Starfleet Auxiliary

From Bravo Fleet
This article is official Bravo Fleet canon.

Starfleet Federation Faction

Starfleet Auxiliary


  • United Federation of Planets
  • Starfleet

Tellar Prime

Primary Mission

Logistical Support


Admiral Lashnov Zagh (Tellarite Male)




Starfleet Auxiliary is a component of Starfleet that operates passenger liners, tankers, freighters, transports, and some research vessels in support of the starships and capital starships in mainline Starfleet service. Without the Auxiliary, the critical movement of fuel, passengers, and freight throughout Federation space would be impossible. The personnel in this service are subject to Starfleet's regulations (including the Prime Directive) but have more specialized training focusing on the core responsibilities of operating a starship and performing their job functions.


When Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets were founded in 2161, a subordinate service to handle logistical support for Starfleet's exploratory, defensive, diplomatic, and humanitarian mandate was envisioned. While each of the founding members had their own merchant marine services, the Starfleet Auxiliary was created to create a common set of regulations and training standards and a unified dispatching system to turn these disparate systems into a working whole, just as the early Starfleet needed to combine aspects of the founders' scientific and defensive arms.

With ships from the Human, Vulcan, Andorian, and Tellarite merchant fleets to start with and ships from less powerful worlds joining as negotiations continued, Starfleet Auxiliary's growth was rapid in the first few decades of its existence as starbases and interstellar shipping lanes were developed. The Federation Council decided to base the Starfleet Auxiliary on Tellar Prime rather than on Earth because of the Tellarites' great experience in mining, construction, and other logistics projects. Even in the 2390s, the upper echelons of the organization continue to be dominated by Tellarites in the same way that Starfleet is by Humans.

By the 2230s, there were several hundred purpose-built ships in the auxiliary, including passenger ships, tankers, and freighters. By the 2260s, the fleet included surveyors following up on non-biological and non-cultural surveys (generally looking for minerals and other resources) and hospital ships as well. As time went on, the Starfleet Auxiliary has entered a steady pattern of assimilating retired Starfleet vessels into its inventory, as well as operating ships purpose-built for civilian and auxiliary service. In the mid-24th century, there were just as many Oberth and Miranda-class ships in auxiliary service as in mainline service, the older units of this class living on with less rigorous duties.

The logistical complexity of operating hundreds of starbases and thousands of lesser stations and starships necessitated similar growth in the Starfleet Auxiliary, and by the beginning of the 25th century, ships belonging to the Auxiliary can be found in all corners of the Federation.


Somewhat ironically, the Commander, Starfleet Auxiliary is not actually a member of the Starfleet Auxiliary but is a commissioned Starfleet officer reporting to the Chief of Starfleet Operations and holding the rank of admiral. Indeed, there are no members of the Starfleet Auxiliary with ranks higher than captain; officers wishing to advance beyond this stage must go through additional training such as Command School, and then be commissioned in Starfleet instead.

Each type of vessel has its own commander under this level. For example, the Commander, Starfleet Transports, and the Commander, Starfleet Surveyors are each Rear or Vice Admirals overseeing all of the vessels of those two designations. These type commanders assign vessels either to specific sectors, where they fall under the jurisdiction of that sector's commander or to various Starfleet offices and bureaus, where they fall under the jurisdiction of that office's director.

For example, a Sydney-class passenger liner might be assigned to regular service between Starbase 4 and a smaller station in the same sector, thus falling under the jurisdiction of Starbase 4's commanding officer, the flag officer in command of Sector 4. As another example, an Aerie-class surveyor might be specially equipped to transport mineralogical samples and so would be assigned to the Bureau of Minerology under Starfleet Science and would be under the jurisdiction of the Director of the Bureau of Mineralogy.

The effect of this allows the Starfleet Auxiliary to operate without a parallel chain of command to Starfleet itself. By regulation, in combat or emergency situations, the captain of any Starfleet Auxiliary vessel would be subordinate to the captain of any mainline Starfleet vessel, even if their equivalent rank was higher. For example, a Starfleet lieutenant commander in command of a Saber-class scout responding to a distress call from an Olympic-class transport under the command of a Starfleet Auxiliary captain would be legally capable of ordering the nominally more senior officer to withdraw. In non-emergency situations, this regulation does not apply.


Two members of the Starfleet Auxiliary in the 2260s, wearing the distinctive Spacecraft Duty Insignia and an older uniform than their Starfleet counterparts of that time period.
Two members of the Starfleet Auxiliary in the 2260s, wearing the distinctive Spacecraft Duty Insignia and an older uniform than their Starfleet counterparts of that time period.
One of the original branches of Starfleet, the Starfleet Auxiliary has been in operation since the founding of the Federation in 2161. The personnel in this branch are highly trained in starship navigation and operations, engineering, and/or other related duties but don't have the exploratory and tactical training that is given to members of Starfleet itself. These personnel are commissioned through a number of different means, including several academies, training centers, and direct commissioning programs that take into account life experience and aptitude tests.

