Prior to 2161, Starfleet was the primary space defense and exploration organisation of United Earth in the early-to-mid 22nd century. The primary authority of Starfleet was referred to as either Starfleet Command or the United Earth Space Probe Agency (UESPA), and was located in the city of San Francisco, Earth.
One of the primary projects of Starfleet was to develop a viable and fast interstellar engine that would allow Earth to practically cross vast distances in reasonably short time. Despite some allegations of interference – or at least, a refusal of assistance – from the Vulcans, Earth had made notable progress in developing the warp five engine by the 2150s.
With the formation of the Federation in 2161, as per the Federation Charter, Starfleet and the deep-space exploratory and military services of the other member worlds were folded into the authority of the Federation.
Until as late as the 2290s, some Starfleet operations continued to fall at least partly under the jurisdiction of UESPA. By the mid-24th century, however, Starfleet operations were regulated solely by Starfleet Command, answering to the Federation President and the Federation Council.
From the Federation Charter:
- There is established a Star Fleet as the armed peace-keeping forces of the United Federation of Planets. It shall initially be comprised of contingents assigned to it by members of the United Federation under Article 43 until such time as facilities, recruitment, and training obviates the necessity of drawing upon the armament of any member, except as provided in Article 49;
- The operations and actions of Star Fleet shall at all times be under the direct cognizance of the Federation Council and the Military Staff Committee which shall also prepare and approve the budget for Star Fleet operations;
- Initial expenditure is authorized under these Articles of Federation for the establishment of a Star Fleet Headquarters and two starbases to be equitably located within the boundary of the United Federation of Planets and outside of any possible conflict with the territorial boundaries of any member of the United Federation. The Federation Council shall review and approve such other expansions of starbases and other facilities as shall seem appropriate from time to time in the maintenance of interplanetary peace and security;
- Initial expenditure is also granted under these Articles of Federation for the establishment of a Star Fleet Academy for the purpose of training officers and personnel for Star Fleet duty. The standards for training such officers and personnel shall be determined by the Military Staff Committee and approved by the Federation Council;
- Initial expenditure is granted under these Articles of Federation for the design, procurement, and operation of fourteen (14) heavy cruiser type of starships to provide the nucleus of Star Fleet’s peace-keeping armed forces. These cruisers shall be capable of extended duration patrol of intra-galactic range, with weaponry appropriate to such class of starships. They shall be provided with fire-power superior to that now employed by any member of the United Federation, and appropriate to the tasks expected of them;
- Expenditure is also granted under these Articles of Federation for the procurement and construction of such lesser classes of space forces as shall be required to support Star Fleet operations and the heavy cruiser class of starships. These may be, but not necessarily limited to, types such as scouts, destroyers, transports, re-supply, shuttlecraft, and survey ships;
- The training of base personnel and ship complements shall include all fields of science and technology as well as the military arts in Star Fleet. It is the intent of these Articles of Federation that Star Fleet shall be used to conduct missions of scientific exploration and investigation within the treaty exploration territory whenever its services are not required in the maintenance of interplanetary peace and security;
- Star Fleet headquarters and the Federation Council shall be at all times kept informed of the activities undertaken, or contemplated, for the scientific exploration and investigation of the treaty exploration territory. Any ship so employed shall be detached from military fleet duty and re-assigned as a non-military scientific unit of the United Federation.
Provides general strategic direction for Starfleet in terms of resource (personnel and supplies) allocation, exploration, political considerations (with direction from Federation Council), intelligence, judicial administration, and the overall security of the Federation. Communicates with the personnel on starships, starbases, and other Starfleet fixed installations, and works closely with the other divisions, for the relaying of Federation and Command division orders for tactical execution.
Formulates the general strategic planning for fleet deployments, starship missions, and fixed installation operations for all of Starfleet. It routinely organizes task forces and assigns flag officers (or senior personnel with specialized skills) to handle recent developments. The agency’s role is of greater importance in times of crisis, such as threats to the security of the Federation.
Starfleet Mission Operations
Formerly Starfleet Control, SMO is in charge of facilitating and relaying mission orders from Strategic Operations to the appropriate Starfleet entities, as well as maintaining open lines of communications for status reports and other enquiries. It is rarely referred to by name in common practice, as it is considered an intricate part of the Starfleet Command reporting structure.
Starfleet Exploratory Division
This division replaced the United Earth Space Probe Agency by the 24th century in the capacity of coordinating all exploration missions and projects to ensure such resources are optimally deployed to meet the demands of other Starfleet agencies. Starships under long-term missions of exploration and smaller automated spacecraft like deep space probes fall under the SED’s purview, but short-term exploration missions can be disrupted by authority of Strategic Operations in dire circumstances.
Every organisation has to take care of its personnel-related matters. Additionally, all general requests for information and non-military communications filter through the agency for proper processing and delivery. Administration is also highly regarded for their ability to schedule and organize the hundreds of subspace-communicated conferences, meetings, and training sessions for Starfleet personnel. Also in charge of the management of Starfleet Headquarters.
