Star League Discovery
Early in the year 2984, an exploration into one of the myriad of ice caverns a few miles away from the main fort yielded an astonishing find. The seemingly honeycombed layout of the caverns turned out to have been early excavation for a secondary base. Unlike the main defense post, however, this one had not been cleaned out. Some 20+ varied craft had been entombed within the caverns. Further investigation revealed that this had been intended to be the first of three state-of-the-art air bases, but had been abandoned because of the internal climate change. The earth that formed the base of the cave was far more soluble than was believed, and heat from the engines and caused melting that turned the ground into something between quicksand and quick-dry cement. Despite the relative few casualties over the catastrophic incident, the craft already in the base were written off as a lost cause.
Rather than alert the entire unit to the discovery of such machines, the Major Benjamin Kearn chose instead to have the techs work on the recovery of the machines under guise of scavenging for parts. Many of the vehicles were indeed no longer useable, but in time they were able to assemble 10 fighters, in addition to the 2 they had long held from their ancient voyage. The list of fighters were 4 Sparrohawks, 2 Rapiers, 1 Hellcat II, 2 Ironsides and 2 Gothas and a Hammerhead. The reason for the varied list was due two the Major Kearn's orders, specifically stating to spend time only on securing enough parts to field 2 units and their appropriate spare parts. The only exceptions to this were the Hammerhead and the Hellcat II, which were relics from the protection detail meant for one of the dropships. The Sparrowhawk parts proved so numerous, however, that the techs were able to double the suggested number with ease.
While there is no direct evidence on the matter, there is considerable suggestion in the records of significant discord or rivalry between the Major Kearn and the Hearth Guard leader, Captain Thomas Carson. It is likely for this reason, and perhaps foreseeing the actions to come, that Major Kearn did not report the success of these actions, let alone the initial findings, until well after the summer of 2985. Captain Carson, furious over the actions of the Major, attempted to lobby with the Blackthornes Dragoons' Chairman, Colonel William Morris, to take over the project himself. This course failed largely in part because of his previous actions in trimming personnel to only needed mechs, and an attempt to use his position as leader of the combat team to usurp Major Kearn’s authority. He further doomed his own position by transferring many of his talented but undesired pilots to Major Kearn, who had been more than happy to take them in, promoting them into officer positions where able. It would be from this band of displaced warriors that Major Kearn would indeed create his own first flight crew. In the end, Captain Carson was forced to accept their positions, at least during their training regimen. The Major’s executive officer, Lieutenant Mark Amsel, was promoted to Captain and given control of this new unit, dubbed the Ruthless Rooks.