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United Nations Space Command (UNSC)
Political information

Type of government

Emergency Military Government (Human-Covenant War) (2525-January 8th 2553)

Commander-in-chief

Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood

Societal information

Official language

English (Primary), Spanish, Hungarian, German, Japanese and many others

Currency

Credits

Historical information

Formed from

Between 2160 and 2164

Date of establishment

December 2163

[Source]   [Talk]


The United Nations Space Command, more commonly known as the UNSC, is the military, exploratory, and scientific agency of the Unified Earth Government. The UNSC formed halfway through the 22nd century as remnants of old cultural ideologies clashed for supremacy in the Sol System and mainly oversaw United Nations military operations in space. The UN massively militarized its off-world colonies via propaganda and then defeated communist and fascist forces in the "Interplanetary War" which consisted of several side-battles that took place on Mars, the Jovian Moons, and the South American rainforests. Although the Interplanetary War brought great suffering and death unto Earth and its colonies, it united humanity's militaries into a common, armed force by the end of the 22nd century.

Humanity was in chaos before the Covenant attack on Harvest in 2525.[1] The UN was waging a bloody struggle against groups of terrorists (or freedom fighters) called the Insurrectionists, who wanted independence from the Unified Earth Government. The UNSCDF, a branch of the UNSC, constantly battled the Insurrectionists. In an attempt to help end the long-running war against the rebels, the UEG commissioned the ORION Project (also known as the SPARTAN-I project) and later the SPARTAN-II Program, which created a group of elite super-soldiers to combat the separatists and the insurrections that they spawned. When the Human-Covenant war began, and the technologically superior aliens began decimating the Outer Colonies, these SPARTANs became humanity's best hope for survival. Faced with genocide on an unprecedented scale, the UNSC mobilized for total war.

The dire circumstances of the Covenant conflict allowed the UNSC to override civilian rule and establish itself as humanity's primary government. Although the Unified Earth Government was more open to step down, the Colonial Administration, the arm of the UEG ruling over the colonies, resisted the UNSC's rise to power, and was thus stripped of its power.[2]

By the time the war began, humanity had reached Tier 3 of the Forerunner civilization ranking system. Technological improvements continued to rise due to the capture of advanced Covenant equipment, which was studied and adapted for human needs. The very best and cutting edge of UNSC war assets were supplied to the SPARTAN-II Program. Other enhancements geared towards mass production were distributed to the SPARTAN-IIIs and -IVs. One such example of war time innovation was the energy shielding adapted and improved for use on the MJOLNIR armor. UNSC Infinity, built near the end of the conflict, was perhaps the height of UNSC technical achievement during this troubled period. Incorporating every scrap of technical knowledge that had been scavenged and reverse-engineered from Forerunner ruins, the Infinity stood apart as the most formidable warship and exploration vessel in human history.

By 2552, after the fall of the military fortress world Reach, Earth was the last remaining human bastion, and nearly all surviving UNSC forces were committed to its defense. The Battle of Earth saw some of the greatest bloodshed of the entire war, both in space and on the planet's surface. For several weeks, only a grueling campaign of attrition with heavy participation by surviving Spartan units stood between mankind and extinction. After a desperate struggle, the Human-Covenant war finally ended after a combined UNSC and Covenant Separatist strike force eliminated the Covenant leadership and destroyed the Flood threat.

UNSC Logo

The original emblem of the UNSC used until the end of the Human-Covenant war.

BackgroundEdit

The United Nations Space Command was created by the United Nations during the Interplanetary War of the mid-twenty-second century. After the UNSC victory, overpopulation on Earth became a major issue in the early twenty-second century. The issue was resolved by colonizing and constructing vast cities on other planets in the Orion Arm of the galaxy, the Inner colonies and later, the Outer Colonies.

