Defence Forces/Fleet

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The Sol Central Government Fleet is the SCG's primary component of the Defence Forces. It consists of a huge assortment of vessels of varying sizes broken up into a number of smaller "Fleets" each with their own areas of responsibility. The Fleet is the oldest component of the DF, and has long been the backbone of the SCG. The Fleet, being the large, sprawling organisation it is, is made up of thousands and thousands of men and women (and more recently, a number of Sol IPC's) spread across a variety of duties, tasks and postings.

The oldest component of the Defence Forces, the Fleet considers itself the pinnacle of Human military accomplishment. It is well funded, but seen as complacent and bloated. Until recently the Fleet have not had a serious enemy to deal with, but is generally respected by the populace due to their work keeping away pirates, putting down insurrections, destroying smugglers and taking potshots at the ocassional Vox. Currently undergoing major overhauls to improve efficiency and capabilities, publicly to counter encroachment by the Terran Colonial Confederation.

Recruitment

Being a large organisation with military objectives, and the need to support and man thousands of vessels and installations, the Fleet spends vast amounts of money and resources on recruitment and, ultimately, the long term retention of its skilled personnel. Fleet Enlistment periods are for a minimum of five years, with an option of renewal at the end.

As a uniformed service, the Fleet has two routes of entry: Enlisted and Officer.

Enlisted

Fleet enlisted

Enlisted persons have minimal skill requirements, being able to join with only the minimum of secondary education, with no degree or advanced learning requirements. Many Enlisted are straight out of education, wide eyed and eager to learn a valuable set of skills, with most joining at eighteen or nineteen years of age.

Fleet basic training, known colloquially as "boot camp" is ten weeks long, during which recruits are taught the fundamentals of life in the Fleet, ceremony, drill and all the basic requirements for service. This is concluded with basic EVA training, weapons handling and how to conduct themselves during an emergency.

Following the conclusion of this training, all "Crewmen Recruits" are promoted to "Crewman Apprentice" and go onto advanced schools related to their job specific training and qualification, where they are trained to "Earn their rate," referring to an Enlisted Persons Rating, that being their job specialisation E.G. Damage Control Technician, Engineer, Corpsman or Master at Arms.

The length of time in advanced training varies from Rating to Rating, but is generally at least fourteen weeks in length for various "average" occupations such as maintenance, sanitation and damage control and upward of fifty two weeks for advanced occupations, such as Fleet Corpsman.

Outside of advanced professions and qualifications that a Fleet Enlisted person will undertake throughout their time in the Fleet, most training is done "on the job" for lower ranking ratings, with experience being gained on assignment with tutoring by more experienced ratings.

A key difference to other branches, only Petty Officers Third Class and above are considered to have "Earned their rating." Crewmen and below are learners, getting field experience or new to their job speciality and are not yet fully qualified for the rating they strive to achieve. This importance on rating means that the Fleet has far higher numbers of NCO's compared to the Army or Expeditionary Corps, though less importance is placed on leadership at the E-4 PO3 level, it instead being a sign of baseline competency and experience. That being said, they are still responsible for the training and education of new crewmen.

Officer

Fleet officer

Officers of the Fleet go through a very different process to their enlisted counterparts. Officer positions in the Fleet require a candidate to possess a University Degree at the bachelor level. Officer candidates sign up for a period of seven years service with the Fleet, with options to renew afterwards. However, the process is different for Medical Corps officers & the Fleet Chaplaincy, who have a separate process.

Prospective Officers, upon passing an interview and entry examinations, are sent to the Sol Fleet Base (SFB) Walter Raleigh for a thirty-week Officer Candidate School. Here they undergo training in leadership, drill, Fleet and general naval history, life on a vessel and weapons training, as well as courses on Navigation and basic vessel handling. They are further schooled in Fleet leadership in space, Naval tactics and strategy, at the end of which they spend the final three weeks on board a proper Fleet vessel putting their skills to use and demonstrating their knowledge in a live environment. At the end of this successful candidates pass out of OCS and go onto advanced, specialised training which can last anywhere from fourteen to thirty weeks.

Medical Corps & Chaplaincy Officers, on the other hand, do not attend Officer Candidate School. Instead, they are provided with their commission and rank on the merit of their professional skills in medicine, mental health or religious areas. These officers instead attend Officer Introductory School, where they are taught fleet history, basic command and leadership training, and minor drill and military etiquette for life in the Fleet. This lasts approximately twelve weeks after which they go onto their initial postings where they receive further relevant on the job training and experience.


