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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Deep Space Nine

Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old July 3 2013, 07:00 AM   #1
Bry_Sinclair
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Federation Tactical Fleets

Throughout the war we heard about numerous fleets engaged in fighting and saw dozens of ships in various episodes, however was it revealed how many ships make up a Starfleet fleet?

During the unseen Battle of Tyra, 112 went in and 14 came out. Would that have been just Starfleet ships, or would the Klingon Empire have added to it as well?

Just wondering is all.
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Old July 3 2013, 08:30 AM   #2
R. Star
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

I was always under the impression it was just Starfleet.

Lest we forget in Favor the Bold they stated that elements of two fleets(the 3rd hadn't arrived in time when they had to leave early) numbered around 600 ships.
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Old July 3 2013, 08:48 AM   #3
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

No it wasn't revealed how large a Federation fleet was. The Seventh Fleet is the only time we get a solid number. However, "Favors the Bold" suggests that a Fleet can be much larger. The fleet that heads for DS9 was around 600 strong and were made up of two fleets, the 2nd and 5th, so if it was an even split and no other smaller units joined the size of a fleet can be 300+. Sisko's plan was for "elements" of these fleets to take part so this figure could keep going upwards.

As for Klingon ships in the Seventh Fleet there could have been. Memory Alpha identifies the fleet shoots we see at the end of "Call to Arms" and the 1st episode of season 6 as the Second Fleet and we see both Klingon and Starfleet vessels in the group. However, I don't remember it been identified on screen as the 2nd fleet so I'm not sure where MA came up with that idea. Regardless of that we do see that Klingon and Starfleet operated together, so if you want there to be Klingon ships there I don't think there is anything that would argue that they weren't here.
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Old July 3 2013, 12:58 PM   #4
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

I beleive Martok (a Klingon) commands the joint Klingon/Federation Ninth fleet.

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.

Currently the US fleets in the European area are reducing in size to support the US military's shift of focus to South-East Asia, but there will still be an Atlantic fleet and so on.

The Feds tactical fleets might even exist in peace time, but are so flexible that they are rarely mentioned. Admiral "Bitch" Nechayev for example might command the 2nd fleet that the Enterprise is nominally part of, but as Starfleet is very busy and spreads itself thin in peace time, the most we see in the TNG era is a small task group of ships in a few days reach, of 40 ships in BoBW, or 23 in Redemption.
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Old July 3 2013, 08:13 PM   #5
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

USS KG5 wrote: View Post
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.

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Old July 3 2013, 09:06 PM   #6
Crazyewok
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

There most likely isnt a fixed number it most likley depends on what needs to be done.
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Old July 4 2013, 02:24 PM   #7
Timo
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

..something as small as a runabout is considered a "ship."
Sure, it pays off to do that when said runabout is the only Starfleet asset within 70,000 lightyears (such as in "Vortex" which IIRC is the only episode to use such terminology). In the context of 600-ship formations, things might be a bit different.

Fleets being non-permanent structures is a reasonable idea that carries some connotations. We hear of Fleet numbers up to 10 in DS9, but not 1st, 4th and 8th or anything higher than 10th. It's statistically very unlikely that there would be Fleets with numbers much higher than 10, then...

...And also rather unlikely that 1st, 4th and 8th Fleets would not exist. After all, the gaps in the current USN fleet scheme are due to there being a permanent numbering scheme that covers peacetime conditions and the existence of shipless Fleets. If Starfleet Fleets only come to being during wartime, it wouldn't make sense to leave out any in-between numbers - especially as we have seen that a specific number does not correlate to a specific mission or theater of operations, but merely accompanies the formation as it dashes from one assignment to another.

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Old July 4 2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

USS KG5 wrote: View Post
I beleive Martok (a Klingon) commands the joint Klingon/Federation Ninth fleet.
Sisko mentioned having recommended Martok to be Supreme Commander of some numbered fleet in You Are Cordially Invited, I think it was. Though Marok was actually never seen commanding Federation forces, the fact that Sisko was recommending them sort of hints at it.
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Old July 5 2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

Timo wrote: View Post

Fleets being non-permanent structures is a reasonable idea that carries some connotations. We hear of Fleet numbers up to 10 in DS9, but not 1st, 4th and 8th or anything higher than 10th.
They could simply be fighting on other fronts, and don't figure into the war for our heroes near Bajor. Or they are held back in reserve. Presumably the Enterprise is part of one of these mystery fleets.
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Old July 5 2013, 09:18 PM   #10
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

The Fleets from 2 to 10 that get mentioned already fight on multiple fronts (even if many of them also visit the vicinity of DS9 sooner or later). It would still be statistically unlikely for the 25th Fleet to exist and never get a mention, when the 10th gets mentioned in context of Betazed, a planet completely outside the Bajor/DS9 context.

