USS KG5 wrote:
They probably operate like a real-world Naval fleet, with a command staff and a core of ships but heavily reinforced or stripped of resources as required by other theatres.
the south atlantic has it's own fleet, but currently (iirc) there are no ship's assign to that fleet, the fleet is empty.
when you think of a Starfleet fleet of maybe 600 ships, you have to remember that something as small as a runabout is considered a "ship."
so the fighters we saw in the episode where ds9 was retaken (title?), those fighters might themselves have been consider to be "ships." they were about the size of a runabout, and had weapons stronger than a runabout.
a 600 ship fleet could have had only a hundred or so truely large ships, surrounded by a cloud of smaller ship, each with crews numbering less than a half dozen.