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Old July 26 2013, 05:25 AM   #113
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Marines and Combat Personel?

Darkwing wrote: View Post
I've never seen a good explanation of UESPA, but "combined service" did seem like taking DOD and any other stakeholding agency and rolling them together. I just figure UESPA was the Terran precursor to the UFP Starfleet, and Kirk referred to it as an easier to explain reference for a pre-spaceflight Terran. Kind of like a time-travelling American warship might tell a Welshman from the 17th century that their authority derives from the Magna Carta - in a roundabout way, it's true enough, and it explains in terms that Welshman can grasp, without having to explain the revolution, declaration of independence, articles of federation, constitution, and establish of the US military.
I'm not so sure. I think that UESPA is a "combined service" in the sense that both military and non-military organizations were fused together to form it under basically the same rationale as the shuttle program and/or NOAA: military officers have more operational experience, but certain scientific disciplines involve specialists from civilian fields. Extrapolating further, it might very well be that the uniform colors on the Enterprise indicate what branch of the service they're originally from: blues are scientists and/or doctors, reds for civilian contractors, gold for commissioned officers.

This would certainly explain the broad inconsistency with the fact that members of the security department do not always wear red shirts and that some command-level officers (Scotty, in particular) do not wear gold ones. In the case of, for example, the Galileo Seven, we'd have Latimer (in a gold shirt) as a former fighter pilot assigned as a shuttle pilot for the Enterprise; Gaetano, a radiation specialist who also comes from a military background (and therefore wears gold instead of blue); Boma, a civilian scientist comissioned into Starfleet gets a blue shirt; Spock, joining Starfleet from the Vulcan Science Academy, also gets a blue; Scotty comes from a civilian job serving on a freight liner at Deneva Colony and is therefore a civilian contractor, along with Yeowman Mears, who is just a glorified secretary.

I kinda like this, and have begun considering it. But I can at least see where TNG comes out of TOS without too much difficulty. ENT, though, I really can't see turning into TOS in over a century.
Strictly speaking, it didn't: ENT actually turns into NuTrek after a century and I'm privately of the opinion that it never had anything to do with TOS in the first place (and there's some in-universe support for this theory; see "Romulan Cloaking Device").

I agree, If I could find a way to definitively divorce TNG+ from TOS, then UESPA/Starfleet would be totally different discussion (the TOS fleet is, at the very most, a non-conventional military with a fascinating structure). It's having to make them consistent with EVERYTHING ELSE that makes things weird... but then, that's been true of TOS since at least 1976

The script for Operation:Annihilate called for Kirk baking the planet to the bedrock, then saying he was going to backtrack the parasites and sterlizing each planet in turn until they found their origin - all disposed of in a couple lines of captain's log, so it didn't need to be filmed. Hard to reconcile with robust enough defenses that a surprise attack can't catch Erth with it's pants down and vaporize part of Florida, say...
Deneva under control of neural parasites whose population can only barely operate what little machinery is still operational on the surface... not exactly a test case (although I've been wondering for a long time why that episode had such a severe title with such a pussy ending; might play with this in a fanfic )

Also, 22nd century Earth IS kind of an under-developed backwater. Also, FLORIDA.

Although in Patterns of Force, the Enterprise was supposed to be able to take that nuke on it's hull, without shields...
I don't know if they'd be walking away from that unscathed, but it definitely wouldn't be a ship killer.

NOT the same thing: Vaping batallions is a far cry from broiling planets.
Not by much, considering that every warp-capable spacecraft in the Federation uses antimatter as a fuel source and civilian freighters clearly don't have much in the way of security (seeing how Earth is a crime-free utopia and all...) A 9/11 style terrorist attack against Earth would otherwise result in an "Obsession" style devastation of the entire planet, UNLESS said planet had some pretty formidable safety systems capable of containing that kind of accident.

Yeah, I've thought for a long time that folks who claim the Enterprise is the biggest combatant in Starfleet have to be wrong. The Federation DN is a cool ship, there'd be a definite use for such things, but we haven't needed to see them that much. OTOH, much as I'd like to see an arsenal ship and a Battleship Monitor in today's fleet, I wouldn't care to name them USS Ironsides and USS America, either. Those are "big stick" ships with little other use; those names should go to more broadly useful ships, like carriers.
Who needs arsenal ships when you've got SSGNs? Nothing says "Respect my authority!" like a 150 Tomahawks and a SEAL team for dessert.

Total derail here, but I'm of the opinion that the Carrier Age is already over and America simply hasn't gotten the memo yet (we were late to the end of the Battleship Age too, so there's that). There are reasons why one would like to think supercarriers are still the end-all of naval power, but that's only because we've spent the last fifty years using them to bomb and intimidate third-world countries that have no real capacity to challenge us military.

In the event of an ACTUAL WAR with a world-class naval power -- say, China or Russia or some unholy alliance of Asian countries -- the carrier fleets would be giant targets for submarines, which would force American submarines to counteract them; entire naval battles would be fought and lost UNDER the ocean that nobody would ever see, and the carriers would go through the war (or be sunk before its end) without ever directly engaging an enemy warship. Add to that new technological touches -- supersonic SLCMs and submarine-launched UCAVs capable of competing with manned fighters -- and the aircraft carrier is as useless as a battleship.

End derail.
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