- "Strong men have conquered the land, bold men have conquered the void, between land and void lies the sky, and only the bravest men ever conquer that."
- — Dedication to the Hessenville Aviator Scholam on Phantine
The Phantine Air Corps is an unusual regimental-sized force of Imperial fighter-bombers and bombers raised from the Industrial World of Phantine that provides dedicated air support for the ground forces of the Astra Militarum. It is a unique formation within the ranks of the Imperial Guard, perhaps even an aberration, for the Phantine Air Corps fights solely in the air and has no presence on the ground. As its name indicates, the Phantine Air Corps is comprised of dedicated fighter pilots and bomber crews, a branch of the Imperial military traditionally found only in service with the Imperial Navy.
Save for the liberation of their own home, the Industrial World of Phantine, the Phantine Air Corps has never fought as a whole unit. Much like their counterparts in the Imperial Navy's Aeronautica Imperialis, the wings of the Phantine Air Corps are deployed individually as the need arises. Though small in numbers, the valiant men and women of the Phantine Air Corps now provide tactical air support to the Imperial troops engaged against the Blood Pact in the ongoing Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
The Phantine Air Corps is a recent addition to the forces of the Astra Miltarum. In fact, before the second phase of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade and Warmaster Macaroth's daring offensive in the Khan Group, the Phantine Air Corps had been confined to the skies of its homeworld of Phantine. Phantine itself also came under attack by the troops of the Blood Pact, when that Chaotic foe conducted a wide-scale counterattack on the Crusade's flanks, but was saved by the hasty redeployment of Imperial troops under command of Lord General Barthol Van Voytz. With the increasing resistance faced by the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, the Phantine Air Corps was only recently called to fight off-world, their baptism by fire coming in the Enothian War.
The history of the Phantine Air Corps is closely linked to that of their highly unusual homeworld, Phantine. Its soil is tremendously rich in valuable chemical substances, in particular Promethium, which even today constitutes Phantine's main export. However, the continuous exploitation and refinement of Phantine's mineral resources has polluted its lower atmosphere to the point that life on the surface became untenable. Whereas most human civilisations faced with the same dilemma chose to live underground or in sealed hive cities, on Phantine the choice was made to continue to exploit Phantine's natural wealth and instead relocate Phantine's population above the cloudline. The world's people were moved into newly erected sky-cities which were constructed on the world's highest mountain ranges or on top of its now-uninhabited hive complexes. Phantine's lower troposphere is now composed of a sea of highly corrosive gases and acids locally known as "the Scald", for those unfortunate enough to be exposed to it would be eaten alive in mere solar minutes. This has led to a complete reorganisation of Phantine's formerly land-based Planetary Defence Forces, which by necessity took to the skies.
Because of the Scald, Phantine is difficult to assail. Every major sky-city has its own complement of aircraft and Planetary Defence Forces stationed there, but as many of the world's domed cities lie beyond the range of a single aircraft, the Phantine Air Corps also maintains great aerostats to carry troops, provisions and supplies from one city to another. These aerostats are truly gigantic, more akin to flying military bases than mere transport ships. Each aerostat is held aloft by gigantic gas-filled cylinders and is propelled by a series of powerful engines located in great nacels kept away from the main body of the aircraft. These engines use great fans rather than turboreactors or Plasma Drives to limit the spontaneous combustion of the aerostat's gas reserves or a catastrophic chain-reaction with the strange and often highly volatile gases of the Scald. The great aerostats are poorly armed and rely heavily on their complements of bombers and fighters for their own protection or to mount an offensive. Each aerostat carries several squadrons -- or "wings" as they are called by the Phantine.
