KFS “Gunfighter Belt”

This is a widely-distributed item in the KFS military and is worn by aircrew, tank crew and APC crew.

Gunfighter Belt 2

The item consists of

Belt
Dual magazine pouch (9mm pistol ammunitionl)
Survival knife and sheath
Multitool and sheath
Waterproof holster and pistol (the KFS copy of the S&W Model 59)

Note 1: most users add another magazine pouch above the holster and use this to carry maps, compasses or additional rations. Packets of caffeinated chewing gum are a popular choice

Note 2: KFS Air Force pilots carry a pocket Survival Kit which includes the following

Personal Locator Beacon
Large Sharpie
Ballpoint Pen
Notepad
Small first aid kit
Laser Pointer
Small LED Flashight
Wood/flint Firestarter
Lighter (small “zippo” design)
Spare Batteries (For flashlight and laser)
Filter straw
Chemlight
Zip Ties
Duct tape
Signal Mirror

NPC Rolodex #7: Major Jason Carswell, Squadron Commander, KFS Air Force

Major Carswell Major Carswell is commander of RiverHawk Squadron and might be encountered anywhere within 100 kilometres of the KFS border.  He was forced into a crash-landing after his P-47 experienced engine failure – and now he’s “walking home”.   On his return, he intends to discipline his mechanics and recommend the SERE trainers for commendation.

Personality: Carswell is arrogant and tends to be over-confident.  However, he’s not stupid and has good self-discipline.  (Unlike many in the KFS Air Force, his rank was achieved on merit; it wasn’t just his family connections). Equipment: Flightsuit, 9mm pistol (only 6 rounds left) KFS “gunfighter” belt (contains maps, compass, etcetera)

Notes: Carswell’s only weapons are a pistol and a survival knife.  He won’t resist if faced by superior firepower (and would really appreciate a  good meal).

Uses in the game:  

Ransom: the KFS Air Force issues “blood chits” for its pilots and promises 10,000 credit reward for their return Prisoner Exchange: “Bullets & Blugrass” could run very differently if there’s a negotiation involved Information: If treated well, Carswell will be happy to chat about the KFS Air Force (he WANTS to impress)

EZOCORP – the KFS support service

Background: The KFS military appears to consist of purely combat units; they don’t have any support troops or the equivalent of a Logistics Corps (aka Quartermaster, Transport and Ordnance).   If so, this would be unique in modern military history

Proposal: The Rich 5 has a “non-military” way of supporting the KFS armed forces. They use a commercial/civilian company to do all the non-combat tasks that a military requires. [Real-world examples might be the operations of Dyncorp and KBR]. This enterprise is named EzoCorp.

EzoCorp is owned by the Rich 5 families (equal shares) and receives vast sums of money from the KFS treasury. Much of this money is given to the shareholders, but sometimes it is spent on things that the military wants and needs

The current EzoCorp CEO (Nichole Bentley) is from an Old Two Thousand Family and she has been trying to improve its public profile during the KFS expansion campaigns

“We don’t carry the guns, but we repair them,  we support the logistics supply chain, we fuel base camps, we build roads, we run telecommunications, we provide laundry and entertainment facilities. The whole 9 yards”

But EzoCorp people do carry guns. When the Army has secured an area, the company runs what it calls “Security and Stability” initiatives  to maintain order, recruit/train local security personnel and ensure that the supply convoys are running safely. In short, it operates in a role that would be assigned to the Military Police of most armies.

As one might expect, EzoCorp has a reputation for inefficiency, and corruption.  Also, it is generally regarded as a sleazy operation (even by KFS standards): the company runs brothels and finances Slaver operations to obtain “entertainment personnel”.

