- 263rd Marine Strike Group - This is the Command Element for all marines serving aboard the USS Black Hawk. The 263rd stays with the ship at all times, unlike the other units which can be transferred or reassigned en mass. The Command Element has sections devoted to Administration, Operations, Intelligence, Supply and Logistics, and Communications. A small Headquarters Commandant Section oversees the day to day operations of the 263rd only.
- Civil Affairs Team - The 263rd has a Civil Affairs Team drawn from the Starfleet Marine Corps' Special Operations Branch. They will typically undertake missions relating to civilian/military interactions and civil improvements; however, they are more than capable of acting as a covert mission team or assault group, and training the rest of the strike group is such missions.
- Military Police Platoon - Harkening back to the origins of the 263rd Marine Strike Group, there remains a single platoon of 25 Military Police marines. They have two squads of 9 marines along with specialists in forensic sciences, counter-intelligence, investigations, and physical protection.
- Medical Platoon - This medical platoon specializes in treating shock-trauma injuries that would result from combat actions. It contains enough equipment and personnel to operate a single operating suite, 2 emergency receiving suites, an evacuation/transport section, along with a small pharmacy and laboratory section.
- Combat Engineering Platoon - A small 25-men platoon that serves the general engineering of the Strike Group. Besides a small command element it has a 9-men combat engineering squad, and an 8-men explosive ordnance disposal squad.
- Marine Fighter Squadron 254 (VMF-254) - This is a full Marine Fighter Squadron with 16 F-42 Göndul Space Supremacy Fighters. With 355 marines assigned it can undertake around the clock combat operations along with maintaining all of its fighters. Because of the large size of this unit, it was necessary for it to largely replace the Black Hawk's Shuttle Division; meaning that these marines are also responsible for maintaining all the shuttlecraft assigned to the ship.
- Additional Airframes - VMF-254 is required to have 16 fighters ready for immediate action at all times, however in order to meet this requirement they would need more than just 16 airframes. At any given time there are two F-42 airframes undergoing routine but extensive overhaul maintenance. These can be returned to service if required, allowing the squadron to field 18 fighters, but it would require nearly 72 hours to do so. They also maintain two F-42B fighters, the two-seat trainer version of the basic "Göndul" fighter.
- "Navajo" Battalion, 187th Regiment of Foot - The Ground Combat Element of the Strike Group is a battalion of light infantry. Taking it name from the old communications code for the 263rd's Headquarters Section when it was a single military police company - battalions don't have permanent names - this unit contains 410 infantry marines. It has a small 10-men Command Element and four 100-men companies. Companies D, E, and F are rifle companies with a headquarters, two rifle platoons, and a weapons platoon. Company H is a weapons company that can field 6 heavy machine guns, 6 automatic grenade launchers, 2 infantry cannons, 2 heavy missile launchers, and 2 medium mortars.
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