The following article concerns the military formation, rather than Exosquad as the TV series.
An exosquad is a tactical formation comprising of eight or nine exoframes, or e-frames for short. They are organized into numbered groups called flights followed by a phonetic letter corresponding to the number (1 – A; 2 – B and so on). The Exosquad TV series centred on the exploits of Flight One: Able Squad, commanded by Lieutenant, later Commander JT Marsh. An Exofleet officer of Commander rank may command or issue mission orders to two or even three Exosquads, such as the ill fated DeSoto in the episode Fire Ship.
Five other named exosquads made sporadic appearances throughout the series:
Flight 2: Baker Squad (Resist!; Martian Luck; The Lost Patrol; Call of the Unknown; Heart of Mars)
Flight 3: Charlie Squad (Resist!)
Flight 4: Delta Squad (Fire Ship)
Flight 5: Echo Squad (Fire Ship)
Flight 6: Fox Squad (Trial by Combat)
Unlike the Neo Sapien military, which groups several e-frames of the same type in homogeneous groups, terran exosquads are equipped with e-frames types of diverse capabilities. Such a formation would be difficult to supply in the field with common spare parts, but offers mission flexibility.
The e-frames which are typically issued would be:
Exosquad commander’s e-frame: For this article, this is a generic term for unique e-frames flown by the commanding officer which were rarely seen in alternative colour schemes outside of Able Squad or only associated with one named character. The first example was the AA-500 Falcon Aerial Attack E-frame; the second instance was the unnamed e-frame flown by Yuri Stavrogan.
LD-029 Field Sergeant e-frame: Flown by the senior non-commissioned officer, but may be also flown by the exosquad commanding officer. Lacks extended range weapons like missiles or rockets, but highly durable and has enhanced melee capabilities for close quarters fights owing to its mechanical fist and energy blade.
SLR-345 Field Communications e-frame: Performs long range communications, electronic warfare and surveillance.
TB-024 Reconnaissance e-frame: Both a light and heavy version have been observed, with Nara Burns being the only Exofleet member to be portrayed piloting them. While the light version is minimally equipped with hand mounted blasters, the heavy TB-024 version is sufficiently armed and armoured to serve as a squad leader’s e-frame.
BD-100 Ground Assault e-frame: The most heavily armed humanoid sized e-frame but also the clumsiest in manoeuvrability. It is distinguished by its D-battery shaped weapons pods.
DW-240 Police Enforcer e-frame: While normally associated with the Neo Sapien military as a patrol asset of planet side garrison forces, Baker and Fox Squads made use of this design.
CR-001 Exofighter: The only Terran designed combat vehicle with a conventional airplane layout, not counting in Exofleet shuttles, jumpships and small transports. Exofighters are not able to enter confined spaces like e-frames but are valued for their high speed. Their Neo-sapien analogue is the Neofighter Y-wing.
RA-678 Rapid Assault e-frame: Two seater e-frame whose heavy armaments are only rivalled by the Ground Assault e-frame.
PO-024 Field Repair E-frame: As the name implies, these are responsible for fixing and maintaining the other members of an exosquad. They may also be grouped together for capital warship repairs and planet side engineering roles. Not designed for open confrontations but more likely to see combat than their Neo equivalents.
The mobility and heavy firepower of e-frames, combined with their surveillance capabilities and the longevity of their fusion packs make exosquads a highly flexible unit capable of performing numerous mission types. Of course, crew ability and training is just as important in exploiting e-frames to their furthest limits. A list of an exosquad’s known capabilities is shown below:
Dogfighting and close assaults on capital ships: E-frames perform the same functions as modern day fighter planes: acting as a protective picket screen for the Exofleet’s capital ships and engaging in ship to ship combat with Pirate fighters or Neo e-frames. They may also swarm opposing capital ships with hit and run assaults, using their manoeuvrability to evade their defensive fire.
Fire support for jump troops and other ground forces: Jump troops are often called upon to perform ground assaults if orbital bombardment from capital ships is ineffective or unsuitable. While reasonably well armed, enemy e-frames, tanks, artillery and bunkers may be more than a match for their organic weapons.
Also, the Exofleet does not appear to possess heavy ground combat vehicles like tanks and heavy artillery. Exosquads provide close and direct air support, or act as a co-operative ground manoeuvre element to assist jump troops and infantry in overcoming heavy defenses. Most e-frames are also small enough to enter bunkers to back up the troops with heavy firepower.
Reconnaissance: The excellent mobility of e-frames and the longevity of their fusion packs make an exosquad a terrific alternative to recon teams travelling by foot, since they may remain in the field for a longer period and cover more ground in hostile territory. The exotroopers can either employ specialized dismounted surveillance instruments or use their e-frame’s onboard sensors to record their observations.
Intelligence, special operations and covert activities: Following the Neo Sapiens’ takeover of Earth and Venus, human resistance cells formed on these planets to defy Phaeton’s new order. Coincidentally, the events of ‘Blitzkrieg’ and ‘The Brood’ prevented the Exofleet from liberating the Homeworlds through brute force owing to the heavy losses in capital ships.
While the Exofleet was busy recovering its losses, Able Squad was sent to both Earth and Venus to assist the resistance cells of Sean Napier and James Burns in performing missions of strategic importance, such as sabotaging the GRAF Shield and extracting Professor Algernon.
Exosquads have also been tasked with other covert operations such as meeting Neo Sapien insiders opposed to Phaeton. One such operation was the ill fated retrieval of the informant Marduk by Able and Baker Squad on Mars (Martian Luck).