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Bases & Space Stations

Echo Base On Hoth

After abandoning their headquarters at the Massassi outpost on Yavin 4, the core group of the Rebel Alliance established Echo Base on the Hoth. Alliance engineers worked non-stop to adapt their technology to withstand the subzero temperature extremes of the frigid ice planet. When the technicians were unable to get the T-47s functioning in time, the Rebels domesticated the indigenous tauntaun for use as a patrol mount.

Echo Base was not the first outpost to be established in the frozen caverns of Hoth. Many of the planet's northern glacial plains are hollowed out naturally by volcanic and seismic activity. These vast networks of caverns in the ice have lured smugglers, pirates, Imperials and Rebels alike.

When Alliance High Command agreed to use Hoth as their headquarters, the task fell to Major Kem Monnon and his Alliance Corps of Engineers to carve Echo Base out of the living ice. Monnon, a capable engineer and respected leader, led his crew through the cold hardship of carving the ice with laser-borers, mechanical drills and more than a few mitted hands and vibro-spades. It took 18 months to carve the base and it took another two to fit the caverns with electronics, weapons and life support. 

Echo Base used a combination of high-yield power generators and naturally occurring volcanic heat sinks as power sources, and had a state of the art command, communication and medical center. Echo Base was ultimately designed to be abandoned. Communication and power lines were mounted on wall exteriors for easy takedown during evacuation procedures. As Monnon and his crew often remarked, "it's not pretty, but it works."

The nerve center of Echo Base was its darkened command center, where General Rieekan issued orders to the rest of his troops. Here, Alliance scanner operators carefully monitored incoming data from the scattered sensors placed by Rebel scouts in the Hoth wilderness.

Echo Base was designed to support several thousand military, diplomatic and support personnel. The Hoth base extended seven levels down into the hard, frozen rock of the planet. The base featured two hangars. The northernmost was for small ship and vehicle launches, used for immediate deployment and scout missions. The southern hangar, at the end of the south slope, supported a larger staging areas. Because the Alliance Fleet was dispersed around the galaxy, set to rendezvous beyond the Galactic Rim, Echo Base was not designed to handle any starships bigger than a medium transport.

Two large bay doors provided main entrances at the north and south ends of the mountain range. The hangar was one of the first segments built to allow for the steady inflow of resources. The facility included perimeter defense trenches, static anti-infantry and anti-vehicle emplacements, v-150 Planet Defender ion cannon, OrC-19 planetary com-scan unit, theater shield, medical facility and command center. At its height, the base housed 7,500 combat and command personnel, 350 medical personnel and 120 droids. The hangar was large enough to simultaneously house at least thirty GR-75 Medium Transports, sixty Rebel starfighters, twelve snowspeeders, the Millennium Falcon and Outrider.

Scattered throughout the perimeter of Echo Base were a number of manned patrol stations, called Echo stations. These outposts were distributed in a grid-like pattern, with numerical identifiers indicating their placement on the grid. The stations were typically manned by Rebel soldiers, armed with artillery to hold off Imperial attack in case of discovery. 

Laying outside Echo Base's shield perimeter is Outpost Beta. It monitored activity in Echo Base's Zone 12, and passed on data to other Echo stations. It was this station that first spotted the Imperial landing that began the Battle of Hoth, and was destroyed early on in the fighting. It forwarded its information to other Echo Stations. 

Another important outpost is Echo Station 5-7. This one, located at the junction of the network of trenches dug in the snow, was the first to receive contact from the incoming snowspeeder flights sent to defend Echo Base.

Protecting Echo Base was a powerful energy shield strong enough to deflect Imperial bombardment. When the Empire arrived in the Hoth system, the Rebels erected the shield, forcing the Imperials to engage in a ground battle. The Rebels speedily evacuated the personnel and equipment they could aboard Rebel transports with starfighter escorts, offering covering fire for the fleeing ships from a massive ground-based ion cannon. 

As the transports retreated, the Rebel ground forces and snowspeeder squadrons covered their escape by delaying the Imperials for as long as they could. Rebel troopers dug into snowy trenches, blasting at the incoming Imperials with turret-mounted laser cannons and blaster rifles. The Imperial walkers were unstoppable. The Rebels were routed and Echo Base was overrun.

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