History

  • 2436: The Sol Central Government Fleet is established, along with the rest of the Sol Central Government, from the reorganisation of the Naval forces of the former Terran Commonwealth, forming the basis of the new SCG DF Fleet.
  • 2480: The Fleet undergoes a number of widespread overhauls and reorganises into the four fleet separation common until after the Gaia Campaign.
  • 2520: The Fleet replaces a number of its older vessels, including the ill-suited Mako-Class Corvette and Terra-class vessels.
  • 2545: The Gaia Conflict begins, and the Fleet is rallied into action for the first time in its history against a major foreign power. The First Fleet is decimated over Gaia in a failed relief effort. The Fourth Fleet is almost completely destroyed in an infamous Last Stand at the Helios Gateway installation. The Second Fleet spend three long years holding the line.
  • 2546: Tales of the SFV Johns Hopkins, an Orca class carrier of the fourth thought destroyed the year before, make their way back to Sol. Rumours of their constant harassment of the Terran supply lines motivate Fleeties everywhere.
  • 2547: The border of Sol space defended by the Third Fleet falls into lawlessness as the Third rushes to Gaia and insurrections abound, sparking a sharp decline in Sol Authority and general safety along the border.
  • 2548: The Third Fleet finally regroups fully in Tau Ceti and prepares for a mass push toward Gaia, the symbolic heart of the conflict and the logistical and strategic staging area of the Terran Navy.
  • 2549: The Third take Gaia after a costly and near Pyrrhic victory. The entire Fleet, exhausted, slowly begins to spread out and reclaim lost territory from the Terran Navy.
  • 2550: The Gaia Conflict ends in a stalemate with neither side being in a position to continue, following heavy losses and the Fleet, finding itself devastated, worn down and lacking in a number of areas, withdraws to its normal dispersion before finding itself under rapid modernisation. This date also marks the establishment of the fifth fleet.


Current Organization

1st Fleet (Reserve)

First Fleet

A mainly ceremonial force after the creation of the Home Guard and Second Fleet, the First Fleet is permanently garrisoned in Sol, and is where all new fleet vessels are assigned until they are sent to another unit. The First Fleet does occasionally send individual vessels or groups of vessels for Public Relations missions, ceremonies, or to escort dignitaries between Sol and other systems. The First Fleet has seen little action in the entirety of its lifetime, with the exception of a number of highly publicized diplomatic escort incidents. Its main, notable exception to this was its use as a reserve force to relieve the overwhelmed Fourth Fleet at the beginning of the Gaia Conflict, during which it failed utterly to stablize the situation and ultimately being routed early on, leaving Gaia in the hands of the Terrans for four long years. The action, known as the second fall of Gaia, saw roughly half of the First Fleet, including then Admiral of the Fleet Thomas Beckham, was utterly destroyed in a pincer attack sprung by the Terran Navy with the rest fleeing for home via Helios and Tau Ceti, leaving the pursuing Terrans to fight it out with the Second and the remnants of the Fourth. The retreat left the reputation of the First tarnished with them gaining the nickname of "the fleeing first."

2nd Fleet

Second Fleet

The largest of the SGDF's fleets, Second fleet is responsible for the direct security of the SCG's interior territories, especially the systems closest to Sol. In order to cover so much space, the Second Fleet includes four carrier strike groups, and a large armsman complement. Its duties, as the Fleet responsible for the defence and security of the interior territories, see it often being used in police actions as opposed to purely military ones. Primarily based around planets of import or gateway installations, the second Fleet generally handles some of the more well equipped pirates, terrorists, smugglers and hostile criminal elements in the space between planets.

During the Gaia Conflict, the second fleet formed the bulwark of Sol, protecting and holding much Sol territory from the advances of the Terran Navy. For three long years the Second Fleet enforced a slow, gradual staggered retreat from the Terran occupied border, ensuring each win by the Terran Navy was costly. This action brought Sol time to rally, reorganize and ultimately retake Gaia and it is because of the lengthy, hard fight that they are renowned as the shield of Sol. The Second Fleets reputation for being able to hold the line is its point of pride, and many new recruits hope to live up to the reputation of the Stony Second.

3rd Fleet

Third Fleet

Assigned to border security along with Fourth Fleet, Third Fleet is considered one of the most experienced Fleets, as it operates on the more loosely controlled, less unified side of Sol space, often forcing it to deal with a myriad of rebels, pirates, smugglers and the cleaning up the aftermath of the occasional vox raid. Battle-hardened, most Third Fleet ships and crews are not without their scars. Long responsible for the vast, underpopulated and unfriendly part of the Sol border, the Third Fleet has had little interaction with the myriad of alien races that the Fourth fleet encounters, instead finding it mainly deals with the aftermath of Vox scavenger runs and rampant piracy that has become a staple of frontier life on this section of the sol border. As a consequence of the struggles and destruction that routinely impact smaller colonies, the Third Fleet has a wealth of experience establishing, fortifying and providing aid to fledgling colonies. Third Fleet hospital ships are well known for their medical experience, and a number of ground construction battalions are present with the third fleet, focused on the maintenance, construction and provision of vital ground works needed for these colonies to survive.

