Lieutenant Naven Rhodes, Skyfire
Deputy Commander, Air Group
Solaria Air Group
Solaria Air Group
Navan is often described by the people that know him as friendly, outgoing and would help anyone if he could. The Commander of the Battlestar Phoenix described him as a natural leader, inspiring respect in his comrades by simply being himself but also someone that isn’t afraid to use the proverbial stick. Navan would rather deal with his subordinates with respect, as he would expect them to give him. He remains confident that he knows how to strike the balance between formality and informality to get the best out of those under him.
He has little to no respect for the old school command officers who feel that shouting in someones face will get them his respect.
Navan’s core strengths are his piloting skills and his leadership ability. Whilst being an exceptional pilot, Navan is not boastful of this, in fact he doesn’t quite realise how good he probably is. He considers himself to be an average pilot that has been given a lot of luck or be watched over by the Gods. Because of these particular traits, it earns a lot of respect from below him and quite often above him too.
Whilst Navan rarely used them during his career, he remains a proficient marksman, as would any solider.
Navan is a good tactician, creating several in-air tactics not only for live run’s but also to put his trainee and his subordinate pilot’s through their paces.
Some have described his faith as a major weakness, probably the reason why his superiors, who were more than likely atheists and scoffed at his faith, passed him up for promotion beyond the Phoenix and as a CAG. He will often talk about his faith and with the state of things to come, he will undoubtedly speak about it a lot, but he also knows when to stow this talk. He has been the subject of much ridicule for his faith by his shipmates, some friendly, some that would probably cross the line of bullying.
Beyond basic medic training that every officer and the basic extended medic training that pilots receive, Navan’s medical knowledge is limited, never really having a vast interest in learning anymore in this area than he had to because he was a career Officer. He saw himself serving in the Colonial Fleet his entire life, one day hopefully commanding his own Battlestar and later joining the Admiralty.
Navan was born and raised in the capital city on Gemenon. His mother and father were part of the orthodox theists movement and throughout his early life he was exposed to the scriptures. Through this, his parents and the people that he grew up around, he grew up a strong believer of the scriptures. There was another group of religious figures on Gemenon, who Navan had initially started to grow close to as he approached his 16th birthday, but he quickly discovered their dangerous views and dangerous interpretations of the holy scripture.
When Navan turned 18, he asked his parents permission to attend the Colonial Fleet Academy. His parents gave Navan their blessing, despite their own fears and misgivings about their son joining the military, especially as he wanted to be pilot. After his 3 years at the Academy, graduating with honours and commendations, he joined pilot school.
He passed basic flight with top marks, logging over a thousand non-simulated flight hours in both Vipers and Raptors, becoming a more than proficient flyer. On his final flight, to earn his wings, his flight instructor gave him his callsign, Skyfire.
Once he had passed out, he was assigned to the Battlestar Phoenix, a Mercury Class Battlestar and assigned as a Viper pilot. He spent several years on the Phoenix, being promoted twice during this time in recognition of not only his flying ability but his command ability. Navan had witnessed first hand the old school command style, where people were literally demeaned on a constant basis by their superiors in an effort to elicit respect. Whilst Navan was capable of knocking people down a few pegs, he often opted for a more softer approach and this made him well liked especially when he made Squadron Leader and later Deputy Commander of the Air Group on the Phoenix.
During his time on the Phoenix, Navan opted to return to flight school to be taught how to become a flight instructor at the request of the Commander on the Phoenix as this was the requirement for the Phoenix to have trainee pilots aboard and complete their final year aboard a Battlestar. Navan didn’t realise, when he accepted the assignment how much work this would be, not just to train as a flight instructor, but to have trainee pilots assigned under him.
It was during a training flight with several trainee pilots that the Cylons attacked the Twelve Colonies. The flight consisted of him with 5 trainee pilots in Mark 3 Vipers, all with dummy rounds. The Phoenix was destroyed almost instantly during the attack and Navan ordered the small squadron to dock with a civilian transport ship that was passing briefly, he later learned this was the Picon Traveller.