Senior and mid-ranking EzoCorp personnel are often veterans of the military or Secret Police (Border  Guards are often recruited).   The company likes to employ ex-officers who have “good connections” but it also finds roles for competent NCOs to manage the activities of low-level employees

Kentucky Border Guard Service

The “Bullets and Bluegrass” module mentions that the KFS Secret Police operate armored cars, aircraft and consider themselves “elite” military troops?   Has anyone ever wondered why?   Well, the answer is that one of their subordinate agencies is responsible for patrolling the KFS border (which is approximately 1700 kilometres in length).

The KFS Border Guard Service is a lightly-armed paramilitary/law-enforcement organization

There are 2 administrative units: the  “Northern” and “Southern” Border Guard Regiments (each of about 2500 men) and a River Patrol Force of about 1000.

Each Regiment has 2 Battalions. Each Battalion is divided into the HQ/Support Company and 20 “Patrol Teams”. Each of the Patrol Teams has 25 men, three pickup trucks and one (lightly armoured) command truck. A mobile reserve, equipped with sixteen V-300’s, is based at each Battalion’s HQ. Each Regiment also operates 8 light aircraft (6 fixed wing “utility” and 2 light helicopters)

Other transportation assets includes horses (which are provided for patrolling in difficult terrain) and motorcycles (issued for recon, courier and traffic control duties).

Border Guard Duties

  • interdicting illegal goods entering or leaving the country (the KFS does not allow the export of certain technologies)
  • collecting duties and taxes on imported goods (lots of room for bribery and corruption)
  • liaising with Army and KFS bases (the Border Guards are not equipped to deal with large, well-armed opposition

Border Guard Command Truck

Dogs in the KFS Military

Background

Despite the Kentucky Free State’s attempts to portray itself as a high-tech nation, it cannot rely entirely on machinery.  It makes extensive use of animals (specifically dogs) for military purposes . Some carry messages, some help in patrolling, some do guard duty, some are trained locate injured personnel , and others are draft animals – tasked with  pulling or carrying supplies.

Dogs Selected

Several types of dogs are used.   Not all dogs selected have to be large or strong – but all must be capable of being trained.   The KFS has been fairly successful in establishing a number of breeds  and the current “Military Dog” is a medium-to-large animal with good natural camouflage and an outstandingly loyal temperament.  However, it is not the only type of dog used and some “Terrier” dogs are considered well-suited for “guard” and “first aid” roles.

Continue reading “Dogs in the KFS Military”

KFS "Quad 50"

The KFS is forced to deal with 3 problems: challenges from the Morrow Project, changes in tactics by its (lower tech) enemies and its own limited manufacturing capabilities.  The “Quad 50” is a new and experimental solution; it uses 4 standard KFS heavy machine guns and mounts them on a lightly armoured trailer (which can be towed by a jeep, or even a team of horses).  This provides devasting firepower.  In fact, it has resulted in a reduced need for Close Air Support from the KFS Air force

The Quad-mount has also been well-received by KFS troops operating from static defensive positions.

Continue reading “KFS "Quad 50"”

KFS River Patrol: Air Service

The various Armed Forces of the Kentucky Free State are notorious for their bureaucratic infighting and lack of mutual trust.   Because of these problems, the KFS River Patrol finds it necessary to operate its own Air Force: a tiny squadron of 6 ultralight amphibians, known as “Defiants”.  These are “Wing in Ground Effect” vehicles:  hybrid boat/planes designed to cruise at a height of 3 metres above the surface of the river (although they can make “hops” to an altitude of 30 metres).

The unimpressive specifications are due to the the political power of the “real” KFS Air Force – which will not allow any other Service to operate vehicles that can fly above 100 feet.  These aircraft are not (officially) permitted to carry bombs but – even so – they are CHEAP and perform several useful functions for the River Patrol: reconnaissance, survey, artillery direction and liaison/communications.

Continue reading “KFS River Patrol: Air Service”

KFS River Patrol

The “Bullets and Bluegrass” module mentions that the troops of Fort Bundy should have modern means to cross the Ohio River.  But they don’t.

