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Old July 10 2013, 07:29 PM   #1
FatherRob
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Location: Citizen of the Kingdom of God (Living in Bargersville, IN)
Need some brainstorming help - Alt Universe

G'day, all...

A few weeks ago, I posted a model I built of an alternate universe Constitution class ship in Trek Art: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=217063

I am in the process of developing a significant backstory for this universe, but I need some feedback as I flesh things out.

My alt-universe is based on the idea that Earth and her colony worlds have formed a Confederation, which is in a NATO-esque (not a Federation type) treaty with worlds like Vulcan, Andor, etc.

My Confederation Forces have three branches - which roughly would be 'blue water navy' (i.e., an interstellar exploration, research, and defense body), 'coast guard' (same duties as 'blue water' but confined to a stellar system out to its warp limit), and 'planetside forces' (who serve as more of a national guard and defense capacity as opposed to a standing army, per-se). I had initially called them Star Fleet, System Guard, and Planetary Forces, but I am not sure I like those names. The problem really lay in the the latter two throwing off the entire feel of what I am doing, so one alternative that came to my mind was based on the unified armed forces of Canada. There, they had (before the names reverted to their traditional names) Maritime Command (Navy), Air Command (Air Force), and Mobile Command (Army). I had thought, therefore, of:

Interstellar Command
Intrasystem Command
Planetary Command

However, I am not so sure of these either.

Any thoughts on alternatives to get the three branch idea resolved with decent names that will allow me to do some more design work on my little alt universe?
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Old July 14 2013, 05:19 PM   #2
Mysterion
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Re: Need some brainstorming help - Alt Universe

FatherRob wrote: View Post
G'day, all...

My Confederation Forces have three branches - which roughly would be 'blue water navy' (i.e., an interstellar exploration, research, and defense body), 'coast guard' (same duties as 'blue water' but confined to a stellar system out to its warp limit), and 'planetside forces' (who serve as more of a national guard and defense capacity as opposed to a standing army, per-se). I had initially called them Star Fleet, System Guard, and Planetary Forces, but I am not sure I like those names. The problem really lay in the the latter two throwing off the entire feel of what I am doing, so one alternative that came to my mind was based on the unified armed forces of Canada. There, they had (before the names reverted to their traditional names) Maritime Command (Navy), Air Command (Air Force), and Mobile Command (Army). I had thought, therefore, of:

Interstellar Command
Intrasystem Command
Planetary Command

However, I am not so sure of these either.

Any thoughts on alternatives to get the three branch idea resolved with decent names that will allow me to do some more design work on my little alt universe?
How about this:

Ground Defense Command - responsible for operations on from the planetary surface up to and including the upper limits of a planet's atmosphere. Major subdivisions of the GDC are the Mobile Ground Force, Maritime Defense Force, and the Aerospace Defense Force.

System Defense Command - responsible for operations outside of planetary atmosphere to the heliopause of a given solar system. Major subdivisions include: Orbital Guard (defense/maintenance of orbital space of a given planet), System Traffic Control Command (also responsible for "early warning" functions), System Defense Force (includes law enforcement and SAR functions as well as defense functions - this is your "coast guard").

Interstellar Defense Command - this is your direct analog to "Star Fleet". Responsible for operations outside of a given star sytem. Major subdivisions include: Strategic Operations Force (offensive and defensive functions), Logistics Force (includes supply, colonization efforts, etc.), Exploration Force (includes survery, reconnaisance, and scientific functions).

There would of course be some overlap between the three organizations outlined here, but for the most part they tend to keep to their own houses so to speak.

There is plenty of room for a lot more detail and refinement in the above. I can elaborate and/or expand on this if you want me to.
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Old July 15 2013, 08:03 PM   #3
FatherRob
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Re: Need some brainstorming help - Alt Universe

Mysterion wrote: View Post

How about this:
Before reviewing each proposal, I will just say that the reason I am omitting 'defense' from my response is the vision I have of giving roughly equal weight to exploration as to military operations.

