California, officially the Federal Republic of California, is a federal republic in the former American states of California, Oregon, and Washington. It also exercises de facto control over Mexican Baja California and Western Nevada. California shares a border with Deseret and Arizona to the East, Canada in the north, and the United States in the northeast. California has a population of around 44.162 million people, making it the most populous nation in the former American southwest.
A state of war currently exists between California and Deseret.
Russo-American Nuclear Exchange
Immediately following the Russo-American Nuclear Exchange on January 1st, 2009, California Governor Phil Angelides declared a state of emergency, and mobilized the California National Guard, the California State Military Reserve (CSMR), and the rest of the California Military Department. Looting and crime was rampant following the strikes, and rioting ensued nationwide. California, far from the cities that were hit, was able to react quickly and stem the chaos before it could seriously affect public security; California is one of three states that did not declare martial law following the exchange. Over the next month, Governor Angelides organized the Californian security forces and co-ordinated closely with the local remnants of various federal agencies, frequently trying to make contact with the Federal Government. No such contact was made until mid-March, when California had already formally succeeded.
Refugees from the east began to pour into California. The mass exodus of Refugees came largely from cities that hadn't been directly affected by the exchange - the remnants of the federal government had determined that order could not maintained in the Midwest. With looting rampant, chaos widespread, and food supplies no longer reaching the cities in substantial quantities, people fled as far west as they could. This created a crisis for the Californian government - an estimated 30,000 people were being admitted into refugee camps weekly. Californian resources were already stretched to the breaking point, and so on February 5th, Governor Angelides closed Californian borders to the rest of the United States (and to Mexico). This was the first step towards Californian independence.
Secession and Independence
In April, the situation for California looked bleak. California was not agriculturally productive enough to sustain its population absent substantial food imports, but with most of the former American Midwest now relying on subsistence agriculture, and with no co-ordinated federal response to the crisis in sight, members of the California state legislature were beginning to whisper secession. Governor Angelides was already negotiating aid from the world Food Programme, with significant contributions pledged from China, Japan, and the EU. Canada had attempted to provide aid to the northeast but had stopped after its convoys had met armed resistance. Canada was eager to provide aid wherever stability could be maintained, and was willing to ship food to California.
Thus, on February 27th, the California state legislature convened and voted to secede from the United States, forming the Republic of California. The California legislature's first act was to pass the Security Authorization Act, establishing the California Department of Defense as the successor to the California Military Department, and subordinating the CSMR and California National Guard (as well as Californian Army Reserve units) to the DoD. The act also authorized conscription.
After California's security had been dealt with, and with the food problem at least temporarily solved, the Californian government turned its attention towards the economy. The dollar had been in free fall since the exchange - the US Government hadn't even had time to freeze the NYSE before it was obliterated by a nuclear warhead. With hyperinflation approaching Weimar levels, and with the American financial system totally and completely destroyed, it was decided that California would need its own currency. On February 28th the Californian legislature passed the Financial Establishment Act, creating the Californian Federal Reserve System, and creating the California Dollar. The legislature also passed the Economic Development Act, authorizing the creation of the Department of Commerce and giving the new department broad powers.
President Angelides immediately directed the new department to begin work on large-scale infrastructure and agricultural projects to bring down unemployment and stimulate the growth that would be necessary for California to persevere on its own economically. Plans for a well-developed mass transit system were drawn up - the Californian government was anticipating gas shortages, especially since California would probably make a great deal of its money exporting petroleum products. A moratorium on urban and rural development in the Central Valley was issued to pave the way for agricultural initiatives.
On March 15th, communication was established between the Californian government and the remnants of the US government. The Californian government learned that President Bush had been killed and Vice President Dick Cheney was now the acting president. The whereabouts of President-Elect John McCain were unknown; he later resurfaced in Arizona, deciding not to challenge Cheney's presidency, to avoid 'provoking further instability.'
Cheney arranged for a telephone conference between himself and Angelides. Cheney was incensed that California had decided to secede from the Union, but told Angelides he realized that temporary separation at least was inevitable and that co-operation between the US and its successor states was of paramount importance. The US would recognize Californian sovereignty a few months later after it became clear that the US couldn't even maintain control over its existing territories, and limited Californian humanitarian aid began to trickle into the US.