- Administrative Operations: This agency specifically deals with facilitating communications between Starfleet departments, agencies, and divisions. Also the content of the Starfleet Officer’s Manual.
- Logistical Support: Found at Starfleet Headquarters and in other installations across Starfleet, LS is a specialised office/department of Starfleet Administration that provides first-line technical support to Starfleet personnel for equipment malfunctions and other technology-related devices. Draws personnel from Ops.
- Personnel Deployment: PD is the lead agency in the execution of individual and mass personnel movement orders by coordinating with SMO to arrange the necessary transportation and accommodation along the way, such as aboard transport vessels. Related service record updates and compliance to alien policies, such as those restricting the transport of fruit and vegetable into a star system are also handled by this department.
- Starfleet OSHC: All personnel are entitled to the best safety and health that Starfleet can provide, and the Occupational Safety and Health Command exists to ensure that any such concerns are dealt with in a swift and satisfactory manner.
- Starfleet Bureau of Information: Responsible for the public face of Starfleet to member worlds of the Federation, and for internal news and dissemination of same.
Judge Advocate General
Serving as the judicial level of the Starfleet organisational structure, the JAG is responsible for the application and interpretation of Starfleet regulations to its military personnel.
Office of the Inspector General
Headed by the Inspector General, the Office has the authority to conduct investigations into suspected misconduct of Starfleet officers that contradict the legal and ethical foundations that Starfleet is based. Possibly working with Federation Security, the Office can bring criminal charges to the attention of JAG for appropriate prosecution, such as a hearing or court martial.
Responsible for gathering and analysing information concerning neighboring powers in the galaxy, and for carrying out covert investigations regarding possible threats to the Federation.
- Department of Internal Affairs: Ensuring there are no spies in the Federation.
Education of new recruits, both future officers and enlisted personnel. Has multiple campuses and training locations across the Federation. Operates post-graduate entities like Starfleet Medical Academy, Advanced Tactical Training, and Starfleet Command School, and other facilities like the Starfleet Technical Services Academy.
- Starfleet Training Command: Administration of certain training facilities and programs within the Academy’s authority.
The “Operations” departments in other Starfleet divisions are closely related to Starfleet Operations, and an officer with operations training and skills can often be found working in these other divisions to provide immediate technical support. Starfleet installations across the Federation may house a central office for this division in Fleet Operations Centers to coordinate their efforts effectively and efficiency.
Starfleet Operational Support Services
For starbases, outposts, research stations, Federation colonies, and planets. Works closely with Division of Planetary Operations and Colony Operations.
Fleet Supply Office
Co-ordinating the supply of essential services and equipment for starship operations.
Starfleet Shipyards Operations
Overseeing the day-to-day operations of orbiting and stationary shipyards, working with Starfleet Mission Operations to coordinate significant repairs, refits, and mothballing of Federation spacecraft. The building of most spacecraft is overseen by the civilian organization Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems in cooperation with the various military branches of Starfleet.
Starfleet Orbital Operations
Handles the maintenance of orbiting installations of planets other than shipyards, such as communication satellites and planetary weather control systems.
- Planetary defense systems: A specialised group within SOO to handle planetary defenses around Federation planets.
Sometimes referred to as Tactical Command, Tactical Operations, or simply TacFleet, Tactical that is responsible for weapons development as well as the planning and implementation of defensive strategies and operations.
The branch of Starfleet responsible for safeguarding the Federation from outside threats, and for conducting criminal investigations.
Starfleet Corp of Marines
The primary role of the Marines within the fleet is to maintain a well armed offensive & defensive force for rapid deployment anywhere within Federation and outlying space. The SFMC is an autonomous branch of Starfleet , falling under the jurisdiction of the Starfleet Commander-in-Chief, but not under the auspices of Starfleet itself.
Starfleet Corps of Engineers
The Starfleet Corps of Engineers (also known as Starfleet Engineering or Starfleet Engineering Corps) isa Starfleet division that deals with specialised engineering problems.
- Engineering Operations
- Starfleet Advanced Technologies
- Starfleet Research and Development
- Warp Technologies Development Group
- Starfleet Communications
Also known as Science Ops or Office of Science Ops; responsible for collecting and analyzing scientific data.
Starfleet Science Operations
Manages the Starfleet Medical Database and publishes the Starfleet Medical Journal.
Advanced Starship Design Bureau
The ASDB is a body of Starfleet that designs starships and conducts research, design reviews and systems simulations. ASDB’s integration facilities are located at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards and McKinley Station.
Starfleet Stellar Imaging
Also known as the Stellar Imaging Division, this division is responsible for providing starships with advanced imaging and stellar mapping.
A department of Starfleet dedicated to biological research and treatment of personnel. Based out of San Francisco on Earth, Starfleet Medical oversees all Starfleet medical personnel and facilities.