Is Starfleet the only Navy in the Federation?

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

  1. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The United States "Second Navy" would like to say 'Hi!"

    While many of it's "homeland security missions" might be curtailed - defensee readiness, maritime law enforcement (tho enforcement of safety and environmental laws could still very much be a thing), migrant interdiction, PWC security and drug interdiction) - many of their "non-homeland security missions" would seem to still be needed - ice operations, fisheries resource management (debatable), marine environmental protection & safety, aids to navigation, and search and rescue - even into the 24th Century.

    However, while ENT more or less confirms that the Royal Navy continues to exist into the 22nd Century in something resembling its traditional role -

    ARCHER: I understand you came from a long line of Royal Navy men. Your father, your grandfather. Why pick Starfleet? Why not continue the family tradition?
    REED: God knows I tried.
    ARCHER: What happened?
    REED: I'll need a circuit probe.

    ARCHER: So, what happened?
    REED: (working on the power cell) I was raised on the water. I knew how to handle a boat before I could ride a bicycle. Studied all the great naval battles. I don't know. I suppose I thought I'd just grow out of it.
    ARCHER: Grow out of what?
    REED: Aquaphobia.
    ARCHER: You're afraid of the water?
    REED: More precisely, afraid of drowning.
    ARCHER: So instead of a life on the sea you chose a life in the vacuum of space?

    - The existence of HMS New Zealand (DY-732) and HMS Lord Nelson (DY-500-B) as referenced in Up the Long Ladder (TNG) suggests that the RN (probably via a merger between the Fleet Air Arm and the RAF) also operated spaceships/starships pre-UFP.
     
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  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I've always imagined it as operating some sort of fancy futuristic water craft that can operate both on the surface and underwater as needed. I imagine their duties include oceanic exploration of Federation worlds since even in the 24th century there'd still be much to explore beneath Earth's oceans, then include those of other Federation worlds and even newly discovered worlds. They'd also be responsible for search and rescue, rendering aid when needed, enforcing maritime law and all that other stuff not directly related to defense that wet navies and coast guards these days take part in. And I imagine they also contribute to defense when needed. Whose to say the Dominion don't have the means of staging aquatic warfare? Maybe the Borg have assimilated aquatic life-forms like aquatic Xindi or even dolphins? I don't know, maybe some planet has a race of militant mermaids in their oceans with an axe to grind with surface dwellers. Not to mention sea monsters could be a thing.

    The Federation Naval Patrol is an intriguing concept which is unfortunate no one's ever done anything with. We've had novels about Admiral Nogura, the Tomed Incident, the Betreka Nebula Incident and other various one-off references. Disco is supposedly based on a throw-away line from TOS, though it's never been stated what and for all we know that's a bogus claim now. But no one's done anything with or even mentioned the Federation Naval Patrol again in the twenty years since they were mentioned.
     
  3. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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  4. Meadowmorph

    Meadowmorph Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I do recall in Enterprise, Malcolm Reed's father was quite annoyed with him for not joining the navy, a family tradition, and instead joining the fledgling Star Fleet.
     
  5. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd suspect that most member worlds maintain their own 'navies' for homeworld defence, planetary trade, transportation of citizens and scientific research. In "Vortex", a Vulcan science ship with a captain in a very Vulcan-like uniform comes to the aid of the Odo's runabout. Though we never see the ship, the interior we see behind the captain is not Starfleet, so it'd be safe to assume the Vulcans, at least, maintain a navy for their own interests.
     
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  6. DanGussin

    DanGussin Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My head cannon is this -

    From the Enterprise thru the TOS era Member worlds of the Federation were too spread out to be effectively managed by a single central command structure. Communications took too long and ships were too slow and would not be able to respond to immediate threats. So each member world, while plugged into an overall mutual defense and exploration pact, had the autonomy to make many choices on its own. In the event of a large scale event decisions would revert back to "Starfleet Command" as soon as reasonably possible. For example having 6 Starships attend the Altar President's inauguration would have been co ordinated in advance from "Command" to ensure that this went smoothly. In the event of an attack the onsite ships captain{s} would have authority until an overall assessment was made by Command and updated orders were received. We saw this in "Balance of Terror" where Kirk had overall orders but could make his own choices as the situation developed. By the end of the incident Command had responded. In that situation of course the orders arrived too late to be of any real use. In "The Alternative Factor" we see a more centralized response to a Federation wide threat. I also suspect that it was difficult for ships of this era to handle multiple species so that crews tended to be of mostly one species.

