Chapter 305 The MOD meeting
The room everyone arrived at had a very weird seating arrangement. If there were anyone who didn't know who Aron was, they would not recognize who was the most important person in the room.
The table was oval shaped, with Aron and Alexander sitting at the long ends of the tables, while the generals were sitting on Aron's right side of the longer table and the military AIs on the left.
No one in the room found this kind of arrangement weird at all; rather, they saw it as how it was supposed to be.
[Now that everyone is here, let the meeting commence.] Nova, who had assumed the role of the meeting secretary, announced, thus marking the first meeting of Eden's military forces.
Athena promptly teleported and began delivering a report to all of the attendees.
[Before we delve into the more complicated topics, I think it is better to start with the basic information about our military forces to make sure that everyone is on the same page,] she proposed, and immediately the room's surroundings changed.
No one in the room reacted too much and just waited with a calm look on their faces to see what she was going to do with the room's surroundings.
And indeed, the void surrounding the room started shifting, giving way to rows of soldiers who materialized while Athena started her presentation, stating, [At the moment, we have 545,000 active soldiers spanning across all the branches of the military. Of these, 345,000 are a part of the Eden branch, while the remaining 200,000 of them belong to the Esparian branch of ARES.] As she said her words, the appearance of the the uniforms of the soldiers surrounding them differentiated.
[Currently, we don't have any reserve forces on hand, but our soldiers already work on a rotational basis, transitioning from active duty to passive duty. The time they have to work differs, depending on their selections and their position in the military.
We are still executing our recruitment plan and aim to reach a million-strong army by the end of next year before reducing the recruitment efforts,] she continued, pausing for a moment to let the audience who had been listening to her and let them digest the information.
Alexander, who was hearing the actual complete number of the military for the first time, had goosebumps all over his body as he came to a realization that the force, which had numbered even less than five hundred when they arrived in Eden, had reached such a huge significant size, without letting anyone to notice this tremendous change.
Although he was aware that the number of soldiers was substantial, given that the government was responsible for their salaries while ARES also supplemented them the same amount of payment as the government, making it one of the highest paying jobs in the country no matter the position held by the soldiers, nevertheless, he still didn't expect their number to have reached such heights.
[Regarding weapons and armament for these soldiers, it varies depending on the branch they are in.] as Athena said, the soldiers who had materialized in the surroundings of the meeting room immediately disappeared, and the room's surroundings once again returned back to being a black void.
[The one that is a hundred percent equipped and completely functional is the intelligence department (the Nyx); they have all the necessary equipment to help them gather, analyze, and act upon the intelligence they have.] As Athena added, the void scene transformed once again, displaying the different devices that were provided to military's intelligence branch, including glasses that differed in functioning than the glasses that were issued to the soldiers for logging into the VR.
These specialized glasses had the ability to hack into any device that was in their vicinity, collect all the data before having it analysed, and further only deliver the critical information to the wearer of these glasses.
[They are the branch with the least amount of personnel, with only fifty thousand members, among which more than half of them are field agents since most of the analysis and planning aspects are handled by Nyx, the AI leading this department, and the AI team working under her,] Athena added while showcasing the responsibilities that were under the supervision of the AI of the department.
[They are also the most active branch since they are responsible for safeguarding the national security of both Eden and Esparia. We have already successfully dealt with more than two hundred spies, either by deporting them or prosecuting them under other criminal charges without revealing their involvement in the espionage not only that but also capture members of the government who were trying to sell government secrets,] Athena continued as the silhouette of the people captured or dealt with by them appeared in the void of the room.
[The second-most armed branch is the Army, boasting a personnel count of 250,000 under it. All the soldiers in it are armed and ready and are on standby for deployment in any conflict. However, when it comes to the weapons that are already out in the open and known to the public, there are almost none, except for the helicopters, which means that we are restricted in what weapons we can use during a conflict, as long as we have not decided to let our advanced weapons known to the world,] Athena explained as the weapons used by the army were showcased on the shelves that appeared in the void of the meeting room, imitating the matrix.
