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Additional Query: Has the usage / utility of ODSTs changed since the opening of the SPARTAN branch? ODSTs seem sort of redundant at this point, especially given the abundance of IVs compared to previous generation SPARTANs.
The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers number in the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, if not more, and are organized into a number of divisions. All these divisions would likely contain organic reconnaissance, field artillery, motorized/mechanized units, combat engineers, and other supporting units.

Consider them along the lines of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. The less numerous special operations units, the Army Special Forces and 75th Ranger Regiment, are both parachute-qualified and are individually more capable than their conventional army counterparts. However, the more numerous 82nd ABN can fulfill a wide variety of roles across a vast theatre of operation simultaneously with its three 2500+ soldier infantry brigades and a combat aviation brigade armed with dozens of helicopters in various roles.

For now in the Halo universe, there will always be a need for both large numbers of well-supported, rapid reaction troops and a few highly-skilled special operations troops.
Please tell me the USA still exists in the 26th century will all 50 states and 16 territories. Please say Yes
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Please tell me the USA still exists in the 26th century will all 50 states and 16 territories. Please say Yes
Most of the states in one form or another still seem to be there, but the United States as a federal entity has since made way for the United Republic of North America.
What is the status of Spartan 3 team Katana last reported WIA? also who were the other 2 personal in the slip space pods? besides Katana
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Please tell me the USA still exists in the 26th century will all 50 states and 16 territories. Please say Yes
Most of the states in one form or another still seem to be there, but the United States as a federal entity has since made way for the United Republic of North America.
Not really. New Phoenix basically makes up the majority of what use to be Arizona, and the Chicago Industrial Zone makes up the majority of what use to be Wisconson, Illinois, and Indiana. And there's also this:

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Query Answer: Administrative subunit "Washington" not found in UEG [provinces]. Seattle [metroplex] region noted as possessing highest per-capita stimulant dispensaries in Human [sphere of influence]. Records of area surrounding 434 Combat Readiness Lab indicate one stimulant and [congealed sugar] dispensary per inhabitant; UEG administrative agencies alerted to anomalous distribution of these facilities.
I know this is mostly a joke post, but I think we can take to heart Catalog saying that "Washington" no longer exists in the 26th century. It seems that, based on the evidence available, states, territories, and providences are basically gone, replaced with "political subdivisions", as Contact Harvest put it.
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Additional Query: Has the usage / utility of ODSTs changed since the opening of the SPARTAN branch? ODSTs seem sort of redundant at this point, especially given the abundance of IVs compared to previous generation SPARTANs.
The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers number in the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, if not more, and are organized into a number of divisions. All these divisions would likely contain organic reconnaissance, field artillery, motorized/mechanized units, combat engineers, and other supporting units.

Consider them along the lines of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. The less numerous special operations units, the Army Special Forces and 75th Ranger Regiment, are both parachute-qualified and are individually more capable than their conventional army counterparts. However, the more numerous 82nd ABN can fulfill a wide variety of roles across a vast theatre of operation simultaneously with its three 2500+ soldier infantry brigades and a combat aviation brigade armed with dozens of helicopters in various roles.

For now in the Halo universe, there will always be a need for both large numbers of well-supported, rapid reaction troops and a few highly-skilled special operations troops.
The thing about this is that the SPARTAN-IVs can do all of this, and assumedly, they can do it better. Now, its not specifically stated how many people are in the IVs, but the branch is at least 500 SPARTANs strong. With all these SPARTANs, redeployment of SPARTANs to important / high-risk situations becomes a lot less taxing, and more practical. Sure, ODSTs have the numbers on their side, but from the perspective of utility, if you're given the choice between SPARTANs or ODSTs, you're going to send SPARTANs. I'm just wondering, given how much larger this SPARTAN branch is, if the ODSTs as a unit have been forced to adapt and change their role given the change in military format post-war.
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Not really. New Phoenix basically makes up the majority of what use to be Arizona, and the Chicago Industrial Zone makes up the majority of what use to be Wisconson, Illinois, and Indiana. And there's also this:
New Phoenix only encompasses the old cities of Flagstaff and New Phoenix, which would form the inner most portion of Arizona. Indigenous reservations, should they still exist, would actually comprise a greater total area than would likely be the boundaries of New Phoenix.

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I know this is mostly a joke post, but I think we can take to heart Catalog saying that "Washington" no longer exists in the 26th century. It seems that, based on the evidence available, states, territories, and provinces are basically gone, replaced with "political subdivisions", as Contact Harvest put it.
Political subdivisions is the overarching term for anything from a state, province, or territory down to a district, county, or even a city.

According to many past sources of canon, many of the existing states still exist. Washington merely may not be one of them, just as the GCIZ absorbed the Great Lakes states.
here is a map of 'Murica:

http://www.halopedia.org/File:URNA_map.jpg
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The thing about this is that the SPARTAN-IVs can do all of this, and assumedly, they can do it better.
Better, yes, especially when you consider that its members were drawn from many of these very ranks. That doesn't, however, guarantee that Spartan detachments can bear down organic assets to fulfill the same level of capability that special operations capable units possess.

