Is Starfleet the only Navy in the Federation?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by SG-17, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    As far as I can remember, outside of civilian cargo,transport ships, and personal starships, the only ships in the Federation are Starfleet and have a core design philosophy. Has there been any dialogue, anything in passing mentioned about other member worlds of the Federation maintaining their own navies? The Vulcans and Andorians both had unique and powerful designs for their starships, I find it hard to believe that those design philosophies would all fall away for the standard Earth Starfleet design. Are there Vulcan and Andorian Starfleet captains that captain their race's ships?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  2. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Putting aside whether Starfleet is a "navy" (though it does appear to satisfy the most generic definition "a fleet of ships"), the answer is somewhat complicated and depends on the level of "canon" that you accept.

    Discovery suggests that a "Vulcan Expeditionary Group" exists as late as the 2240s, they would presumably operate starships (though possibly lighty-armed surveyors ala the Oberth) and TNG mentioned a "Vulcan National Merchant Fleet", however late DS9 suggests that planetary fleets are folded into Starfleet after admission. The most likely explanation for this is that member planets suborn their expenditionary/exploratory capacity to Starfleet, but are allowed to keep a small reserve of in-system resources for internal policing, trade and crisis management.

    In terms of actual navies, the Federation Naval Patrol and the Royal Navy are both referenced in canon, though the later reference was pre-Federation so not binding during the Federation era.
     
  3. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And in context from their mention in Enterprise, I believe they were referencing "wet" navy organizations, not space-going fleets. They were talking about where people had served in Reed's family history in the case of the Royal Navy reference, and in the case of the Federation Naval Patrol an organization Tom Paris wanted to join until his father pushed him into Starfleet..
     
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  4. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Commodore Commodore

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    I'd like to think that Starfleet is the primary or official navy of the UFP (think of it as loosely equivalent to UN and NATO "peacekeeping" forces but on a larger scale) and individual member worlds have their own fleets. Aside from the Vulcan starfleet crew in DS9, there really has not been any evidence for or against in the TNG+ timeline.
    It could be, as suggested above, that planetary defense navies are required to accept a starfleet charter or only allowed to keep small, local police/defense forces, or it may be that, for example, Vulcan and Betazed operate their own independent navies for those needs that are not satisfied by Starfleet.
     
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  5. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^^
    Indeed, if you go back to the org charts shown in the Franz Josef Star Fleet Technical Manual, he has things organized essentially in that way. There is a CinC for Star Fleet, and the an group of "Joint chiefs" made of up of the commanding officers of various Federation member world fleet organizations.
     
  6. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I don't think it's the "Duluth Trading Company".

    Get it? "Old Navy"?

    Uh, I'll just let myself out.
     
  7. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    In James Blish's adaptation of "Balance of Terror" they they are discussing what to do and someone says fighting the Romulans is a job for a navy. This implies that Blish pictured each of the main worlds of the Federation as having their own space navy, and makes it uncertain whether Blish believed that Starfleet was Earth's space navy or the Federation's space coast guard, or what.

    Thus in any fictional universe that includes Blish's adaptations the Federation apparently has a number of planetary space navies. And of course in such fictional universes Earth once fought the Vegan Tyranny from Blish's Cities in Flight.
     
  8. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Depends on what novel you read or episode you watch. Seems Starfleet is responsible for exploration and deep space assignments and perhaps member states keep their own planetary space fleets as well, e.g the Vulcans or have them absorbed into Starfleet. Why alien species would give up their own fleets to join an Earth based/Human dominated organisation makes no sense to me. Its Terran assimilation by other means.
     
  9. Henoch

    Henoch Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    The Outposts in BOT where referred to as "Earth Outpost". Prior to this episode, only "United Earth" and "UESPA" were used on screen; no Starfleet nor Federation, yet. Even so, if the Enterprise was Federation Coast Guard, would she still respond to an attack on clearly only Earth Outposts? Sure she would. During the first season, the Federation fleet with C&C by Starfleet came into existence, so, prior to this period, I'd say the Federation did not have a separate fleet, rather only the member worlds had uncoordinated fleets under some sort of mutual defense treaty.
     
