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UNSC Army Airborne
Chronological information


  • 2160-2170 (Combined UN/UNSC effort)
  • 2173-present (Reformed under UNSC Army)
Command information





Light infantry


Command Structure

  • UNSC Army
    • UNSC Army Airborne
Other information




  • "On the Horizon"
  • "From Nowhere"

"From nowhere, comes Sacrifice, Liberation, Salvation. Fail not for the unsheltered and the unshielded. Falter not, nor look behind. Race thee against the crashing of the tide. Fail not, for they are the unforgotten."
―Hymn written by Pastor James Norris Atterbare in memory of the Airborne troopers lost during the Siege of Paris IV.

The UNSC Army Airborne, also informally referred as "Airheads", are an elite light infantry component of the UNSC Army that are deployed via fixed-wing or VTOL aircraft within a planet's atmosphere. Focused on planetary defense, the Airborne specializes in deploying behind enemy lines, infiltration and rapid response anywhere around a planet.

For most of its history, the Army Airborne has been viewed as obsolete and unnecessary, a relic of the past that has been largely replaced by exo-atmospheric shock forces as humanity's primary rapid reaction force. Because of this, the Airborne faced scrutiny by both the civilian and military sector for most of its 400-year existence. This reaction by the public only prompted stronger resentment and rivalry between members of the Airborne and ODSTs, culminating in bitter competition between each other, much like their parent organizations. Despite this, the Army Airborne would continue to endure, confronting and defeating numerous challenges that faced them throughout its history, whether it was the emergence of a conflict, or the threat to shut down or dissolve the organization.

Public perception of the Army Airborne would remain mostly unchanged over the centuries, and would not be until the outbreak of the Insurrection before they began to be positively received. But the most significant change of reception would not come until the arrival of the Covenant, where a number of heroic actions and sacrifices would elevate the Army Airborne to legendary status. The war would test their resolve, as it did many UNSC servicemen and women; but for them, they'd suffer one of the highest attrition rates per capita in comparison to other UNSC military departments during the war. As the war continued to worsen, the Airborne would remain the vanguard of defense on many colonies, against all odds and low chances of survival, their stories would inspire millions across human space for years to come.

Role and Operations



"Where is the prince who can afford so to cover his country with troops for its defense, so that ten thousand men descending from the clouds might not, in many places, do an infinite deal of mischief before a force could be brought together to repel them?"
Benjamin Franklin, 1784.

The history of Airborne infantry is deeply rooted in the chaos that gripped and engulfed the first half of the 20th Century. With the onset of the First World War, the world would no longer see warfare the same again. Radical changes and innovations, notably the aeroplane and the advent of aerial warfare provided the prospect of what many thought unthinkable—invasion from the sky.

William C. Lee.png
American General William C. Lee was one of the major influences for Airborne operations during World War II and beyond.

During the later years of the war, the Allied Powers devised battle-plans in carrying out paratroop drops behind the lines of the Central Powers to disrupt supply chains and logistics, in hopes that it would break the deadlock. However, the war would end before the plans could be taken seriously or carried out. The Interwar period would see a number of experiments regarding the concept of parachuting infantry, with the first ever paratroop jumps taking place in 1927.

The outbreak of the Second World War would again forever alter the way war was waged, this time the utilization of the first ever Airborne operations would play key roles in some of the most significant battles of the conflict. The war proved the effectiveness of airborne assault, and following the war, paratroop forces would see a number of advances and innovations, as well as changes to their doctrine. In the later-half of the 20th Century and well into the 21st Century, airborne operations would evolve, large-scale parachute operations would be replaced by rapidly-deploying air assaults, forever changing the way Airborne units operate.

Interplanetary Wars

By the 22nd century, the usage of Airborne forces had been scaled down drastically, quickly becoming obsolete in a time where space-based conflict and orbital deployments took center stage. Despite their dwindling numbers, Airborne forces were still in use by various major military powers on Earth, and would be deployed during the outbreak of the Interplanetary Wars. As unrest engulfed South America in 2162, Airborne units notably from North America, Brazil, and Venezuela were organized under a joint-UN effort and conducted extensive combat operations in the deeper regions of the Amazon rainforest against Frieden and Koslovic strongholds. At first, resistance put up by Frieden and Koslovic forces was met with difficulty, but sustained operations supported by international Army and Marines forces helped shift the momentum for the UN, forcing the fascists and communists to fight a guerrilla war.