The above picture is one of the River Patrol assets that should be assigned to garrisons like Fort Bundy. It’s a small landing craft, capable of ferrying up to 32 troops, or 1 jeep or 1 pickup truck or approximately 2.5 tons of cargo.

real-world source of picture is Nigeria.  This is one of the units that protect the various pipelines and shipping docks that lie within Niger Delta – and conducts a continuous low-level war with MEND insurgents (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta)

KFS corruption ensures that these vessels are usually found performing services that the Five Families find more profitable than ferrying a platoon of troops.

These little craft are adequate patrol vessels and well-suited for “collecting taxes” (extortion) and ensuring that the Five Families have access to contraband goods.

As can be seen from the picture, they are well-armed (sometimes with up to 3 Heavy machine Guns or HMG/mortar combos) and have a shallow draft (approximately 0.7m when fully-loaded)

Note: this vessel is constructed from wood and (thin) steel.  It has no armour.  Therefore, the crews often pile sandbags around the wheelhouse and weapon stations

Length: 10.3 meters
Beam: 3.6 meters
Hull Type: mono hull
Power: Twin 225 hp
Propulsion: Outboards (30″ shaft)
Fuel/Duration: 200 gallons/5 hours
Top Speed: 42 mph in “light ship” mode.  As slow as 10 mph when fully loaded

Morrow Project Gazetteer: Poplar Bluff, Missouri

An Encounter with Townspeople. Or are they “Badges”, “Slavers” or even a “University”?

The City of Poplar Bluff –  “The Gateway To The Ozarks” – is one of the many trading communities that have appeared along the  Interstates and rivers that  lead to and from ‘civilized’ areas such as the New Confederacy, and the KFS. It provides a market and a way-station for river traders and Gypsy Truckers. The City has survived – and even prospered – because it ‘enjoys’ a number of advantages.  It has a strategic location:  the city is at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 60 and U.S. Highway 67.   The surrounding area is commonly called the “Three Rivers” . The three rivers (Current River, Black River, and St. Francis River)  are about 60 kilometres apart and Poplar Bluff is  near the the center (located on the Black River).

Poplar Bluff has 3 Other assets that may impact any Morrow Project operations in the Three Rivers area

1.  Three Rivers Community College provides training and education to the brighter/luckier/wealthier members of the community. As well as general education and some professional courses, it has a well-respected paramedic course. Each year, the top paramedic student is accepted for further training in the KFS.

Three Rivers College also trains craftsmen, mechanics/technicians and gunsmiths.

The City is extremely proud of the college and most of the local elite are alumni.  They meet for monthly reunions and contribute a tithe to college finances – all of which gives the College staff an immense amount of influence on local politics

2. Troop E of the Missouri Highway Patrol has been headquartered just outside Poplar Bluff since the 1930’s – and now recruits exclusively from the City. All new recruits must be graduates of the Community College’s “Criminal Justice” course (which includes training in weapons use, law, and the operation of motor vehicles and small boats).

The Patrol attempts to enforce laws for the protection of travellers and to ensure that Highways are safe and the 3 rivers kept navigable. Unfortunately, this laudable activity involves some questionable interpretation of legalities and – if arbitrary fines cannot be paid – involuntary work on repair gangs.  Even more regrettably, it’s common for these “repair gangs” to find themselves allocated to other work. Some of the more troublesome (or attractive) workers have been “leased” to the Kentucky Free State or the New  Confederacy.  Few of these convicts ever return

Incidentally, it’s difficult to say which is the best customer. The NC only wants to “lease” Black convicts, which limits the opportunities for trade but they do provide trade goods that the KFS won’t.

3. Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport.  The KFS has negotiated rights to use the Airport as a Weather Station and an emergency landing zone for its aircraft (a P47 visits at least once each year). The KFS pays rent in 2 ways: a little refined fuel and regular weather forecasts (both important to a farming community).

A KFS watchtower has been constructed at the Airport and is home to a small garrison of specialists