The number of new weapons that were introduced was even more than what John had been shown by Aron when he introduced the weapons to him, indicating that new and more advanced weapons had already been developed and made ready for use.
[Moving on, the third most armed branch is the Navy. Having 200,000 soldiers, it is the second least armed force due to the highly classified nature of their vessels. At the moment, we already have ten of the Rottweiler-class railguns in service, which should suffice for our short-term needs. However, the rest of the Navy vessels range from small to medium-sized, designed for patrol and other security tasks. This is something that we need to address faster, in case in the future a need arises and also because we have very limited active soldiers on them, forcing us to utilize a rotation system,] Athena reported as she displayed the massive Rottweiler-class railgun battleships and a few other vessels that were being used by the Navy right now.
[However, all of these inadequacies on top of water can be supplemented by the completed submarine fleets that are already patrolling the two country's borders] she added as she displayed the different types of submarines that are already in service.
[Lastly, we have the Air Force, which is also the least armed branch, which comprises the remaining hundred thousand personnel. Although we have numerous air bases scattered all across Eden, we still have very few planes to justify the branch's size. However, with them being responsible in a joint operation with Nyx, they play a crucial role since they are responsible for monitoring and maintaining the active satellites while the intelligence branch analyzes the information and acts upon them whenever the need arises.] Athena stated.
As she said that, the satellites appeared in the void of the room together, alongside the air force's known number of Su-27 aircrafts, together with the ones the world thought they had won as spoils of war during the Eden- Esparia conflict.
Once she concluded her summarization of their military's prowess, Athena returned back to her seat and remained quiet.
Nova immediately interjected, [Now that we have the summary of our current condition, we have to start thinking about solving the problems and start addressing them. So, anyone with ideas on the table, please contribute to the discussion]
Alexander, who had already gotten somewhat overwhelmed by listening to the continuous flow of information, finally spoke up, "While I understand that we are not releasing many of our advanced weapons and devices since they will attract too much of the world's attention upon us, I believe it shouldn't be too much if we were to release some of them in a promotional video for the military recruitment." He simply suggested it since he knew that everyone in the room would figure out what he meant by his words.
[So, you intend to use the video both as a promotional tool and also as a means to make the world think that these weapons are just cosmetic weapons for the video but will still portray an introduction of our weapons to the world and the only surprise later will be when people witness them for real and in action,] the AI responsible for overseeing the army branch chimed in, acknowledging that she could see where Alexander's train of thoughts was going since it was her branch which was most likely going to benefit from this strategy as they would be able to use guns and a few other small and medium-sized weapons but others won't be able to use it since they use ships or airplanes.
"For the Air Force, we can just publicly announce that we are exploring the development of our own aircraft and have already finalized the design and are moving forward into building a prototype. Although many people will think that we are trying to eat more than what we can chew, it won't be too surprising when they see a prototype in the air," the Air Force general suggested, showing that he had considered how to release their advanced fighters aircraft to the public without causing too much mess.
"That would align well with the announcement I had made during my victory rally speech in which I promised to build domestic industries, and the defense industry should be among them," Alexander chimed in.
The Navy general followed suit, proposing a similar approach for the Navy branch as well, "We can make a similar announcement for the Navy, which would be taken more seriously than the Air Force claim since we already have the ships made by us in the water, though the public doesn't know about it yet since no one has seen them as they are patrolling in deeper waters and the countries that have satellite images of our ships have unilaterally decided to keep this information as a secret," his words didn't carry any malice toward the Air Force or its general's idea, rather, he was simply saying that the idea could be used by both of them.
"Announcing that we are entering into or have already been involved in the defense production industry should serve as the best suitable solution for all the branches since we can use it as an explanation for the introduction of all the new weapons that will be released into the military and maybe even for civilian sale, though I don't think we will have customers so long as we don't prove the weapon's effectiveness," Alexander added.
He became the only highest-ranking figure in the room who had voiced out his opinion throughout the meeting, with Aron and John merely being spectators of the meeting as they simply listened to the ideas that were put forth by the people attending the meeting.