Andorian Defense Force
|Andorian Defense Force|
Protection of Andorian People
In the days of the Andorian Empire, the Andorian Defense Force, then called the Andorian Imperial Guard, was the primary military force of the Andorian Empire, together with the Am Tal, in the 19th to the 22nd century. When Andoria, Vulcan, Earth, and Tellar founded the Federation, the Imperial Guard continued its mission of assisting Starfleet in the protection of the Andorian people and the moon Andoria.
In the 20th to 22nd centuries Andoria was in the midst of a cold war with Vulcan. The Andorians believed that the Vulcans were a cold and calculating race, whereas the Vulcans saw the Andorians as being duplicitous, honoring only those agreements that they wished to. The highlights of this cold war included the planetoid Weytahn/Paan Mokar and the Battle of Andoria.
The planetoid Weytahn was a Class-D planetoid on the border of the Andorian Empire and Vulcan space. Believing that the terraforming project on Weytahn was to spy on the Vulcan people, the Vulcan High Command demanded that the Vulcan government be allowed to annex the planetoid. The Andorians reluctantly agreed and the planet was desolate for over 100 years. In the 2100s Commander Thy'lek Shran of the IGV Kumari took control of the planetoid for Andoria once again with the help of Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise NX-01. The planet came under Andorian jurisdiction again, adding fuel to a fire.
The conflict ended with the Battle of Andoria. The battle began when a Romulan agent, V'Las, accused the Andorians of making a planet-killer weapon based on Xindi technology. The Andorians, having no such technology, vehemently denied this. V'Las, a Romulan agent, ordered a Vulcan strike force to head for Andoria and sent a decoy to make several warp signatures in the Rigel system. The Andorians, falling for the ploy, headed to the Rigel system before Archer of the Enterprise convinced Shran that the danger was to Andoria itself. The battle was halted when the Vulcan Minister Kuvak realized that the Andorians did not have the weapon. This, along with the Kir'Shara, led to a period when Vulcan reinvented itself and came to be more at peace with its neighbors.
In the years following the founding of the Federation, the Imperial Guard was renamed as the Andorian Defense Force however it was at odds with Starfleet for several decades while figuring out whose jurisdiction was whose. This transitional period smoothed out somewhat during the early half of the 23rd century. During this time, the Andorian government lodged several protests against Starfleet on behalf of the ADF. The officers and crews of the Defense Force resented Starfleet for taking their jobs away from them while Starfleet saw the ADF as an antiquated organization. However, by the 2240s the ADF and Starfleet both knew their jobs and were working together very well.
In the latter half of the 23rd century, the Defense Force was denying assistance to Starfleet in protecting the Federation from the Klingons whom they were at war with. The Am Tal was assisting Starfleet Intelligence in gathering information from the Empire and from the Romulans, though always in the interests of protecting notable Andorians or Andoria itself. The Andorian Defense Force refused to leave the space lanes around Andoria unprotected and insisted on protecting Andoria first since that was their primary mission.
In the 2300s after the Khitomer accords the Defense Force was able to relax its stance as the Klingons soon became allies of the Federation and were not attacking any longer. The Federation-Cardassian War, also known as the Border Wars, worried the generals of the ADF but did not come near the planet or important Andorian persons and so the Defense Force was not called upon to go to war. This was not to last as in the 2370s the Federation came into conflict with an organization known as the Dominion. The Dominion was ruthless and concerned with eradicating its enemies, including the Andorians. Starfleet requested help on the frontlines, however the Andorian Defense Force refused and stayed close to their home planet in an attempt to dissuade an attack. This proved a good decision as several Andorian ships assisted in the liberation of Betazed due to its proximity to Andoria. Seeing the need to assist Starfleet, the Defense Force agreed to give one fourth its force to Starfleet and kept the rest near Andoria. However, they were too late to prevent the Breen attack on Earth. When this massacre happened, the Defense Force entered the war in earnest only to prevent the invasion of Andoria, and still remained close to their homeworld while assisting in the protection of the Federation's innermost worlds.
Today the Defense Force has resumed its mission of patrolling space lanes and trade routes near Andoria and protecting the Andorian people from threats, both foreign and domestic.
In the early 2100s the Andorian Imperial Guard used a type of disruptor that was less advanced than that of Earth's phase pistols, however they achieved the desired result; that is, they killed the opponent. Andorian disruptors did not have a stun setting as Andorians in that era did not believe in taking prisoners. Their ships had warp capability but unlike the Tellarites they did not have food slots. The Andorians had stasis units wherein they kept their food so it would not spoil until the 23rd century when the Federation invented food slots, and eventually replicators. With those inventions came others such as more advanced medical technology, however the Imperial Guard still maintains a spartan existence for most of its personnel, including its commanders. Their ships in the past were on par with Vulcan and Earth ships and had the prefix IGV, or Imperial Guard Vessel.
After the founding of the Federation, the Andorian Defense Force kept its old ships though Andoria helped to develop some of the first Federation ships such as the Daedalus-class and later the Constitution-class. However, by the 2240s their own ships were becoming severely outdated and they required new ones; to this purpose they asked their friends the Tellarites to help them design ships that would be more suited to war than science and suitable to an all-Andorian crew. They have updated their ships as necessary and have two main classes, the Shran-class, their primary destroyer, and the Thanil-class, their main carrier class, named after a great Andorian general and the last emperor, respectively.
The Andorian Defense Force has many traditions for their members, including the Hall of Heroes where the name of every person to die in service to Andoria is displayed on a plaque on one of the walls. There is perhaps not one Andorian who cannot go to the Hall of Heroes and not find a relative--close or distant--listed somewhere within its halls. When an Andorian dies in service to their homeworld, it is the responsibility of their comrades to bring a body part (eg, a vial of blood) home to their family. On an Andorian ship, it is everyone's responsibility to be able to do every job in case something were to happen to someone. If one was unable to perform a certain task, they would not long remain onboard the ship. Instead they would be sent to a certain point on the ship and given a loaf of bread and a knife. Cowards also do not last long in the Defense Force. If one did not perform their duties 'to the hilt' one was killed for endangering the crew. The ADF is much harsher than Starfleet.
Their armor is made of a type of animal skin that had been hardened into a type of durable cloth so as to retain its shape and quality under months and years of wear and tear. Ceremonial armor is elaborate and costly to make, thus is expensive for the Guardsmen who wear it and for its upkeep. As these have been in the Guard for over 500 years the Andorian people have no desire to change it even though replicated armor would be much less expensive to make.