During the Gaia Conflict, the Third Fleet, far from the fighting and dispersed over a great distance, was in no position to render any immediate aid. Though they reorganised, it would be a full three years before the Third Fleet in all its might was in a position to act as the spear of Sol, though when they hit, they hit hard, forcing their way through the Terran lines and retaking great swathes of territory, though not without cost. A great many of the third gave their lives for Sol in the effort to retake Gaia, though their sacrifice was not in vain. Eventually, with the Third Fleet in orbit around Gaia, the planet fell back into Sol control and the war concluded in a stalemate shortly thereafter.

However, This action cost the Third dearly, as much of their part of the border was left under defended and under patrolled for the duration of the conflict, many border worlds, colonies and stations fell into rampant piracy and hostile hands, leaving the Third with a long cleanup and peacekeeping mission that persists even to this day. However, Sol remembers the Third as the sword to the Seconds shield, and the Third enjoy a great reputation among the wider populace for the sacrifice and bravery of the Fighting Third.


4th Fleet

Fourth Fleet

Specifically assigned to secure the border of Skrell and Terran space the Fourth Fleet is sometimes considered the place where slackers are sent to languish, as officially they are only protecting the Skrell and Terran border (A location that, before the Gaia Campaign, was not expected to be a major source of hostilities). Not anticipating a war between the two powers, the Fourth Fleet was caught unawares and decimated by the superior Terran Navy in the early stages of the war. Having been found wanting and not fit for its duties, the Fourth Fleet has been undergoing rapid modernisation and improvement.

During the Gaia Conflict the Fourth Fleet took the brunt of the initial fighting following a surprise attack by the Terran Navy. This led to their decimation as they were unprepared to fight a foe with, in many regards, a technologically and numerically superior Fleet to their own. Suffering massive losses as they tried to rally in the face of an ongoing invasion the Fourth lost control of Gaia early on before fighting a brutal, swift and humiliating retreat to the Helios system where the core of what remained of the Fourth Fleet, lead by Rear Admiral Diwalli, fought a last stand against the Terran Navy before ultimately blowing up the systems Gateway, cutting themselves, and more vitally, the Terrans, off from Sol and consequently, many other frontier systems. This action is still controversial even today, as it guaranteed the safety of the core systems from immediate Terran aggression but also doomed much of the Frontier to languishing under harsh Terran control for the next four years.

The remainder of the Fourth Fleet, scattered, broken and mostly without a way home, surrendered, their vessels held in Terran drydocks until the end of the war, when they were returned to Sol as part of the peace treaty. Though a few vessels did limp back to Sol via Tau Ceti, where they were absorbed into the second, and fewer still, mainly Orca Class vessels, continued to operate behind enemy lines, striking weak points and under defended defence areas in the Terran occupation zone. The current Admiral of the Fourth Fleet, Lee Kyung, was one such Orca Captain during the conflict who gained a reputation for the feats of his wolfpack in crippling raids against the Terran supply lines.

Their conduct in the Gaia campaign has begun reversing their less than stellar reputation, however.In order to make it ready for the defence of this section of space, with many incompetent or ineffective officers having been shown the door in the wake of the conclusion of the Gaia conflict, those that remain are either brand new or exceptionally battle-hardened, having faced the horrors of war head on. The new Fourth Fleet may have to prove its mettle before long.


5th Fleet

Fifth Fleet

A recent creation, still being organized and modified, the Fifth Fleet was created in 2550 by the Assemblies in order to act as a Quick Reaction Force. While it is still small, the Fifth Fleet is being staffed with some of the brightest minds of the Defence Forces, and equipped with the latest technology. Notably, the fifth fleet finds itself regularly handling insurrections, and incidents past the edge of Sol space when required, though most of the Fleet has seen little action outside of simulations, of which the Fifth Fleet has been trained extensively via the latest in virtual reality technology. As the newest Fleet, they have little going for them, no heritage and little to be proud of, though they enjoy the perks of being issued the latest equipment, this tends to have them looked down on by those in the second and third, and even many fourth fleet veterans. While the bulk of its junior officers and enlisted are new, the core of this new Fleet was taken from some of the best of the Second and Third, and was developed and built with the lessons and tactics learned by the "wolfpack" fleets of the Fourth during the Gaia Conflict. It has no clear mission, but it stands ready and firm to respond to any calls to arms that may come.


Ship Classification

The Fleet consists of a wide variety of ships, from small shuttlecraft to huge battlecruisers.