Tactical analyses of the Phantine Liberation campaign suggest that it was this advantage in mobility that permitted the Imperial counterattack on Phantine to be so effective, as the Blood Pact had not succeeded in taking control of one of these aerostats. One aerostat is big enough to transport three regiments of the Imperial Guard, their equipment and supplies, their transport vessels and its own wings of aircraft. The Phantine Air Corps is known to field several of these leviathans. During the assault on Ouranberg, no less than six of these "zeppelins" took to the skies: the Aeolus, Boreas, Nimbus, Skyro, Trenchant and the Zephyr. Of these, only the Skyro was lost during the operation, its captain choosing to close with Ouranberg and let its troops rappel directly onto its objective rather than letting its transports brave the storm of anti-air fire coming from the sky-city. However, the volume of fire coming from Ouranberg proved too much, even for the Skyro, which perished in a flaming inferno once its mission was accomplished. Unfortunately, the size of the zeppelins means that they cannot be transported offworld and must remain on Phantine.
The Phantine Air Corps carried the brunt of the Imperial military effort to liberate their homeworld, although their casualties were few compared to the thousands of Guardsmen that died during the fighting on the "ground" at Cirenholm or at Ouranberg. Yet the Air Corps was tasked with countless different missions: combat air patrols to guarantee the security of their zeppelins, bombing raids, interception missions and even aerial reconnaissance. The Air Corps participated in countless minor skirmishes or dogfights and was part of every major offensive. It was this tenacity and the telling results of these operations that would see the Phantine Air Corps eventually promoted to frontline duties.
- The Phantine Liberation (771.M41) - Left vulnerable by the push into the Cabal System, the Imperial Sabbat Worlds Crusade was flanked by the Chaos-tainted armies of the Blood Pact. A second frontline opened, and war raged on a score of worlds, including Phantine. Lacking air superiority, the Blood Pact was unable to wholly conquer Phantine before the Imperium sent in reinforcements and began its liberation. The liberation of its homeworld became the Phantine Air Corps' baptism by fire. It participated on many levels in the conflict: its fighter pilots duelled enemy aircraft for air-supremacy, its bomber-crews conducted daring raids on occupied sky-cities, and its transport pilots braved Phantine's own guns, now manned by Blood Pact soldiers, to safely deliver their human cargo to the battlefield. Alongside their comrades in the Phantine Skyborne, the Air Corps supplied Imperial forces with crucial tactical air support. Their exemplary conduct in this war would lead the Phantine Air Corps to be noticed by Warmaster Macaroth himself, who increasingly deployed the Air Corps to other warzones of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade after their showing on Phantine. The innate talent and excellent training of the Air Corps' pilots meant that several amongst their number attained the status of ace before the end of the war on Phantine.
- The Enothian War (772-774.M41) - The Enothian War holds a special place in the annals of the Phantine Air Corps, as it was one of the unit's first great victories as well as the first time an officer from Phantine was put in command of an entire Imperial warzone. Much like Phantine itself, the Civilised World of Enothis had come under attack by the Forces of Chaos. Led by one of their most notorious generals, Magister Anakwanar Sek, the Chaos Cultists gained control of the southern Trinity hive-cities and pushed to the north, where they were met by the Enothian Planetary Defence Forces. Bolstered by elements of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, the Imperium pushed back, but after more than 200 solar days of fighting, the Imperial forces suffered a grievious defeat at the gates of the Trinity Hives. Unknown to the Imperium, the Archenemy had received powerful reinforcements, including several regiments of Blood Pact troopers and Sek's own cadres of elite fighter pilots. While the assembled might of several armoured and mechanised regiments of the Imperial Guard and a sizeable portion of Enothis' own Planetary Defence Forces fought a desperate retreat through the Interior Desert -- harrassed constantly by enemy ground and air forces -- the war shifted from the land to the sky. By direct order of Warmaster Macaroth, Grand Admiral Ornoff of the Phantine Air Corps was put in charge of the Enothis warzone. Several wings of the Phantine Air Corps were immediately deployed to Enothis by mid-773.M41 on the war's 250th day. In a great redeployment, the Imperial Navy and the Phantine Air Corps replaced the outgunned and outclassed air forces of the Enothian Commonwealth which were being slowly whittled down by the enemy Hell Blade and Hell Talon fighters and fighter-bombers. In a protracted and bitter delaying action against the forces of the Archenemy, the Imperial aircraft covered the retreat of the Imperial ground forces to the planetary capital city of Enothopolis. Having constructed mobile, ground-based Landcarriers for its aircraft, the Archenemy's counteroffensive almost caught up with the Imperial retreat before the troops were successfully evacuated amphibiously from the southern shores of the Sea of Ezra and the Zophonian Sea. After the retreat, the Imperium's air assets relocated to a series of well-defended air bases located on several islands of those seas. In what was later called the Battle of the Zophonian Sea, the Archenemy launched all of its remaining aircraft against the hopelessly outnumbered Imperial formations. Yet, through remarkable determination and bloody sacrifice, the Imperial line held. By the 270th day of the conflict, the enemy's will had been broken thanks to the heroic efforts of all the Imperial squadrons, especially the Phantine XX. With new reinforcements allotted to Enothis by the Crusade High Command, the Archenemy's offensive on Enothis was successfully repelled and finally defeated at the Second Battle of the Trinity Hives. Unfortunately, despite the final Imperial victory, Magister Sek managed to evade capture and flee the planet.
Given the Phantine Air Corps' unique nature, the order of battle common to most regiments of the Astra Militarum do not apply to the Phantine Air Corps. Instead, the Air Corps closely follows the organisation of the Imperial Navy, the military branch of the Imperium of Man with the most experience in regards to aircraft and their deployment. The Phantine Air Corps is a mixed regiment where female pilots and even officers are commonplace and benefit from the same level of respect as their male colleagues, something which is relatively rare in the conservative and often hide-bound hierarchy of the Imperial Navy.
The main tactical unit within the Phantine Air Corps is the "wing," roughly equivalent to the Imperial Navy squadron. Each wing benefits from its own support detachment of ground-crew and technicians, which make the Phantine Air Corps a highly flexible formation, a flexibility it often desperately needs in battle. Depending on its specialisation, (Bombardment, Reconnaissance, or Interception) a wing is comprised of 8 to 12 aircraft in addition to the squadron leader's own craft. Each wing is led by a commissioned officer who usually carries the rank of Wing Commander, often shortened simply to "Commander" as a matter of expediency. It is customary for the Wing Commander to select a second-in-command, known as an Executive Officer within the Phantine Air Corps, from the pilots serving under him or her. Each wing can be further broken down into lesser formations known as "flights" for missions that do not necessitate the full strength of the entire wing, such as routine patrols. When in combat, a Commander's will is law over his wing, while strategic deployment of the entire Air Corps is determined by the officers who comprise the Phantine High Command. The Phantine High Command is autonomous from both the hierarchy of the Imperial Navy, which has no authority over an Imperial Guard unit, and from that of the larger Astra Militaris, which lacks the experience and tactical knowledge to deploy aircraft wisely. This unusual command autonomy has led to considerable tensions within both the Navy and the Guard, and as a result the personnel of the Phantine Air Corps often keep to themselves. On their homeworld, the Phantine High Command will determine each wing's duty posting, be it on one of the great zeppelins like the Nimbus, as a ground-based squadron deployed to one of the sky-cities or offworld in some distant warzone of the galaxy.
In their standard configuration, the aircraft of the Phantine Air Corps are uniformly grey. Upon deployment to a combat zone, each wing will choose a complementary colour featured on the aircraft's fins and tail. For instance, during the Enothian War, the Phantine XIX "Orbis" Squadron chose a deep blue as its secondary colour. However, following Imperial Navy regulations, Phantine wings often abandon their original colour scheme for standard or improvised camouflage. It is common practice for a crew or pilot of a Phantine aircraft to baptise it with an emotionally-resonant name and decorate its nose with emblems, figures or pieces of art, meticulously applied either by the pilots themselves or their fitters and technicians. During combat operations, an aircraft's given name often replaces the standard radio call-sign of the unit, a practice particularly present in bomber wings.
Phantine crews and pilots wear the same taupe flightsuits, a colour chosen deliberately to mimic that of the Phantine Skyborne, the regiment of Drop Troopers also raised from Phantine. Pilots and crew also carry thick, fur-trimmed brown leather flight jackets that they heavily personnalise. The last part of their kit, the flight-helmet, is often painted in the secondary colour of their squadron to allow for quick identification.
- Lightning Strike Fighter - The Lightning is a fast and nimble twin-jet air superiority fighter commonly fielded by the Imperial Navy and its affiliates. Until the Phantine Liberation campaign, the Lightning was the standard fighter craft of the Phantine Air Corps.
- Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter - The Thunderbolt is the heavier of the Imperial Navy's two primary air superiority fighters. Durable, robust and manufactured on scores of Forge Worlds and Industrial Worlds across the Imperium, the Thunderbolt is better armed than the Lightning, its superior firepower even susceptible to be improved by the adjunction of underslung air-to-air interception missiles or Hellstrike missiles. Like the Lightning, the Thunderbolt makes use of anti-grav technology, but its greater mass means that ultimately it is less nimble than the lighter Lightning. The Thunderbolt seems to be a recent addition to the ranks of the Phantine Air Corps, as on Phantine itself the Lightning was the standard fighter-model. However since it's involvement in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, most Phantine Fighter Wings have been transformed on Thunderbolts.
- Shrike Dive-Bomber - The Shrike Dive-Bomber is a rare type of aircraft used by the Phantine Air Corps. Whereas the Phantine prefer the Marauder or the older Magog bomber for strategic bombing, the Shrike is used for tactical air support as it can deliver precision strikes. In the hands of a good pilot, the Shrike is capable of placing its underslung bomb precisely where it needs to be. Few details are known about this aircraft, other than that it is a single-engine, gull-winged aircraft powered by a turboreactor.
- Marauder Bomber - The Marauder Bomber is the workhorse of the Imperial Navy: it is void-capable, heavily armed for its size and able to carry a sizeable payload of bombs. As the standard strategic bomber of the Imperium, the Marauder is also a common sight within the Phantine Air Corps, where it has increasingly replaced the heavier Magog. In comparison to the Magog, a Marauder is faster, its four turbojets allowing it to reach a top speed of 1,800 kilometres/hour. Used in large formations, the Marauder is capable of levelling cities or destroying entire armies of infantry.
- Magog Bomber - For more than twelve standard centuries, the Magog was the principal bomber of the Phantine Planetary Defence Forces and the Phantine Air Corps. By the time Phantine was attacked by the Blood Pact, it had, however, been replaced by the newer Marauder Pattern. Magogs are brutish-looking conventional aircraft. Their heavy aluminoid-structures require six powerful piston engines to take off, but once airborne, the Magog easily matches the Marauder in terms of payload capacity and action radius. The Magog's main drawback is its lower top speed and the fact that as an atmosphere-only aircraft, it cannot fight in the void. Despite being outdated, the Magog saw extensive use during the Phantine Liberation campaign as the Phantine Air Corps was desperate to enhance its offensive capabilities by any means necessary.
- Behemoth Heavy Bomber - Like the Magog, the Behemoth Heavy Bomber is an aircraft of ancient design, but while the Magog is easy to manufacture and repair, the Behemoth is an ancient and powerful relic. To this day, the Behemoth still is the trump-card in the hands of the Phantine High Command, which jealously guards any information or technical detail on it. Reports dating back to the Phantine Liberation campaign state that the Phantine Air Corps is able to field at least two dozen of these mighty engines of war, but so far the Phantine High Command has refused to deploy the Behemoth off-world.
Notable Phantine Air Corps Units
- Phantine XIX, "Orbis Flight" - The Phantine XIX Wing, designated Orbis Flight within the Phantine Air Corps, was one of the fighter squadrons activated in the wake of the Phantine Liberation campaign. Initially equipped with Lightning fighters, the Wing was issued Thunderbolt heavy fighters before its deployment to Enothis. Originally led by Wing Commander William Hayes, Orbis Flight participated in the Enothian War where it suffered heavy casualties, including the loss of its commanding officer. Orbis Flight's status following the Enothian War remains unclear.
- Phantine XX, "Umbra Flight" - The Phantine XX or Umbra Flight is one of the most decorated fighter squadrons within the entire Phantine Air Corps. Some would dare to say that they form the Air Corp's elite. Like the Phantine XIX, Umbra Flight abandoned the use of the Lightning fighter when it was called to serve off-world. By the time Umbra Flight was deployed to Enothis, most of its pilots were veterans of the furious air brawls of the Phantine Liberation campaign, and several of them had reached ace status before they left the skies of their homeworld. The Phantine XX gained a fearsome reputation from the start through the identity of its initial leader, Wing Commander Bree Jagdea, whose actions during the Raid on Cirenholm and Operation Larisel created one of the Air Corp's greatest accounts of heroism. The Phantine XX rose to prominence during the Enothian War, first through the promotion of one of its pilots into the ranks of the elite 101st Imperial Navy Pacificus Elite -- more commonly known as "The Apostles" -- and secondly through the elimination of one of the Archenemy's greatest aces, Khrel Kas Obarkon. By the end of the Enothian War, the combined kill-tally of the Phantine XX was one of only three Imperial fighter squadrons to surpass that of the 101st.
- Phantine XXI, "Halo Flight" - Issued with Marauder bombers at its creation, the Phantine XXI was absorbed entirely by the Phantine Air Corps from the Phantine Planetary Defence Forces. Deployed on the command-zeppelin of Grand Admiral Ornoff himself, the Nimbus, Halo Flight fought through the entire Phantine Liberation campaign before being called upon to fight in the Enothian War. The wing holds an equally prestigious and loathsome reputation in the Air Corps, as its greatest achievements are almost always followed by great calamities. During both the Phantine Liberation and the Enothian War campaigns, Halo Flight suffered severe losses. Its original Wing Commander, Oscar Wiltry, was deemed lost during the Raid on Cirenholm, only to miraculously survive the death of his aircraft, capture by the Blood Pact and the attack on Ouranberg. Halo Flight is also credited with the destruction of one of the Archenemy Landcarriers during the Enothian War.
Notable Phantine Air Corps Personnel
- "We had planes. We flew them. They had planes. They flew them. There was some shooting involved. All that mattered, really, was who was still flying at the end of it."
- — Major August Kaminsky
- Grand-Admiral Orloff - During the Phantine Liberation campaign, Grand-Admiral Orloff was the highest ranking officer of the Phantine Air Corps. A skilled tactician, Orloff monitored the entire reclamation effort from the command deck of the Nimbus, one of the great zeppelin-carriers of the Air Corps. The efficiency and diligence with which the Grand-Admiral organised the campaign saw him elevated to the command structures of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade by the direct order of Warmaster Macaroth. When it became clear that Lord Militant Hummel's plan to rid Enothis of Archenemy troops had failed, it was also on direct orders of the Warmaster that Grand-Admiral Orloff was put in charge of the air war on that beleaguered world. The defensive campaign designed by Orloff and his staff turned the Enothian War in favour of the Imperials and proved a decisive step in the Imperium's final victory on Enothis.
- Commander William Hayes - Wing Commander William Hayes was the original commander of the Phantine XIX, Orbis Flight, and a personnel friend of Bree Jagdea. Like her, Hayes was a veteran of the Phantine Liberation campaign and fought in the Enothian War. William Hayes was confirmed killed in action in 773.M41, shot down by the renowned enemy fighter pilot Khrel Kas Obarkon.
- Commander Bree Jagdea - Perhaps the most famous pilot of the Phantine Air Corps, Wing Commander Bree Jagdea always stood out. She began her career quite humbly as a member of the Phantine PDF and successfully cleared the great Aviator Scholam of Hessenville at the top of her class. A certified Lightning pilot, Jagdea rose quickly within the structure of the Phantine Air Corps until she commanded the Nimbus' complement of fighters. During the fighting on her homeworld, Jagdea rapidly gained the status of an ace and began to forge her legend during the Raid on Cirenholm. That sky-city had been marked as the first objective for the Imperial counter-invasion of Phantine and although the airspace around the city was officially deemed safe for Imperial troop transports, Jagdea did not trust the official briefings. On a hunch, she took her wing in close support of the invading fleet, thus saving the Imperial assault from being massacred before it had even landed. Wounded and shot down over Cirenholm's secondary habitation dome. Even wounded, Jagdea directed struggling or crippled Imperial transports into a safe landing zone, thus allowing a complement of the Tanith First and Only to expertly infiltrate Cirenholm and turn the battle for the city in the decisive moment. Commended for her actions at Cirenholm, she refused to step down from the fighting for her homeworld despite having suffered a broken arm. Jagdea volunteered as pilot for the high-risk insertion on Ouranberg during Operation Larisel. Shot down for the second time in the same campaign, Jagdea was fully ready to give her life in the name of the Emperor, but was saved in extremis by a Tanith Sergeant going by the name of Domor. Forced by circumstances to accompany the infiltration team into Ouranberg, Jagdea and her team were discovered by Blood Pact troops and taken prisoner. Bound to be sacrificed in some hideous ritual to the Dark Gods, Domor and Jagdea readied themselves to die. At just that moment, the other teams of Operation Larisel sprang into action, their precise sniper-fire hitting the Chaos Space Marine Sagittar Slaith, the enemy commander. In the resultant chaos, Domor and Jagdea were able to free themselves, seize weapons and liberate other prisoners before fleeing the sacrificial plaza. Barricading themselves in a nearby building, the valiant pilot and her Tanith friends held out until Imperial troops conquered Ouranberg and joined up with them. Commended for her bravery by Grand-Admiral Orloff himself, Bree Jagdea was placed in command of the newly activated Phantine XX, which required her to return to Hessenville and become certified for operations on the Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter, the Phantine XX's new mounts. Deployed alongside other Phantine units to the Enothian War, Bree Jagdea would continuously add to her impressive kill-tally until she was wounded for the third time. She was still recovering from these wounds when the Blood Pact invaded Theda, the city where the Phantine XX had been stationed. Through a good deal of luck and her own wits, Jagdea escaped in the company of one of her future pilots and close friend, Major August Kaminsky. With the enemy within striking distance of the Phantine capital city of Enothopolis, Bree Jagdea returned to the frontlines in time for the great Battle of the Zophonian Sea, when the enemy's air-offensive was finally stalled. By the end of the Enothian War, the Phantine XX was one of the three fighter squadrons with the most kills of the entire conflict, a testament to her own mettle both as a pilot and as a leader.
- Commander Oskar Viltry - Regarded by many as the Air Corps' most talented and gifted Marauder pilot, Wing Commander Oskar Viltry was the first commander of the highly decorated Phantine XXI, Halo Flight. Like his close friend Bree Jagdea, whom he met at the Hessenville Aviator Scholam, Oskar Viltry is an almost legendary figure within the Phantine Air Corps. Believed dead when his bomber was shot down over the sky-city of Cirenholm, Viltry actually survived only to be captured by a Blood Pact supply shuttle and brought to Ouranberg. There, he was chosen as one of the countless victims in one of the Chaos Cultists' sombre rituals. He was surprised to discover his friend Jagdea also amongst the captives. Saved in the nick of time by Imperial Guard snipers who had infiltrated the surroundings of the sacrificial plaza, Viltry joined up with Jagdea and several members of the Phantine Skyborne and Tanith First and Only until reinforcements arrived and Ouranberg could be claimed in the name of the Emperor. Yet what he had seen in Ouranberg and the loss of his crew sat poorly with Oskar Viltry. He formally requested his resignation from the Phantine Air Corps, but was refused. Staying in command of his old squadron, which by now had been activated under the name of the Phantine XXI, Halo Flight, Viltry became obsessed with the idea that he was living on borrowed time. Halo Wing was deployed to aid the Imperial retreat in the disastrous Enothian War and met great success, as Halo Wing was one of the few Imperial air formations to locate and destroy a Chaos Landcarrier that the Archenemy used as a mobile air base. Despite the success of these early missions, ultimately Viltry's premonition proved true. Official records state that Wing Commander Oskar Viltry and all the crewmen of his Marauder, G for Greta, were shot down and killed over the Makanite Mountains in 773.M41.
- Major August Kaminsky - Major August Kaminsky was one of the most highly decorated fighter-pilots of the Phantine XX, a feat that appears even more impressive considering the Major's injuries and background, for Kaminsky was not born on Phantine. August Kaminsky was born in 731.M41 in the hive city of Enothopolis on Enothis, a Civilised World of the Sabbat Worlds Sector. At a very young age he joined the Enothian Commonwealth's military aviation service, a division of Enothis' Planetary Defense Forces. Before he was forty standard years old, Kaminisky had reached the rank of Major and earned the position of Squadron Leader. Kaminsky quickly established his reputation as a formidable fighter pilot, his tally of seventeen confirmed kills a testimony to his abilities. His operational career was abruptly cut short when his fighter was hit and burst into flames. Although he was able to return to base and to escape with his life, large portions of his body and face had been badly burned, warranting the amputation of his left hand. As Enothis lacked the more advanced technological standards of the wider Imperium, no adequate augmetic replacement could be provided and soon the former Major Kaminsky was transferred out to the Departmento Munitorum's motor pool where he now served as a driver. Ironically, he was the Munitorum driver appointed to shuttle his future comrades of the Phantine XX from their billet in the city of Theda to MAB South when the Phantine wings joined the Imperial counter-invasion of Enothis during the Enothian War. It was on this run that Major Kaminsky first met Bree Jagdea. Their path would cross again several times before Theda was overrun by Blood Pact troops. Almost running her over with his truck amidst the hectic evacuation effort, Kaminsky saved Jagdea's life by taking her to an isolated reserve field of the Commonwealth Coastal Command where Kaminsky and Jagdea prepped a Cyclone -- a conventional, twin-engine, delta-wing aircraft -- and narrowly escaped pursuing troops. While racing over the Zophonian Sea, their Cyclone was spotted by an enemy Locust which began to chase the fleeing aircraft. In a rare display of airmanship, Kaminsky outflew the vector-powered Locust in his conventional aircraft and shot it down with Jagdea's help. As the Phantine Air Corps is officially an Imperial Guard unit, it is allowed to draft Imperial citizens into service, a right Commander Jagdea used to reinstate Kaminsky as a fighter pilot in the Phantine XX. Considering the pressing needs of the Imperial Navy, Kaminsky's Thunderbolt was equipped with voice-activated fire control since he could not fire the aircraft's weapons in the conventional way with his prosthetic hand. Kaminsky adapted quickly to his new aircraft, his experience transforming him into a phenomenal asset for the Phantine XX. During the fierce Battle of the Zophonian Sea, August Kaminsky gained the most kills in the Phantine XX and would go on to prove his mettle in several other battles. Major Kaminsky was killed in action in 812.M41 with a final tally of 73 confirmed kills.
- Executive Officer Milan Blansher - A veteran of the Phantine Liberation, Milan Blansher was the Phantine XX's second-in command. Older by more than a solar decade than his commanding officer, the legendary Bree Jagdea, Blansher was a competent leader and a skilled pilot himself who never sought to elevate himself above others. Because of his age, many within the Phantine XX saw him as a sort of father figure. His official records credit him with 32 confirmed air-victories. Executive Officer Milan Blansher was killed on Enothis in 773.M41.
- Executive Officer Wassimir Kyrklan - Wassimir Kyrklan was a Marauder pilot within the Phantine XXI under Wing Commander Oskar Viltry and served as the wing's executive officer. Kyrklan always marvelled at Viltry's abilities and sought to emulate him. Serving together during the Phantine Liberation campaign, Wassimir Kyrklan was heartbroken when he learned of his friend's presumed death and rejoiced when it turned out that Viltry was found alive in Ouranberg, for in truth the burden of command sat ill with him. With Viltry reinstated as his superior, Halo Fight and Kyrklan were deployed to Enothis. Following Viltry's second disappearance, Executive Officer Wassimir Kyrklan took command of the remainder of the Phantine XXI for the rest of the Enothian War.
- Flight Lieutenant Larice Asche - The strikingly handsome Flight Lieutenant Larice Asche was one of the Phantine Air Corps' most accomplished pilots. Even before the end of the Phantine Liberation campaign, Larice Asche had joined the exclusive circle of the female ace pilots within the Phantine Air Corps. In particular, during an enemy bombing raid on the sky-city of Cirenholm, she shot down four enemy bombers in a single dog-fight. Promoted to Flight Lieutenant in the wake of her exploits on Phantine, Larice Asche was assigned to the Phantine XX under Wing Commander Bree Jagdea, where she became one of the wing's best pilots during the Enothian War. In particular, while the Phantine XX was operating from the advanced base of Lake Gocel MAB, Larice Asche shot down ten enemy aircraft on a single patrol, a record that has long been unmatched within the Phantine Air Corps. This feat drew the attention of the higher echelons of the Imperial Navy on Enothis, especially of Wing Leader Etz Seekan, the commander of the Elite 101st Navy Pacificus Squadron, more commonly called "The Apostles". Larice Asche thus became the first female pilot to enter this prestigious unit, as well as the first Phantine to do so.
- Pilot Officer Erwell Costary - Pilot Officer Erwell Costary was one of the most decorated pilots within the Phantine Air Corps before Phantine's invasion by the troops of the Blood Pact. Costary was lost defending the recently retaken sky-city of Cirenholm from a retaliatory raid.
- Pilot Officer Febos Nicarde - During the Phantine Liberation campaign, Pilot Officer Febos Nicarde was one of the first Phantine pilots to accomplish the challenge of becoming an ace in a day, by shooting seven enemy bombers on a single sortie. For this, he was awarded the Silver Aquila by Grand Admiral Ornoff himself.
- Pilot Officer Vander Marquall - Pilot Officer Vander Marquall was a pilot within the Phantine XX who perished in the Enothian War. Marquall was the product of the accelerated training programs of the great Aviatior Scholam of Hessenville on Phantine, and was the sole member of the Phantine XX who had not seen any fighting during the Phantine Liberation campaign. Marquall's lack of training was evident during his first sorties on Enothis where he failed to meet the expectations of his superiors and blamed his lack of results on imaginary jinxes and recurring bad luck. His short career within the Phantine XX was marked by several diplomatic incidents with other pilots, but Vander Marquall always managed to survive until the great Battle of the Zophonian Sea. Yet, despite his shortcomings as a pilot and comrade, Vander Marquall is credited with the killing of the Archenemy's most distinguished ace-pilot, Khrel Kas Obarkon.
The general look of the Phantine Air Corps is highly reminiscent of the uniform and habits of World War II pilots within the United States Army Air Force after 1942. The beige flightsuits of the Phantine Air Corps are similar to those worn by fighter and bomber squadron crews in tropical latitudes, such as the 15th Air Force in the North African and Italian theatres and the 5th Air Force in the Southwest Pacific theatre.
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