Fourth Fleet Operations
|Fourth Fleet Operations|
Fourth Fleet Operations is responsible for the logistics and assignments of the Fourth Fleet's starships, starbases, and other assets, overseeing operational matters for the fleet's four Task Forces, the Expeditionary Group, the Forward Support Group, Fourth Fleet Headquarters (Starbase Bravo), and Fourth Fleet Training Command. This office carries out the directives of the fleet's most senior leadership and handles many of the day-to-day activities that keep the fleet staffed, supplied, and mission-ready.
Fourth Fleet Operations is headquartered with the rest of the fleet's senior leadership at Starbase Bravo. The Chief of Fleet Operations reports to the Commander and Deputy Commander, Fourth Fleet, with responsibility for operationalizing the orders of the Commander by ensuring that the appropriate vessels and stations are tasked to specific missions. The Operations Office is one of the largest offices within the fleet's leadership, rivaling Fleet Intelligence for the sheer volume of data being sent and received from Fourth Fleet assets across the galaxy.
Main Article: Task Forces
The majority of the Fourth Fleet's starships are divided into five task forces, each of which has a specific mandate to oversee an aspect of the Fourth Fleet's operations throughout the galaxy. Each task force is further sub-divided into two task groups. Some task groups also contain squadrons. Fleet Operations handles both disseminating assignments to the appropriate task force to carry out the orders of the Fleet Admiral and ensuring that each Task Force is properly staffed and equipped.
Several squadrons exist outside of the Task Force structure, reporting directly to Fourth Fleet Operations for missions of a specialized or sensitive nature. These squadrons often undertake missions directly for department heads, the deputy commander, or the commander. They include:
Fourth Fleet Expeditionary Group
Main Article: Fourth Fleet Expeditionary Group
The Fourth Fleet Expeditionary Group is the Fourth Fleet's designated elite multi-mission response force, with a collection of starships meant to be able to quickly and effectively handle the fleet's most delicate and time-sensitive missions, wherever they are in the galaxy. These ships are assigned to the Fourth Fleet but not to a particular task force, and undertake a wide variety of missions across the galaxy that don't necessarily fit neatly into the mandate of one of the fleet's other units. Ships in the expeditionary group take their orders individually from Fourth Fleet Command through the Chief of Fourth Fleet Operations, generally getting assignments that require some combination of discretion and special capabilities.
Fourth Fleet Forward Support Group
Main Article: Fourth Fleet Forward Support Group
The Fourth Fleet Forward Support Group consists of several starbases and space stations located throughout Federation space which are assigned to support the mission of the Fourth Fleet. These facilities allow the fleet to sustain operations with their ships spread far away from fleet headquarters and the headquarters of the four task forces, and Fleet Operations coordinates with these bases to ensure consistent supply lines.
Fourth Fleet Headquarters
Main Article: Starbase Bravo
Starbase Bravo is the current headquarters of the Fourth Fleet. As a large, modern Guardian-class orbiting Mellstoxx III, a Betazoid colony established soon after the people’s joining of the Federation, Starbase Bravo boasts the facilities to support the Fleet Command’s needs. There is a constant stream of junior officers and new captains coming to Starbase Bravo to be assigned by Fleet Operations to their eventual postings within the Fourth Fleet.
Fourth Fleet Operations In-Play
- For the vast majority of your stories, you probably don't need to know the exact organizational structure of the fleet. The amount of times we've heard Task Forces referenced on screen in Star Trek is tiny. Still, you might occasionally want to know who your command character reports to! Your personal fiction ship will be in the task force that you're assigned to as a member, so that's pretty easy: the person giving your ship orders in-character is your TFCO or TFXO. For RPGs, that person is the Chief of Fleet Operations or Deputy Chief of Fleet Operations, which is also easy!
- We rarely saw Fleet Admirals in Star Trek, and that's because the commander of a major fleet is a very busy person! They have other more junior flag officers under them handing out the day-to-day orders necessary to execute their grand plans. That's what Fleet Operations is: a collection of flag officers and senior line officers that handle the paperwork and decision making to keep the fleet moving. Does the Enterprise or the Defiant handle this particular mission? Does this priority go to Task Force 72 or Task Force 38? Do we need to request more new officers from Starfleet Command? That kind of thing.