The UNSC's defensive militia forces is the UNSC Defense Force (UNSCDF), and consists of the UNSC Air Force, the UNSC Army, the UNSC Marine Corps, and the UNSC Navy.[2][3]

HistoryEdit

Halo 4 ENSA Logo
UNSC Timeline
History of the UNSC
Pre-UNSC Period
- World War II (1939 - 1945)
- Creation of the United Nations (1945)
- Jovian Moons campaign (2160)
- Rain Forest Wars (2162)
- Mars Campaign (2163)
Interplanetary War (2164-2170)
Inner Colony Wars (2400s)
Insurrection (2494 - 2537)
- Operation: TREBUCHET (2513 - 2524)
- Insurrection of Mamore (2537)
Human-Covenant war (2525 - 2553)
- Covenant Civil War (2552 - 2553)
Main article: History of the United Nations Space Command

Interplanetary WarEdit

The UNSC has its roots in World War I, which led to the creation of a League of Nations. The League of Nations led to the formation of the United Nations after World War II. The UNSC itself was formed and fashioned as the result of a series of brutal conflicts across the Solar System between 2160 and 2164; most prominent among them were the Jovian Moons Campaign, the Rain Forest Wars, and a series of battles on Mars.[4]

The United Nations Space Command, as organized and orchestrated as it appears, was planned as an emergency military government. UN clashes with dissident political movements, the most important of which were the "Koslovics" and the "Frieden," began the crisis that led to the formation of the UNSC. The Frieden movement was a fascist organization based on the Jovian Moons, a group that received backing from some corporations operating in the United German Republic on Earth. Their ideological opponents, the Koslovics, formed a Marxist-Leninist group centered around the leadership of Vladimir Koslov around the same time.

The war began with an attack on United Nations colonial advisers on the moon of Io, one of the moons of Jupiter, but would spread to Mars and parts of South America in the Rain Forest Wars. These events culminated in a UN build-up in the mid to late 2160s, which would result in the UN establishing a unified military and a permanent Unified Earth Government as an ultimate power to lead the human race by 2170.

ColonizationEdit

The four-year long war put the spotlight on problems facing the overpopulated planet, and the Rain Forest Wars also exacerbated the problems relating to food distribution. The ensuing famine and societal problems related to the post-war population boom provided the spark to change the political nature of governance on Earth and elsewhere, leading to the political system seen in the 26th century.

These pressures also helped make space colonization seem more attractive in later centuries, as the Unified Earth Government would sign off on a colony ship program that was revealed in 2310 to ease the burden of an overpopulated planet. This would not have been possible without the invention of the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine in the late 2200s, which allowed the ships to travel far greater distances than ever before by means of allowing access to Slipstream space.

It took 52 years before the first colony ship, the Odyssey, was launched, and what became the so-called Inner colonies were not fully established until the end of the 24th century. The apex of human expansion would come in 2492, when more than 800 worlds were considered part of UNSC territory, many developing into full-fledged colonies. By this time, a ring of Outer colonies was providing the UEG with the raw materials that made the macro-economy function; with the political power remaining with the Inner colonies. The massive difference in wealth distribution and political power, which became a hallmark of humanity by this period, led to new threats of secession from the outer ring. Fearing the consequences of the breakup of the fledgling interstellar empire, and seeing the benefits of avoiding all-out war to defend their hold on the colonies, the Earth government would embark on the creation of the SPARTAN-Is. These predecessors to the SPARTAN-II program began their training in 2491, as part of the ORION Project.

The Great WarEdit

Main article: Human-Covenant war

2525 marked the most important turning point in human history; it would mark the beginning of great technological advancement, the unification of a divided and fractured human race, and the first contact of humanity with an extraterrestrial intelligence: the Covenant. It would also see a majority of the Earth government's colony worlds destroyed, and billions of colonists and military personnel slaughtered by planetary invasion and orbital plasma bombardment (a strategy later termed glassing.) Thus began the Human-Covenant war with the First Battle of Harvest.

Stemming from the chance encounter of human and Covenant forces at Harvest, the first contact made between humanity and the Covenant involved the ship Minor Transgression, and was less peaceful than the second contact made between the two factions. A meeting between representatives of the two factions took place on the fields of Harvest, but the peaceful meeting soon turned into a blood bath, with the Covenant claiming the planet for the numerous "Forerunner relics" present. Ironically, the Covenant was unaware their new enemies were known to the Forerunners by another name: Reclaimers. Slaughtering most of the colony's population, the survivors fled the Covenant due to a trap laid for the Brute ship Rapid Conversion.[1]

Harvest Plasma Glassed

Harvest being glassed.

