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Conquered by the Albion Empire in the last great expansion in the 19th Century, the region of Al-Bawaaba has been a mixing point of Bazi and Albion culture. Because of this, the local people have developed an independent streak, seeing themselves as belonging to neither of the Great Powers that surrounded them.

During the Albion Civil War, the local ruling council decided to seize the initiative and put themselves in a better bargaining position to determine their own future. Local units of the Security Force, along with a civilian militia formed by community leaders overrun Albion military bases in an almost bloodless coup. After expelling the captured and disarmed units across the border (providing several iconic photos that would be broadcast to the world), the Al-Bawaba People’s Council would become a key player in the final resolution of that conflict, mostly by keeping its stockpile of weapons out of the hands of either faction, as well as keeping the Bazi Empire from moving easily into the area to provide support to either faction.

Al-Bawaaba now occupies a special place in the reformed Albion Empire. More of a satellite state than a true province, it is responsible for much of its own internal politics, economy and services while the Empire takes care of international relations and trade. The capital of the province sits just across the border from the Emirate of Bazistan’s second city, and it is very common for people to cross into Al-Bawaaba to partake of its vices (alcohol, gambling and cheap consumer goods among others) before crossing back into the more restrictive Emirate. Taxi drivers in both nations have standardised rates for crossing the border, including a substantial bribe to the border crossing guards to avoid any searches of their vehicles for smuggled goods.

The rest of the province is mostly mountainous and rural. Fertile valleys are separated by towering peaks, catching the rain clouds drifting in from the southern seas. Isolated villages and towns are connected by a rough system of roads, the main paved highways mostly connecting Al-Bawaaba to the rest of the Empire. Although not rich, malnutrition is rare and medical care is available through the use of small local clinics in each village connecting to a larger network if more advanced care is needed. Education is universal and free up to high school level, with the province having two universities in addition to various technical colleges.

In terms of defence, the Albion Empire is still responsible for control of the airspace operating a single squadron out of Prince Alexander International Airport in peace time. However, ground security is the responsibility of the Al-Bawaaba Security Force. Equipped by the Albion Empire, these forces report to the Ruling Council rather than directly to Albion's High Command structure.

Regional Situation The neighbouring Emirate of Bazistan is the poorest of the nations that make up the Bazistani Empire. Due to an internal economic crash as well as ongoing tension with the Republic of Shyluz to the north and Rettung to the east over the recently opened Dazhbog Gas and Petroleum pipeline, the Emirati Army has relocated most of its forces to guard the northern and eastern borders against possible incursions. This has left the Albion border undermanned, with large sections of the mountainous desert unmonitored. Criminal groups, as well as counter-government forces, have begun traversing the border more frequently, expanding their existing bases inside of Al-Bawaaba in preparation for a future collapse of the Bazi Empire.

With this escalating situation, the Al-Bawaaba Security Force (or ABSF) has started preparing a new internal security policy. A network of forward operating bases have been constructed, housing troops to run more frequent patrols throughout the border settlements and to respond to enemy concentrations spotted via Albion’s Damocles satellite network. In addition, each FOB is capable of providing indirect fire support or counter-battery fire, either through short range mortar emplacements or the deployment of artillery detachments (either tube or MRLS). These indirect fire platforms are strictly controlled, as the ruling council wishes to minimise civilian casualties.

Albion’s Ministry of Defence was quick to move Imperial forces into position to assist this security policy by one of its provinces. As well as access to their space-born surveillance network, Albion has also deployed several infantry companies to the border (taking over regular border security duties), along with additional close air support joining the air superiority squadron at Prince Alexander International Airport. Finally, Albion Special Activities Teams have integrated with the local infantry units, adding skilled JTAC capabilities to the roving patrols while also providing mentoring to them to improve basic infantry tactics.

Al-Bawaaba Security Force