Onboard Departments

Compared to a Starfleet vessel, a vessel in the Starfleet Auxiliary has a much simpler command structure and a smaller number of departments, given that their crews are generally also significantly smaller. The smallest ships generally only have a deck department and engineering department, while passenger ships will also have a steward's department and surveyors will have a surveyor's department. A member's department here is tied more closely to their career path with fewer opportunities to move laterally because of the amount of on-the-job training involved.

Deck Department

Combining the duties of command, flight control, and operations aboard a Starfleet vessel, the deck department is responsible for navigation, safety, cargo management, and other things related to getting the vessel where it needs to be and making sure its contents (passengers or cargo) arrive safely.

Engineering Department

As on any other starship, the engineering department is responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of the ship's engines and structural systems. Having smaller crews means having fewer specialists, especially at senior levels, so over time, members of this department learn to operate, maintain, and monitor every system on their ship.

Steward's Department

Found on ships carrying passengers, the steward's department is responsible for the safety and comfort of passengers, with duties ranging from assigning cabins and arranging meals to passenger recreation on larger liners.

Surveyor's Department

Antares-class scout
While not as capable as Starfleet science vessels, survey ships perform an indispensable mineral prospecting and colonial support function.

Found only on surveyors, this department is related to the science department found on a Starfleet ship but much more specialized in handling sample collection and basic mineralogical analysis tasks to identify resource-rich planetary bodies to meet Starfleet's need for dilithium, duranium, magnesite, and other minerals necessary for the construction of starships but which either can't be replicated or can't be replicated efficiently.

Other Personnel

  • The smallest ships do not have an onboard physician but rely instead on an EMH for any necessary treatment while they are between ports of call.
  • On ships with 30 or more crewmembers who will be between ports for 30 or more days, a medical team detached from Starfleet will be assigned to the ship; the Auxiliary does not have physicians of its own.
  • On research vessels operated by the Starfleet Auxiliary on behalf of a civilian or Starfleet research agency, the research crew reports to whatever agency is organizing the mission. The mission leader can make requests of the captain when it comes to destinations and other operations, but the captain has the final say when it comes to the vessel's safety.
  • Similarly, on medical vessels operated by the Starfleet Auxiliary, the ship's command and engineering crew are part of the Starfleet Auxiliary, subordinate to the medical commanding officer, except in matters of the vessel's safety.

Rank Structure and Career Paths

The rank structure in the Starfleet Auxiliary is simplified from Starfleet itself, based on merchant traditions that informed such services as the Earth Cargo Service, which itself is derived from Merchant Marine traditions on Earth, combined with structures used by the Imperial Andorian Logistics Corps, the Tellarite Merchant Navy, and the Vulcan National Merchant Fleet. The line between officers and enlisted is much blurrier in an auxiliary context, and it is possible for someone to work their way up directly from Crewman to Captain over an extended period of time through on-the-job training in a way that's much easier than it would be in Starfleet itself. On the flip side, the licensing and time-in-grade requirements for each level are inflexible.

Starfleet Auxiliary Rank Structure
Insignia Deck Department Engineering Department Steward's Department Surveyor's Department Time in Previous Grade
⚫⚫⚫⚫ Captain N/A N/A N/A 10 Years
⚫⚫⚫ Master Chief Engineer Chief Steward Chief Surveyor 5 Years
⚫⚫ Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant 4 Years
Ensign Ensign Ensign Ensign 1 Year
◯◯ Acting Ensign Acting Ensign Acting Ensign Acting Ensign 4 Years
Petty Officer Petty Officer Petty Officer Petty Officer 1 Year
N/A Crewman Crewman Crewman Crewman N/A

Direct enlistment as a crewman includes six weeks of training before spending the remainder of the first year learning on the job on a ship, becoming a petty officer upon the satisfactory completion of several training programs at the end of that probationary period. After five total years of enlistment, members can apply to become acting ensigns, taking additional training and apprenticing under more challenging jobs. Alternatively, if an individual goes through a service academy (usually a three-year program), they would start in service as an acting ensign. After one year of continuing to learn on the job, the member is then promoted to ensign or discharged.

After four years as an ensign, a member is eligible for promotion to lieutenant, which is the requisite rank for most department head roles on smaller ships. After five more years, they are eligible to advance to the senior rank in their particular department, where the titles vary. Finally, members of the deck department who have been masters for at least ten years are eligible for promotion to the rank of Captain and are therefore eligible to command the largest ships in auxiliary service.

