The Echani Protectors were an elite fighting force within the Echani Culture. Much like their Mandalorian counterparts the Mandalorian Protectors they were protectors of Echani space and their people. They operated out of their central headquarters The Citadel.
The Echani Protectors formed during the Great Sith War out of the tradition of naming their greatest warrior the High Protector. As the Galaxy was in a state of chaos and the Echani people themselves at risk, Echani Command formed the elite fighting force as a way to bolster their people's spirits and formulate a defense.
For the duration of the war the Protectors guarded Echani space utilizing their own fleet of ships. Though their numbers only counted in the lower hundreds they were given command of the entire defense Navy and her forces, giving them a strong backbone. The Sith mostly left the Echani alone, although the Mandalorians attempted several attacks, all of which were eventually repelled, though the strength of Mandalorian ships caused many casualties on the Echani's side of the conflict.
Following the War the Protectors grew in numbers and were reformed into a specialized fighting force similar to the eventual Mandalorian Super Commandos. Divided into 12 man squads the Protectors served as a special forces group within Echani Command. Each member of the protectors was trained in various forms of combat.
When the Mandalorian Wars broke out Echani Command chose to stay out of the war. This lead to a small number of Protectors to separate from the Protectors and join the Republic in the war. These Echani were officially dismissed from the order while the Protectors themselves supported their actions. Many of the Echani were banished from their families and clans eventually forming their own. Some were reinstated in the Protectors after the war taking on the family name Procta, or Protector in Echani.
All protectors were considered masters of the Echani martial arts and the usage of Echani Vibroswords. In addition to this they received extensive training in various forms of firearms. The Protectors preferred gauss based weaponry that fired solid slugs. Their preference for this style of weapon was to take advantage of the fact that most enemies utilized armor and personal shields designed to protect against blasters. They would have little protection from high velocity slugs and thus could easily penetrate them.
They also received extensive training in tactical insertions, espionage, and stealth operations. Each individual Protector was required to pass several skill tests and training regiments. Because of this Protectors were generally trained from the age of 14 and graduated at the age of 20. They were capable of many operation types including:
• Deep ground surveillance (DGS)
• Direct action (DA)
• Unconventional warfare
• Counter-terrorism operations
• Counter-contraband operations
• Personnel and special equipment recovery/capture
Like many militaristic orders there are several specialized subgroups. While all Protectors are skilled warriors and considered the best the Echani have, there are some that are assigned to specialized groups. These groups are called the High Protectors, S.E.A.L.S., and the Praetorian. Though none of these groups held a higher rank then regular Protectors they were generally given a higher amount of seniority and respect due to the nature of their duties.
High Protectors were a very controversial group within the Echani. For one it gave a title that in past traditions was held by a single individual. Secondly the group was controversial due to the nature of its membership requirements. All High Protectors needed to be Force-sensitive by at least a small degree. This is not to say that the High Protectors were an attempt by the Echani to create a Force Sensitive army, but instead an attempt to utilize the Force to enhance the Echani Protectors' already impressive combat abilities.
The Echani's capability to train the High Protectors in the ways of the force was incredibly limited. Sith teachings were forbidden to be taught, and the Echani lacked any to teach regardless, and Jedi teachings were virtually impossible to acquire. The maximum capabilities of the protectors were limited to abilities that manifested naturally, improved reaction time, physical strength, an affinity to animals, and sometimes weather. Trained abilities were limited to telekinesis and even that was limited.
The exact nature of the High Protectors was kept secret to all but the upper echelons of Echani Command. This was done for many reasons, primarily to keep the secret away from the Jedi and the Sith. The Sith tended to seek out force Sensitive groups and assimilate them or destroy them. The Jedi also tended to do this, seeing any group other then themselves as a threat and seeking to destroy or convert them. Continuing this, when the first Galactic Empire came to power the order was 'officially dissolved' into the normal protectors under the premise of limiting their own military power under the New Order. Following the Battle of Endor the order was reinstated.
S.E.A.L.S. or Stealth Enforcement, Assault, and Logistics Services was the special forces sub group of the Protectors. Trained in stealth insertion and counter-intelligence operations the S.E.A.L.S. were widely revered for their ability to preform operations without being caught. S.E.A.L.S. utilized all black versions of the Echani Protector Armor and HUDs integrated into computer interface visors.
Unlike their contemporary brothers S.E.A.L.S. the body gloves of their armor was full body, insulated, and pressurized. This allowed the S.E.A.L.S. to operate in extreme environments and even vacuum, utilizing a small air reserve mounted on the back of their belts. The gloves of their suits featured small electronic sensors that allowed them to operate computers without touching them, when used in conjunction with their interface visors. Standard armament for a S.E.A.L.S. operative was the Type-210 Gauss Pistol and a small vibroknife as both weapons produced nearly no noise when used.
The Praetorian or the Praetorian Guard were formed following the death of Yusanis. The Echani were struck heavy by the loss of such an influential leader and as such swore to never again loose one in such a way. The Praetorian Guard are hand picked from the ranks of the Protectors by Echani Command. These members are outfitted with the Protector Battle Rifle as their main armament, the V-92 Blaster Pistol as their side arm and the Echani double-brand as their backup melee weapon.
The Praetorian protect the leaders of the Echani Command, senators, and on occasion Admiralty. They operated in ways similar to that of the Senate Guard. There was a little known amount of Rivalry between the Senate Guard and the Praetorian Guard as both utilized the Echani form of combat but the Echani refused to permit the Senate Guard to protect Echani Senators. Following the dissolution of the Senate the Praetorian Guard gathered around the remaining leaders of the Echani as a personal defense force. In 7 ABY the Guard returned to protecting the Echani Senators within the New Republic Senate.
- Main Article: Echani Protector Armor
The Armor of an Echani Protector was inspired by the Jedi. It consisted of silver variation of Echani heavy armor with a vest based on the shield suit the Echani produced during the time of the Jedi Civil War. A kama flowed down from the belt to protect from low flying shrapnel. A cowl was fitted over the shoulders of the armor,and featured a hood for protection from the elements. Arm-guards covered most of the wearers forearm and was comprised of leather with a titanium-cortosis metal guard on the top. The metal guard received a similar supercooling treatment to that of Echani Vibroswords and this allowed the user to potentially block lightsabers with the guards without the risk of heat and burn injuries. One arm-guards featured a small Vibroanchor launcher while the other sported an wrist blade.
While not their standard armor Echani Protectors were also known to wear Union-type Battle Armor at times.
- Echani Vibrosword
- Echani double-brand
- Echani Quarterstaff
- Echani Wrist Blade
- Echani Electro Quarterstaff
- Oumak-class Transport
- Procta-class Patrol Ship
- Grumma-class Patrol Cruiser
- Echa'olm-class starfighter