“First in, last out, last standing.”
– Frank “Greeneyes” Jackson, Knighthawks XO.
Carrier Fighter Squadron 177 (AKA The Knighthawks) are one of the most famous fighter forces of the United States Expeditionary Force (USEF), respected by allies and feared by damned near everyone else.
Pictured above: ships of the Knighthawks in ready positions on a strike carrier.
Before the First Age, the Knighthawks served in the skirmishes between human factions around Sol. As humans took to the stars and met hostile races like the Wun’Tux, the American military realised it needed new tactics and new ideas in order to remain cutting edge and competitive. The secret base at Ursa Minor was established to develop these ideas and nurture such a culture. The Knighthawks were initially deployed as the base’s garrison fighter squadron but their obvious dedication and discipline put them to the front of the queue for deployment on the new Strike Carriers.
The Knighthawks fly X-33 Scimitars, a modern space superiority fighter. Incapable of Faster-Than-Light travel, the Scimitar necessitates a carrier. The pilots live, sleep and eat together in the confines of the carrier craft, forming the tightest-knit of groups. Scimitar jockeys live in direct competition with pilots of the FTL-capable strike fighters, each striving to out perform the other.
The Knighthawks served with distinction in the US-led fightback against the Wun’Tux, operating off of the new Highpoint carriers. And when they lost their long serving Wing Commander to the reptilian slave mines, their hatred of the Wun’Tux was sealed.
Pictured above: A four-ship lance of Knighthawks in formation, the rearmost in the custom colours befitting an ace.