Out-game Background: At the time, no one was writing about Arixo on the Forum -- everyone was focused on the "big names" like Hollywood, Empire State, or Texas. Being a fan of the Old West, and particularly a certain ill-tempered tubercular dentist-turned-gambler best known for his role in a shootout in what was part of Arixo... well, it was sort of inevitable. I had ideas of making this a "mini-sourcebook" -- PDF, 16-24 pages, for much less than the $20 which seemed to be the standard of the time.
Dragoon Mountain Engineering:
Formed in 1925, as a response to the progressively-worsening state of the US as a whole, and Desert Southwestern aviation in particular, DME is the brainchild of one Henry MacLaren, who was born in Prescott, AZ, June 19, 1900. MacLaren's life was not exactly the stuff of the pulps -- in fact, his life barely started before a bout with polio very nearly killed him, and left him crippled for life. Coupled to this was the flu epidemic of '19, which killed his parents and left him without support in what was rapidly becoming a very unfriendly world. Nevertheless, he persevered, studying aviation engineering in California, and becoming a master of "engineering minimalism" (doing as much as possible with as little as possible). The infamous '24 elections showed him which way the winds were blowing, and he returned to his home in Tombstone, AZ, and began a business repairing and modifying the aircraft being used increasingly by both bootleggers and law enforcement. With one crippled foot in each world, he began pulling together the people who would form DME, and the combination local-defense-force/combat-testing-arm-of-DME, the Cochise County Civil Cavalry (better known to the public as "C4").
Over the years, he has shown a talent for turning otherwise-rubbish designs into stars (the best-known example is the PR-1D model _Defender_, based off the reviled Peoples' Collective design), while also turning out devastating original works (the _Black Vulture_ heavy fighter being one example).
Cochise County Civil Cavalry
As its name suggests, the Cochise County Civil Cavalry is intended for rapid response to hostile activity. The official motto of the unit, "Hit Fast, Hit Hard", accurately describes its modus operandi (as does its unofficial motto: "Shoot, Loot, and Scoot"). The force consists of an air element, and a ground element, which work closely with each other.
The air element is wing-sized (though in local parlance, ground-force terms are used -- thus, the whole unit is a Regiment, with subunits being Battalions, Companies, and Platoons), consisting of one Fighter and one Attack group (battalion), plus a transport squadron (company) and attached zeppelin assets (if any -- DME does not own any zeps itself, nor does the county). The fighter and attack groups consist of three squadrons (companies) each, one Heavy (aircraft of total mass 12,000 lbs or more), one Medium (6,000 - 11,999 lbs.), and one Light (5,999 lbs. or less); each squadron has two flights (platoons) of six aircraft, divided into three pairs. A squadron's 1st Flight is commanded by a Captain (squadron commander), while 2nd Flight is led by a First Lieutenant (squadron executive officer); each of the remaining pairs is led by a Second Lieutenant, and each officer's wingman is a Sergeant. Group-level command is a pair flown by a Lieutenant Colonel and a Major (Group CO and XO, respectively). Wing command is a pair flown by a General and Colonel (Wing CO and XO, respectively.) In addition to the above is a Transport Squadron of four six-plane flights, plus a command pair (Colonel and Major as CO and XO); the flights are organized as per the other flights, except all are flown by First Lieutenants or Sergeants (see next paragraph). Zeppelin assets attached to C4 take orders directly from the wing command, or assigned battalion commanders.
The ground element, generally known as the "CCCC Security Battalion", consists of four companies of infantry, organized into six 10-man platoons (two 4-man squads, plus a 2-man command section). Each company is commanded by a Captain, with a First Lieutenant as second-in-command, and four Second Lieutenants commanding the remaining platoons. Each officer must be a qualified pilot as well as an infantryman, so as to best understand what an airplane can, and cannot do. Each platoon of the battalion can be lifted by one aircraft of the Transport squadron; the rank system is set up such that the ranking officer of the platoon being transported outranks the pilot flying the transport (in technical terms, the head of the platoon is in command of the transport unit; this prevents the transport "wandering off"). The battalion is generally armed with submachineguns, though one platoon is equipped for heavy fire support with man-portable 0.70-calibre cannon and another is equipped with man-portable mortars for indirect-fire work. Man-portable rockets have also been observed being used, including ground-based Beepers targeting for air-launched Seekers.
C4 serves most of the roles of a standard air militia -- toll collection; search and rescue; pirate suppression; etc. The problem for the Arixan government is the manner in which C4 approaches its tasks: Being in the narrow strip between Mexico and the Navajo Nation means C4 sees much activity from pirates and privateers; and MacLaren is a firm believer in "preventive maintenance", which means the chances are high C4 will be operating on the other side of the border, without orders from the government, and engaging in a great deal of property and personal-bodily damage in so doing. (And not always over the border -- C4 is believed responsible for the annihilation of a at least two Arixan militias who were found to have been consorting with pirate elements or acting as pirates on the side.) Not helping matters is the general attitude of C4 personnel, which can be politely summed up as "Do something about it -- I dare you"; so far, few have taken the challenge, and none have survived to brag about it. (It is noteworthy that no Navajo forces have crossed the border within striking range of Cochise County in nearly three years.)
A large part of C4's success is MacLaren's information-gathering apparatus -- it is rumored he has at least two independent contacts in every village in Arixo, and similarly-large groups in Arixo's neighbors. (Some reports suggest his reach extends to Alaska and the Maritime Provinces.) Worse for his foes is MacLaren's unpredictable responses -- sometimes, he has allowed attacks to go through successfully, then backtracked the responsible party and destroyed it; other times, he strikes pre-emptively. As befits someone from a town best known for attracting gamblers, MacLaren has a positive talent for bluffing, double-dealing, and keeping a poker face all the while. It has never been confirmed, but an oft-repeated rumor has it that Texas has approached both the Arixan government, and MacLaren himself, with offers to hire C4 for work inside Mexico at a pay rate which would allow MacLaren to greatly expand C4; however, no action has ever occurred which would suggest this has happened -- or perhaps MacLaren has refused such offers.
DME: Two Peacemaker revolvers at 45-degree angles, barrel-tips touching (forming a mountain) atop "DME" in letters formed of stone.
C4: Four horseshoes in a four-leaf-clover pattern, with an out-of-scale saber as the stem.
C4 Fighter: Celtic sword.
C4 Attack: Lightning-bolt, with diagonals descending from upper-left to lower-right.
C4 transport: Four-spoked wagon wheel.
Private: One horizontal stripe on collar
Corporal: Two horizontal stripes on collar
Sergeant: Three horizontal stripes on collar
2nd Lieutenant: One vertical stripe on collar
1st Lieutenant: Two vertical stripes on collar
Captain: Three vertical stripes on collar
Major: One X on collar
Lt. Colonel: Two Xs on collar
Colonel: Three Xs on collar
General: One horseshoe on collar.