The Shire troops are a paramilitary and reserve force, with powers of civil arrest, in Questers. The name refers to the individual military organisations raised, maintained and administered by individual counties. The Shire troops are the oldest military organisation in Questers, dating back more than a millenia; their origins are from the feudal levy, called the fyrd, which the Questarian royalty would raise troops from county governments in times of need.
Shire troops are administratively separate from the Combined Forces, and although like all uniformed personnel in Questers they swear an allegiance to the Republic, they are ultimately responsible to the County Council. Shire troops are locally funded, but equipment comes from national Army stores. Shire troops train alongside the Combined Forces, and use a similar ranking scheme, but they are not the de-jure military of Questers. The Law on County Defences governs the administration of the Shire troops.
The total number of Shire troops in Questers is undocumented. It is the responsibility of Counties to determine how many troops they need for the purpose. Counting the total number is also difficult because some Shire troops are conscripts, some are volunteers, and some are part-time soldiers. It is estimated that there are no fewer than 50,000 men in the Shire troops active at any one tiem, and no more than 150,000.
The 1992 Law on County Defence provides for civil defence in Questers, as well as outlines what help can be requested from County authorities and in what circumstances the state is legally obliged to provide it. Although the Shire troops are very old in establishment, the Law on County Defence is their contemporary legal establishment. Section 27 'Shire Forces' outlines their basic role:
- (Ss 2) To assist law enforcement when requested by the County Sheriff,
- (Ss 3) To assist and support County authorities in case of emergency,
- (Ss 4) To provide security for key County infrastructure and political installations,
- (Ss 5) To assist the Combined Forces where necessary in installation security.
- (Ss 6) To provide VIP protection.
- (Ss 7) To defend the state from invasion if required.
Usually the Shire troops main role is that of a gendarmery, supporting the police under Subsection 2, but Shire troops are always called out in case of emergency (Subsection 3), and provide round the clock installation security and VIP protection.
Each County has its own Shire Troops Headquarters, and approximately 15,000 personnel under its total command. It is up to the Headquarters how this is divided, but in general practice Shire Troops are divided into Battalion-sized units, each with their own reserve sections that can be called up if needed. Units are broken down into military structures, with Battalions formed from Companies or Squadrons and Platoons and Troops.
The Shire Troops Headquarters in each County is composed of the County's Shire Troops leadership, but also has attachments from the Combined Forces, law enforcement, and the civilian leadership. Co-ordination between security organisations happens at the Headquarters level but can be delegated downwards, so that Shire Troops can co-operate directly with military or police forces.
- Personal Equipment
- Emergency Equipment