Alternative History

The American Foreign Legion (AFL) is a specialized mercenary branch of the United States Armed Forces. The ALF consist of three 8,000-man mechanized infantry divisions whose members are non-U.S. citizens serving under a cadre of 2,000 regular U.S. Army officers in each division. The AFL divisions are based at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and Fort Bliss, Texas.

Each enlistee agrees to serve in uniform for a minimum of ten years, after which he and his immediate family become naturalized as American citizens. While serving, each AFL soldier receives a salary and benefits similar to those received by the active-duty military.

Initial training consist of an intense, six-week English-language course for those unable to communicate effectively in English. Following that, the recruit attends a 12-week Army basic training program. The training focus is on basic mechanized infantry tactics and security operations. Every graduate is qualified as a rifleman with specialized training conducted within the AFL division as required.

The American Foreign Legion has split responsibilities similar to that of the United States Coast Guard for peacetime and wartime conditions. During peacetime, the AFL falls under the control of the United States Department of Homeland Security with a primary mission of augmenting the U.S. Border Patrol in border security operations. Daily operations include conducting extensive patrols of the border, freeing the U.S. Border Patrol to concentrate its efforts on operating fixed border checkpoints.

When directed by the President of the United States, command of the AFL shifts to the United States Department of Defense. While trained and equipped to carry out high-intensity combat operations, the primary role of the AFL under the DoD is to serve as a designated peacekeeping force. This allows regular Army units to concentrate on high-intensity conflict scenarios, and dramatically aids the overall readiness of the U.S. armed forces.

The rapidly deployable AFL divisions are equipped with M113A3 armored personnel carriers. These tracked vehicles protect the troops from the small-arms, RPG and improvised explosive threats common to low-intensity conflicts. Each AFL division has roughly 500 M113A3 series vehicles, in addition to a limited number of Humvees, fuelers, LMTV's, and HMMT wreckers.

Aside from the core mechanized infantry units, each AFL division includes an engineer construction battalion. While the AFL has no need for combat engineers, construction engineers are in constant demand, particularly in training deployments to Third World nations. The ability to build schools, roads and irrigation systems contributes significantly to the success of any peacekeeping operation.