  10. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    As far as onscreen material is concerned, Starfleet does seem to be the Federation's only armed uniform service. Yes, I'm tapdancing around the M word since I don't want this to turn into one of Those Threads. Whatever else we think Starfleet may or may not be, we can all agree it is a uniform service and that it is armed.

    Anyway, on topic, we see constantly, Starfleet is the only Federation force to respond to threats, be that the Borg or the Dominion or Klingons or whoever we've seen the Federation at war with. Betazed fell because of Starfleet's inaction, when Bajor was going to join the Federation they were even going to "absorb" the Bajoran Militia into Starfleet. And these days we know the MACOs were disbanded when the Federation was founded.

    Though it is interesting to note, our view on this is based mostly on what is seen in the Berman era, which arguably comprises the majority of on-screen material. TOS certainly implies Federation member worlds had their own forces. After all, in Journey to Babel the delegates were all from Federation worlds which were ready to go to war with each other. War would be difficult without your own M word, especially if everyone is relying on the same exploration service which is allegedly not an M word for defense. And in Disco we have the aforementioned Vulcan Expeditionary Group. One interesting thing from Enterprise, while looking through Mr. Daniels's database, T'Pol points to a Vulcan cruiser she doesn't recognize and Archer says it hasn't been built yet, pointing to a date. Unless that cruiser is built within the next decade, it would almost certainly be a post-Federation founding Vulcan ship.

    Then, there's DS9 which intentionally avoided mentioning anyone other than Starfleet or the Federation government in the Homefront/Paradise Lost story fearing it would confuse the audience. Then they took it too far in the season 7 premiere and actually had Starfleet Security and Medical handle the matter when Sisko is attacked by the Pah-Wraith cultist in New Orleans. Civilian law enforcement on Earth isn't even seen in the franchise at all until Trek XI, and there were those who actually cried at that being a canon violation. Even during Enterprise, the only prison mentioned on Earth is a Starfleet-run one. Though some sources do say the agents who arrest and detain McCoy in Trek III were civilian law enforcement, it should be noted the jail guards do have Starfleet arrowheads on their uniforms.

    The novels do posit that Federation worlds do maintain their own defense forces to deal with local affairs, the Bajoran Militia continues to exist after Bajor joins the Federation, and the Andorian Imperial Guard does still exist in the 24th century. Also that there is civilian law enforcement on all Federation worlds, even Earth, as well as a federal agency that has jurisdiction across the entire Federation.
     
  11. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On a Earth supposedly at peace with itself, a armed surface Navy would service what purpose?

    My take was that Malcolm was referring to a Royal Navy composed of starships.
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Then I guess you missed the part where he chose to join Starfleet instead of the Royal Navy because of his fear of drowning? Or the story about his uncle who served on a submarine?
     
  13. SolarisOne

    SolarisOne Captain Captain

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    The Federation Naval Patrol is canon. In the 24th Century, no less. If I lived in the Star Trek universe, that's the uniformed service I'd join.
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I guess we really should distinguish if we mean wet navies or space navies? Because, yes, the Federation Naval Patrol is a canonical wet navy, but we don't know of any other space navies in the Federation besides Starfleet.
     
  15. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    Too late, I'd say.
     
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  16. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    I wonder if the USS Constitution is still in service?
     
  17. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commodore Commodore

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    Regarding Sisko's attack by the Pah-Wraith cult... since he was a Starfleet captain, it 's likely investigative authority woukd fall on them.
     
  18. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    I wonder if the Federation Naval Patrol has sole domain over a planets entire Ocean's / Water-ways?
     
  19. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Equivalent of the Sea Scouts....
     
  20. X24actor

    X24actor Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I want to know more about the Federation Naval Patrol. Are they assigned to only one planet, or do their boats turn into starships and warp to different places? Are their ships even boats or do they hover over the water? Maybe it's a fleet of starships with aquatic environments, and they deal with and transport aquatic species. It's not considered "Starfleet" because water breathers have different priorities.

    It was a very interesting throw-away line for sure