The Iron Cavalry Squadron (鉄騎兵中隊 Tetsu Kihei Chūtai?) are a faction featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga, its OVA adaptation, and television recut [note 1]. They were part of the Earth Federation Space Force , and functioned as a squadron made up of four teams, each consisting of three RCX-76-02 Guncannon First Types . Thus, there were 12 units in total labelled 101 to 112 under the command of their leader, Lieutenant Junior Grade Erdush. The squadron used a Pizarro-class Mobile Transport Ship as a carrier and participated in the Battle of Mare Smythii in U.C. 0078 .
As of U.C. 0078, the Earth Federation Forces were aware that Side 3 (later the Principality of Zeon) was developing humanoid mobile weapons for use in a war of independence. The Federation Forces hoped to resist them with the Guncannon First Type, a similar type of humanoid mobile weapon (although, the Earth Federation Forces categorized it as an MBT). Thus they had formed a mobile unit, the Iron Cavalry Squadron, made up of these new MBTs. Elite pilots had been undergoing training as part of this select team, with the highly regarded LTJG Erdush as their squadron commander. LTJG Erdush's machine, labelled 101, was given distinctive markings to differentiate it from the standard type and make it easier to identify as a squadron commander's unit .
Battle of Mare Smythii
Knowing that Zeon had mobile suits on the moon, a commander ordered the deployment of the entire Iron Cavalry Squadron which outnumbered the 4 Zeon suits they detected. Tem Ray requested to come a long so he could see the Guncannons in action with his own two eyes . A nerve-wrecking alarm pierced through the hangar of the Earth Federation's Pizarro-class Mobile Transport Ship as it rushed to the Mare Smythii on the surface of the moon. Soldiers in pilot suits dashed into the bellies of the moon-gray squadron Guncannon First Types in a well-trained manner. The hangar was jacked up, and a sharp glint lit up in the head visors .
The Pizarro-class deployed its twelve Guncannons led by Erdush, with the objective to protect Torenov Y. Minovsky's buggy. Confident of scoring the Squadron's first victory , Erdush's Guncannon and Guncannons VB102 through to VB107 fired their cannons at the MS-04 Bugu and the Black Tri-Stars. Unfortunately, the four targets leap out of the explosions undamaged. The Bugu dealt heavy damage to Erdush's Guncannon's chest with his main gun and then kicked it over. Gaia laughed as he destroyed Guncannon VB107. Mash then destroyed Guncannon VB105 with only a single shot from his Zaku I's Bazooka and then Ortega destroyed Guncannon VB106. Captain Ral commended the Black Tri-Stars for showing the "Federation Scumbags" what "real mobile suits" could do but failed to notice the buggy approaching Guncannons VB111 and VB112. He fired shots from his machine gun at the buggy while the two Guncannons returned fire from their Missile Launchers .
Seeing the destroyed Guncannons, Dr. Ray was in awe at how far Zeonic have advanced. The captain of the Pizarro-class mobile transport ship ordered a recall of the Guncannons but lost his voice when a red shadow loomed into view in front of the ship . Ortega bludgeoned Guncannon VB102's head with his Zaku I's heat hawk, declaring the Guncannons to not be mobile suits but playthings. Gaia brushed off a shot from Guncannon VB104 like nothing and bended his Zaku I over for Mash to stand upon and deal the final blow with a bazooka. The injured Erdush climbed out of his cockpit with a cracked helmet to see Ortega bludgeoning a Guncannon and collapsed. Captain Ral turned his Bugu around to see Gaia's Zaku I chasing an armless Guncannon VB103 and ordered him to let the Guncannon go, Gaia ignored the order and sliced the Guncannon's backpack reactor, causing it to fall on Dr. Minovsky .
- Incorrectly translated as "Iron Cavalry Battalion" in the manga.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin Episode 4, Eve of Destiny
- MECHANICAL｜MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM THE ORIGIN. Retrieved on 2020-12-16. “Guncannon First Type (Iron Cavalry Squadron)”
- MECHANICAL｜MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM THE ORIGIN. Retrieved on 2020-12-16. “Guncannon First Type (Iron Cavalry Squadron Commander)”
- (November 2016) HG 1/144 RCX-76-02 Guncannon First Type (Iron Cavalry Squadron) Manual. Bandai, 3.
- (March 2017) HG 1/144 MS-05 Zaku I (Char Aznable) Manual. Bandai, 1.