Air Wing

Carrier Strike Wing 11

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Insignia of the Lucky Eleventh.

Carrier Strike Wing 11 was formed in the early days of the first Cylon war. Made up of the Aerilon Air Defense Force, and elements of the Canceron Space Guard, the Eleventh was by far one of the smallest unified strike wings to see action. Due the remote location of the Helios Delta system, it had been largely ignored by the imperial powers of Helios Beta for several centuries. Its military forces were woefully underdeveloped and many pilots were originally Aerilonian farmhands and Canceronion slumdogs conscripted into the system's defense forces because of hard-learned resourcefulness and quick thinking, rather than professional military training. As such, the Eleventh's tactics were guerrilla tactics, based not on massive tactical operations, but on precision strikes designed to slow and harry the enemy so as to give Marines and militiamen on the ground time to find cover and retaliate with ground-to-air resistance. This strategy proved to be effective, as it allowed the wing to utilize smaller airfields spread across Aerilon's surface, rather than concentrating their forces. Compromised squadrons were able to repair what losses they took, while another pocket of fighters would engage oncoming Cylon basestars.

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Pilots of Carrier Strike Wing 11 have a reputation for being stubborn — often eloquently referred to as "too stubborn to die" — and with good reason. The 11th is famously known for their action in the Battle of Lindinis - in which the entirety of the 11th held off Cylon raiders for three days, thus preventing the invasion of Northern Aerilon. As the breadbasket of the Cyrannus Star System, Aerilon was a vital target to the Cylons. If the Cylon forces could cripple Aerilon, they'd cripple the Colonies' food supply. However, despite the planet's importance, Helios Delta was isolated from the rest of the star cluster and thus difficult for Colonial forces to defend. With most of the fleet engaged in a battle against Cylon forces moving towards Caprica, there was no hope that a battlestar would arrive in time to protect the planet from the basestar that had materialized over Aerilonian space. The 11th was on its own. Without hesitation, the men and women of the 11th engaged the Cylon raiders in what many believed to be a suicide mission and possibly even Aerilon's last stand.

The people of the 11th Wing lived to tell the tale of the Battle of Lindinis for one reason and one reason only — the actions of Lt. Max "Bad Dog" Ruegger. Late in the evening of the second day of battle, with the Colonial forces exhausted and badly overmatched, Lt. Ruegger's bird was hit. It was a mortal wound to plane and pilot both, knocking out his weapons system and leaving Ruegger himself with no hope of surviving a (crash) landing on the planet below. With only moments left to live, and against the orders of his captain, Bad Dog decided to do what he did best — piss somebody off. He made a crazed kamikaze run for the Cylon basestar, crashing his Viper into its primary missile battery. In doing so, he crippled both its ability to defend itself and to defend its Raiders. While it was not enough to win the battle, it was enough to buy the 11th the time it needed for the Battlestar Athena to arrive and drive off the enemy threat. Of the nine squadrons that made up the 11th Wing, three were completely destroyed. Two more had been so badly decimated that their pilots were folded into the thinned ranks of other squadrons, leaving a total of four. In just three days, more than half of the 11th had been killed. It did not have time to recoup losses before joining the Battlestar Athena's air wing in the Battle of Tauron, which would be the last major action of the first Cylon War. Many of its surviving pilots were highly commended for their brave actions in these two battles; many of the awards were made posthumously.

After the first Cylon War, the 11th would go on to handle flight duties in the Pacification of Tauron and after be housed on Aerilon as a supplemental unit defending Helios Delta airspace. However, the Athena, having survived the First Cylon War, was one of the oldest ships in the fleet. As the few remaining Galactica-class ships began to be decommissioned, the air wing was soon to be either disbanded or left without a home. Given its importance to the survival of an entire colony, Fleet Command opted for the latter, moving the unit to one of the newly commissioned Mercury-class ships. Recently assigned to the Battlestar Orion, many believe that it is the wing's experience flying rescue missions within the depleted Aeolus Asteroid Belt — which circles within the shared orbit of Aerilon-Hestia-Canceron — that has qualified it for selection as point of Joint Task Force NOMAD's deep space mining mission.

After the crushing Cylon surprise attack at the opening of the Second Cylon War, the 11th was the only surviving air wing. It saw extensive action, flying in every major campaign of the war. The Wing suffered heavy losses during the Blue Axe campaign, being reduced to sixty active pilots, who became colloquially known as The Sixty. Despite this eighty percent casualty rate, the 11th soldiered on through the remainder of the war, and it took nearly two years to be brought back up to strength as many of the surviving sixty were transferred to lead and train new units.


The wing's motto is "Libertas vel Mort", which means "liberty or death". While the exact source of the motto is unknown, it is largely attributed to the do-or-die attitudes of its fighter pilots at the Battle of Lindinis. It is sometimes mistakenly credited to Bad Dog Ruegger himself, though none of the surviving pilots from his flight have any memory of him uttering it and each has told a different story as to the man's last words.

Viper Squadrons (Active)

Designation Insignia Nickname Spaceframe Primary Mission Motto
VF-979 Fist.jpg Avengers Viper Mk. II+ Space Superiority De oppresso Liber
VF-777 Lucky-4.jpg Lucky Strikes Viper Mk. II+ Space Superiority Fortis atque Fidelis
VF-119 to-conquer-or-die.png Templars Viper Mk. II+ Space Superiority Aut Vincere Aut Mori
VFA-33 33d_Fighter_Wing.png Prophets Viper Mk. II+ Battlefield Interdiction Flagellum Solis

Raptor Squadrons (Active)

Designation Insignia Nickname Spaceframe Primary Mission Motto
VAQ-121 deathhead.jpg Gentlemen Ghosts Super Raptor Assault Angelus Nihilus
VAW-101 death_from_above.png The Black Watch Super Raptor Electronic Warfare Mors Ab Alto
VRC-440 RCAFbat.jpg Red Bats Super Raptor Logistics and Support Ad utrumque paratus
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