On April 20, the CMA sent in a scout ship, the CMA Argo, to investigate the cessation of communications between Harvest and the rest of the UEG's colonies. Before being destroyed by Covenant forces, it discovered that everything, and everyone, left on the planet had been completely incinerated, its surface was covered by fields of magma. Soon after, Battlegroup 4, consisting of the frigates CMA Arabia and CMA Vostok and the destroyer CMA Heracles, were sent to investigate. On October 7, the battle group dropped out of Slipspace and took up orbit around Harvest. In orbit around the remains of the colony world was a single alien ship. The vessel proceeded to attack the human battle group, destroying all but one. Intercepted communications identified the enemy as the Covenant, a caste-driven, theological organization made up of several alien species. Their message "Your destruction is the will of the gods...and we are their instrument" was broadcast in perfect English.[5] For the first time in recorded history, war was waged not for nationalism, ideology or religion, but for the survival of the human race itself.

The beginning phase of the war was marked by disastrous defeats, and even more costly victories. Aside from the Second Battle of Harvest in 2526, where a large force led by Vice Admiral Preston Cole barely defeated a smaller Covenant fleet, the UNSC's influence on their territories quickly dwindled in the course of their struggle. In the span of a few years, the Covenant had managed to capture the majority, if not all of the Outer Colonies, and a small portion of the Inner colonies.

By this time, the UNSC overrode the UEG, and thus the central civilian authority, throughout human territory. Although the central government was more willing to step down, the Colonial Administration was far more reluctant to this idea, and thus the UNSC stripped it of most of its power. By the middle to late stages of the war, the government of humanity could be more accurately described as an, "emergency military" government.

By 2552, the UNSC, though heavily outnumbered and outgunned, had nonetheless slowed the Covenant's inexorable progress through human space. However, the overall situation remained dire. In desperation, HIGHCOM ordered a high-risk operation. SPARTAN-II super soldiers were to insert into Covenant space, with a captured Covenant vessel, capture a high-ranking Prophet, and return to UNSC space in an attempt to ransom their own leader for a truce. Before the operation began, the Covenant found and destroyed the fortress world Reach, killing a large portion of the UNSCDF, and rendering most of the SPARTANs that were to execute the mission KIA or MIA. The Covenant endured heavy losses, both in space and on the planet's surface. However, the largest and most important military world protecting the Sol system had fallen silent. Little hope of continued, successful resistance remained.

A single ship, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn managed to escape the planet, with two SPARTANs on board, Linda-058, who was presumably dead in the Fall of Reach and John-117. The ship followed coordinates derived by the A.I. Cortana led to a ringworld known as Halo. It was there the SPARTAN encountered a parasitic lifeform known as the Flood, a species so dangerous that weapons of mass destruction were built on a galactic scale to combat them: the Halo arrays. The only limit to Flood expansion proved to be their food supply, sentient lifeforms. After centuries of conflict with the parasite, the builders of Halo, the Forerunners, considered the array their last resort to preserve future galactic biodiversity. The ringworld known as Installation 04, one of twelve such weapons, was designed with a single purpose: to kill all sentient life within three radii of the galactic center, scouring the Flood and any biomass capable of supporting them. Having discovered the truth from the Installation's Artificial Intelligence, 343 Guilty Spark, John-117 destroyed the Flood, Halo, and a large Covenant fleet by detonating the reactor of the Pillar of Autumn. After hijacking a Covenant Flagship known as the Ascendant Justice, the SPARTAN reunited with the survivors from Installation 04. Linking up with other soldiers and SPARTANs evacuated from Reach, John-117 led an assault on a massive force of five hundred Covenant ships in Operation: FIRST STRIKE. This mission, along with the Battle of Installation 04, proved to be amongst of the most important victories in the entire war.