As the FRC continued to consolidate its power, chaos reigned elsewhere. In the south, many of the states of the long defunct Confederacy banded together, seceded, and formed the Southern Confederation. Alabama was the first to secede - its legislature voted to leave the union on April 23rd, 2009. Alabama was joined by every state that had formed a part of the CSA but Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Virginia; Kentucky and Virginia remained with the union while Texas and Oklahoma (joined by New Mexico) voted to leave the union, forming the Southwestern Union on April 26th. Extremist Mormons in the state of Utah seceded on April 12th and formed their own theocratic 'republic,' and would later rampage through much of Nevada zealously spreading their fundamentalist brand of Christianity with extreme violence. Militias from Utah (now called Deseret) also made incursions into the state of Arizona, which promptly seceded from the union in order to circumvent the constitutional ban on foreign treaties and sign military and trade deals with the FRC and Texas, both of which had been offering assistance. Arizona seceded on April 29th. Its legislature's first independent acts were to revise their constitution to reflect their independent status, and provisionally declare war on the 'secessionist terrorists' of Deseret, a considerable irony given Arizona's own legal status in leaving the union.
California was quick to establish relations with its new neighbors; it recognized Arizona and Texas on the 30th of April, and the two reciprocated quickly. Plans were hastily made for the construction of embassies in Tucson and Dallas. California offered assistance to Arizona in mid-March after the decisive Mormon victory at the Battle of the Kaibab Plataeu resulted in the routing of Arizonan forces and forced a retreat over the Colorado River. California provided fuel and small quantities of military equipment to the fledgling Arizonan military until the Mormon Invasion of Nevada forced direct Californian intervention. Even with Californian assistance, most of the Arizonan Air Force was grounded due to fuel shortages and a severe lack of qualified pilots, so California initiated a large scale air campaign over Utah, Nevada, and Arizona (north of the Colorado River.
This campaign, however, would be short lived as the limited former-USAF bomb stocks were exhausted - close air support was halted on March 29th, only two weeks after operations began. The FRCAF continued to fly air superiority missions over Utah for another month. The ultimate failure of the FRCAF to secure any substantial advantage for troops fighting on the ground during the campaign highlighted the weakness of California's defense industry and the need to set up a robust ammunition manufacture infrastructure for future conflicts. When the Mormon advance finally stalled, the Arizonan National Guard ultimately took responsibility for the defense of southern Nevada in the Las Vegas area, with the FRCAF providing air support out of Nellis Air Force Base.
Meanwhile, to the north, Oregon and Washington seceded, following extreme unrest at the destitute poverty that was now prevalent all over the United States. Both states realized that they could not realistically survive as independent political entities, so they immediately sent out diplomatic feelers to California. Oregon was the first to propose annexation. The Californian government initially balked, but as the security situation in the two states continued to deteriorate, and bandits ambushed Californian food aid convoys, it was decided that at the very least California would immediately provide military assistance.
Four California Army Reserve brigades were deployed to each of the two states in mid-April. They immediately began local policing operations and established mechanisms for the distribution of food, water, and medicine. Oregon was deemed mostly stable by October, and Washington by early November. Heated debate continued in the California senate over annexation of Oregon - it was eventually decided that Oregon would hold a plebiscite on the matter. 70% of the state's residents voted to 'join Oregon to the Republic of California as a state." The Californian legislature approved annexation on December 8th, 63 in favor, 40 opposed, 7 abstaining. The Legislature also voted to rename the nation from the 'Republic of California' to the 'Federal Republic of California,' reflecting the now federal-nature of the multi-state (in the American sense) nation.
Washington held a similar plebiscite a week later - it was narrower, with 64% of the population in favor of annexation. The California legislature permitted annexation 57 in favor, 3 abstaining, 40 opposed.
Both states were officially annexed into the Republic of California on January 27th, 2010.
Fall of Las Vegas
On February 16th, 2010, Mormon forces initiated a major offensive from St. George Utah towards Las Vegas and Boulder City, Nevada, with the intent of securing Hoover dam and forcing the FRCAF out of Nellis AFB. A brigade-sized Mormon force was dispatched along I-15. With most FRCAF assets grounded for anything but emergencies due to continued fuel shortages, and very little civilian traffic on the now dangerously unpatrolled interstate system, the Mormon brigade was not spotted until it was only miles outside of Las Vegas, at I-15 Exit 64 around 0200 PST on February 17th.
Arizonan forward pickets opted not to engage and immediately withdrew, warning their commanders via radio. FRCAF strike assets were mobilized immediately, but the Arizonan National Guard response, critically, was sluggish.
The Arizonan NG had expected a Mormon attack to first strike Hoover dam and push towards Las Vegas from the east, due to the continued Mormon occupation of Kingman and Dolan Springs, Arizona - some Arizonan officers even thought the Mormons would be brazen enough to attempt and amphibious operation across Lake Mead. As a result, the bulk of the Arizonan force in Nevada was dug in around the Hoover Dam area. Only two mechanized infantry companies were held in reserve to the north, encamped near Nellis. Though the National Guard began to reposition its forces almost immediately, Mormon forces were in too close to hold them outside the city. Even as Californian F-15s were finally cleared for takeoff, around 0215, Mormon forces made contact with 1st Battalion, 158th Infantry Regiment of the Arizonan National Guard, just outside Nellis Air Force Base.
