The Royal Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Macedonia, or Macedonian Armed Forces, are the military forces of the Kingdom of Macedonia , and includes the Macedonian Royal Army, Macedonian Royal Navy, Macedonian Royal Air Force, and Macedonian Royal Marine Corps. Although the Macedonian Royal Guard is technically a military units, it and its budget are technically part of the Executive Branch. In the Macedonian Constitution, the Macedonian Royal Armed Forces have the purpose of "protecting the foreign and domestic interests of the state and the government." The armed forces of Macedonia have expanded greatly over recent years thanks to the invention of new weapons, the introduction of new military policies, and finding of old weapons that were repaired. Originally made up of a few hundred troops gathered up by Alexander and the remaining members of the Yugoslav Royal Family, the army, after failing to take Yugoslavia, moved south to the lower Balkans and eventually help set up the Kingdom of Macedonia.
In 1997, conscription was introduced to the country and now the armed forces are made up of professional soldiers who train at three military academies across Macedonia. They have also helped recently to bring order to the outer parts of the country, which were recently ravaged by outsider warlords as well as anti-ethnic and racial unity militants. The current size of the military is 200,000 troops, 120,000 in the army, 60,000 in the navy, 15,000 in the air force, and 5,000 marines. Although due to conscription, the size of the armed forces, or certain branches, often increases in wartime, such as during the recent Albanian War when that number of men in the army was increased to 300,000.
The Macedonian Joint Military Staff, a group made up of multiple high commanders in the four branches of the military. It consists of the Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the Naval Staff, Chief of the Air Force Staff, and the Chief of the Marin Corps Staff. The Staff also consists of the General of the Macedonian Army, head of the Army, the Admiral of the Macedonian Fleet, head of the Navy, the Marshal of the Air Force, head of the Air Force, and the General of the Marine Corps, head of the Marine Corps. This group advises the President and the Secretary of Defense on matters of military operations, and often advises him on the military-related terms of a peace treaty after a war ends. The Staff is headed by the Chairman of the Joint Military Staff, a position which changes every 3 years and rotates around the four branches of the military.
The training of the Macedonian military is administered by each of their branches of the government, and each branch has its own military academy. The Army's military academy is situated in Kumanovo, the Naval Academy is situated in Lezha, also the site of the Marine Corps academy, and the Air Force Academy is situated in Tetovo. Each class of conscripts is trained in a 4 week period in war time, but in a time of peace, they are trained in a period of 5 months. After each soldier serves in 2 years of the military, they can make the decision on whether or not to stay in the military, and from there, they can take classes lasting anywhere from 2-4 years, and eventually receive officers training for positions ranking higher than Lieutenant. On average, about 1 in 8 people choose to remain in the military after their tour of duty, and often means it becomes their career.
The Army Academy in Kumanovo, for conscripts, offers 4 courses, Infantry, Armour, Sniping, and Artillery, and for people who make careers out of it, they are offered 3 main branches of courses, Non-Commissioned or Commissioned Officers. Soldiers are given the option of continuing in Infantry, Armour, Sniping, or Artillery, all non-commissioned positions or for specializations, while Officers positions give classes in Logistics, Strategy, and Intelligence. Officers classes are required for high-ranking positions in the army, and offer those who succeed in their courses a job in the Army for years to come.
The Army of Macedonia started out as the small force assembled by Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia, after they failed to set up a new kingdom in the northern part of Yugoslavia. They moved south, pulling together many other smaller cities and towns into their new country. After Alexander was crowned king of the new nation, the army was nationalized and the original fighting force became the core of the nations defense for the time being, though it was mostly small and new troops were only added lightly and it functioned more like a militia.