There are no flag ranks in the Starfleet Auxiliary, but senior members of the auxiliary are often eligible for promotion and direct commission into a Starfleet flag rank to be able to lead offices and bureaus within Starfleet Auxiliary Command. It has been a point of contention for decades that the Commander, Starfleet Auxiliary must be a Starfleet Admiral, a rank that is nearly impossible for a Starfleet Auxiliarist to obtain, and so since the 2330s, the Deputy Commander, a Vice Admiral, is by convention now an officer selected from within the Auxiliary.


The duty uniform of the Starfleet Auxiliary is the same as that used aboard Starfleet vessels, but with an altered combadge (black, in the shape of the Starfleet Auxiliary's logo) and rank insignia (for officers, black rather than silver; for acting ensigns and petty officers, open black rings). All members of the Starfleet Auxiliary exclusively wear services gold rather than command red or sciences blue. Dress uniforms follow the same pattern.

In actual practice, duty uniforms are only worn in the most formal of regular operations. Especially aboard vessels without passengers, crewmembers tend to wear utility coveralls, and the uniform code is more forgiving for the Auxiliary than it is for the fleet itself. Aboard transports carrying passengers, members of the steward's department, at the discretion of the captain, have an alternative white uniform that sets them apart from their passengers--many of whom are also Starfleet officers.


Starfleet Auxiliary operates a wide variety of vessels, including classes that are operated by either Starfleet or civilians (or both). This table is not all-inclusive, as there are many one-off designs or converted versions of other types in limited use, but represents a broad overview of the types of vessels in service with this branch. Many designs operate in multiple roles, such as the Aerie. Commissioned vessels of the Starfleet Auxiliary use the same USS designation as other Starfleet ships do. Many of them also have NCC registry prefixes, but this is more variable. When ships move between Starfleet and the Starfleet Auxiliary or are taken into service from civilian ownership, they don't normally change registry numbers.

Starfleet Auxiliary Starship Inventory
Type Command General Duties Exemplar Classes Corresponding Starfleet/Federation Office
Starfleet Transports Movement of passengers and cargo between starbases, space stations, member worlds, and colonies.
  • Packet service between starbases and outlying stations
  • Liner service between major starbases or Federation worlds
  • Colonist transport
  • Courier duties for Federation officials
  • Starfleet Transport Command
  • Federation Department of Colonial Affairs
Starfleet Supply Vessels Resupply of starships, starbases, space stations, and colonies.
  • Underway replenishment
  • Colony establishment and settlement
  • Non-emergency engineering support
  • Starfleet Materiel Supply Command
  • Federation Department of Colonial Affairs
Starfleet Tankers Transportation of bulk gasses and liquids, including deuterium and anti-deuterium fuels and refueling of starships.
  • Refinery to starbase fuel transport
  • Refinery or starbase to underway starship transport
  • Starfleet Transport Command
  • Starfleet Refueling Command
Starfleet Tugs & Salvage Vessels Long-range towing of cargo and passenger containers, starships, space stations, and their components, and salvage and recovery operations.
  • Transport, tanker, or supply service w/ relevant modules
  • Colonial transport and settlement w/ relevant modules
  • Mass-scale evacuations w/ relevant modules
  • Starship towing and salvage
  • Transport of stations, in whole or in part
  • Starfleet Transport Command
  • Starfleet Corps of Engineers
  • Federation Department of Colonial Affairs
Starfleet Surveyors Tertiary non-biological and non-cultural surveys for prospecting and resourcing purposes.
  • Mineralogical surveys within Federation space
  • Gas density analyses within Federation space
  • Deployment of research probes
  • Starfleet Science Bureaus
  • Federation Civilian Science Agencies
Starfleet Research Vessels Scientific expeditions within Federation space
  • Specialized scientific missions with a particular focus area
  • Transport of scientists and supplies to surface or station research facilities
  • Support of surface or station research facilities
  • Deployment of research probes
  • Starfleet Science Bureaus
  • Federation Civilian Science Agencies
Starfleet Hospital Ships Long-term or otherwise non-emergency medical support missions and pre-positioning of medical assets within Federation space.
  • Deployment of field hospitals at refugee staging points
  • Long-term orbital medical support
  • Movement of hospital ships to strategic locations when not in use
  • Starfleet Medical
  • Federation Civilian Medical Agencies

1The Olympic-class research vessels assigned to Federation civilian entities are operated by the Starfleet Auxiliary but registered as civilian ships with an SS rather than USS designation, while the majority of the ones that Starfleet owns are in mainline Starfleet service.

2 When not deployed to a specific fleet for fast response duties, Olympic-class hospital ships are operated with reduced crews and held in reserve at strategic points within the Federation. During this reserve period, they are crewed with minimal non-medical crews from Starfleet Auxiliary. Upon activation, they transition to a full Starfleet crew en route or before departure, with the goal of full operational capacity and arrival within one month anywhere within the Federation. They are also crewed by auxiliary personnel when stationed for long-term hospital service in orbit of a planet.