With the end of the Rainforest Wars, the use of Airborne forces diminished greatly as the war shifted outward across the Sol system, engulfing Earth's colonies. In 2164, UN military command began training a special operations Airborne brigade, the 47th Airborne Brigade for extra-vehicular activity to combat growing Koslovic insurgency on Luna. This brigade was conceptualized as an UN Army alternative to the UN Marine Corps' Drop Jet Platoons that saw action during the Mars Campaign in 2163. They were first deployed in 2166 to Mare Nubium to continue their training, which also happened to be a hot spot for Koslovic activity. That same year, an attack on Asimov Center occurred, killing thousands and exposing the settlement to the vacuum of space. The brigade engaged the Koslovics and eventually pushed them back, forcing them into a retreat via the surface tubes that connected the Asimov Center to the Luna OCS Academy. The fighting soon found its way into and outside of the academy, with the UN Airborne forces steady gaining ground and incurring heavy losses on the Koslovics, but also caused heavy collateral damage done to Lunar facilities and civilians. The reception of the battle, especially among Lunar residents, heavily criticized the UN Army's handling of the Koslovic threat. This would be the first and last time Airborne forces would be used for exo-atmospheric military operations for more than three-hundred years. However, the 47th Airborne Brigade would eventually evolve into the the 47th Airborne Division, nicknamed the Little Green Men, and would be one of the only UNSC Airborne divisions that continued to train for extra-vehicular activity well into the 26th century.


Human-Covenant War

"Here we go, all the way!
Here we go, everyday!
Marine Corps? God no!
Helljumper? Hell no!
Oh hail, oh hail, oh Infantry!
Born to fly, jump out with me!
D77 soaring through the sky!
Unhook the line, what a way to die!"
―Airborne cadence
Airborne BDU during the later half of the Human-Covenant War.

Siege of Paris IV



"As humanity continues to spread out among the stars, the structure of our Armed Forces will undergo a radical shift in complexity. We no longer deal with the natural barriers of oceans and mountains preventing military maneuver, now it's light-years, the unending void."
―UNSC Army General, Wilhelm Stroheim, 2365.

Much like its parent branch, the structure of the Army Airborne is one of complexity. The Airborne consists of three active components, the the Airborne, Airborne Reserve and Training Command, and the Airborne Special Operations Command. Airborne Reserve works in conjunction with the Army Reserve, conducting an average of four weeks of training annually. The Reserve however is only trained in air assault scenarios, and does not receive parachute training or orbital insertion training as the main Airborne component does.

Name Headquarters Subordinate to
Airborne combat maneuver units attached to ARFCOM
1stAirborneDivision.png 1st Airborne Division ("Red Devils") Fort Dover, Cambridge I Airborne Corps
6th Airborne Division ("Blue Devils") Fort Gale, Cambridge I Airborne Corps
17th.png 17th Airborne Division ("Golden Talons") Camp Lemieux, Paris IV Eighth Army
47thAirborneDivision.png 47th Airborne Division ("Little Green Men") Fort Cimmeria, Mars XIX Army Corps
72nd Airborne Division ("Sky Coyotes") Stroheim Army Air Base, Earth 56th Army
Patch of the 82nd Airborne Division.png 82nd Airborne Division ("Guard of Honor") Camp Szélanya, Reach XVIII Airborne Corps
93rdAirborneDivision.png 93rd Airborne Division ("Panthers") Tkachuk Barracks, Paris IV Eighth Army
101st Airborne Division.png 101st Airborne Division ("Screaming Eagles") Fort Hadúr, Reach XVIII Airborne Corps
142ndAirborneDivision.png 142nd Airborne Division Camp Davis, Earth 56th Army
Name Headquarters Subordinate to
Airborne Reserve and Training units
Jajovice Airborne and Special Actions School Jajovice Airbase, Mazovia Army Special Warfare Training Center



Super optimal.png The author, LoyalHaloFan urges and gives permission for any user who references this unit or vessel, UNSC Army Airborne, to add their article to the "Known" list below.