The E-E apparently took five years to properly de-Borgify and thus never saw action.

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Old July 6 2013, 10:06 PM   #11
USS KG5
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

R. Star wrote: View Post
USS KG5 wrote: View Post
I beleive Martok (a Klingon) commands the joint Klingon/Federation Ninth fleet.
Sisko mentioned having recommended Martok to be Supreme Commander of some numbered fleet in You Are Cordially Invited, I think it was. Though Marok was actually never seen commanding Federation forces, the fact that Sisko was recommending them sort of hints at it.
Martok orders Sisko to commence attack on the weapons platforms in the season six finale, I think that is about it for on-screen command of Fed forces by Martok.
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Old July 7 2013, 09:47 AM   #12
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

I tend to believe that the 1st, 4th, and 8th fleet either were deployed at other fronts, or served other roles. This includes defensive purposes (possibly first fleet defending major diplomatic stations), escort services, patrol services, medical services, and communication services. We might not have heard about them as much because they were smaller fleet with established supportive roles. Additionally, these fleets may also be smaller tactical fleets, designed for hit and run missions, which would make then less than optimal to include in major battles.

For example, the 10th fleet was charged with protecting Betazed and it's outer colonies, but was caught off guard on a training mission. The fleet itself might not have been that big. Perhaps 20-50 ships designed to protect Betazed, in addition to neighboring systems like Andor and Tellar. If the 10th fleet was solely responsible for defending Betazed, then perhaps these other unmentioned fleets were defending Andor and Tellar.

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Old July 7 2013, 08:58 PM   #13
Timo
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

Arguing that the 10th Fleet only had a single assignment is possible, but not all that consistent with what we know of the assignments of all the other described fleets. The 3rd was considered for participation in liberating DS9, even if it had commitments at Earth, so it wasn't flat out impossible for it to have varied assignments. The 2nd and the 5th that eventually were included in this liberation were explicitly said to be pulled back from other, distant assignments.

All the back-and-forth rushing of fleets we saw makes it look unlikely that fleet identity had anything to do with specific assignments or locations. For all we know, the ten (or slightly more) fleets were created for the purposes of the Dominion War only, all of them being mixtures of UFP and ally assets, and some other war would have seen different forces differently arranged.

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Old July 8 2013, 07:19 AM   #14
wingsabre
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

Well, we knew that the combined 2nd and 5th fleet that took back DS9 weren't full examples of the entire fleet. The combined task force had elements from each fleet, but these fleets had remaining ships that did not participate in the battle. My personal opinion is Starfleet has a system of preassigned, informal fleets either for certain purposes, or simply assigned to them to allocate chain of command. What we saw with the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th is they were the ones that were essentially beefed up for major combat missions and offensive battles. Perhaps the 1st, 4th, and 8th fleet were essentially cannibalized and had many of it's ships transferred to these fleets to boost their combat abilities, while the remnants of these fleet served minor roles. My guess is the 1st fleet was cannibalized, and the remnants served diplomatic and escort roles during the war. The 4th and 8th could have been specifically assigned as defensive fleets to protect the multiple shipyards.

Additionally, I agree that these fleets might not have even existed outside of the Dominion war. However it's also possible that there were a lot more than 10 fleets in the Federation. What we've seen often in Star Trek is they tend to prefer using Task Force as a way to designate a group of ships more often than fleet.
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Old July 8 2013, 08:27 PM   #15
Timo
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Re: Federation Tactical Fleets

I'm not statistically worried about us never hearing about those three "missing" fleets. It's not as if we heard of the other fleets very often, either. All the numbers from 1 to 10 could very well have been in active use in the statistical sense.

However, since there were absolutely no mentions of fleets higher than 10 in number, but there were relatively numerous mentions of fleets lower than 10 in number, it's statistically quite dubious to postulate the existence of twenty or fifty fleets. That is, unless we also postulate some reason for why Starfleet would predominantly use the first ten fleets and leave the others to do indistinct stuff somewhere off camera.

What we've seen often in Star Trek is they tend to prefer using Task Force as a way to designate a group of ships more often than fleet.
And a Task Force seems to consist of mere dozens of ships - which TNG "Redemption" already establishes as far too low a number to perform offensive operations. So both designations probably have their place in the Starfleet terminological hierarchy, which in this sense appears to closely resemble the good old US Navy one.

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