-Hans Steir, callsign Paladin 1
The Belkan Air Force 3rd Naval Air Division, 1st Fighter Wing, 11th Tactical Fighter Squadron, callsign "Paladin", was one of the last remaining units of the Belkan Air Force after the fall of the Belkan Waldreich. Never one to simply give up on a loss, the squadron joined the Armed Antarctic Alliance, and soon became the deadliest squadron of their entire Air Force.
Early History (1910-1948)
The Paladin Squadron initially had its roots during the Osean War as Jagdstaffel (Jasta for short) 5, one of the first organized air units in any military, ever. While not as famous as some other squadrons of the day, they nevertheless had an impressive track record, but it was their refusal to engage enemies that couldn't fight back (they in fact made a point of escorting enemy planes that were unable to fight back to their own lines) that earned them the admiration and respect of both sides, earning them their nickname, "Paladin". This attitude ended with the war, with the original roster retiring at the end of it all in 1919.
When the Osean Continental War/Second World War began in the 1930s, the squadron instead gained an entirely different reputation from their predecessors, one of ruthless efficiency deadly precision. Indeed, on the Eastern Front, Paladin was responsible for annihilating entire wings of enemy aircraft almost single-handedly, and while not quite having the same reputation as the 3113th Taktische Jagdstaffel "Wywyrm", they had their share of notoriety, and by the end of the war became one of the first to produce jet aces. In 1948, the war ended with Belka's defeat, and to relieve the resulting economic downturn, the Belkan Military downsized, and Paladin Squadron was disbanded.
Revival and Service on the Usean Continent (1980-2005)
In 1980, Belka started to increase its military spending, and drastically expanded its armed forces over the next decade and a half, especially its Air Force. A new squadron, the 3rd Air Division's 11th Tactical Fighter Squadron, took up the mantle of the Paladin Squadron during this time. The new Paladin Squadron first saw combat in Recta, in which they primarily undertook multirole strike operations in support of the ground forces, but they had their share of encounters with Rectan fighters as well, and suffered only minimal losses in air-to-air combat (partly because they were one of the first Belkan Squadrons to recieve the then brand-new F/A-18 Hornet), although their losses to enemy anti-aircraft defenses were far more severe.
Fifteen years later, the Belkan War broke out, and the squadron was assigned, again, to multirole strike operations. This time, however, their losses were much greater, particularly during Operation Battleaxe. By the end of the war, none of the pilots that were on the roster at its start were still alive.The end of the Belkan War saw the disbanding of the Belkan Air Force, and Paladin was no exception, although they did manage to escape complete disbandment by becoming an aggressor squadron for USEA. The Usean rebellion in 1998 would force them into combat again, however, but with an interesting twist: one flight of the Paladin Squadron broke off from the rest and joined the Usean Rebels, forming the USEA Unified Air Force 13th Air Force, 8th Fighter Wing, 5th Squadron, callsign "Beast", which terrorized the loyalist military forces for quite some time before being defeated by the mercenary ace, Phoenix.
With the end of the rebellion, the surviving members of Paladin Squadron joined the Federal Erusian Air Force, and served in the Usean Continental War before finally being annihilated by the ISAF ace Mobius One during the assault on the Whiskey Corridor. One pilot, Johann Stier, survived and returned to his native Belka and became a flight instructor.
Belka's Fall (2011-2018)
With the revival of the Belkan Air Force in 2011, Stier rejoined the Belkan Air Force, this time as a base commander, at the request of Brigadier General Erik Felsen, and yet again, the Paladin Squadron was reformed, this time with Stier's son, Hans, as the flight lead. When the Belkan Expeditionary Force was sent to Emmeria in 2014, Paladin was temporarily attached to the 8th Air Division, and recieved training from Felsen himself, leaving an impression on the squadron's flying style that clearly shows (their fighting style could best be described as "Follow Lancelot's Example". This made them one of the more experienced squadrons during the Second Osean Continental War, and indeed, their track record shows in both air-to-air and air-to-ground kills that they were among the best. Unfortunately, this all came to naught, as in 2018, Belka ceased to exist as a nation; fearing war crimes charges for their role in strafing civilian protesters in Sudentor, Paladin Squadron fled, and joined up with a small PMC known as Iceberg Defense, one of the founding companies of the Armed Antarctic Alliance.
"When I stand alone, the Forest Empire has fallen" (2022-2024)
(WIP; Planned Sim Warfare Thread)
- Sergei Brynner (formerly Paladin 5 before breaking off and becoming Beast 1)
- Johann Stier (formerly Paladin 3 and later, Paladin 1)
- Hans Stier (Paladin 1)
- Fokker A.1 (1910-1912)
- Fokker E.1 (1913-1914)
- Albatros D-series (1915-1917)
- Siemens-Shuckhert D.IV (1918-1930)
- He-51 (1931-1933)
- He-112 (1934-1939)
- He-100 (1940-1945)
- Me-262 HGIII (1946-1947)
- F/A-18C Hornet (1995-1996)
- F/A-18E Super Hornet (1997-2023)
- X-02 Wyvern (2024)
- The squadron's motto on the ensign translates as "When I stand alone, the Forest Empire has fallen"