Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
October 27, 2007 - 4:38pm
The heart and soul of the UPF is the SpaceFleet.  Its organization, its culture, and its future are all discussed here.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
January 21, 2008 - 8:26am
Any more info on this Imp?

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 13, 2008 - 4:21pm


SpaceFleet Command is the most important and prestigious of all. UPF careers are made and unmade in the SpaceFleet. For every single slot for ship crews, there are thousands of applicants from around the Galaxy. Each ship actually has three crews – 1 active duty and 2 reserve. The active duty crew mans the ship for 60% of the year, and the reserve crews operate the ship for 20% of the time each. This gives vital rest to the active duty crew and maintains readiness for the other crews, should the SpaceFleet expand, or if the active duty crew is killed in battle. These reserve crews are normally the stepping-stones to entering the Fleet under active duty.

The SpaceFleet is the only Command where it is not necessary to rotate; (see below) thus an officer can rise completely through the ranks without ever leaving. In fact, SpaceFleet officers are promoted more rapidly than officers from any other command.

SpaceFleet personnel are frequently treated as “rock stars” wherever they go. Frontier citizens understand that these brave beings put their lives on the line every day, and are suitably appreciative. All other Commands both admire and are jealous of the quality organization that is the SpaceFleet. Most of the Admirals on the Joint Services Group and the Supreme Military Council are from the SpaceFleet. While this practice has come under criticism by some in the Federation Planetary Senate, it is widely regarded as maintaining the focus on the most important role of the UPF – protecting the Known Galaxy from the Sathar.

Recruiting Command personnel keep a running total of the number of applicants received for each position on a UPF ship, (without giving away any vital intelligence, of course.) These applications run into the thousands. While some of the Admiralty think that this is a tacky marketing method, none doubt its effectiveness.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 13, 2008 - 4:36pm
The Spacefleet, per canon, is divided among Task Force Prenglar, Task Force Cassidine, and Strike Force NOVA.  Then there are also the "non-attached ships", which is something of a misnomer.  The "non-attached ships" are actually ships in Reserve rotated out from the other three battle formations.  These ships train all over the Frontier with their Reserve crews, allowing the Active Duty crews some much needed rest.  The "non-attached ships" that start the game in the SW2 campaign in the Knight Hawks book could have been any other ships, even Battleships.  They just happened to be in the Reserve Pool at the start of the War.

Reserve Pool crews, if activated, are fully capable of operating the ship at 100% capacity.  However, in the event of an emergency they would be replaced with the more veteran Active Duty crew as soon as practicable.  No UPF ship is ever "down" due to reserve rotation.  Only overhauls or repairs can cause that to happen.

Task Force Prenglar and Task Force Cassidine's main missions are to inspect vessels that arrive by the hundreds per day in those two systems.  Being the commercial hubs of the Frontier, Prenglar and Cassidine are vital economic centers.  Additionally, they are astrogationally important, as they are in the "middle" of the Known Galaxy. 

UPF Supreme Headquarters and the Weightless Combat Training Center is located in Fortress Gollwin in Prenglar.  Various other Command Headquarters are spread throughout the Fortresses in the Frontier, with subordinate Command Centers able to provide redundancy should the main Headquarters get destroyed or blockaded. 

Within the Spacefleet, however, everyone wants to get posted to Strike Force NOVA.  These are the best of the best of the best - attracting the most elite of the UPF.  Strike Force NOVA's mission is very different from Task Force Prenglar's and Cassidine's - NOVA's mission is to attack.  Pirate or smuggler bases, Sathar ships, whatever the threat, NOVA is there to respond and destroy.  They are constantly on the move, picking up and dropping off Reserve Pool ships, working with Star Law in Madderly's Star, and partnering with all of the various militia fleets.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 16, 2008 - 12:30pm
However, it is certainly no shame to be assigned to Task Force Prenglar or Cassidine!  Anyone who even makes it to the Active Duty roster of a UPF ship has beaten out literally THOUSANDS of other applicants.  Even the Reserve crews feel privileged.

Spacefleet crews are the prides of their Clans, stoa, companies, countries, and planets.  Many get parades simply for coming home on leave.  Reporters and groupies follow them around like movie or rock stars.  The more densely populated the crewman's planet is, the less of a big deal it is for him to come home.  There are plenty of Spacefleet crewmen from Port Loren, for example.  But a crewman coming home to Scree Fron is a major event!

Spacefleet crews are also closely monitored and protected by Star Law.  Sathar Agents have tried to kill them on their leave times.  As a result, many different precautions, devices, and procedures are used to protect the UPF's most precious asset.  For example, the itinerary of a returning crewman is never given - normally they just "appear" sometime during the day that a parade is given to honor them.  Star Law takes this task of protecting Spacefleet crewmen very seriously.  Most Frontier citizens understand this caution, and adjust accordingly.

Similarly, Spacefleet crew families, stoa, etc. also require a certain amount of protection as well.  Star Law also sees to this.  Star Law will relocate families if necessary, and will also coordinate with local authorities.  For the Yazirians, this can be quite difficult, since most clans often refuse to leave their sacred ancestral lands.  On the other hand, most Yazirian Clans, if forewarned, are more than happy to protect themselves "internally", so to speak.  Other nearby allied Clans will also come to their aid and protection until the threat is neutralized.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 13, 2008 - 6:13pm

Most Ship Crews in Spacefleet fall under six specialties:

The Captain and 1st Officer are always able to Pilot the ship. On all UPF ships larger than an Assault Scout, there is also at least 1 Helmsman. Helmsmen are officers who are in line for promotion to 1st Officer. All UPF ships have at least 2 bridges, and the larger vessels (Light Cruiser and up) have 3. This redundancy is for battle damage, of course. Even during peacetime, the Captain and 1st Officer try to stay apart from one another - it is very important they both of them not get killed.