In 1997, however, conscription was introduced and the number of people in the army increased greatly and soon an army academy was set up in Skopje to help train the normal troops and officers of the new, and now professional, army. Now the army uses an array of weapons found in raided former Yugoslav and Greek military bases, including assault rifles, sniper rifles, and machine guns, but a great advance happened in 2001 when T-55's were reintroduced to Army, although they were only really used for border patrols and none ever really saw action. In 2005, however they reintroduced the T-72 to the army, and later that year they began to use the M-84 tanks as the MBT of the Army. M-84's were designed during the Cold War before Doomsday in Yugoslavia, but their designs and prototypes were picked up by the Macedonians and put into production. Currently, there are 200 tanks in service in the Macedonian Army, 125 T-72's and 75 M-84, and 300 artillery pieces. More recently, the Army has been equipped with anti-tank guided missiles, mostly the 3M6 Shmel and 9K11 Malyutka anti-tank guided missiles.
The rate of production has increased over the years as 8 tanks are now made domestically each year while 7 more, 2 from Brazil, 4 from Turkey, and 1 from Venezuela, are imported. And in 2007 the use of artillery from captured military bases has been implemented and now hundreds of shells are produced in Macedonia and abroad every year.
In 1998, to combat the small navy of Serbia which itself was only a few small patrol boats that were launched from ports in the area, and were harassing and attacking the fishing fleet of Macedonia. While the navy itself was initially just the same in 1998, by the next year it consisted of a few gunboats captured from former Greek ports. In 1999, at the battle of the Adriatic Sea, the seven-boat Macedonian fleet fought the eleven-boat Serbian fleet.
Although outnumbered, the Macedonian fleet highly outgunned the Serbians, where as the Serbians were only patrol boats with the sailors carrying some assault rifles, the Macedonians had machine guns attached to their boats. The fighting went on for about five hours with both sides often retreating, regrouping, and then attacking again, mostly ineffectively, until the Macedonians and Serbians both regrouped and fought each other head on in an arrowhead formation until all people on the Serbian ships were either shot dead or their boats had exploded after their fuel tanks got hit with bullets.
In the recent months, the current administration of Gjorge Ivanov has looked to the seas for Macedonia's future, and seeks to increase the Kingdom of Macedonia as a naval power. He has looked to see that Macedonia's major ports are expanded on in the Port Act of 2011, recently passed by the Macedonian Assembly. He also looks to get several more naval acts passed to help build up the Macedonian Navy.
Today, the navy of Macedonia consists of 60,000 sailors and around 50 gunboats, 60 patrol boats, and 2 small frigates given to them by the Turkish sultan, but research has begun with Macedonian and Turkish designers into building light cruisers and other types of new ships that will expand the powers of both navies.
After the Civil War, in 2000, Božidar Stefanović, a man who was an air force officer in Yugoslavia before Doomsday and had convinced the king to create the Army Air Task Force, was made the first Marshal of the Air Force of Macedonia and the AATF was turned into the Macedonian Air Force. They had mostly proved themselves worthy of true government support during the Civil War at the battle of Skopje when machine guns from the helicopters, which the Serbians had no defense against, shot down upon the rebels and killed many of them, including some high-ranking officers and even the commander, who had only been appointed his position a month prior. They proved themselves again when the AATF spotted the Serbian "President's" ship and surrounded it, making him surrender so that when the navy ships arrived and captured him, he could be taken in, put to trial, and executed.
Originally consisting of a few helicopters with machine guns built in, the Air Force has grown since then into a powerful force to reckoned with in the air, albeit with much recent help from the Air Force of Turkey. The Air Force now employs 15,000 airmen and support soldiers, and owns multiple helicopters, a couple dozen fighters from the raided Batajnica Air Base and Hellenic Air Force bases, and now produces these aircraft, although at only a rate of a couple each year, and today, even, the air force consists mainly of helicopters, which have shown their superiority to enemy rebels and foreign warlords multiple times. In 2008, Macedonia discovered the Slatina Air Base in their territory, as well as its supply of MiG-21's, which gave the Macedonia Air Force a big boost in abilities. These planes proved vital in the Albania-Macedonia in 2009-2010, as Albanian operated MiG-19 were outclassed by their Macedonian counterparts, to the point that the Albanian Air Force refused to leave the ground. Their are currently 40 fighter aircraft in the Macedonian Air Force, all of which are MiG-21's, there are also about 20 J-22 Orao's, and 40 Helicopters.