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Now, its not specifically stated how many people are in the IVs, but the branch is at least 500 SPARTANs strong. With all these SPARTANs, redeployment of SPARTANs to important / high-risk situations becomes a lot less taxing, and more practical.
Spartans, individually, would cost far more per individual to deploy than an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper or equivalent troop. Bear in mind that you would need to move in the appropriate technicians and medical staff, and the accompanying tech and infrastructure to accommodate effective operation of their advanced capability. Many of these personnel are civilians and are thus not capable of defending themselves in any meaningful capacity so you would need security teams for these facilities.

Once in the field the Spartans would be a tremendous force-multiplier, but they are a logistical headache for the first phases of a prolonged operation. That's why Infinity is so vital to Spartan deployment. A company of ODST's, meanwhile, numbering anywhere from 100 to 300 Marines, merely needs a frigate with minimal aviation and stowage facilities to sustain themselves for a short length of time.

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Sure, ODSTs have the numbers on their side, but from the perspective of utility, if you're given the choice between SPARTANs or ODSTs, you're going to send SPARTANs.
I would employ Spartans in the roles best suited to their capability. They don't need to be implemented as a swiss army knife like we experience ourselves in the game. Deep reconnaissance or direct action into foreign lands with heavy resistance is where Spartans would shine. Establishing and defending a beachhead kilometers-wide for heavier forces as they're deployed from orbit, I would go with ODST's.

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I'm just wondering, given how much larger this SPARTAN branch is, if the ODSTs as a unit have been forced to adapt and change their role given the change in military format post-war.
Little to none. The role of the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers did not change with the adventation of ORION, SPARTAN-II, or the far more numerous SPARTAN-III capability within the ranks of Naval Special Warfare.

For real-world precedent, I will reference highly-trained conventional forces compared to expanding special operations forces. 50 years ago as the Vietnam War was soon to intensify, the ranks of the Green Berets and the Navy SEALs grew exponentially as America needed more elite commando troops deep behind enemy lines. These troops went through rigorous training no one else would dream of completing, as well as undertaking the same courses a lot of conventional troops completed.

Meanwhile, we still had three Airborne and Air Assault divisions and a handful of smaller brigades and battalions, and five Marine divisions still capable of many duties, and all highly trained in them.

Their role wasn't changed in the slightest. They remained just as they were before the expansion of special operations forces grew. Simply put, special operations filled a role that these larger elite forces didn't even have in the first place, at least not as a primary component.

The individual special operations troop today has millions invested into their basic qualifications and specialized role training at the start, then continuing on into further training, and their deployment and equipment. I don't even want to calculate what that all means when you add in the rigorous training Spartan candidates endure. Not to mention the composition and application of their augmentations and the rehabilitation from them. Last but not least... MJOLNIR.

You'd probably be spending just as much collectively, if not considerably less, on a highly-capable platoon of a few dozen Orbital Drop Shock Troopers compared to one SPARTAN-IV.
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here is a map of 'Murica:

http://www.halopedia.org/File:URNA_map.jpg
Didn't notice while reading Escalation but what the frack is up with Texas? Rivers for reference
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here is a map of 'Murica:

http://www.halopedia.org/File:URNA_map.jpg
Didn't notice while reading Escalation but what the frack is up with Texas? Rivers for reference
The geography of North America changes each time it's shown in Escalation. Sometimes a bunch of Quebec is underwater, and sometimes Greenland doesn't even exist. I'd just superimpose whatever political boundaries are on that map to the view we saw in-orbit from Halo 4.
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here is a map of 'Murica:

http://www.halopedia.org/File:URNA_map.jpg
Didn't notice while reading Escalation but what the frack is up with Texas? Rivers for reference
The geography of North America changes each time it's shown in Escalation. Sometimes a bunch of Quebec is underwater, and sometimes Greenland doesn't even exist. I'd just superimpose whatever political boundaries are on that map to the view we saw in-orbit from Halo 4.
Well maybe Quebec finally upset the rest of Canada enough that they destroyed it with water.
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The geography of North America changes each time it's shown in Escalation. Sometimes a bunch of Quebec is underwater, and sometimes Greenland doesn't even exist. I'd just superimpose whatever political boundaries are on that map to the view we saw in-orbit from Halo 4.
Well maybe Quebec finally upset the rest of Canada enough that they destroyed it with water.
I hope they saved the poutine recipes.
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here is a map of 'Murica:

http://www.halopedia.org/File:URNA_map.jpg
Didn't notice while reading Escalation but what the frack is up with Texas? Rivers for reference
Global warming confirmed.
Have the new classes of vessels in the UNSC navy been upgraded with shielding and advanced slipspace drives?

Are there any records alluding to the status of the Forerunner [fortress-class] vessel, designated Deep Reverence?

