Task Force 51
The Task Force 51 Collective Operations Community (not to be confused with Alpha Company) is an online "gated community" and aggregated gamers' team officially founded in February 2005 as the VFA-51st "Goldenhawks" on Battlefield Vietnam by friends TheGrandmaster, Headhunter, Annoying Error, and M.R.171, with its roots seen earlier in the summer of 2004. In September 2014, facing a clan war, it was joined by Scandinavian staff members SantiXgoIV and CarolusJohanneus, both of whom have since resigned from their posts. It has been described by its own members as "a highly-exclusive and small, yet tight-knit, circle of friends brought together through gaming" and "a gaming group that puts community interaction and friendship development first, and gaming second."
The community, as it is known now, is not one single entity, but rather a conglomerate of multiple different outfits. Aside from the original squadron, the VFA-51st, this merged collective includes the VT-137th "Red Saints" and the CAG-588th "Night Witches", as well as several other "personal groups", most notably Alpha Company. As of April 2016, all of these separated sects are now united as one under the Task Force 51 moniker, and headed by two officials: Mattaphobia (Commanding Officer) and Omnilectric (Executive Officer).
Fronted on many websites by AlphaWarhawk, its most adventurous member and incumbent leader, Task Force 51 has had varying degrees of presence in SBM since late 2013, with more members progressively joining the site throughout its shared timeline. Although uninterested in Spongebob discussion for the most part, different members have integrated themselves into the community, bringing with them the typical sense of camaraderie felt within TF51 itself.
Task Force 51, having been engaged in a prolonged cyber-war, is known for its great level of secrecy and complicated organization, directly set up to reflect the federal government of the US. Successfully joining the community is rare and extremely difficult, as the only way of doing so is to be selected by a member and go through a very intensive screening process, and finally be approved by both the screening group and the commanding officer. In 2016, only two people out of eleven applicants passed this process and became members.
Role on SBM
Originally, AlphaWarhawk and PolecatFoxtrot were the only two who had intended to join SBM. However, during August-September 2013, with the arrival of StormAllenBryat, the two united Alpha Company on the forums to attempt to attack him in the chat, with strength in numbers. This eventually worked, but soon afterwards, Todd Phillips virtually replaced him. Due to the extreme length of said fight, high-ranking members of TF51 (most importantly, then-head TheGrandmaster) joined SBM to assist TR in it in early 2014, and later keep them under control.
Despite never actively discussing Spongebob on the forums, many members of Task Force 51 are at least familiar with the show, and many of its members (especially those in Team Awesome) are known to make references and/or jokes to the show regularly. A few, namely TR members AlphaWarhawk, Polecat, and Sir Madcatter, are reputed for doing so around the forum.
Under wartime administration (2015-2016)
In October 2015, TF51 and all of its members (excluding Sir Madcatter, who remained merely as an overseer) were officially ordered to cease and withdraw from SBM by executive officer TheGrandmaster. Driven by WildOxen, TGM ordered a full withdrawal from SBM, in which all active members were ordered to leave, and no new members were allowed to register. A month later, in November 2015, he explained his reasoning for ordering the withdrawal. He cited his rival admin, SBM co-founder ssj4gogita4, as the main cause for the order, openly criticizing ssj's admin practices.
However, in mid-December 2015, the other two staff members at the time - SantiXgoIV and CarolusJohanneus - rethought TGM's decision, eventually coming to criticize him for acting on his own initiative without the consent of the entire staff team. In response, on December 21st, SantiXgoIV set up a team-wide poll on whether or not to lift the ban order. Out of the team's overall 27 members, 23 voted, and 4 abstained. The votes to lift the ban came in the majority, with the polls tallying 16 against 7. As a result, TGM's order of withdrawal has been overridden, allowing every willing member to return to SBM.
In late September 2016, executive officer Headhunter was banned from SBM as the result of a string of increasingly-aggressive attacks on the admin team. Although chief team diplomat CarolusJohanneus attempted to organize a peace meeting between ssj and TheGrandmaster, the meeting was ultimately foiled, due in part to disagreements on both ends, when ssj assigned Mr. Dr. Professor Patrick, the site technician of SBC, to show at the meeting and act as him. This event, which was seen as an unbelievable betrayal of trust by both the team staff and members, not only resulted in TGM himself being banned for continuing Headhunter's streak of aggression, but also caused nearly the entire team to vote and declare SBM as an "inactive threat," citing the failed meeting as the "last straw" in their relationship. As a provision of this vote, as well as a side effect of being marked with the status of team enemy, the staff team's previous verdict of cancelling TGM's first withdrawal order was overturned.
Under elected administrations (October 2016-present)
During the above events, the Task Force 51 community as a whole was in the process of conducting its first formal election of staff members, as both TheGrandmaster and Headhunter were stepping down. The election boiled down to two pairs of running mates: AlphaWarhawk and Mardante11 versus VFA-51 founding members M.R.171 and Annoying Error. Despite their long history of serving the group, the latter pair lost the election in what was considered the upset of the year, as Alpha and Mardante carried the team's at-large vote by a wide margin of 12 votes to 6. After being sworn in, one of Alpha's first moves was to declare to SBM (in a thread originally slated to announce the previous withdrawal) that he would uphold the order for a time, but also work towards fixing the relationship between TF51 and SBM, in hopes of reversing it in the future.
