|Task Force 17|
Deep Space Operations
Task Force 17 conducts deep space exploratory and diplomatic missions far beyond Federation borders from its headquarters on the edge of charted space, Deep Space 17. As the Fourth Fleet unit tasked with long-range missions of discovery, Task Force 17 has ships deployed in such distant corners of the galaxy as the Delta and Gamma Quadrants. Starships and crews assigned to this task force are specially equipped and trained to operate with little support from Starfleet infrastructure.
- Manage the operations of Federation ships far from local space, as well as those isolated in the Delta and Gamma Quadrants.
- Explore deep space beyond Federation territory in the four quadrants.
- Establish peaceful relations with native species.
- Expand Federation interests in deep space, including securing friendly trade routes and exchanging in scientific knowledge with other peaceful nations.
'To boldly go where no one has gone before.' These legendary words have long been repeated and paraphrased by successive generations of explorers and scientists seeking to fulfill one of the core mandates of the Federation Starfleet’s philosophy and are etched into the minds of every Starfleet cadet and many Federation citizens. In a time preceded by great galactic strife and conflict, Task Force 17 of the Fourth Fleet seeks to embody those principles once more as Starfleet recovers from the atrocities and existential threats posed by the Dominion War and the attack on Mars, to once again rediscover its sense of wonderment and exploration, and return to exploring the final frontier.
Armed with the same ethos and mandate that guided the historic Constitution-class vessels and their five-year missions of the twenty-third century, Task Force 17 is committed to exploring the farthest reaches of deep space. With unprecedented access to both the Gamma and Delta Quadrants, Starfleet vessels return to not simply protect citizens and defend against ideological threats, but to seek out new life and new civilisations, in whatever form they may be and wherever they may reside. To this end, Task Force 17 has dispatched a number of starships, manned by intrepid Starfleet officers from across the Federation and beyond, to make this foray into the unknown.
By nature of the enterprise, Task Force 17 vessels very often find themselves alone, operating far from the vestiges of Federation society or Starfleet support, relying strongly on their guile, character, and one another to survive and flourish in an uncertain and often inhospitable galaxy of unknowns. The voyages of these brave officers will become legendary as they chart new frontiers beyond what is already known by the Federation. Each new discovery will be worthwhile and exciting for generations to come.
Task Force Assets & Headquarters
While Task Force 17 regularly dispatches starships to deep space assignments far from Starfleet infrastructure, it launches and manages these operations from its headquarters at Deep Space 17 in the Typhon Frontier. More distant missions are supervised from the flagship, the USS Discovery. As with other Fourth Fleet task forces, ships operating in other regions rely heavily on local facilities to see to their wide-ranging duties. The other starships of Task Force 17 are divided into two task groups, which share the numbers of the two prior task forces that were merged to create the task force in 2399.
Task Group 9
- USS Blythe, a California-class utility cruiser
- USS Elysion, an Elysion-class light explorer
- USS Gilroy, a California-class utility cruiser
- USS Paramount, a California-class utility cruiser
Task Group 38
- USS Ahwahnee, a Cheyenne-class light cruiser
- USS Babylon, a Grissom-class surveyor
- USS Fearless, an Excelsior-class heavy cruiser
Task Force History
Being one of the Fourth Fleet's many exploration arms, primarily focused in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, when Starfleet decided to redeploy the assets from Task Force 9 and Task Force 38 into one centralised task force then Task Force 17 was the logical decision. In 2399, Task Force 17 was handed all of the fourth fleet's deep space exploration assignments and assets. The handover was relatively simple and smooth sailing, but Starfleet was keen to reestablish a long term presence in the Delta Quadrant. When command of the task force was given to Captain (later Commodore) Bennet, the creation of the lead expeditionary group was Starfleet's first step forward in its efforts to return to the Delta Quadrant.