This is where the Kirks, Picards, Solos, and Rikers live in the UPF, with all of the usual, expected idiosyncracies and leadership qualities. Starship Captains are a special breed, and are treated with the utmost of respect in and out of the UPF. Women faint, boys stand up straight and listen, and politicians beg to get holos with them. They are the superstars of the rock stars - the "A+" list Hollywood celebrities.

Their slang term is "Caps" or "Pils", the latter being somewhat derogatory.

Much unsung, but absolutely vital, are the mysterious introverts who truly run the ships of the Spacefleet: the Engineers. These tend to be an eclectic bunch, annoyed at playing second fiddle all the time to the sexy pilots. Nonetheless, there is not a single Pilot in the Spacefleet that does not have the utmost respect for his Engineering staff. The Chief Engineer is typically equal rank with the 1st Officer, and will actually take command of the ship if the Captain and 1st Officer are incapacitated.

Engineers are famous for knowing every knook and cranny of their ships. They stare at schematic holos of their ships for hours and hours, learning every circuit, chip, hull section and equipment array. They love to stump Pilots with their knowledge, and will often try to embarrass them with questions. However, most Engineers understand why the Pilots get most of the glory, and many of them actually prefer to be out of the limelight.

Often called "Wingnuts" or "Boltheads" or various nerd-related terms.

The specialty with the smallest number of personnel are the Astrogators. They tend to be an introverted bunch, as this position is something of a career dead-end in the Spacefleet. It is possible to be promoted up to a Battleship Astrogator, but most of these personnel wind up transferring to another specialty after training, or out of Spacefleet entirely. Many leave the UPF completely - as Astrogators are always in great demand in the Private Sector.

Often referred to as "Gators".

These elite warriors are the armored fist of the Spacefleet. Seeing that the attrition rate of each class at the Weightless Combat Training Center is at least 40%, these troops are chosen from the finest soldiers in the entire Galaxy.

Unlike the Planetary Ground Forces, all Boarding Party members must be at least Corporals. Most are Sergeants. Every squad of Boarding Party soldiers is led by a senior Sergeant and an officer. This is an unusual military structure for a combat arm, but Boarding Parties are a special breed. Physical fitness and an aggressive attitude are the hallmarks of a Boarding Party warrior. They are also well versed in dozens of weapons, and are comfortable living and fighting in a weightless environment.

Boarding Party warriors tend to be protective of the weaker members of their crew. Some drunks messing with a UPF Astrogator, for example, at a Space Station bar had best be careful. Their faces are quite likely to get pounded by the Astrogator's Boarding Party shipmates.

Boarding Party members also are responsible for internal security onboard ship. They are also trained in the intracacies of interstellar law in regards to cargo inspections and searches, which are a vital part of their role.

The Boarding Party Certification Badge is the most coveted insignia in all of Spacefleet, aside from possibly a Captain's Badge. Any former Boarding Party member can continue to go for recertification and continue to be considered a Boarding Party member. Recertification is a difficult process, however, and requires some effort to continue to maintain. Anyway, many UPF Captains and other officers with Boarding Party backgrounds will continue to recertify, to get the awe and respect of their crew: this method is quite effective.

Boarding Party posting is a favorite among newly minted officers, who seek close combat leading the greatest soldiers in the Galaxy.

Often called "Grunts" or "Hull Cutters". They will often give themselves nicknames which vary from ship to ship.

Similar to Astrogation, this is a specialty that has a high demand outside of the UPF in the Private Sector. As a result, few Communications crewmen make this specialty a career, although some do. Communications crewmen are the most closely watched and protected by Star Law, since they have access to sensitive UPF encryption devices, data, and training.

Referred to as "Comms".

These crewmen tend to be eccentric mavericks. After all, they like to blow stuff up. The process of becoming "one" with a Battle Computer is more an art than a science, and many of these crewmen have very strange habits and superstitions. Their job is to improve the accuracy of weaponry, helping computers hit targets moving thousands of kilometers per hour from thousands of kilometers away.

Often called "Gunners".

While there are mild rivalries among the different specialties, all of these personnel are adept professionals, honed with years of training and experience. Most of them love their jobs so much that they turn down offers with the Private Sector for many thousands of credits more then their normal (and actually quite ample) UPF pay. The SpaceFleet is justifiably proud of this high retention rate, and attribute it to a variety of factors - from patriotism, to opportunities, to leadership.

They are, truly, the best of the best.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
November 28, 2008 - 4:54pm
I was toying with these ranks. Using your like I came up with Starship / Engineering / Astrogation

List of Officers (in order of rank)

Grand Admiral
Star Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Captain of the Line
1st Officer
Chief of the Ship

Chief Engineer

Chief Astrogation

Will's picture
December 4, 2008 - 7:36pm
There's also the rank of Cabin Boy.....

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."

—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
December 4, 2008 - 9:23pm
Will wrote:
There's also the rank of Cabin Boy.....

Yell no boys in this here fleet!