    From TMP onward , as ships and communications got very much faster, decision making became more centralized and organized thru "Starfleet Command" with more co ordinated operations and missions.

    This centralized command structure was also probably in response to more organized and larger assault capabilities of foreign powers requiring a comprehensive overall tactical and strategic approach by the Federation to external threats.

    By the time of TNG and DS9 the fleet Infrastructure had become quite effective and complex and allowed for large scale fleet actions as well as smaller operations as part of an overall strategic plan.

    Too me, it also appears that regulations became more cohesive and ships did not maintain an Earth or Vulcan identity but was more regimented in how they operated.

    I also suspect that advances in Tech over the years allowed for ships to become much more multi species in their make up which lead to a more unified fleet structure and outlook.
     
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  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The one thing we know about the Federation Naval Patrol is that it operates ancient sailing ships. That's the one and only reason why Tom Paris wanted to join the organization, after all!

    Mind you, many fighting navies today operate ancient sailing ships, too. The USN does not, but it has an ancient sailing ship in comission nevertheless. The role of ancient sailing ships there is to look pretty and help train children in the basic arts of seamanship. But you don't need a fighting navy for that - outfits like Boy Scouts sometimes have their own ancient sailing ships, too. I gather Tom Paris' childhood fantasy about what to do after high school would have rotated around a Boy Scouts style organization as well.

    As for multiple fighting forces within the UFP, utter banning of such would be a necessary but insufficient step in preventing things like the conflict looming in "Journey to Babel". Generally, civil wars are fought within a nation that only had a single armed forces before the fighting began; the force simply splits. We have heard of "Vulcan defense vessels"; there is no pressing reason to assume these would be Vulcan vessels, rather than simply Starfleet vessels tasked with defending Vulcan - but if the push came to a tal'shaya, Vulcans could hijack resident Starfleet ships for their separatist purposes.

    Now, if anything, DSC has of late indicated that Starfleet covers all the bases and more - it has 7,000 ships even though the NCC registries only go up to 1,800 or so currently. But perhaps some of the 5,200 non-NCC ships belong to the separate fighting navies of nonhumans (say, Andorians, Tellarites and Vulcans) despite formally being all part of one Starfleet?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Farscape One

    Farscape One Commodore Commodore

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    That total also might include cargo ships, freighters, and haulers. The Earth Cargo people in Archer's day were likely absorbed into Starfleet after the Federation was formed. In "CHARLIE X", it looked like Captain Ramart was wearing a Starfleet uniform... at least, one from the second pilot.
     
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  9. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The federation has official uniforms for civilian professionals; most frequently seen on TNG by scientists or whomever. The lack of the combadge and the distinctly different look certainly implies a non-starfleet structure.

    When you get to Homefront and Paradise Lost, having Starfleet arrest Sisko and do all the patrols and whatever makes a kind of sense from a production standpoint. No need to design Police uniforms or designations, just handwave it as "Starfleet is in charge of all military and police forces on Earth"
     
  10. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While obviously "ancient sailing ship" would refer to a "pre-Ironclad" wooden hull in the RW, IMO from Tom Paris' perspective anything "old fashioned" enough to require manual operation (rather than say "press a button and the ship does every for you including adjusting for wind direction etc) would count as "ancient" so they could be as modern as current fibreclass-hull ships.

    As far as Tom Paris' plans within the organisation, even if we assume that it has no law enforcement or military function IMO it's more likely to be - at minimum - a hybrid of the US NOAA and other civilian coastguard/maritime education organisations like the British RNLI rather than the Boy Scouts (which are AFAIK primarily a teen and youth organisation, not an adult career (apart from unit leaders, most of which would already have been in the organisation as youth.
     
  11. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As far as military (or at least "space defense") I agree up to a point, However I think that some local involvement should have been at least hinted at. A good point for a cameo might have been a standoff between NOPD/LSP over SSEC's attempt to arrest Joe Sisko.

    After all, even DC - whose local government is de facto controlled by the Federal Government - has at least two LEAs that are under local authority - the MPD/MPDC and the MTPD - although the third - USCP - is federal but centered around Congress. I could see the Federation Security Agency/Starfleet Security having sole or parallel jurisdiction in San Francisco, Paris, maybe Lisbon and other cities with a strong Starfleet presence and certainly both organisations would likely operate NCIS/Criminial Minds-style for any crimes involving Federation personnel, but sole jurisdiction over the civilian population seems unlikely.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The ships would still be "ancient" by Paris' very words, which makes them unlikely to be involved in any serious work by definition.

