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Old May 28 2013, 07:02 PM   #1
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Location: SB-31, Daran V
A Military Star Fleet and UESPA

Some thoughts on the age-old "Is Star Fleet Military?" debate.

Paging through the FJ Tech Manual last night, I came upon the following in his Articles of Federation:

Article 54
1. The training of base personnel and ship complements shall include all fields of science and technology as well as the military arts in Star Fleet. It is the intent of these Articles of Federation that Starfleet shall be used to conduct missions of scientific exploration and investigation within the Treaty Exploration Territory whenever its services are not required in the maintenance of interplanetary peace and security;

So in FJ's model of how the UFP and Starfleet works, Star Fleet is a military/peacekeeping force that can be used for sciencey stuff in it's spare time, when they aren't out chasing Klingons or Romulans and such. I imagine there is probably quite a continuing debate in the Federation Council over how to divide these priorities.

Paragraph 2 of Article 54 seems to answer another burning question:

2. Star Fleet Headquarters and the Federation Council shall be at all times kept informed of the activities undertaken, or contemplated, for the scientific exploration and investigation the the Treaty Exploration Territory. Any ship so employed shall be detached from military fleet duty and re-assigned as a non-military scientific unit of the United Federation.

I especially draw your attention to the last sentence in paragraph 2. Why? Remember in Charlie X and Tomorrow Is Yesterday when Captain Kirk says the Enterprise is under the authority of the United Earth Space Probe Agency? It was at those particular points in time. Well, a lot of us have spent a lot of time trying to reconcile the existence of UESPA with Star Fleet, when FJ has already done it for us back in 1975. Enterprise was usually under the direct control of Star Fleet as we'd probably all assume was the case. But in at least those two cases (and perhaps more where it wasn't mentioned on-screen), Enterprise was detached to UESPA for some sort of scientific mission. Perhaps the all-Vulcan crewed USS Intrepid was detached to a Vulcan-equivalent of UESPA (the Vulcan Science Academy maybe?) when it encountered the space amoeba.

Also, I would suspect that UESPA has its own fleet of smaller spacecraft - generally less capable than Star Fleet, thus the occasional detachments. In fact, UESPA might be the beneficiary of Star Fleet cast-offs, getting decommissioned Star Fleet ships for its own use. Perhaps that's where those "NAR" ship registries fit into the picture?

So this doesn't have to be an early first-season inconsistency after all! Yay!

Thought? Comment? Pointed-sticks?
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