Home Guard Comes Under Fire

The announcement made last week by Kaalakiota Corporation regarding the new Home Guard training facility on Nonni I may have been intended to send a positive message to Caldari citizens, but in the last few days shareholders and commentators alike have lined up to criticise the corporation for what some perceive to be a lack of candour concerning its logistical and financial problems.

“Cheung’s extremely positive spin is simply an attempt to paper over the cracks,” claimed Wiyrkomi executive Janos Fury yesterday in a press statement yesterday. “The Home Guard has been plagued with internal problems for years, with numerous instances of corruption, excessive force, and criminal negligence on record. The fact that so many of these cases have been settled out of court just goes to prove how desperate Kaalakiota is to cover up the truth.”

As a case in point Fury cited an incident six months ago in Isanamo where over a dozen civilians were injured by Home Guard officers during clashes with local drug dealers, and he also quoted the notorious case of Bejan Quenco, a Guristas operative who died in custody at a Home Guard facility under mysterious circumstances before he could provide evidence in a case concerning the bribery of State officials in The Citadel. Fury was keen to point out that these example were just a few of many similar incidents documented in the last year.

Many shareholders however were more concerned about where the new investment in the training program is coming from. Investment manager Luto Hakikanen from Smart Kredit Share Banking used his company’s latest newsletter to express his reservations. “The amount of funds promised by the Kaalakiota Corporation Board towards this new training project are quite frankly ridiculous,” he wrote. “The money could only be generated at the expense of budgetary cuts and job losses in other sectors, which does not bode well for their other employees.”

The most heated arguments however have raged over the real need for the new training facilities, with many ex-servicemen divided over the requirements for basic law enforcement training, and the quality of training provided by the Home Guard. Jervinen Takasi, a fifty-year old middle-manager who served with the military for five years in his youth, stated recently on GalNet that, “In my day all you got was a rifle, a bunk and a pair of boots, and we were ground into the dirt every day until we learnt what we needed. All this twaddle about simulators and dietary plans is completely over the top. Are we training soldiers now or hairdressers?”

Kaysha Durinen, a Guardswoman who recently left the service to become a civil engineer, expressed a very different point of view. During an issue of the current affairs bulletin ‘On the Record’ she explained that “The police is a shambles. When I was there we were over-equipped and poorly trained. We were told any damage to our equipment would come out of our benefits package and so I was almost too scared to touch anything. I saw more recruits harm themselves with their weapons than anyone else, simply because they didn’t know what they were doing.”

Kaalakiota Corporation executives have been quick to counter these negative comments, citing in comparison the testimony of those who have come away from the security services with more positive experiences. “It is important to put things in perspective,” stated a Home Guard press official today in response to questions regarding the criticism recently levelled at the corporation. “The majority of the ex-servicemen and women who have come forward with these accusations have been discharged with less than impeccable records and clearly have some kind of axe to grind. Also bear in mind that the Guard is currently comprised of millions of personnel, many of whom will go on to find fulfilling careers in the Navy or in the corporate sector thanks to the experience and the training that we have provided. Given the scale of our operation, a few genuine, isolated incidents are almost inevitable, but these should not overshadow the fact that, overall, standards are high, and lately performance has been exceptional.”