The ORION Project was an Office of Naval Intelligence and Colonial Military Authority super-soldier program aimed at security and counter-insurgency operations. It was originally launched in the 23rd century, but was deemed too cost ineffective. A later relaunch occurred during the Insurrection. Though effective, it eventually met a similar fate to the original program.
Later, following the success of the Doctor Halsey's SPARTAN-IIs, the remaining ORIONs became colloquially named as SPARTAN-Is, and this name took root the the extent that ORIONs such as James James referred to themselves as SPARTANs. The ORION Project itself was also retroactively dubbed the SPARTAN-I Program, and the children of the members of the ORION Project were sometimes called SPARTAN-1.1s.
The ORION Project was a Special Operations Force in the UNSC. Administratively, the ORION project was under the control of ONI Section-III, the Special Projects section of ONI's Beta-5 Division. However the Orion super-soldiers themselves were under the operational authority of Naval Special Warfare Command/Naval Special Weapons. The ORION Program was an all volunteer force composed of the best soldiers from the Marine Corps and special forces branches of the military—the Orion super-soldiers performed specialized, high-risk operations including: counter-insurgency operations, unconventional warfare, direct action and black operations. The ORION program was headquartered on one of the many orbital docks on Reach, and in the height of the program had 300 active duty personnel.
The members of the ORION program were all augmented soldiers, using new training methods and the latest breakthroughs in biochemical developments. Augmentations to the Orion super-soldiers include muscular enhancement injections, pulmonary respiratory enhancements, retina-inversion injections, and cochlea enhancement tuning. In addition to the physical enhancements, mental augmentations were performed to enhance brain functions including enhanced learning capabilities to allow a subject to learn at a faster and higher rate and enhanced motor skills to improve body movements. The Orion training regime was very difficult and included many tests both mental and physical, including work done in the lab. All sixty-five initial volunteers made it through the training and augmentation procedures and were placed on active duty some time after completing their training. After their initial deployment and success funding for training the next group of Orion super-soldiers was approved, and within a few years the Orion Program had 165 active duty personnel.
Power and Stats
Tier: At least 9-C to 9-B with physical blows; at least 9-C to 9-B with most weapons; 8-C with M99 Stanchion Gauss Rifle; at least 9-A to 8-C with various heavy weapons; 7-C to 7-B with Tactical Nuclear Weapons
Classification: ORION/SPARTAN-I Commando (extensively-trained biochemically and genetically-augmented super-soldiers); SPARTAN-1.1 (biochemically and genetically-augmented children of the SPARTAN-I)
Powers and Abilities: Biochemical and genetic physical and mental augmentations and training granting at least Peak Human strength, speed, durability, agility, stamina, precision motor control, coordination, intelligence, memory, creativity, adaptability, focus, fortitude, pain tolerance, reaction time and reflexes, Enhanced Senses (such as increased visual clarity, night vision, and hearing), more efficient metabolism and healing factor (Low), immune, detoxification and endocrine systems
Attack Potency: At least Street level to Wall level with physical blows (all ORION super-soldiers should possess at least peak human strength; inferior to later SPARTANs); Street level to Wall level with most weapons; Building level with M99 Stanchion Gauss Rifle (fires rounds with enough energy to punch through hardened concrete pylons, penetrate entire office buildings, rip its target apart with explosive force, and continue going); Small Building level to Building level with various heavy weapons and demolition explosives; Town level to City level with Tactical Nuclear Weapons
Speed: At least Peak Human+ travel speed (42+ km/h; inferior to later SPARTANs), at least Peak Human+ combat speed (inferior to later SPARTANs), at least Subsonic+ reactions (can track the movements of SPARTAN-IIs; inferior to later SPARTANs)
Lifting Strength: At least Peak Human+ (inferior to later SPARTANs)
Striking Strength: At least Wall Class (inferior to later SPARTANs)
Durability: At least Street level+ (inferior to later SPARTANs)
Stamina: At least Peak Human (inferior to later SPARTANs)
Range: Extended melee range; hundreds of meters with most ranged weapons, at least two kilometers with sniper rifles, at least four and a half kilometers with M99 Stanchion Gauss Rifle; up to a dozen kilometers with tactical nuclear weapons
Standard Equipment: Various Human weaponry
Intelligence: At least Above Average (all SPARTAN-I and SPARTAN-1.1 possess higher-than-average intelligence and enhanced learning capabilities)
Weaknesses: Cannot use MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor; SPARTAN-1.1s lack the extensive training and resources of the SPARTAN-I and other SPARTANs
- Sergeant Major Avery Junior Johnson
- James James
- Gunnery Sergeant Gladys Wilson
- Janissary James (SPARTAN-1.1)
- Kevin Morales (SPARTAN-1.1)
- Benji Wong (SPARTAN-1.1)