Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Galaxy at War
See also: GaW Military Units
The Katarn Commandos are the most celebrated black ops unit of The New Republic- the ones who get the call when impregnable strongholds need breaching or invincible superweapons need destroying. The Katarn Commandos rarely earn public accolades, but their enemies known them well.
The group was founded as the SpecForce 32nd commando unit during the Galactic Civil War under the command of Bren Derlin. They fought tenaciously during the Battle of Hoth, holding off advancing Snowtroopers long enough to enable the evacuation of the Rebellion's command staff. In recognition of the efforts of the 32nd, General Crix Madine recommended that the unit be assigned to protect Alliance High Command, directly answerable to commander-in-chief Mon Mothma. The unit fought as part of General Han Solo's strike team during the Battle of Endor, after which Derlin turned the reins of the unit over to Lieutenant Judder Page.
Page accepted the responsibility but refused to accept a promotion. The rest of the team followed his unorthodox lead. The unit became even more independent and irregular, disappearing into the field for weeks or months at a time without reporting in to New Republic contacts, yet always achieving its objective. As its reputation grew, the 32nd became known as Page's Commandos.
The team often went far beyond its mission objectives. Dispatched by New Republic command to destroy a shield generator during the capture of Basilisk, Page's Commandos went on to destroy the generator powering the garrison cannons, to ground a wing of TIEs with an electrified net over the hangar launch chute, and to force Imperial governor Nistola's surrender after penetrating his heavily armed flying fortress. When General Garret landed with a New Republic invasion force, he took the capital without firing a shot.
Kyle Katarn, one of The New Republic's top operatives, joined Page's Commandos in The New Republic's early years, aiding the team in top-secret missions against Imperial warlords on worlds including Kashyyyk, Boudolayz, and Garos IV. Around this time, the team changed its name to The Katarn Commandos- some say as a tribute to Commander Katarn, although Wookiee member Frorral insisted the name referred to her homeworld's jungle predator.
Lieutenant Page sometimes worked solo, contributing his expertise to such campaigns as the capture of Coruscant and the war against Grand Admiral Thrawn. Eventually, Page grudgingly accepted a promotion to captain, and The Katarn Commandos continued to fight during the Yuuzhan Vong Invasion and the Second Galactic Civil War.
The Katarn Commandos is a semiautonomous unit allowed a great deal of freedom and creativity in accomplishing its objectives. Although subordinate to the New Republic commander-in-chief and to any ranking officer assigned to its campaign, The Katarn Commandos is entrusted with operating on its own to deliver results that benefit the overall plan. General Rieekan once likened the process to "Tossing a nest of fire wasps into a bursa's lair and seeing what happens next."
One The Katarn Commandos makes planetfall, its members go comm silent until the completion of the mission (Unless they require emergency extraction, which is an extremely rare occurrence). The team is not appropriate for space combat missions, but in planetary environments or on Space Stations, it is capable of causing a great deal of damage.
The members of the team have a wide range of specialties, including urban combat and heavy weapons, with some members devoted to keeping the unit alive during long deployments by locating food, repairing gear, and finding clover. Judder Page, with his bland, unmemorable good looks, is ideal at undercover work, sometimes disguising himself as one non-Human being or another. True non-Human members of the squad can rarely pull off the same trick and prefer to remain hidden until called upon to unleash their talents.
The team members pride themselves on staying out of sight. A perfect mission relies solely on stealth, with enemy forces realizing that The Katarn Commandos has paid a visit only when their ion cannon explodes.
A typical mission for The Katarn Commandos begins with a drop-ship landing in a planet's wilderness. When such landings are not possible, missions can start with paraglider drops from low orbit designed to slip through enemy sensor nets, or with passage booked aboard public starliners to allow for easy disappearance into crowds during layovers at port.
No matter how they get there, The Katarn Commandos spends roughly the first half of an assignment lying low and gathering intelligence to assess the situation on the ground. Its members might disguise themselves as corporate workers in a bustling city block or buy rounds in the cantina and listen to the local scuttlebutt. If the target is more remote, the team's members might spend days living in the treetops, watching enemy installations through macrobinoculars and taking note of fixed defenses and guard rotations.
The Katarn Commandos team never rushes in with blasters blazing. During extraction missions, the team nabs its target when he or she is lightly guarded, then retreats to a prearranged safe port. During sabotage missions, the team plants explosives (Or causes enough damage to trigger the target's own destruction), then uses the blast to cover its escape. In all cases, the team takes every possible step to minimize contact with the enemy.
Rank Structure Edit
The members of The Katarn Commandos have little use for rank. The unit's most famous leader, Lieutenant Jugger Page, turned down countless promotions. As a result, its operational rank structure is essentially a two-stage hierarchy: the commander and everyone else.
The unit typically numbers 12 individuals. Although all members have well-rounded backgrounds in combat and survival, each possesses a unique skill that benefits the team as a whole. Members defer to the team's appropriate specialist during the relevant portions of each mission, which results in an informal second-tier command structure that changes on the fly.
The members of the team include the following:
- Two urban combat specialists, adept at blending into crows and fighting on rooftops or in crowded corridors.
- Two techs, responsible for repairing equipment in the field and improvising traps and explosives.
- One wilderness combat specialist, skilled in forest camouflage and in using the enemy's environment against them. This specialist often serves as the de facto expert in mountain, swamp, arctic, and aquatic environments as well.
- One Pathfinder, who fills the role of team scout. During the early stages of a mission, the pathfinder is responsible for directing the team and often is the temporary second-in-command.
- One Heavy Weapons specialist, comfortable with Missile Launchers, Thermal Detonators, cannons, blasters, and just about everything else that can cause an explosion.
- One Infiltrator, who often works alone to gain access to an enemy base and assist the rest of the team from an inside position.
- One scrounger, capable of visiting a junkyard and finding the parts to repair an Airspeeder, piece together a functioning Droid, or brew up an edible stew.
- One Medic. In the history of The Katarn Commandos, no injured member has ever been left behind.
- One pilot/comm specialist. The team pilot can fly almost anything and is a skilled shipjacker. The pilot also sends, monitors, and jams communications signals.
- The commander, a position held by Lieutenant Page but filled by other members when Page was unavailable. Kyle Katarn sometimes led the team, but more often, he served as its Heavy Weapons specialist under Page's direction.
Not only does rank mean little to The Katarn Commandos, but most members do not even consider themselves part of the regular military. Their unit emblem is a stylized, leaping katarn set against a background of stars. Members of the Commandos rarely wear uniforms emblazoned with this design- due partly to the nature of their infiltration missions and partly to the fac that they hate wearing "Soldier Suits"- but during raids, they sometimes leave the insignia behind as a calling card to deepen Imperial fears of this supposedly unstoppable New Republic squad.
Katarn Commandos Heroic Units Edit
See also: Heroic Units
|NAME||CHALLENGE LEVEL||AFFILIATION NOTES|
|Jedi Academy Training Manual|
|Kyle Katarn||CL 14||A former gun-for-hire, who becomes a prominent figure to both The New Republic and Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order.|