One of the most specialized mercenary units to form in the mid to late thirty-first century, the origins of Skibinski's Salvage lie with Edward Skibinski. Skibinski was a native of Hesperus II and the inheritor of a family chain of restaurants, but he had always been utterly fascinated with the workings of BattleMechs. After inheriting the family business, Skibinski continued to run the business until it reached the point where it could profit without his direct involvement, at which point he applied for work at Defiance Industries.
Skibinski lacked a technical background, but was possessed of superb leadership and management skills, and Defiance recruited him via a lateral-entry contract, appointing him to be the leader of a "float team" while he underwent his technical training. Float teams were ad-hoc formations of technical staff employed by Defiance, but who were waiting to be hired by particular departments and divisions within Defiance - or who were never going to be hired. Defiance used float teams as floating firefighters, assigning them to piecework as needed, using them as problem-solvers and to help deal with schedule crunches within other programs and projects. Each float team could find itself working on completely different tasks from one day to the next, and the teams attracted personnel with a certain kind of personality; career managers avoided postings to float teams, regarding them as dead-end spots, whilst hands-on technical staff who regarded management work as a chore were attracted to the float teams. For someone like Skibinski, the posting to a float team wasn't unusual.
Once Skibinski began working with the float teams, he flourished; an enthusiastic leader, Skibinski was ideally suited for motivating his staff, and his team of floaters quickly became one of the most sought-after teams when a team was needed to troubleshoot a problem or task. Skibinski was quickly put in charge of several float teams, rather than just one, and he proved every bit as effective running several teams as one - to the point that established technical staff and engineers in stable career positions began requesting transfers into the float teams.
Despite Skibinski's success, he began chafing with the managers he was working for, and he soon became aware that there were many talented technical and engineering staff within Defiance working in the lower levels of the company that resented being reduced to working as cogs in a giant machine. Gathering together those staff who were willing to work with him, Skibinski liquidated all of his assets, including his family business, pooled his resources with those available from those willing to follow him, and founded Skibinski's Salvage. It was suggested that their new company might find more work if it wasn't operating in the backyard of possibly the biggest single 'Mech manufacturer in the Inner Sphere, and as they had enough starting funds to purchase a surplus but aging Union-class DropShip, Skibinski's team relocated to Arc-Royal, incorporating their company as the mercenary unit Skibinski's Salvage.
Despite the relocation to Arc-Royal, Skibinski retained cordial links with Defiance, and his command quickly gained a reputation for quality work done well. Other salvage units specialized in down-and-dirty repairs, scavenging and jury-rigging equipment; in contrast, Skibinski's Salvage gained a reputation for excellent work and precision engineering. Components fitted by Skibinski's Salvage were precision-machined to tolerances exceeding the original design specifications, and when repair jobs required items to be mounted on chassis never meant to carry them, the Salvage created versatile, efficient adapters to ensure that job was done correctly. Skibinski continued to send Defiance a constant stream of data on BattleMech performance and innovations for the research and development departments, maintaining a good working relationship that went as far as Defiance marketing refit kits and field upgrades designed by the Salvage, whilst Skibinski continued to recruit staff - including some of the top graduates - from Defiance's training program.
The reputation of Skibinski's Salvage grew steadily in the late 3060s; after the Com Guards Second Division accidentally inflicted heavy damage on the Tooth of Ymir in January 3068, mistakenly believing that the Tooth was a Blakist-affiliated command, the Com Guards hired Skibinski's Salvage to rebuild the shattered mercenary unit. The work done by Skibinksi's Salvage on the Tooth of Ymir after they arrived on Arc-Royal was such that Colonel Susan Brownell Shadwell and her command became staunch supporters and impromptu sales reps for the Salvage, consistently requesting the Salvage as their tech support of choice when negotiating contracts.
Skibinksi organized the Salvage into a number of teams. The administrative group - named "The Room With Two Doors" - was a veteran-level group of administrators, negotiators and payroll staff responsible for all of the human resources aspects of the command, headed up by Skibinksi himself. The technical side of the Salvage consisted of three teams of 28 personnel, including a Team Leader and a Lead Tech, with Team Leaders the equivalent of a Lieutenant and Lead Tech's the equivalent of Sergeants. The most experienced of the three teams in 3067 was Elliott's Ghouls, who had achieved veteran-levels of experience in late 3067 thanks to the acquisition of a new tech from Defiance Industries. Elliott's Ghouls were headed up by Team Leader Joe Wasson, seconded by Lead Tech Elliott Baumgartner. Baumgartner was another Defiance graduate with ten years more experience than the rest of the command, although his earlier graduation from the technical program meant that he lacked some of the more specialized training later recruits to the Salvage possessed. The second technical team, Finch's Fixers, was lead by Team Leader Jim Finch and Lead Tech Mike Patton. Both Patton and his Assistant Lead Tech, Kyle LeGrand, were fanatical in their dedication to the work, and had a reputation for performing quality repairs even while under fire. The third team, Wojack's Wreckers, led by Team Leader Dan Wurzer and Lead Tech Mike Wojak, suffered from a reputation for immaturity, but the recruitment of a number of new Defiance techs in 3067 compensated for this somewhat, reducing the overall experience level of the team, but bringing it a needed air of professionalism.
As of 3071, it was a source of pride to Edward Skibinski and the rest of his unit that not a single MechWarrior had been lost due to equipment failure on a 'Mech repaired by the Salvage, and Skibinski was quick to point out to others that he had never lost a technician from his unit - either to enemy fire, or better job offers. By 3067 the Salvage's original ageing Union had been replaced by an Overlord-class DropShip, the Four Rings, which had been extensively modified internally to support the Salvage's work; more than half of the 'Mech bays had been replaced with storage and machine shops. The Four Rings transported six aerospace fighters for protection - two Stingrays and four Lucifers - but none of the other personnel in Skibinski's Salvage had any military training, or carried any firearms... including handguns. This was something that Skibinski insisted on, to emphasize that he and his people worked for one reason only: to fix things that were broken. By 3071 the Salvage was deployed to Atocongo, having accepted a contract from the Lyran Alliance Armed Forces for the duration of the Jihad.
The Salvage had no battlefield tactics, as it was operated purely as a support command, not a combat command. The Salvage always deployed within the defense perimeter of their employer, and the Salvage's aerospace fighters were only used for defending the unit and escorting their DropShip.
Insignia and ColorsEdit
Whilst the Salvage wasn't a battlefield command, all of the members of the command were professionals, and the Salvage adopted a uniform dress code and insignia. Field personnel in the Salvage wore neutral grey jumpsuits with red and gold highlights, displaying the unit insignia on a shoulder patch. The insignia was also displayed on the Salvage's DropShip and fighters, and consisted of four rings in a box formation.
- Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 59, "Skibinski's Salvage: We Get It Fixed"
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 107, "Skibinski's Salvage"
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 151 "HYN-4A HYENA SALVAGEMECH"
- Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 71, "Skibinski's Salvage (C)"