President Jonah McCullough
West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee
Appalachian Air Wardens
With the possible exception of some parts of the Texan border regions, the Appalachian Mountains is the most dangerous airspace in North America - especially where the short Allegheny Front crosses the nations of Appalachia, Dixie, Columbia and the Empire State, and touches the Industrial States of America. Not for nothing is that region called Hell's Heights.
Appalachia faces its most serious threat from the south, where the Confederation seeks to take control of the illegal alcohol trade. Desperate for military backing, the government in Lexington has appealed to the Empire State for militia assistance and political backing for its claim to the mountains, counting on the antipathy of the northern states for the reborn Confederacy. It is rumored that Appalachian-government-backed 'shine operations are directed at the ISA rather than the Empire State as a gesture of goodwill. If true (and these stories have never been proven) it would be an almost unique case of co-operation between a wet and a dry state.
The Appalachians are also home to more smuggler's dens and pirate havens per square mile than any other area on the continent except Free Colorado. Hell's Henchmen, who originated in the area of Hell's Heights but now plunder throughout the mountain range, operate several bases in the area, and threaten all nearby states. One rumor suggests that the Henchmen accept "tribute" from both Dixie and Appalachia not to join the other side, and so continue to raid both with impunity.
The current leader of Appalachia is President Jonah McCullough, a U.S. Army veteran who fought in Europe; his record as a war hero helped win him his office. McCullough has managed—through force of will, tactical and strategic savvy, and sheer ruthlessness—to keep the pirates and criminals that populate Hell's Heights from posing a threat to the citizens of Appalachia.