Today’s guest post comes from Eamon Hamilton. Eamon Hamilton (@eamonhamilton) likes Star Wars and is a military air mobility enthusiast, and enjoys bringing the two together on occasion. His blog is here: http://eamonh.wordpress.com.
Received: 14:42b 17/11/88
From: <Executive Officer Shuttle Sustainment Office>
To: <Chief Engineer Shuttle Sustainment Office> <Officer Commanding Shuttle Sustainment Office>
Subject: Concern re: Director Krennic’s Legacy T-3c Shuttle sub-fleet [SEC=PROTECTED]
Further to our conversation during our weekly holo, I wish to raise the following concerns WRT the continued operation of Director Krennic’s sub-fleet of T-3c Shuttles as a Special Purpose Transport.
I understand Director Krennic has a very strong attachment to this variant for personal and aesthetic reasons, which has allowed him to continue operating four shuttles for his own transport. My issue is that this has become an increasingly difficult fleet to manage, with the majority of the Clone Wars-era T-3c fleet long-since being replaced by T-4a Lambdas, and the majority of surviving spaceframes gifted to friendly star systems in the outer rim.
The concern shared by my office is that Director Krennic is using his position as Director of Orbital Battle Station Development to influence the senior engineering community (and segments of the media) into keeping these shuttles for purely sentimental reasons. With each Fiscal Year, Director Krennic’s personal fleet grows more difficult and expensive for my team to sustain, and these are my latest concerns:
- Based on information in its last Annual Spaceworthiness Board Review, the majority of systems on the T-3c sub-fleet do not meet Imperial-directed compliance rules relating to shuttle transports. Its security systems have long since fallen out of compatibility with Imperial code transmission practices, making it a significant liability when visiting secure facilities and requiring waivers for shield gates to be left open for extended periods. At least a dozen Imperial systems have refused landing rights for this reason alone. The T-3c’s sublight engines do not meet our recently mandated ‘TrooperCare’ WH&S standards for radioactive material emissions, and the cost of buying the relevant PPE for the entire ground handling workforce would be enough to buy Director Krennic several hundred squadrons of Lamba-class Shuttles.
- Our office has received anonymous complaints from Death Troopers in Director Krennic’s protection detail regarding the the T-3cs lack of ergonomic and passenger safety systems. It is no secret that the T-3cs valued design over comfort. However, Director Krennic routinely travels on interstellar tasks with a up to 14 passengers, well in excess of the approved number of passengers the type is certified to carry. Indeed, each Shuttle is fitted with only one Refresher unit (the Lambdas have four), and Director Krennic’s Staff Officer has issued a Standing Instruction that the lavatory can only be used by O6-ranks or higher. This has led to considerable discomfort for Death Troopers on long-haul transits, and there are rumours that the system has been deliberately ‘compromised’ when Director Krennic was not on board.
- As Sienar no longer manufactures components for the T-3c, my logistics team is forced onto the open market to find critical spares. Some of these enterprises are located in settlements that can only be described as wretched hives of scum and villainy at best, leading to a number of critical staff departures or ‘early terminations’. Sourcing these spares is an effort which took 32% of our total work hours for the last quarter, accounted for 22% of our special expenditure budget, all for a type that represents 0.0001% of our total shuttle fleet (these figures were helpfully compiled by our unit’s Security Droid, prior to his recent mysterious disappearance).
Our lack of a replacement K-2SO unit also means our workplace is at risk of failing our Imperial Security Bureau compliance (Lucasfilm)
- The difficulty in obtaining spare parts for the T-3c, coupled with its ageing design, has led to a high maintenance-to-flight hour ratio for these shuttles, and an inherent unreliability when operating away from home bases. On a handful of occiaisions, Director Krennic has provided a spaceworthiness waiver for a grounded shuttle, an order that he has no recognised authority to give. Anecdotal evidence suggests that each task for Director Krennic requires a spare T3c in case one shuttle breaks, and Space Mobility Command is often called on to send a rescue Lambda Shuttles to transport him out of Eadu or Scarif.
- Kuat Drive Systems was recently awarded a contract for Deeper Level Maintenance sustainment for the T-3c sub-fleet, despite having held no prior experience with this class of shuttle. Their lack of knowledge has become readily apparent in the first servicing during installation of new air-conditioning units (another mandated TrooperCare initiative), due to the T-3c lacking compatible power convertors for the Kuat-supplied units. Our initial estimate is a minimum three-month delay in completion of this servicing, which will have a significant roll-on effect to the availability of the remainder of the sub-fleet.
- The older nature of the T-3c sub-fleet is also leading to a number of outdated and irregular technical practices spreading through our wider maintenance workforce. Whilst the T-3c maintenance workforce has moderate-to-good morale, their work practices are rapidly losing pace with the wider Empire. Following the recent hard landing of a Lambda-class shuttle accident on Coruscant carrying the Emperor’s Advisers, the initial investigation revealed the repulsorlifts failed at a critical stage because a locking wire had been replaced with a Stormtrooper’s grappling rope. This ‘repair’ had been authorised by a technician who had previously served on the T-3c sub-fleet. When questioned on this practice, the technician said “it had been just how they did things for Krennic”.
- By allowing this sub-fleet to continue operating, I fear we are setting a bad precedent within the Shuttle Office for the Empire’s other program offices. An Academy mate of mine who is serving with the TIE Sustainment Program has confessed similar sub-fleet concerns about a limited purchase of TIE Advanced for Lord Vader, even though Sienar has not yet adequately addressed the OT&E concerns with its development. Indeed, the TIE Advanced calendar continues to slide to the right when Lord Vader takes the only prototype out on combat missions that it hasn’t been risk-assessed to survive. We are increasingly seeing Senior Command dictate their own personal aesthetics over Imperial policy, which is putting our organisation at considerable risk.
Would it be insolent of me to ask why our Supreme Commander requires his own personal space superiority fighter? (Lucasfilm)
There’s a host of other issues I’ve not raised (the lack of Mynock-proofing is already well known), but I bring these points to your attention as it is my belief that blind luck alone has allowed Director Krennic to survive travelling on the T-3c in recent years, and that it is only a matter of time before he is left stranded – or worse.
My recommended short-term solution would be the immediate retirement of this sub-fleet, and provide a select number of VIP-configured Lambda Shuttles to Director Krennic. As I understand, Grand Moff Tarkin has recently retired his Lambdas, opting to utilise the recently-completed ‘Death Star’ Battle Station as his personal shuttle instead.
Executive Officer – Shuttle Sustainment Office
Imperial Engineering Logistics Coordination Centre
Holo (S): +11-998-117-0891
Shuttle Sustainment Office – We’ll Prepare Your Shuttle!