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UNSC Marine Corps Special Tactics and Operations
Unit Background
  • Special Operations
  • Intelligence collection in the deep battlespace
  • Battlespace preparation by sabotage and offensive raids in the medium and deep battlespace
  • Internal Counter-terrorism
  • External counter Terrorism
  • Training soldiers of other races and training guerrillas in unconventional warfare
  • Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) activities in support of UNSC and AUR
  • Protection of senior UNSC and AUR dignitaries and VIPs
Unit Motto

"Kill the Night"

Unit size

1000 STO operators (1 Regiment)

Current Commander

Colonel Gary Stirling

Current Status



"We're the best of the best, but we're only human."
―Lieutenant 'Mac'

The Special Tactics and Operations unit is one of the most elite UNSC special forces group, founded in the heat of battle. They are the primary deep battlespace operators and counter terrorism unit in the UNSC. It is a amalgamation of older UNSC special forces such as NavSpecWar teams, the Special Operations Service and newer special forces ideals.


They were formed from a volunteer unit present during the protracted campaign on Attican IV, where they were highly successful in unconventional warfare behind enemy lines. They succeed in tying up enemy rear line forces and causing serious harm to their rear line, prompting them to be crated into a new special forces unit. Using the best Marines available, they quickly became the premier special operations unit, only being succeeded by the 117th Special Operations regiment. They did however hold the crown in guerrilla, counter terrorism, counter revolutionary and guerrilla training operations.


Each Regiment comprises a number of "Sabre" Squadrons with some supporting functions being undertaken within Headquarters, Planning, and Intelligence Section, Operational Research Section, Counter Revolutionary Warfare Wing, and Training Wing. ('Sabre' Squadrons are so called to distinguish the operational squadrons from administrative or HQ squadrons.)

Each 'Sabre' Squadron of is divided into five 16-man Troops which specialize in a variety of insertion skills (Air Troop, Boat Troop, Mobility Troop, Orbital and Mountain Troop).

The Squadrons also rotated and is relieved every 6 – 9 months. The squadron is split up into two combined troops, "Alpha" and "Bravo", with each troop made up of an assault group and a sniper team. The specialist counter terrorism eight-man teams are based at vital colonies, Earth, and at nexus at the outer colonies for counter terrorism operations.


'Sabre' Squadrons in STO are organized as four specialized Troops, although personnel are broadly skilled in all areas following 'Selection' and 'Continuation' training. The specialized troop provide a focus for particular skillsets and personnel may move between Troops over the length of a career.

Air Troop

Air Troop personnel specialize in airborne insertion from Dropships such as the Gull, Pelican, Petrel, Auk and Tern. Leaving the aircraft at high altitude personnel or using the aircraft to drop them off, they are capable of delivering personnel and equipment into the deep battlespace far beyond the forward edge of battle area in support of their ISTAR or offensive operations. They can also use these to deploy directly to raids, deploy HOPE vehicles ro deploy as rapid raection or shock troopers.

Personnel are trained in three principal forms of parachute infiltration; Basic static line, High Altitude, Low Opening (HALO) and High Altitude, High Opening (HAHO). HALO insertions involve a long free fall followed by canopy opening at low level, about 2,000 feet (600 m), leaving the operator exposed to detection and fire for the minimum possible period. The aircraft must overfly in the vicinity of the Drop Zone to effect delivery, risking a compromise to the mission should it be detected. HAHO insertions allow the aircraft to deliver the operators from a significantly greater range from the Drop Zone, thus reducing risk of mission compromise. Operators leave the aircraft and immediately deploy a canopy which allows a long glide over great distance. To avoid hypoxia, the parachutists are provided with an oxygen supply to survive the depleted air at high altitude and warm clothing protects from the extreme environmental conditions.

Boat Troop

Boat Troop personnel specialize in water-borne insertion techniques.

Personnel are trained in diving using Open and Closed Circuit breathing systems, learning skills in sub-surface navigation, approaching the shore or vessels underway and the delivery of maritime demolition charges to shore or or naval target.

Once proficient in diving, personnel learn methods of surface infiltration. One of the main forms of transportation is still the canoe. however, they do use M54 Swordfish Rigid Inflatable Boat to silent insertion, the M64 Pike Patrol Boat for offensive insertions and the Dolphin-class Landing Craft for stealthy shore line insertion.

Entry to the water from dropship and by parachute drop is also practiced. The Dropship hovers some 50 feet (15 m) above the water, personnel simply jumping out. Airborne entry to the water carries a significant risk to equipment with weapons and other equipment sealed using a dry bag.

Insertion from submerged Dolphins is also practiced, acting as a method of submarinal insertion.

Mobility Troop

Mobility Troop personnel specialize in vehicle insertion techniques and allows a more sustainable patrol in the medium to deep battlespace but creates logistical and force protection challenges.

Personnel are required to gain skills in vehicle maintenance across the range of vehicles used by the Regiment, particularly whilst on patrol with limited opportunity for combat support. Vehicles include the M17 Weasel Fast Attack Vehicle and variations, M12B4 Warthog Knight Force Application Vehicle, M12B Warthog Assassin Rapid Assault Vehicle and the M274 Mongoose ULATV.

Mountain Troop

Mountain Troops personnel specialize in the conduct of operations at high altitude and in mountainous terrain, requiring advanced skills in climbing, ice climbing, skiing and cold weather survival. Training is conducted in deserts and mountain ranges around the AUR territory. A number of members from the mountain troops have participated in major military and civilian expeditions to some of the galaxies highest peaks although this has not been without loss.

Orbital Troop

The Orbital Troop utilities the cream of the crop from the ODSTs, EVAT and IBST troops. They specialize in extra atmospheric insertion, raiding and orbital HOPE Vehicle Entry insertion methods.

Special Operations Divisions in the Necros War
UNSC Marines, First Echelon: STO | Night Runners | SPARTAN-IVs

Marines, Second Echelon: ODSTs

Marines, Third Echelon: Commandos | Rangers | SFWSG | Stalkers | EVAT | Hellbringers

Marines, Fourth Echelon: PSYOPS | Guardian | Spear Head

Navy: ANWG | SOW | Flight Testing Group | NavWar DevGru

Joint: Joint Evaluation and Tactics Group

USR Operation Divisions: Commandos | Spec Ops | Assassins | Pathfinders | Rangers | Assault Troopers | Avengers | Fleet Security

Military Orders: Light of Helios | Guardians of Faith | Honour Guard | Ascetics

Machina GEARS Project
Vorenus SPECTRES | STARS | FEAR | START | Vanguards
Plainsfierians Sentinel Unit
Jiralhanae Alliance Brute Ravager | Brute Stormtrooper
Kig-Yar Regime Kig-Yar Scout | Kig-Yar Shocktrooper | Kig-Yar Stormtrooper | Kig-Yar Butcher | Kig-Yar Bodyguard | Kig-Yar Bombardier | Kig-Yar Assassin | Black Claw
Yanme'e Hives Yanme'e Slayer | Yanme'e Berserker
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