Fighting was fierce and quickly became a slow urban slog. Mormon forces were so close to Nellis that FRCAF planes actually had to overfly them and circle back in order to deploy their ordinance. The Mormon Brigade was especially well equipped for a Mormon unit, and was potentially formed around a former Utah National Guard unit - it possessed a wide array of night vision devices, 82mm and 120mm mortars, multiple light and heavy anti tank weapons, (including a limited number of FGM-148 Javelin ATGMs) and upwards of 80 Humvees. At 0240, Mormon troops advancing from North Las Vegas Boulevard breached the Nellis AFB perimeter. 82mm mortars were employed in an attempt to crater Nellis' runways to prevent the escape of the squadron of F-15s stationed at the base - this tactic proved only somewhat effectual, causing only limited damage, but dissuading the pilots from attempting takeoff.
Four Arizonan AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters arrived over Las Vegas around 0300. By this point the National Guard had been pushed back, and Nellis AFB was nearly encircled, but two infantry battalions had been redeployed to Nellis in an attempt to breakthrough. The flight of Apaches attempted to support this effort, but Mormon forces were so entangled with FRCAF security forces and the Arizona NG that they could not engage without endangering friendly troops. As a result they were redirected to a group of Mormon 120mm mortar batteries that had set up in Las Vegas Motor Speedway. They succeeded in destroying 11 of the 16 mortars, and the Apache flight is often credited with preventing the complete encirclement of Nellis.
Nevertheless, Mormon troops totally overwhelmed the outnumbered and unprepared defenders of Nellis, methodically clearing the base building by building, and taking precious few prisoners. Most of the base's aircraft managed to escape, but three F-15Es were by Mormon MANPADs while taking off, and a further two were captured. At 0713 the remnants of 1st and 3rd Battalions of the Arizona NG, and the Nellis security force, were withdrawn across Tyndall Avenue into the base housing and commercial complex. All together, they sustained 315 casualties. Accurate Mormon casualty figures are not available, but the Mormons are thought to have lost upwards of 600 men in the assault.
Nellis' fighter force was hastily re-based to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona - arrangements were made to provide additional logistical support to the Arizona Air National Guard to accommodate the presence of the more than 48 fighters.
Meanwhile, Mormon forces to the west of Las Vegas Motor Speedway surged across open ground towards the Nellis Solar Power Plant, with the aim of outflanking the remaining Nellis defenders and seizing the base. By midday the Arizona National Guard had pulled back to the vicinity of Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital, and Mormon forces were free to maneuver through the solar farm, and even into Las Vegas proper - no Arizonan on Californian forces were present north of the I-15 until a company of Arizona guardsmen was deployed near Vandenburg Detention Basin to the northwest of Nellis around 1730.
Mormon forces to the south put pressure on Nellis' remaining defenders by pushing across Tyndall avenue towards the base PX, but simultaneously made a large push to the west across North Nellis Boulevard in an attempt to push to North Las Vegas Boulevard and cut off the 1st and 3rd battalions from exfiltrating via that route, forcing them to withdraw to the north, only to be stopped by the Mormon troops who had pushed through the solar farm and into the base's sprawling housing developments. Nellis was almost entirely under Mormon control by the morning of the 17th.
After the seizure of Nellis, Mormon forces were able to operate in Las Vegas with general impunity - Arizonan and Californian forces were significantly outnumbered, and Mormon troops continued to pour into the area from Utah. The final blow came around 1600, when Mormon troops pushed south through Henderson, and into Boulder City, linking up with Mormon troops from Arizona and securing Hoover Dam. With the dam lost and the Mormons firmly entrenched in Las Vegas, the Arizona National Guard commander ordered a withdrawal to the mining complex at Sloan. Las Vegas was now entirely under Mormon control. Las Vegas was now entirely under Mormon control, at the cost of of over 600 men.
Escalation of the War
Politically, the failure of the Californian armed forces at Nellis was disastrous - the Secretary of Military Affairs resigned even as Arizonan troops fled south along I-15. Californian president Phil Angelides only very narrowly won a recall election the following month. The Fall of Las Vegas did not, however, result in a Californian withdrawal from the conflict with Deseret, as many in Salt Lake City had hoped. Instead, it resulted in an official declaration of war from the Federal Senate on the 19th. California Army forces were mobilized from peacekeeping operations in famine-stricken Oregon and redeployed to the Great Basin region, seizing Reno and Carson City on the 27th. Both had largely been managed by local governments and were already trading heavily with the Californian government, which routinely dispatched food relief convoys from Sacramento to the area, and both cities readily accepted the security provided by a large presence of Californian troops.