Pathfinders are an elite group of Airborne units specialized in special reconnaissance and unconventional warfare, often deploying behind enemy lines to throw the enemy into chaos. Pathfinders are the vanguard to an arriving Airborne assault, by severing the enemy's supply lines, communications and logistics, Pathfinders distract the enemy, preventing them from mobilizing a strong enough defense against the coming Airborne infantry.


SABREs are among the most highly trained special forces groups in the UNSC Army. Often split into teams ranging from two-to-four operators, SABRE carries out the more morally ambiguous operations against high-value targets, earning the reputation as the "Army's ONI" during the Insurrection. During the Human-Covenant War, their skills once again proved useful against Covenant field commanders and leaders on besieged human worlds, resulting in the assassinations of thousands of high-ranking Sangheili, San'Shyuum, and Jiralhanae officials throughout the war. After the war, SABRE continued to carry out assassinations of leaders from both Insurrectionist and Covenant splinter factions.


Firearms In Service

Firearm Date Adopted Description
Rifles and Carbines
MA37 Render.png
MA37 Individual Combat Weapon System
2437 (Recalled)
The MA37 has seen widespread use in the Army and its subdivisions, becoming a favorite among Army troopers. The Airborne finally adopted the rifle in 2447 after a number of issues were reported by Airborne troopers, citing malfunctions and unreliability with the rifle. During the ten-year recall, the Airborne opted to return to using the MA12 ICWS for the time being. By 2500, the MA12 was retired entirely.
MA5D Render.png
MA57 Individual Combat Weapon System
In 2557, the Army formally adopted the MA5D model service rifle. However, a few alterations were made to the design and performance and was renamed as the MA57.
DT MA5K by Brian Tien.png
MA37K Carbine
The MA5K was adopted by SABRE units at the turn of the century and have responded well to its use on the field citing its modular design. The Airborne is currently discussing the use and deployment of the MA5K among other units to adopt as an alternative service rifle.
M392 DMR Render.png
M392 Designated Marksman Rifle
The M392 DMR has received widespread acclaim with the Airborne. Airborne troopers have praised its performance, accuracy and reliability, with many claiming the M392 being the finest weapon system they've ever used.
M395 DMR Render.png
M395 Designated Marksman Rifle
Along with its predecessor, the DMR weapon system has received strong praise by Airborne units. The Airborne currently expects to keep both DMR models in service until 2579 before seeking a replacement.
SRS99C-S2 AMD Render.png
Sniper Rifle System 99C-Series 2 Anti-Matériel
An instant favorite, the Series 2 was a welcome addition for Airborne snipers seeking a high-powered sniper rifle. Reactions have been largely positive and the Airborne plans to keep the sniper rifle well into the later half of the 26th Century.

Firearm Date Adopted Description
Sidearms and Personal Defense Weapons
M6G Magnum (2552) (HA).png
M6G Personal Defense Weapon System
The M6G is the standard-issue sidearm issued to Airborne troopers. The M6G was adopted by the Airborne by 2493, citing its increased reliability and improved stopping power compared to their previous sidearms.
M6C SOCOM1.png
The M6C/SOCOM was requisitioned by the Airborne for use for Special Actions and Pathfinder units. The Airborne also uses a converted M6G/SOCOM variant as well, but has been greatly underutilized.
M6H2 Magnum (HA).png
M6H Personal Defense Weapon System
The M6H started seeing widespread use among all UNSC branches in the 2550s, and in 2555 the M6H had been adopted by the Army and was slowly phasing out the M6G.
M26 Personal Defense Weapon
The M26 was brought into service by the Airborne as a replacement to its former PDW, but was met with mixed reception by Airborne units during the Human-Covenant War.

