Athens – Citing lessons learned during the war against Germany and the intervention in Malta, the Ministry of Defence had tasked a committee to develop a plan to fundamentally reorganize the Hellenic Forces’ special operations capabilities. In an era of grand wars against generally evenly matched opponents the Athenian Federation had little use for elite special operations, and as a result had not spent much focus on their organization.
Taking its place as the number one military in the world however, the need to shift to a highly professional surgical force has become a policy priority for the Empress and her Magistrate of Defence. Based on the findings, the Empress has today authorized the establishment of the Advanced Response and Elite Support, or ARES, Command as the inter-branch overarching special operations command for all the Hellenic Forces. ARES Operators are tasked with the full range of objectives including but not limited to direct action, special reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, unconventional warfare and psychological warfare.
The report states that unifying the special operations capabilities of all branches allows the Hellenic Forces to pool resources, training, knowledge and a wide range of other valuable assets to make each member branch greater than it could be on its own. Encouraging extensive cooperation also guarantees smoother operation during large scale operations where multiple special operations units are involved. The Hellenic Army, Hellenic Air Force, Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Marine Corps and the Hellenic Space Force will each set up their own special operations commands structured similarly to ARES, to preserve the capability of each branch to run independent special operations. However these commands will be below ARES in the Chain of Command. ARES itself reports directly to the War Council and even though its Commanding Officer is part of one of the branches they may act only upon orders of the Empress or the War Council and not their own Branch Heads. This simplified command structure has been made to reduce bureaucratic overhead for operations where time is often not a resource available in abundance.
While the exact size of ARES Command and its formations are classified, the previously independent special operations units part of it were specified.
- 1st Infantry Razor Division “Heracles”
- 13th Airborne Razor Brigade “Icarus’ Revenge”
- 5th Rapid Intervention Brigade “Ares’ Spear”
- 2nd Support Razor Division
- Psychological Operations Command
- 3rd Civil Affairs Group
- Hellenic Army Special Operations Force (HASOF) “Spartans”
Hellenic Air Force:
- Special Search, Interception and Interdiction Units
- 2nd Unmanned Aerial Operations Warfare Wing
- 5th Unmanned Aerial Operations Warfare Wing
- 44th Combat Wing
- 124th Quick Reaction Squadron
- Hellenic Air Force Special Operations Transport Command
- Hellenic Navy Special Operations Force (HNSOF) “Atlanteans”
- Autonomous Insertion Force
- Marine Delivery Support
- Navy and Marine Corps Special Support Group
Hellenic Marine Corps:
- Marine Vanguard Force “Odysseus’ Few”
- Marine Advanced Reconnaissance Razor Units
Hellenic Space Force:
- Space Marines
- Exo-Atmospheric Rapid Response Force
- Cyber Warfare Support Group
- Space Force Special Support Group.
Excluding support personnel, pilots and other staff not regularly utilizing a gun and engaging in combat this places estimates of the total force between 20,000 and 30,000 Operators. While the sizes of Special Operations Forces throughout the world are closely guarded secrets, this almost certainly makes ARES one of the strongest special operations groups in the world.