By October of 2552, the Covenant had found the position of the human home world, Earth, and sent a preliminary task force there. Believing it to be the location of the Ark, an ancient Forerunner relic, the Covenant brought only a small flotilla of warships. They encountered staunch resistance, and were initially fended off. A brief reprieve came from the political and religious crisis that wracked the Covenant in the wake of a UNSC operation to assassinate the Prophet of Regret, and following secession of the Sangheili from the Empire's hegemony. These events, combined with the fortuitous Flood infection of the Covenant homeworld of High Charity, would shatter the Empire's political unity. The Covenant Civil War, also known as the Great Schism, would last for seven years. Nevertheless, by November the remaining Covenant Loyalists had subjugated large parts of Africa, devastating much of the planet. The UNSC Homefleet and Orbital Defense Platforms fought with stunning ferocity, but in the end only a handful of ships survived the Loyalist onslaught. However, the surviving Covenant were obsessed with the completion of the Great Journey, the culmination of their religious beliefs, by activating the Forerunner portal in Africa. The resistance effort led by Lord Hood, Miranda Keyes, John-117 and the allied Sangheili Fleet was able to prevent the utter destruction of Earth, but only by the slimmest of margins.

The UNSC and Covenant Separatist forces launched a joint operation to destroy the Covenant Loyalists once and for all at the Forerunner command and control installation: the Ark. After stopping the planetoid from firing the Halo array, the alliance succeeded in killing the Covenant's last remaining leader, the Prophet of Truth. Despite being outnumbered 3:1 in orbit, and even more so on the ground, the allies destroyed the bulk of the Loyalists' remaining forces. On March 3, 2553, the Human-Covenant war officially ended in victory for the UNSC and the Covenant Separatists, but at a staggering price. An estimated twenty-three billion human civilians were killed between 2525 and 2553. Most of the UNSC's major military outposts were destroyed, with the exception of Earth which sustained heavy damage. However, with the defeat of the Covenant, the UNSC now had a second chance to rebuild, and thrive.

ReconstructionEdit

Following the inauguration of Dr. Ruth Charet in January 2553, the UNSC handed back its emergency powers to the UEG on 8 January of that year.[6] Since 2553 the UNSC has engaged in an extensive period of reconstruction in order to restore stability to the shattered remnants of human space. The UNSC has moved to reclaim those worlds that were not completely destroyed during the Human-Covenant war. By 2589, the former human stronghold of Reach had been restored and resettled by the UNSC.[7] The UNSC also maintains its earlier truce with the members of the Covenant Separatists initiated by Lord Hood and the Arbiter. Nevertheless, a black-ops team from the Office of Naval Intelligence has been supplying arms to a Sangheili faction, one ideologically opposed to the Arbiter, to destabilize their government rendering them incapable of threatening Earth. It remains to be seen how effective this strategy will be. As of 2558 the Sangheili Remnant was actively engaged against the UNSC possibly showing that the destabilization had partially failed.

OrganizationEdit

Unified Earth Government and Colonial Administration Authority

MilitaryEdit

Main article: UNSC Defense Force

The defense of UEG colonies is handled by the UNSCDF. The Defense Force was involved heavily in the Human-Covenant war.

The UNSCDF is run by the UNSC Security Council, with the professional head being UNSC High Command, based on Earth. Control is exercised through regional CENTCOMs, which have responsibility over certain areas of space.[8] The Navy houses the divisions of UNSC Marine Corps (including the special forces branch of the UNSC Marines known as Orbital Drop Shock Troopers), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the Fleet. The UNSC Army and UNSC Air Force maintain garrisons on colony worlds. When certain rebellious factions began to rise in the late 2510s, the UNSC was forced to police its protected colonies tirelessly to keep privateers and pirates from raiding the colonies and any UNSC ships.

Unlike the Covenant, UNSC military technology is still based on comparatively primitive, but effective, mechanisms - projectile weaponry, wheeled vehicles, and combustion engines. The UNSC's grasp of scientific concepts is far more advanced than the Covenant, but turning these concepts into functional machinery has proven more problematic, however not so for the Covenant. Recently, the UNSC has introduced a variety of Covenant-derived technologies into their arsenal: gravity plating aboard ships, energy shields to protect SPARTAN-II soldiers, and limited use of Directed Energy Weapons, usually lasers, such as the Weapon/Anti-Vehicle Model 6 Grindell/Galilean Nonlinear Rifle (SPARTAN Laser), though the Covenant still retain their technological advantage.

UNSC starship weaponry is based around missiles and Magnetic Accelerator Cannons. Their technological inferiority in the face of the Covenant means that it was often necessary for the UNSC to have a three-to-one numerical advantage against them in ship-to-ship combat. The UNSC also possesses a weapon of mass destruction in the form of the NOVA bomb.