Also, after reading your post a few times, I got to thinking of perhaps a hierarchy of names that suggest different situations... so the commands names would signal more uniformity between forces, while the different names (Forces, Command, Fleet) would signal differences more widely. Thoughts?

Ground Defense Command - responsible for operations on from the planetary surface up to and including the upper limits of a planet's atmosphere. Major subdivisions of the GDC are the Mobile Ground Force, Maritime Defense Force, and the Aerospace Defense Force.
Planetary Forces or Planetary Command
- Surface Force
- Maritime Force
- Aerospace Force

System Defense Command - responsible for operations outside of planetary atmosphere to the heliopause of a given solar system. Major subdivisions include: Orbital Guard (defense/maintenance of orbital space of a given planet), System Traffic Control Command (also responsible for "early warning" functions), System Defense Force (includes law enforcement and SAR functions as well as defense functions - this is your "coast guard").
I like that you mentioned the heliopause, as that is, basically, my theoretical warp limit.

System Command
- Orbital Command
- Traffic Command
- Defense Command
- Exploratory Command
- Rescue Command

Interstellar Defense Command - this is your direct analog to "Star Fleet". Responsible for operations outside of a given star sytem. Major subdivisions include: Strategic Operations Force (offensive and defensive functions), Logistics Force (includes supply, colonization efforts, etc.), Exploration Force (includes survery, reconnaisance, and scientific functions).
Star Fleet or Interstellar Command
- Tactical Fleet/Command
- Exploratory Fleet/Command
- Colonization Fleet/Command
- Support Fleet.Command

There would of course be some overlap between the three organizations outlined here, but for the most part they tend to keep to their own houses so to speak.

There is plenty of room for a lot more detail and refinement in the above. I can elaborate and/or expand on this if you want me to.
I'd love to explore this some more, as it helps me make sense when designing certain aspects of my model builds, as well as some stories I'd like to write in said universe.

One other major thing I have done is set up a rank structure that differs from both today's military forces and what we saw in Trek...

I have experimented with the ranks of Commander and below being uniform across all services, with Captain and above being different for ship vs. surface units.

Perhaps:

Sublieutenant (staff officers reporting to department chiefs)
Lieutenant (department chiefs)
Subcommander (XO's to smaller ships/units, 2nd officer to larger)
Commander (CO's to smaller ships/units, XO's to larger)
Captain/Colonel (CO's to larger ships/units)
Commodore/Brigadier (Base Commanders and Flag officers to local action groups)
Admiral/General (Subdivision chiefs)
Fleet Admiral/Marshal (Service heads)
Grand Admiral/Marshal of the Confederation (GA oversees both System and Interstellar Fleets, MotC oversees all planetary forces throughout the Confederation)
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Old July 15 2013, 10:30 PM   #4
Mysterion
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Re: Need some brainstorming help - Alt Universe

The officer's ranks look pretty good to me. Good move keeping the ranks uniform until you reach the flag ranks.

For enlisted personnel I suggest the following:

E-1 Recruit
E-2 Apprentice
E-3 Specialist
E-4 Technician 3rd Class
E-5 Technician 2nd Class
E-6 Technician 1st Class
E-7 Chief Technician
E-8 Senior Technician
E-9 Master Technician

I believe these can be used across the various commands with no alteration needed for the differing environments. Your thoughts?

I see where you're trying to go as concerns the temrinology, but for some functions/organizations "defense" is the most accurate descriptor available. And, you gotta admit "Department of Defense" is a lot less confrontational than, say, "War Department".

As far as structure, I would suggest that the three ranking oficers of the Planetary, system, and interstellar commands along with a fourth flag officer (who has overall command/responsibility for the whole mess) would make up a Joint Chiefs (or "General Staff", if you like) sort of organization which would exercise command, control and coordination over the forces in total. This would also function as a sort of "fourth" command, delaing with the a lot of the day-to-day administrivia (payroll, PR, etc.) so that the three "field" commands can concentrate more on their real world mission(s).
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Last edited by Mysterion; July 15 2013 at 10:41 PM.
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