During the times of 2491, a project was beginning within the ranks of the UNSC and ONI known as the ORION Project. This project was ONI’s answer to the newly arising Insurrectionist threat that was being established in the outer colonies. The ORION Project was a Special Operations force in the UNSC. The 300 ranks of Orion were under operational authority of the Naval Special Warfare Command and Naval Special Weapons. ORION was based on volunteers from the best of what the UNSC Marine Corps had to offer. The ORION program, at this point, was also known as the SPARTAN Program, which was run on one of the Orbital Platform Docks on Reach.
The members of the ORION/SPARTAN Project were specially augmented with what technology was available during the time. These augmentations were not as powerful and adverse as what was eventually done in the Spartan II Program, and it also didn’t have the horrible side-effects that plagued the many members of the Spartan II program. The program was later disbanded and deactivated during 2506.