These clone troopers were often tasked with scouting out the enemy position on the battlefield. Although stealthy and well-trained, recon troopers' duties differed from that of Clone Commandos or Advance Recon Commandos as their focus was on gathering information about the enemy or carrying out surprise attacks.
Before the introduction of the AT-RT driver, ARF troopers would often be pressed into service in that capacity.
In terms of equipment, ARF troopers were often provided with standard issue BlasTech Industries DC-15A blaster rifles, DC-15S blaster carbines, DC-17 hand blasters as well as missile launchers and thermal detonators. They also wore lightweight recon armor made of plastoid material and surveillance gear. The belt contained spare ammunition and a medical syringe. On their left arm they had a comlink and a life-form scanner. Their helmet had an infrared camera so that they could operate in dark places as well as recognizing friends or foes. They often carried a backpack with some basic items, such as survival rations, C.S.E.L. (Combat Survivor Evader Locator) and explosives, but it was possible to have rope, macrobinoculars, an ice pick and a medpac. They would often wear armor that fit the environment of the planet they were on. Some of these troopers could carry flamethrowers.
In addition, they often rode All Terrain Recon Transports which could be a dangerous assignment as these walkers required their operator to show dexterity as well as considerable skill. This was largely due to the fact that they were exposed to enemy fire while they conducted their missions. These vehicles meant that ARF troopers often considered themselves a breed apart from other clone troopers as they believed riding an AT-RT was more akin to riding on a living animal than driving a vehicle. Their training often started with riding living mounts before they were allowed to operate an AT-RT walker. On reconnaissance missions, ARF troopers were known to utilize Republic scout speeders, as they provided the user with a compact, lightweight vehicle with heavy firepower. The speeder also had room to carry two troopers, which was useful for two-man operations.
The ARF troopers are extremely adaptable and can work with just about any environment. Advanced Recon Force troopers were first introduced during the time of the Clone Wars and like most of their clone brethren; they were created on the planet Kamino which served as their "home world" and swore their allegiance to the Galactic Republic. They proved to be valuable assets to the Grand Army of the Republic due to their ability to carry out reconnaissance and deliver accurate, eye-witness reports of enemy activities, without alerting them to their presence.
ARF troopers were also deployed during the Battle of Ryloth, under the command of Jedi General Mace Windu, to scout out the Twi'lek freedom fighters and infiltrate the capital city of Lessu. They were used in a more aggressive capacity, driving AT-RTs to attack the AATs that were firing at the AT-TE walkers, and later were in the charge to retake Lessu.
A large squadron of Advanced Recon Force troopers led by Clone Commander Trauma and Jedi Knight Halsey were seen fighting at the Temple of Eedit on the planet Devaron around 21 BBY. They managed to destroy all of the droids, but they were all killed by a Nightbrother named Savage Opress.
Under the command of Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, a large force of Advance Recon Force troopers participated in the Battle of Umbara driving AT-RTs and played a key role in taking out an Umbaran-occupied ridge defended by tanks and Umbaran militia. The Advanced Recon Force took heavy casualties throughout the battle as they were easy targets for the Umbaran militia.
Behind the scenes
The ARF trooper's helmet is similar to the later Imperial scout trooper's helmet and clone scout trooper's, though features more of a curvaceous design. In addition, the helmet's The Clone Wars: Season Four redesign resembles the later AT-RT driver's helmet.[source?] In The Lost Legion, the ARF trooper Falco is incorrectly introduced as an Advanced Recon Fighter. Lego made three different minifigures for the ARF troopers. One was a basic ARF trooper who can be identified from the markings on his armor as a member of Lightning Squadron another was from the Rancor Battalion and had red markings on its armor and helmet. The final minifigure was a promotional Shadow ARF Trooper whose armor is black.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (First appearance)
- The Clone Wars: Decide Your Destiny: The Lost Legion
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Liberty on Ryloth"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Landing at Point Rain"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Grievous Intrigue"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Senate Murders" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Bounty Hunters" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Clone Cadets"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "ARC Troopers"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Monster"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Witches of the Mist" (Appears in hologram)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Mercy Mission"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Darkness on Umbara"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The General"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Plan of Dissent"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Carnage of Krell"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Kidnapped"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Non-canonical appearance) (PSP & Nintendo DS versions only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (First identified as Advanced Recon Force trooper)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia