Purpose:

Tactical Recon Infantry exists as commando-level infantry support and scouting specifically for mech forces. The pilot of a mech is primarily engaged with finding and fighting other mecha and presenting a zone of control around their machine. In the field, most infantry formations are going to break and retreat rather than face even a light mech. The war machines are intimidating, well armed, and compared to tanks and other armored vehicles, very maneuverable and agile, even the largest and slowest. This means when ground forces are engaging mecha, they rely on traps, ambushes, improvised fortifications, and other means. The mech is hunting for hot, actively hostile foes, it isn't looking for concealed deadfalls, buildings wired with explosives ready to be dropped on them, or kill boxes studded with cold and dormant dumb fired cannons and anti-mech infantry prepared to make suicidal attacks with grappling lines and satchel charges.

Tactical Recon Infantry moves ahead and with the mechs, remaining in radio contact with the pilots and supporting forces to find and identify potential threats to the massive and expensive war machines. These specialists respond to found threats by alerting their allies to their presence and bringing down appropriate firepower. This can range from simply letting the mech pilot know and let them rain fire into the area, to contacting offboard artillery, long range missile strikes, or even redirecting the thrust of a military operation.

Basic Abilities and Equipment

TR infantry have four major elements: enhanced mobility, enhanced protection, enhanced firepower, and enhanced evasion.

Enhanced mobility means that they have some element or equipment that allows them to move above and beyond the mobility of basic infantry. This can be as mundane as being mounted on a hover-bike or combat motorcycle, or as advanced as having a flight-capable jet pack, and plenty of other options that range from practical to comical. Attack on Titan wire-guided backpacks, sure. Spiderman/Tarzan style rocket-powered grapnel launcher, any day of the week. Mirror's Edge arcanotech that lets people run up the side of buildings, absolutely. The cost of this gear might seem high, but compared to the cost of the mechs the TR infantry are supporting, it's pocket change.

Enhanced protection means encounter suits, sneak suits, and other variations on light or very light power armor. This is meant to stop shrapnel and light arms fire, and protect the commando when they go crashing through walls, windows, skylights, and other terrain hazards.

Enhanced firepower comes from their preferred weapon, typically some sort of low rate of fire, long range, high powered rifle or energy weapon. This allows them to carry out sniping attacks, and this means shooting enemy soldiers, detonating flammable and explosive materials, to even carrying out called shot critical hits against mecha and power armor.

A sniped critical against a vehicle, power armor suit, or mech by a sniper rifle doesn't destroy the component afflicted, rather it has created enough of an inconvenience that the system is compromised until a technician clears it. This can be knocking laser systems out of alignment, jamming missile and rocket launcher doors in place, taking off sensors, removing the antenna, and otherwise just throwing sand in the mechanism.

Enhanced evasion is a combination of their mobility, their armor, and their ability to carry deterrent equipment such as smoke grenades, chaff grenades, and flare grenades. These obscure vision, confound sensors, or trigger heat seeking systems.

Hurdles and Difficulties

Being TRI is incredibly dangerous, as it is running around on the ground and otherwise moving quickly in a combat zone where giant robots are fighting. While the main danger is fighting enemy infantry and facing enemy commandos of their equivalent of TRI, the more pressing concern for said commandos is the Damoclean threat of collateral damage. Being splattered by errant heavy weapons fire, being obliterated by a pissed-off mech jock who decided to take a moment and turn a high rise into rubble because they knew someone was inside pinging their mech with rifle shells, or being in a seemingly safe location and being instantly killed and buried by a falling mech, or a mech passing through.

Training

The training course for TRI is difficult and on par with most advanced infantry options such as Green Berets, SEALs, and so forth.

Performance

TRI has been involved with mecha operations since almost the beginning of their field usage. Earlier mechs required even more infantry support as they were still being sorted out, and likewise, ground forces were working out how to eliminate enemy mechs while protecting their own.

Variants

Airborne Commando

Fully flight-capable, airborne TRI is attached to airships and to supply support for flight-capable mecha, aerospace fighters, and to carry out anti-ship operations.

Marine Commando

Configured for amphibious operations, marine commandos have gear for working underwater and supporting marine mecha, attack submersibles, and so forth.

Space Commando

Kitted out for working in a hard vacuum with high ambient radiation, technically flight capable. Also derogatorily known as Space Marines.

Tech Commando

The tech commando has electronics gear for hacking, ECM and ECCM warfare, and cyberwar operations, including hacking enemy heavy gear and hijacking it. Tech commandos can configure a mech to run in auto-mech mode, following their commands via its internal AI control system.

Adaptation and Usage

In the Atlantic Federation, these troops are known as Remora, a reference to the cleaner fish that attached themselves to sharks.

In the Pacific Rim Coalition, they are referred to as Shugenja, the mountain monks who used their bodies to commune with the gods.

In the Eurasian Alliance, they are called Stalkers.

Wastelanders make extensive use of tactical recon infantry, though they are much more haphazard in their equipping and training. Lacking the heavy industrial base of other parts of the world, their mechs are accordingly more valuable and expensive, justifying them having three to five times the number of TRI troopers. They do not have an official designation, though most units will develop nicknames for these soldiers, usually something derogatory along the lines of fleas, rats, or another vermin reference. 

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