    Sure, identical but recently built ships might be technologically quite relevant for practical work. Yet Paris wants the old stuff specifically. Might be he has to "settle" for FNP 'instead", but that isn't quite the gist of what I hear in the words.

    The issue is slightly confused by the fact that folks in Trek supposedly don't have to start working productively after high school, or ever, so we don't even learn whether the FNP would be a job or a hobby...

    As for police work, Starfleet remains the sole organization seen fighting crime in the UFP - but since the stories involve our Starfleet heroes, there's always the possibility they are all federal cases of some sort, "space crimes" regardless of location. Then again, Starfleet seems to do everything, from fighting to research to terraforming to diplomacy. There's even a Starfleet Merchant Navy in the RPGs, perhaps akin to the Blue Ensign. Policing in the UFP being handled solely by a gendarmerie of sorts sounds quite plausible, then.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We do know that United Earth does have local (non-Starfleet) law enforcement - the cop on the hoverbike in ST09, for example. And there was going to be a scene in Homefront/Paradise Lost where UE officials are "federalized" by President Jaresh-Inyo but it got cut for time.
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What makes that bike cop non-Starfleet, though? Starfleet can be as local as need be. And even back when there was nothing but United Earth, Starfleet investigated all the crimes coming Archer's way...

    Timo,Saloniemi
     
  15. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm saying, Starfleet can be a catch-all for all security services.

    You have Starfleet Ground Police, which is a separate, civilian law-enforcement patrol chartered by Starfleet Security, etc. Of course, this headcanon has a number of issues, but I enjoy the speculation.
     
  16. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It can be, and there are good reasons why Starfleet Security handles most of the law enforcement work in series (in joint operations with the Bajoran Militia on DS9 canonically), I think it makes sense to have a 'local face' when dealing with civilians, even if the organisation in question is part of the overall chain of command of a larger "federal" organisation.

    Admiral Whatley talked about the Bajoran Militia being "absorbed" into Starfleet, this suggests to me that the Militia would still exist (though them continuing to wear their own uniforms and use their own weapons rather than Starfleet standard is optional) but the Militia's commanding general (ID'd as an "overgeneral" in TrekLit) but would going forward answer to the Head of Starfleet Security (and potentially the Head of Starfleet Operations or even the local Starfleet "sector chief" [based at either Starbase 375 or the (Beta) Antares Ship Yards) rather than being his "own boss" (minus Bajoran government affliations).

    Certainly a variety of planet/system-bound law enforcement agencies have appeared in various licensed media including TrekLit.
     
  17. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Civilian != Starfleet.
     
  18. Shamrock Holmes

    Shamrock Holmes Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    On the whole I agree.

    Despite the fierceness of the "Is Starfleet military/navy" debates, I think most would agree that Starfleet proper is not civilian, however there is precedent (certainly within the US and UK) for civilian agencies working alongside the military in a supporting role (starting with the USNMSC (and USMM to a lesser extent), AFOSI, NCIS, NOAA, PHS, Pentagon Police, DLAP and CAP among others in the US, and the MoD Police/SBAP/GDP, the MoDGS, CNP and the NISGS in the UK.
     
  19. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The US Army and Navy employs civilians, as both direct military employees and outside contractors. There's no reason Starfleet can't employ civilian law enforcement agencies outside of the direct Naval service.
     
  20. Meadowmorph

    Meadowmorph Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Okay, let's look at it like this.... There is the Federation of Planet, under which is Star Fleet. Star Fleet is sort of an iinter alpha quadrant galactic entity with varying agendas including diplomacy among the member planets as well as deep galactic trailblazing and exploring. etc. Now, each planet is really independent. They would have their own law enforcement agencies and military. We see the Federation as including Earth. Since Earth is the center of the Federation, I think we get the notion that Star Fleet is all of this. Because Earth is mostly covered in water, I can't see why it cannot have a Navy, but since nations mean nothing any longer (which I find difficult to get my mind around since different parts of the globe have differing needs) the Navy might just be involved in law enforcement (that's a little scary. whose laws?) or helping with disasters etc. It could also be involved in scientific exploration, monitoring any possible new pollution sources for instance..
     
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