Reno and Sparks sit on I-80, and the California high command aimed to use I-80 to support a large scale advance on Salt Lake City. A large-scale buildup of over six brigades took place in the area, and Californian forces steadily advanced up I-80, building supply depots and billeting troops in small towns along the way. By March 1st Californian troops had reached Elko without any major incident, and the construction of a division-level supply structure began. But on March 5th, fighting again broke out near Las Vegas as Mormon troops tried to press their advance farther. Heavy clashes continued for days, with FRCAF aircraft flying CAS missions out of the Fresno Air National Guard Base, a 900km round-trip requiring heavy reliance on tanker aircraft. Mormon casualties were heavy, with Mormon troops advancing across open ground into prepared defenses bolstered by the 16th California Mechanized Brigade, a combined arms unit cobbled together in fall 2010 from components of the FRC Army's armor and IFV equipment reserves. It had been hastily dispatched along I-15 from Los Angeles following the fall of Las Vegas, taking up positions around the Sloan quarry.
The 16th Mechanized induced heavy Mormon casualties, counterattacking through the Enterprise suburbs on the 6th and forcing diversion of Mormon assets at Hoover Dam. California Army special forces seized the vantage point at Black Mountain on the morning of the 6th and begin directing airstrikes onto Mormon forces crossing through Boulder City.
The Mormon assault broke up by the evening of the 6th, but FRC forces in the area, significantly bolstered by troops redeployed from stabilization operations in Washington and Oregon, opted to press their advantage; FRC army forces vigorously advanced into the Enterprise suburb
The Government of Federal Republic of California, like that of its predecessor (the State of California) is divided into three branches - the executive, consisting of the President, his cabinet, and other constitutionally elected and appointed officers and offices; the legislative, consisting of the Federal Assembly and the Federal Senate; and the Judicial, consisting of the Federal High Court and lower courts. State governments also exist for the three states, while the territories of Baja California and Western Nevada are governed by provisional military councils.
California has well developed primary and secondary sectors - the FRC is composed of the three largest timber producing states in the former United States, and it has large natural gas and oil reserves. Other basic natural resources such as copper and iron are also well exploited in California. Prior to the exchange, California had a well developed manufacturing industry, and the FRC's government worked hard to maintain that immediately following the events leading to the collapse of centralized American governance.
Additionally, Silicon Valley is located in the FRC, and though the rapid development of the technology sector experienced pre-war has slowed dramatically, tech companies continue to thrive in California. Many companies such as Google have transitioned to doing defense work for the Californian government, considering that the internet infrastructure of the US (and thus the primary market of most technology companies) has collapsed almost entirely outside of the FRC, the Southern Confederation, and the Southwestern Union.
The California Armed Forces are divided into three branches - the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. The Army is the largest of the three branches and continues to expand - in 2011 70% of all new conscripts were assigned to the Army. The Navy is large but rapidly downsizing; having inherited a large portion of the US Navy Pacific Fleet, it now has a large array of vessels it doesn't need and isn't capable of maintaining. The Californian government is selling destroyers, cruisers, and logistical ships to nations such as Australia and Japan at extraordinarily low prices. The Navy is also in talks with Taiwan to forward-stage one of two Californian carrier battle groups in East Asia, under the conditions that Taiwan would pay all associated costs (including salaries) and handle logistics. Taiwan is a close partner of California but no official alliance exists between the two nations.
The Army currently has a force of active 250,000 personnel - this translates into 22 infantry brigades, five armored brigades, and assorted support assets. The Army primarily operates leftover US equipment; its primary service rifle is the M16A2. It operates a large fleet of M113A3s, Humvees, and M2/M3 Bradley IFVs. The Army has six M1 Abrams tank battalions numbering 58 tanks each, with an additional 62 tanks in storage to be used as an attrition reserve, or mobilized as additional personnel become available. The Army also operates a large number of LAV-25s and AAVP7A1 APCs inherited from Marine units stationed at San Diego.
The Air Force's fighter force consists of three squadrons of 21 F-15C Eagles (each), and it plans to acquire around 40 F-16s from the US later in 2011. The Air Force has a substantial air rescue wing, operating a number of MC-130P C2/tanker aircraft, and HH-60G rescue helicopters. 12 KC-135 Stratotankers left over from the California Air National Guard are in storage but will be activated when the Air Force's fighter arm expands. It also possesses a squadron 8 MQ-1 predator drones that it is currently leasing to the Internal Security Agency for border control purposes.
Most of the military's current equipment was inherited from various national guard units based in California, Oregon, and Washington. Most of this equipment is now FCR standard since the former US defense industry is already oriented towards its production and maintenance. However, there are plans to bring some new equipment from abroad to keep up with the FCRA's rapid expansion. The government plans to procure 240 modernized XA-188 APCs and modify them with LAV turrets in FY12.