Firearm Date Adopted Description
Support Weapons
M45 Tactical Shotgun
Used in close-quarters engagements, the Airborne has seen limited use with them. However, some Airborne troopers and some SABREs and Pathfinders prefer the M45 shotgun depending on the mission.
M319 - Side Profile.png
M319 Individual Grenade Launcher
An ancient and reliable weapon, the UNSC has used the M319 IGL for centuries, and hasn't failed them yet. The M319 proved its age and worth during the Insurrection, and later during the Human-Covenant War.
M739 Squad Automatic Weapon
The Airborne adopted the SAW in the later years of the Insurrection, but saw larger use during the Human-Covenant War. The weapon was praised by Airborne troopers as a lifesaver against the Covenant threat.
Asymmetric Recoilless Carbine-920
The ARC-920 has seen limited use with the Airborne, but has proved to be an effective anti-tank/anti-vehicle weapon. The weight of the weapon has relegated the weapon to being used against heavily armored hostiles, and the Airborne has considered retiring it.
M41 SPNKR (HA).png
M41 Anti-Vehicle Rocket System "Jackhammer"
The M41 AVRS has being widely used and praised by all branches of the military. However, some drawbacks like its handling and reliability in extreme weather have created a love-hate relationship between the AVRS and the Airborne.
M57 Anti-Vehicle Rocket System "Pilum"
The Airborne's latest adoption. Set to replace the M41 AVRS across all branches, use of the M57 has been limited.


Vehicle Date Adopted Description
Light Vehicles
H5G - M12 Warthog render.png
M12 Force Application Vehicle
The Warthog serve a wide array of purposes for the Airborne, and on occasion, drops in with Airborne units to provide rapid movement across the battlefield.
M285 Light Reconnaissance Sled "Yak"
The M285 LRS has seen limited service with Army Airborne and Ranger units. Despite its limited usage, the Yak has provided reliable transportation during operations involving heavy snowfall or arctic climates.
M274 Ultra-Light All-Terrain Vehicle
Usually dropped in with Airborne units, the Mongoose provides excellent reconnaissance capabilities, and is utilized to a greater extent by the smaller SABRE and Pathfinder teams.

Vehicle Date Adopted Description
Heavy Vehicles
M66 Mobile Gun System "Lynx"
Supplementing the armored role for the Airborne, the M66 Lynx sacrifices armor for speed, but sports a heavy 120mm cannon capable of serving in both tank destroyer and armored personnel carrier roles. Originally manufactured for the Army, the M66 Lynx went uder review by the Marine Corps and was later adopted by them in 2539.
HW2 Mastodon.png
M650 Armored Personnel Carrier
The Mastodon provides the Airborne transport during large-scale operations, and its heavily armored body and countermeasures protect the vehicle against most anti-vehicle weaponry.
HW2 Wolverine.png
M9 Main Anti-Aircraft Tank
The Airborne only fields a small amount of Wolverines, but they provide a number of uses when deployed during operations to ambush enemy aircraft behind their lines or in preparation for major Army offensives.


Vehicle Date Adopted Description
D-77 Pelican.png
D77-Troop Carrier
The Pelican serve a wide array of roles for the Airborne. Up to and including aerial insertion, close air support, and medical evacuation.
HaloReach - Falcon.png
UH-144 Falcon
The Falcon is used by the Airborne during air assault operations, and its armaments allow the Falcon to provide air support after unloading its passengers.
AV-22 Sparrowhawk.png
AV-22 Sparrowhawk
The Sparrowhawk is used by the Airborne as a close air support aircraft once air superiority has been achieved.
UHS-233 Raven.png
UH/S-223 Raven
Outfitted with stealth countermeasures and materials, the Raven is used for high-risk black operations carried out by SABRE operators. The Raven saw use during the Insurrection for infiltration and high-value assassination operations.
UV-166 Buzzard.png
UV-166 Buzzard
Resembling the Pelican, the Buzzard is a small stealth-capable aircraft used by the Airborne for High-altitude insertions.

Drone Aircraft

Support Equipment



Public Perception

Airborne/ODST rivalry

Miracle at Paris IV


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