- "I have always suspected I won't be able to retire on health grounds until I've been dead for at least two years, such is the Alliance's need for skilled personnel. Many special operatives are doubtless in the same position. It's not just a job…"
- ―Jakob Biddyn, Special Operations Group Leader
Alliance Special Operations, or SpecOps, was the organization that the Rebel Alliance assigned its most capable recruits. It had two levels of operation: Mission Groups and Special Ops Teams. Both were categorized by personnel that were exceedingly skilled, talented, and prone to cockiness.
Mission Groups were the basic unit of SpecOps, with a nebulous position within the Alliance hierarchy. They "floated" between Alliance command, standard forces, and Sector Forces, capable of being "loaned" to the latter if needed but typically operating on a galaxy-wide level to perform their duties. Individual Mission Groups were often headquartered on Alliance starfighter bases, such as those at Tierfon, Cathis, Ansarra, and Dalastine, allowing them to refuel and resupply their galaxy-trotting starships (often light freighters of some sort) without interference; in return, the base got the often exceptional piloting abilities of the SpecOps personnel. This was not the only possible arrangement, however; some Mission Groups worked as roving agents, changing their base of operations as circumstances demanded. Yet other Groups were attached to Ordnance and Supply and Support Services.
Though some missions they performed were similar to those of Alliance Intelligence, the patience and discipline often required by Intell operations tended to be the weak link among the cocky, energetic natures of typical SpecOps personnel. In fact, Mission Groups were often sent to worlds in which the cover of existing Intell operations were endangered to draw attention away from them. However, despite this, Mission Groups were sometimes attached to Alliance Intelligence's Operations department. Wookiee warriors often formed the muscle behind mission groups attached to Intell. Certain trusted mercenaries, hired by the Rebel Alliance, would often work as SpecOps personnel and were, formally at least, given the same status and privileges. This was the case of, for example, the mercenaries Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors.
Special Ops Teams
Special Ops Teams were "advanced Mission Groups" that had been cut off from the Alliance's command structure, answerable to only the highest echelons of the Alliance and receiving no support from other branches. Extremely capable, they rarely needed such assistance. Since they were authorized to act in the interests of the Alliance without orders from higher up the chain of command, when they were needed by a sector intelligence cell or Rebel outpost, Special Ops Teams received polite requests rather than actual orders. Mostly, they developed and executed their own operations on behalf of the Alliance without prompting.
Some Special Ops Teams engaged in deep-cover missions, tapping into existing supply caches when necessary; just as often, they established their own network of supply caches, often as a prelude to establishing new Rebel cells in a new sector. Others roamed freely, doing that which they saw as needing doing. For the most part, the Alliance allowed these teams to wreak havoc upon the Empire without supervision, though in the uncommon cases where contact needed to be made, the Alliance could rely on mail drops, contacts, and even personal ads to get messages to Special Ops Teams in the field.
Special Operations and Special Forces
Though bearing similar names, Special Operations and Alliance Special Forces were two completely different groups. While Special Forces (SpecForce) were highly trained active military professionals, tasked with performing specific, carefully planned operations, Special Ops agents engaged in murky undercover missions and chaotic, unplanned operations with only minimal input from Alliance Command. Though SpecForce personnel recognized the need for SpecOps, and vice versa, rivalry between the two groups ran deep; SpecOps personnel viewed SpecForces as arrogant, uptight, and overtrained, and SpecForce personnel viewed SpecOps (or "spooks," as they liked to call them) as amateurs who relied on luck to carry the day.
SpecForces sometimes used Mission Group personnel as "other specialists" such as transportation specs, pilots, communication experts, translators, medical technicians, supply specialists, and so on. Such personnel were often referred to as "recovering spooks" by the SpecForce units they were attached to.
Conversely, sometimes Special Forces troops were assigned to Special Operations units; these individuals were referred to as "specters" by other SpecForce personnel.
The SpecOps had special status within the Rebellion, which also meant that they had special privileges. For example, medical frigates would often reserve entire wards for SpecOps personnel. This was the case of the hospital ship Mercy, where ward 114 was reserved exclusively for Alliance SpecOp personnel and for mercenaries working as Rebel agents.
Notable SpecOps members
- Jakob Biddyn, Special Operations Group Leader
- Arkhan Brem'tu, one of the founders of SpecOps
- Baydo Chasdy, Foster agent
- Colonel Dursa Conegan, a subordinate of General Crix Madine
- Adison Cray, Free agent
- Jodo Kast
- Shaina Kreen
- Crix Masst
- Soth Petikkin, Recruitment Agent
- Greg Somax, Special agent
- Tay Vanis, Recruitment Agent
- Cet Willak
- Jin-Rio Akabi, Political Advisor
SpecOps terms and jargon
This is a list of terms, jargon, and slang used by members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic SpecOps.
- #Chicken alarm: An assessment of hazard followed an exponential sequence 1,2,3,5,8 and 13. It is also used to rate the relative danger of a mission.
- #Gs (7Gs, 8Gs): Number of hostile aliens.
- 23er: An Alliance Intelligence agent who has made 20 field assignments and been retired. In SpecOps any very competent agent.
- ABH: Average Bounty hunter (above average Bounty hunter).
- Acquisition Run: An operation with opportunities for large-scale theft.
- Battery: Many chickens (see above) huddled together.
- BBH: Boring Bounty Hunter.
- Bear: Balinaka
- Birdwatcher: ISB agent, from "Imperial Sunbathers and Birdwatchers".
- Black: A large denomination 1000 or above credits that is likely to be "blackmarket" and is traceable.
- Boring: Either something that is very dangerous or benign. It could also mean both.
- Boys in white: Stormtroopers.
- Brass Mine: Special Operative.
- BUG: Bug Ugly Guy, any hostile alien.
- Bursting Physical: Waiting until a large predator opens its mouth and then feeding it a grenade or thermal detonator.
- Conceptual: Knowingly entering an enemy trap with more firepower than the trap can handle or using an enemy offensive action as a method to do them harm.
- Can't: A tank (a deliberate misspelling of the word tank).
- Cat: An Orryxian.
- Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent
- Operation: Shadowpoint
- "Festival of High Winds"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 12
- "Small Favors"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 12 (First appearance)
- "Special Ops: Ship Jackers"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 13
- "Special Ops: Drop Points"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 14
- "Death-Hunter"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 9 (Mentioned only)
- "Conflict of Interest"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 13 (Mentioned only)
- Specter of the Past (Mentioned only)
- Specter of the Past unabridged audiobook (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim
- The Dark Forces Saga
- Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent
- Arkhan Character Folio
- The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook
- "Death-Hunter"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 9, p.190
- "The History of the Mandalorians"—Star Wars Insider 80
- Wretched Hives of Scum & Villainy
- Instant Adventures
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Special Edition Limited
- Star Wars (1977) 74
- The Far Orbit Project