On the eve of Bennet's expeditionary group leaving the Alpha Quadrant, the threat of the Hunters of D'Ghor increased rapidly requiring Starfleet to redeploy elements from the fourth fleet to combat it. As a result the expeditionary group, along with several other ships, were rushed to the area to bolster Starfleet's presence and remove the threat caused by the rogue element from the Klingon Empire. Task Force 17's mandate quickly changed as it was responsible in securing several systems and the assembly of the Archanis Array. Within a matter of days, the ships (all led by Bennet) completed their initial orders and removed the threat of the Hunters and were successful in bringing the new array online. Along with creating an innovative way of monitoring the Klingon-Federation border, the task force's involvement in the campaign was instrumental in removing key players and ships from the Hunters of D'Ghor's fleet. Days after the campaign was declared a victory by Starfleet, Task Force 17 supported in the rebuilding of several key listening outposts along the border and deployment of orbital weapon platforms. Bennet, was promoted to commodore and ordered to return his exploration fleet back to Federation space so it could start its mission in the Delta Quadrant.
Operation: Delta Expedition
A month after the Archanis Campaign, Task Force 17's lead expeditionary group began its exploration efforts in the Delta Quadrant. It's first priorities were to explore what happened to the races that Voyager had left on good terms.
Echoes of the TKon Fleet Action
Task Force 17 was instrumental in the Fourth Fleet's fleet action response to the Echoes of the Tkon crisis in 2399 as the unit with the most widely spread starships. The placement of the vessels in this task force allowed the Fourth Fleet to identify sites where the Omega Molecule was emerging so that other vessels could respond and stop the outbreak. The task force was also key to identifying Tkon archaeological sites and other remnants of their technology which allowed the Fourth Fleet to end the crisis by shoring up the Galactic Barrier.
While humanitarian efforts were largely carried out by other task forces, Task Force 17 provided reconnaisance and scientific support during the Stormbreaker Campaign in late 2399. Information provided by starships in this unit were able to gather enough data to allow Starfleet to develop countermeasures for the subspace rifts driving the storm and to predict subspace "weather" patterns well enough to guide aid convoys through the Paulson Nebula.
A New Home
As research agreements were made with the Romulan Free State and Starfleet saw fit to launch new missions of exploration in the Typhon Frontier, Task Force 17 undertook rearrangements. No longer making use of the lead expeditionary group, it was headquartered at Deep Space 17 in the Lioh System. From there, it has the freedom to launch missions into the deeper Beta Quadrant as well as the fringes of the Delta Quadrant, and has extensive research opportunities with the Typhon Expanse fresh on its doorstep.
Sundered Wings Fleet Action
Along with the rest of the Fourth Fleet, Task Force 17 participated in the fleet action response to the Sundered Wings Crisis in mid-2400. Given the scope of the crisis, Task Force 17 was instrumental in providing real-time data to allow Fourth Fleet Intelligence and Fourth Fleet Operations to prioritize the most important missions within the space of the collapsing Romulan Star Empire.
Blood Dilithium Campaign
In late 2400, Task Force 17 took the lead in the Fourth Fleet's response to a growing crisis in the Gradin Belt of the Delta Quadrant: the emergence of so-called blood dilithium, which proved to be a serious and immediate threat to life in the region, especially to telepathic life. As the unit with the most experience in the Delta Quadrant, Task Force 17 helped to ensure that the rest of the Fourth Fleet resources being deployed to the region went where they could do the most good.
Lost Fleet Fleet Action
In early 2401, Task Force 17 was one of the first Fourth Fleet units on the scene in the Deneb Sector to begin the Fourth Fleet's fleet action response to the Lost Fleet Crisis, thanks to their headquarters being located at nearby Deep Space 17. Throughout the fleet action, Task Force 17 provided reconnaissance and scientific support to the rest of the fleet.
Since it's reconstitution in 2399, there have been seven commanders of Task Force 17. A full list including those commanders assigned during Task Force 17's prior history in the 2370s and 2380s is available.
- Commodore Zach Marshall-Bennet, Stardates 2399.7 to 2399.11
- Captain/Fleet Captain Alexandra Sudari-Kravchick, Stardates 2399.11 to 2400.4
- Captain/Fleet Captain Erill'Yun Mek, Stardates 2400.4 to 2400.12
- Captain Andreus Kohl, Stardates 2400.12 to 2401.3
- Captain Romaes Anjin, Stardates 2401.3 to 2401.5
- Vice Admiral Elizabeth Hayden, Stardate 2401.5 to 2401.5
- Captain Khim Samnang, Stardate 2401.5 to Present