A sandtrooper, or desert trooper, was an Imperial stormtrooper equipped with modified armor and equipment to withstand the harsh climates of desert planets like Tatooine. They were identical to standard stormtroopers except they had additional training in specialized areas, advanced cooling systems in both their helmets and suits which offered them protection from the relentless heat.
Their armour consisted of an 18-piece anti-blaster cocoon shell with heat-reflective coating worn over a temperature-control body glove. The sandtrooper helmet featured automatic polarized lenses, a built-in comlink and breathing filters. Their armor, however, was similar to that of a regular stormtrooper. All desert sandtroopers carried heavy blaster rifles, long-range comlinks, and food and water packs. Sandtroopers wore colored pauldrons as a designation of rank. A stormtrooper sergeant's pauldron was white while an enlisted stormtrooper's pauldron was all black. Squad leaders, who led units of seven troopers, wore orange shoulder pauldrons.
Sandtroopers were specifically equipped for high temperature environments. As a result, these soldiers were also assigned to hot, wet, and tropical terrain operations since their cooling units and sealed water systems could be easily modified to cope with such areas. Instead of depending on machinery that may not function in hostile environments, sandtroopers made use of local creatures for transportation such as dewbacks.