The Macedonian Marines Corp is about the same size it is now as when it was founded in 2006, as a way to expand the military of Macedonia and in case of a war where they must invade an island and the navy doesn't have the capacity to occupy it from an enemy force. The marines are equipped with pretty much the same guns and other pieces of equipment as the army and the navy, but they also are equipped with a dozen landing craft, with which they can cross from their ships to the island they are invading. Though technically just an extension of the navy, the Marines receive different representation than the navy in the Assembly and are seen by a majority of the Macedonian public as an entirely different force compared to the navy. The current size of the Marines is 5,000 members and they are all trained at the Marine Corp Academy in Skopje.
On June 11, 2011, the Macedonian Assembly passed a law which made all paramilitary organizations in the Kingdom of Macedonia into a single organization, subordinate to the Army, called the Macedonian National Home Guard Army. By June 15, the major paramilitary organizations had submitted to the law, and the Home Guard was established, but still required the necessary organization. But within the next few days, it was given a commanding general, a planned part in the national budget, and a member of the Military Staff. Although the Home Guard does not possess any military-grade armored vehicles, they do possess armored trucks and some artillery. They are the only units in the modern military armed with hunting rifles, but use them in the place of sniper rifles.
The Royal Guard is an elite group of just 750 soldiers whose sole purpose in this position is the protection of the
members of the Royal family, and for the most part today perform ceremonial roles as bodyguards during ceremonies with Royal family members in attendance and act much like the Scottish Guard. They have to have served at least 3 years in the military and have passed a series of physical and mental tests, as well as a background check to make sure they are from Macedonia and do not have, or have a very small, criminal record.
The Royal Guard was started during in 1996, while during the era of ethnic tensions, which would later lead to the Civil War, after a Serbian terrorist shot, and almost killed, Crown Prince Phillip while he was at a dinner in Skopje. Today, they serve the same role as they did after their creation in 1996, and, while this has rarely happens, they can be given permission to be sent into battle to act as a kind of special corp for high-risk missions, and today are headed overall by the Supreme Guardsman of the Royal House of Karadjordjević Gordana Jankulovska.
The prime reason for the design of the Macedonian units is flexibility to deal with internal and external threats. The main unit in use of the Macedonian forces are Brigades, Flotillas, and Air Groups, each made up of smaller units of specialization who come together to become flexible mini-armies, navies, or air forces. Each of these larger units are based in larger groups of Divisions, Fleets, and Air Wings, respectively, as to cut cost on base building and base management. There are 5 divisions, each consisting of 4 brigades with 5,000 men, 2 fleets, with each fleet consisting of 25 gunboats, 30 patrol boats, and 1 frigate, each having 5 flotillas, with one flotilla having 5 or 6 gunboats, 3 air wings, each with 3,000 operatives and about 24 helicopters and 3 fighters, divided into air groups, 3 in each air wing, with 1,000 operatives 8 helicopters and 1 fighters.
Units of the Macedonian Army
- 1st Macedonian Army Division (Based in Skopje, to defend the capital)
- 2nd Macedonian Army Division (Based in Shkodra, to defend western border)
- 3rd Macedonian Army Division (Based in Edessa, to defend from Greece)
- 4th Macedonian Army Division (Based in Prizren, to defend northern border)
- 5th Macedonian Army Division (Based in Kavala to defend naval port there and from eastern Greece)
Units of the Macedonian Navy
- 1st Macedonian Navy Fleet (Based in Lezha, to defend western coast)
- 2nd Macedonian Navy Fleet (Based in New Thessaloniki, a city built in the OTL Serres providence of Greece and used by Macedonia to defend eastern coast)
Units of the Macedonian Air Force
- 1st Macedonian Air Wing (Based in Seres, to defend southern border)
- 2nd Macedonian Air Wing (Based in Bitola, to defend capital and northern border)
- 3rd Macedonian Air Wing (Based in Lezha, to defend western border from possible Sicilian aggression and support the navy)