The UNSC also appears to maintain a seaborne surface navy on planets with large bodies of water, such as Earth. At the very least, they had aircraft carriers available to provide air support in the form of Pelicans and F99 UCAVs.

UNSC basesEdit

United Nations Space Command Defense Force
Uniformed services ArmyAir ForceMarine CorpsNavy • Spartan
Major sub-divisions Special ForcesNaval IntelligenceColonial Militia

Public perceptionEdit

Allegations of FascismEdit

Halo3 123605983 Full

An ad for the UNSC.

The UNSC's pre-Covenant War and wartime policies were viewed with hostility by the civilian populace, especially within rebel movements. Starting with the implementation of the Cole Protocol and martial law, the UNSC's political takeover of the UEG and CMA branches and its generally authoritarian military policies championed over the course of the Human-Covenant war, the UNSC's public image has been stained by rebel and civilian allegations of fascism, totalitarianism and oppression. With ONI's war crimes, and unethical projects, many of these allegations aren't baseless.[13][14]

These allegations are not completely baseless, considering most of this perceived UNSC-directed oppression lies with poor administration in the Outer Colonies, which has led to violent food riots perpetrated by proto-rebellious groups of dissatisfied colonial workers suffering from hunger and poverty at the hands of corporate planetary control.[15]

UNSC LawsEdit

Main article: UNSC Laws

TriviaEdit

  • The UNSC is the navigation and military arm of the 'Unified Earth Government and the Colonial Administration Authority' - thus, it did not administrate the colonies without the consensus of the CAA or the UEG before the Human-Covenant war.
  • In the real world, UNSC is an acronym for the United Nations Security Council. Additionally, the United Nations Space Command Marine Corps has an ostensible inspiration from the real world United States Marine Corps.
  • The majority of UNSC ground and transport vehicles are nicknamed after animals that live on Earth, such as: the Pelican, the Mongoose, the Grizzly, the Cobra, the Elephant, the Mammoth, the Falcon, the Mantis, the Warthog, the Scorpion, the Albatross, the Rhino, the Wolverine, the Hawk and the Hornet.
  • The UNSC fighters and bombers - Sabre, Longsword, Shortsword and Broadsword - are named after blade types.
  • The only UNSC units that are not named after animals or bladed weapons are the Gremlin and the Cyclops which are both mythological creatures.
  • The UNSC's defense force, the UNSCDF, is similar to that of the present-day United States Armed Forces, including its medical and science divisions.
  • The UNSC marines in Halo: Combat Evolved have a similar appearance to the Colonial Marines in the Alien series.
  • The UNSC seems to be in charge of advertising as well, since a contact number on Tsavo Highway states that the UNSC be contacted for the placement of advertisements.
  • The UNSC logo was also mistakenly used to represent the United Nations Security Council on the British Broadcasting Corporation channel. A video can be seen here.
  • It appears that the bird shown on the UNSC logo is a falcon, due to the top of the logo matching the Halo 4 falcon emblem.
  • The UNSC drafted people during the Human-Covenant war. Evidence of this can be seen here.
  • In Halo Wars, the UNSC single units are stronger than the Covenant single units, with a few exceptions. However, the Covenant has a higher limit on the amount of troops.
  • All 3 of the UNSC's major weapons manufacturers: Chalybs Defense Solutions, Misriah Armory, and Ushuaia Armory, all have Seven letters as a "catch-name."

SourcesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Halo: Contact Harvest
  2. 2.0 2.1 Halo.bungie.org - Interview with Frank O'Connor and Robert McLees
  3. Halo: The Fall of Reach - page 37
  4. halo.bungie.org - Timeline
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Halo: The Fall of Reach
  6. Halo Waypoint Forums: Catalog Interaction
  7. Halo: Reach - Lone Wolf
  8. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx - page 34
  9. Halo: First Strike
  10. I Love Bees
  11. 11.0 11.1 Halo 2
  12. 12.0 12.1 Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  13. Halo 3: ODST - Mombasa Streets
  14. Halo: The Cole Protocol - page ??
  15. Halo: The Cole Protocol - pages 106-107


Major Factions
United Nations Space Command
United Rebel Front
Covenant Empire
SeparatistsRemnant
Forerunner Ecumene
Prometheans
Flood

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