Has ONI investigated the status of the San 'Shyuum homeworld?
As of 2558 what Spartan's make up Team Blue?
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The thing about this is that the SPARTAN-IVs can do all of this, and assumedly, they can do it better.
Better, yes, especially when you consider that its members were drawn from many of these very ranks. That doesn't, however, guarantee that Spartan detachments can bear down organic assets to fulfill the same level of capability that special operations capable units possess.

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Now, its not specifically stated how many people are in the IVs, but the branch is at least 500 SPARTANs strong. With all these SPARTANs, redeployment of SPARTANs to important / high-risk situations becomes a lot less taxing, and more practical.
Spartans, individually, would cost far more per individual to deploy than an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper or equivalent troop. Bear in mind that you would need to move in the appropriate technicians and medical staff, and the accompanying tech and infrastructure to accommodate effective operation of their advanced capability. Many of these personnel are civilians and are thus not capable of defending themselves in any meaningful capacity so you would need security teams for these facilities.

Once in the field the Spartans would be a tremendous force-multiplier, but they are a logistical headache for the first phases of a prolonged operation. That's why Infinity is so vital to Spartan deployment. A company of ODST's, meanwhile, numbering anywhere from 100 to 300 Marines, merely needs a frigate with minimal aviation and stowage facilities to sustain themselves for a short length of time.

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Sure, ODSTs have the numbers on their side, but from the perspective of utility, if you're given the choice between SPARTANs or ODSTs, you're going to send SPARTANs.
I would employ Spartans in the roles best suited to their capability. They don't need to be implemented as a swiss army knife like we experience ourselves in the game. Deep reconnaissance or direct action into foreign lands with heavy resistance is where Spartans would shine. Establishing and defending a beachhead kilometers-wide for heavier forces as they're deployed from orbit, I would go with ODST's.

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I'm just wondering, given how much larger this SPARTAN branch is, if the ODSTs as a unit have been forced to adapt and change their role given the change in military format post-war.
Little to none. The role of the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers did not change with the adventation of ORION, SPARTAN-II, or the far more numerous SPARTAN-III capability within the ranks of Naval Special Warfare.

For real-world precedent, I will reference highly-trained conventional forces compared to expanding special operations forces. 50 years ago as the Vietnam War was soon to intensify, the ranks of the Green Berets and the Navy SEALs grew exponentially as America needed more elite commando troops deep behind enemy lines. These troops went through rigorous training no one else would dream of completing, as well as undertaking the same courses a lot of conventional troops completed.

Meanwhile, we still had three Airborne and Air Assault divisions and a handful of smaller brigades and battalions, and five Marine divisions still capable of many duties, and all highly trained in them.

Their role wasn't changed in the slightest. They remained just as they were before the expansion of special operations forces grew. Simply put, special operations filled a role that these larger elite forces didn't even have in the first place, at least not as a primary component.

The individual special operations troop today has millions invested into their basic qualifications and specialized role training at the start, then continuing on into further training, and their deployment and equipment. I don't even want to calculate what that all means when you add in the rigorous training Spartan candidates endure. Not to mention the composition and application of their augmentations and the rehabilitation from them. Last but not least... MJOLNIR.

You'd probably be spending just as much collectively, if not considerably less, on a highly-capable platoon of a few dozen Orbital Drop Shock Troopers compared to one SPARTAN-IV.
I'd have to agree with the thrust of what is said here - Spartans are highly special special forces. ODSTs are special forces. From a pure cost of deployment perspective, why use Spartans, when ODSTs can do the job. And why use ODSTs (as in the orbital drop pod part specialisation), when there would be specialists in other forms of combat - dropping in via orbital pod would be quite visible. A more discreet landing and hoofing it across ground may be more appropriate in the circumstances.

And there is a cost factor involved - MJOLNIR gen II is no doubt cheaper than before (mass production model), however Spartans are still going to be very expensive. When you can achieve the same outcome for a lesser cost, then from a long haul perspective, that is what you do. Just because you could use 18" shell to take out that tank, doesn't mean that you need to use it. A round or two from an anti-tank gun is a lot cheaper.

Similarly, you wouldn't use special forces where the job is more aligned with simply holding territory (infantry). Special forces troops are expensive to train, so once again the limited numbers available mean that you would ideally use them only in situations where cheaper units (in broad terms basic infantry are relatively cheaper to train) simply are not going to be effective.

And I can see situations where you would use mixed groups - Spartans doing the initial recon, target finding, and possibly even starting the fight by triggering a few key explosions / an assassination shot. Spartans then disengage from the primary fight, maintaining eyes on target, for spotting on artillery, taking out high value targets, etc. Normal troops to press the fight, and ODSTs for rapid response / deployment to help drive the battle the way you want it.
Query: Did Spartan John-117 face the Ur-Didact in the next 72 hours that followed the attack on Earth in 2557?

(Catalog's reply to Toa cannot be relied on; this requires clarification)
Query: Any information about Titan?
Query: What is the status of the San Shyumm aka Prophets?
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