|Task Force 17|
|Area of Responsibility||
Deep Space Operations
Captain Alexandra Sudari-Kravchik
Captain Th'lora Vehl
Task Force 17 conducts deep space exploratory and diplomatic missions far beyond Federation borders, in challenging, distant corners of the galaxy such as the Delta and Gamma Quadrants. They are specialists in long-term operations with little support from Starfleet infrastructure. Task Force 17 ships are fitted with the latest technology to aide their crews in being able to survive longer away from the Federation. Many of the ships assigned to Task Force 17 are also of classes that can cope with multiply types of missions and can easily defend themselves from aggressive races. However where this may not be the case, some ships are known to work in small groups of twos or threes.
- Manage the operations of Federation ships far from local space, as well as those isolated in the Delta Quadrant.
- Explore deep space beyond Federation territory, the Gamma Quadrant, and the Delta Quadrant.
- Monitor major threats to Federation security, including but not limited to the Borg, Dominion, and the Voth.
- 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 fulfil 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 seeking 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 know by the Federation. Each new discovery will be worthwhile and exciting for generations to come.
Task Force Assets and Headquarters
Task Force 17 is the least centralised of the Fourth Fleet, consisting of starships regularly dispatched to deep space assignments far from Starfleet infrastructure and often working independently. As a result it does not have a singular base of operations, but relies heavily on a range of facilities that missions are launched from.
Lead Expeditionary Force
Main article: Task Force 17 Lead Expeditionary Force
To support its efforts to be a complete mobile group working on deep space exploration assignments, Starfleet established the command structure of the 4th Fleet’s Task Force 17 on a mobile flagship group.
The group consists of a small fleet that supports one another as they explore one of the regions that Starfleet felt, in 2399 especially, needed to be explored and re-chartered: the Delta Quadrant. After the USS Voyager returned home and through the efforts of the Delta Exploration Initiative, it was felt that more was needed to be done to monitor the possible long-range threats from such hostile species like the Borg and Voth. As such in 2399, Starfleet ordered Captain Zack Marshall-Bennet to assume command of Task Force 17 and lead Starfleet’s efforts in the Delta Quadrant. Plans were put in place to monitor the Gamma Quadrant, but for now the Delta Quadrant was the priority.
Bennet was given the task of assembling Starfleet’s finest ships that could undergo deep space exploration and tactical assignments. The benefits of exploring this region of space was available to Starfleet thanks to the access of the Barzan Wormhole. However there were many races in the area that could be seen as a threat due to their encounters with the USS Voyager. It was important that these ships presented the Federation at its finest and created a good reputation in the hopes of developing trade and peace talks with them. Bennet went on to pick the following ships:
- USS Discovery - a Century-class explorer and flagship of Task Force 17
- USS Nobel - a Galaxy-class explorer
- USS Triton - a Luna-class explorer
- USS Shackleton - a Rhode Island-class scout
- USS Tereshkova - an Inquiry-class heavy cruiser
These are some of the key starships currently assigned to the Task Force:
- USS Odyssey - an Odyssey-class explorer
- USS Atlantis - an Argonaut-class light cruiser
- USS Fearless - an Excelsior-class heavy cruiser
- USS Sheffield - an Atlantia-class heavy cruiser
- USS Seattle - a Rhode Island-class scout
- USS Elysion - an Elysion-class light explorer
- USS Luna - a Luna-class explorer
- USS Yorktown - a Century-class explorer and flagship of Fourth Fleet
- USS Sizemore - a Steamrunner-class light cruiser
- USS Stargazer - an Intrepid-class light explorer
- USS Ambassador - an Ambassador-class heavy cruiser
- USS Tesla - a Nova-class surveyor
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 some sort of 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.
The Archanis Campaign
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.