Star Fleet Command (FASA)
Star Fleet was the space navy of the United Federation of Planets, charged with the responsibility for exploration of new territory, policing of Federation law within the UFP, and defense of the Federation from outside hostile forces. Star Fleet had a military structure and used military terminology, but it was not simply a military organization; the role of Star Fleet involved duties beyond that of a military arm of government.
Following the incorporation of the United Federation of Planets by Earth, Alpha Centauri, Vulcan, Andor, and Tellar at the first Babel Interplanetary Conference on Reference Stardate 0/8706.06 (6 June 2087), Star Fleet Command was scheduled to be organized by 2090 in order to provide a unified military force for exploration and common defense. This timeframe was accelerated, however, following a tragic accident during a joint wargaming exercise on Reference Stardate 0/8909.14 (14 September 2089). Due to a misunderstood combat-simulation procedure, the U.N.S.S. Scythe was accidentally blind-sided by a small Centauran corvette, swinging the large destroyer's lasers fatally through two other destroyers, the U.N.S.S. Hammer and the U.N.S.S. Enmity, with the loss of 232 lives.
Star Fleet Command was formally established on Reference Stardate 0/8910 (October 2089) to replace the spacegoing forces of all member planets, with all ships redesignated as "United Space Ships" (U.S.S.). To discourage the possible misuse of military forces anywhere in space, General Order Number One, aka the Prime Directive, was adopted as the most important regulation in Star Fleet. To provide Star Fleet Command with military intelligence-gathering capabilities, Star Fleet Intelligence was created. Its Operating Forces Subdivision initially consisted of Sectors 1 through 4, and the Technical Services Subdivision contains Orion Activities Units as well as supporting branches.
Exploration Command is responsible for the exploration of the unknown areas of the galaxy. The department has vessels of all sizes, ranging from scouts with 5-man crews to the Constitution class starships with a crew of 430. Captains of exploration ships must be capable of independent action. They are far from higher command in time and space. In many instances, they are the first contact with new civilizations. They are like the explorers of old, establishing trade routes, fighting skirmishes (always defensively), acting as ambassadors of the Federation, and much more. This department is also responsible for mapping all areas of the galaxy, finding planets to colonize by overcrowded UFP members, and making hazards known to other vessels.
Colonization Command is responsible for settling suitable planets. Exploration Command finds appropriate worlds, and then the colonization personnel move in. First, a small (20-100 crew) survey ship makes a more thorough study of the planet, to make certain no intelligent native life is threatened and to survey and map the planet thoroughly. Studies are done of native flora and fauna. Possible sites for settling are determined. Geological formations are studied to determine if the planet has possibilities as an exporter of mineral wealth. At all times, a concerted effort is maintained to make sure the ecology of the planet will not be upset. Integration, not domination, is the watchword in Star Fleet.
Once the survey ship is satisfied that all is well, a medium size (25-150 crew, 200-750 permanent settlers) ship is sent to establish a small permanent colony (or colonies). A port and transporter facilities are among the first projects. Then come quarters, offices, and shops (maintenance). This group of colonists is the advance guard, so to speak, of the larger vessels that will arrive shortly, bearing thousands of colonists.
The largest colonial ships can carry up to one thousand people and their personal belongings. Once a permanent settlement has been established and no problems have been encountered, these ships arrive. They usually travel in groups with an escort of armed vessels. The number of ships depends on the size of colony to be established.
Although Star Fleet and the Federation have peaceful goals, there are those who have other ideas, like the Klingon Empire. Military Command exists solely for defensive purposes. The military acts also as the "police" of the Federation, as no matter how peaceful militarily a people are, there will always be the thieves, pirates, and crooked con-men to be pursued. The military has many different types of ships, some extremely powerful, but none to match the overall effectiveness of the Constitution class. Some ships may have more weapons than the Constitution, but none have the power and the quality of those crews.
The military, besides having starships and fighting crews, also fields impressive ground forces. The ground forces are Marines; these Marines are used as planetside police, as guards at large bases, and as defensive fighting units on hostile worlds.
It must be remembered that the military acts defensively only! Star Fleet does not exist to take over the galaxy, but to ensure the peaceful coexistence of all peoples.
Merchant Marine Command
The Merchant Marine is the trading and transport arm of the Federation. All merchant ships, privately owned or Federation owned, are regulated by this department. Most merchant ships are not armed unless they are normally involved in trade on the Federation's borders. The Merchant Marine is the source for many of the private and commercial traders. They will attend the Academy or just serve as crew to "learn the trade." The Merchant Marine relies on the military branch to enforce the trading laws, having no enforcement vessels of its own.