In December, Alpha's unit leader, Mattaphobia, was elected as his successor. "Matt" continues to uphold the withdrawal order, and refuses to make any action regarding SBM, leaving the situation all but forgotten.
In addition to the three main squadrons that comprise Task Force 51, the VFA-51st, VT-137th, and CAG-588th, the community is broken down even farther into individual sub-outfits. It also consists of a host of "personal groups" such as Alpha Company, consisting of only a few people, and meant solely for casual play/talk with no set guidelines.
The many different groups are listed below.
- VFA-51st "Goldenhawks" (Active: 2005- | Tag: GH or VFA-51 | Founders: TheGrandmaster, Headhunter, M.R.171, Annoying Error)
- VT-137th "Red Saints" (Active: 2013- | Tag: RS or VT-137 | Founders: Firebird190, Maximilian, BallisticTactix)
- CAG-588th "Night Witches" (Active: 2008- | Tag: NW or 588 | Founders: Allista, Omnilectric, Mattaphobia, TheBFGFreak, AdolfHipster)
Sub-squads & personal groups
- RCMP Fireteam 7 (Active: 2014- | Tag: F7 or RCMP | Founders: Rangerscope, Falkon, M.R.171)
- HI Dawnbreakers (Active: 2016- | Tag: HI | Founders: AMECBF2, Thundermand)
- Sydney Tactical Assault Kings (Active: 2014- | Tag: STAK | Founders: Annoying Error, Archangel990)
- Valkyria Raiders (Active: 2010- | Tag: VR | Founders: Phoenixon, KingVector)
- Hounds of Tindalos (Active: 2016- | Tag: HoT | Founders: SantiXgoIV, FairchildHawker)
- Goldenhawk Retribution Warriors (Active: 2016- | Tag: GHRW | Founders: Maximilian, Maverick)
- Alpha Company (Active: 2011- | Tag: AC | Founders: PolecatFoxtrot, AlphaWarhawk, Sir Madcatter, Rangerscope)
- Warhawk Faction (Active: 2016- | Tag: WF | Founders: AlphaWarhawk, FairchildHawker)
- Cowboys From Hell (Active: 2009- | Tag: CFH | Founders: Headhunter, Polecat324)
Full member list
- Mattaphobia [NW/HoT] - Commanding Officer
- Omnilectric [NW] - Executive Officer
- PhantomJohann [RS] - Chief Justice & Negotiator
- SantiXgoIV [RS/HoT] - Lead Developer, Associate Justice
- TheGrandmaster [GH] - Founder, Associate Justice
- Mardante11 [VR/GH] - Associate Justice
- PolecatFoxtrot [GH/AC/CFH] - Associate Justice
- A.Z.51 [GH] - Co-Founder, Deputy Developer
- Falkon [VR/F7] - Community Clerk/Record Keeper
- AlphaWarhawk [NW/AC/WF] - Lead Representative
- Headhunter [GH/CFH] - Co-Founder
- Sir Madcatter [GH/AC]
- Rangerscope [GH/AC/F7]
- FairchildHawker [GH/HoT/WF]
- TwinWolf [RS/WF]
- Vernondex [RS/WF]
- WildOxen [GH/STAK/HoT/WF]
- Annoying Error [GH/STAK]
- KingVector [VR/HoT]
- Archangel990 [GH/STAK/HoT]
- ArvetteXV [NW]
- Allista [NW]
- AdolfHipster [NW]
- TheBFGFreak [NW]
- Dragonaut117 [VR]
- Maverick [RS/GHRW]
- Maximilian [RS/GHRW]
- LordEmir [HI/GHRW/HoT]
- MrMetallkniv [RS]
- MercJax [HI/WF]
- TheNorthmanAlex [CFH]
- ZachKinecht [CFH]
- Buggs_Brenner [CFH]
- Yotelex [CFH]
- TrazanLP [CFH]
List of staff
- TheGrandmaster (CO) and Headhunter (XO): 2005-2009
- Headhunter and Annoying Error: 2009-2013
- TheGrandmaster and Headhunter: 2013-2014
- PhantomJohann and TheGrandmaster/SantiXgoIV: 2014-2016
- SantiXgoIV and TheGrandmaster: April-July 2016
- TheGrandmaster and Headhunter: July-October 2016
- AlphaWarhawk and Mardante11: October-November 2016
- AlphaWarhawk and TheBFGFreak: November-December 2016
- Mattaphobia and Omnilectric: January 2017-Present
NOTE: Command of the community throughout its existence has generally been held by TheGrandmaster, Headhunter, and A.Z.51. In October 2016, the community began to hold triannual staff elections, with running mates AlphaWarhawk (CO) and Mardante11 (XO) winning the first.