Merchant Marine vessels range in size from ships carrying a few metric tons or passengers to ships carrying thousands of tons or hundreds of passengers. Here is where you will find liners rivaling twentieth century ships like the Queen Elizabeth II. Many ships have no live crew, being robot freighters. These ships are normally found on "tame" routes deep within the Federation boundaries and safe from pirates and enemies.
Science Command encompasses any and all fields related to scientific research, such as astronomy, astrophysics, geology, ecology, physics, et cetera. Research is carried out in a multitude of universities, space stations, laboratories, and ships. Research is funded by the Federation, corporate and private donations, and Star Fleet itself. Many of the science personnel are assigned to vessels in the Exploration and Colonization commands. Science Command is responsible for research and development of all types not specifically under the jurisdiction of any other department.
Originally part of Science Command, Medical Command still is part of the Sciences Division, but became so large that Star Fleet made it a separate department. Psychology as well as microbiology, surgery, etc. are all here. This department has many personnel in Exploration Command to study life on new worlds.
The Inspector General is responsible for keeping Star Fleet personnel honest. This office conducts audits and investigations of any suspected wrongdoing.
Public Affairs handles community relations in areas where Star Fleet has bases near civilian populations.
Intelligence Command is responsible for collecting data concerning any forces hostile to the Federation. This office gathers information about military forces, their disposition and strength, and possible motives. Data about enemy civilian locations, their ways and settlements, economy, habits, etc. would also be collected. In short, Intelligence Command collects data concerning anything about possible hostile forces. They must also keep all hostiles from accomplishing the same tasks with the Federation.
Communications Command handles communications of all types, whether it's sending a message within a ship or across the galaxy. Communications Command also does R&D on communications equipment.
Internal Security is responsible for providing security within Star Fleet itself, be it the individual who partied too much while on Shore Leave or assisting the Inspector General on an investigation.
Plans and Policies
Plans and Policies examines all plans & policies of Star Fleet to ensure that they are in line with current doctrine.
Installations and Logistics
This is the quartermaster corps of Star Fleet. I&L is responsible for the construction and maintenance of all bases, be they planetside or aboard a space station. This department is also responsible for the supply of all installations and vessels.
Legal handles all legal matters within Star Fleet and in dealing with the public, up to and including court-martials of Star Fleet personnel.
Personnel is responsible for the recruitment of new personnel and maintenance of records for all members of Star Fleet, active or retired. Personnel is also responsible for appointments, promotions, awards, and decorations.
Financial is responsible for all monetary matters, including payroll, retirement funds, investments, monetary disputes, and funding for new projects, ships, and bases.
Chaplains are responsible for the religious and moral well-being of Star Fleet personnel. Most large ships carry at least one Chaplain.
Engineering Command is responsible for maintenance, construction, and research of power units and related equipment for bases and vessels.
Administration controls correspondence, prepares and distributes forms, manuals, regulations, etc. In short, the secretaries of Star Fleet.
Reserve Command is responsible for keeping track of inactive Star Fleet members, for recall if necessary in an emergency situation. Fleet personnel may retire after almost any length of service, but Star Fleet doesn't lose sight of these valuable personnel.
Training Command is responsible for the training of all Star Fleet personnel; Star Fleet Academy is part of this command. The normal entrance age for the Academy is 18, however exceptions are regularly made for exceptionally promising students.
There are many other schools and institutions available to Star Fleet personnel. Many of the individual departments have teaching facilities of their own. Training in Star Fleet never ends, with classes and instruction carried out anywhere and anytime feasible.
Notes and References
- Wheeler, Wm. John with McLimore, Guy W. Jr., Poehlein, Greg K., and Tepool, David F. "Cadet's Orientation Sourcebook." Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, Book 2004A, Second Edition. Cover Art by Rowena. Graphics and Layout by Dana Knutson and Jordan Weisman. FASA Corporation, 1983.
- Goldstein, Stan with Goldstein, Fred and Sternbach, Rick. Star Trek: Spaceflight Chronology. Wallaby Books, 1980.
- Theisen, John A. "The Romulan War." Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, Supplement 2221A. Cover Art by Dana Knutson. Illustrations by Cliff Van Meter and Dana Knutson. FASA Corporation. 1986.
- Theisen, John A. "Star Fleet Intelligence Manual: Agent's Orientation Sourcebook." Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, Supplement 2014. Cover Art by David R. Deitrick. Illustrations by Dana Knutson, Todd F. Marsh, and Jeff Laubenstein. FASA Corporation. 1987.
- McLimore, Guy W. Jr., Poehlein, Greg K., and Tepool, David F. "Basic Rulebook." Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, Book 2001A. Box Art and Original Artwork by Mitch O'Connell. Ship Deck Plans by Dana Andrews, Ross Babcock, Mitch O'Connell, and Jordan Weisman. FASA Corporation, 1983.