In the Star Trek fictional universe, Starfleet is the defense, research, diplomacy, and exploration force of the United Federation of Planets. Starfleet Headquarters is located in San Francisco, California, Earth, Sol System, Sector 001, in the Alpha Quadrant.
Starfleet predates the founding of the Federation by several decades, and was responsible for launching the first Human Warp 5-capable starship, the Enterprise NX-01. It is assumed that the pre-Federation Starfleet later expanded to be the UFP version with a technological collaboration on the part of its members.
Starfleet consists of many branches which make up the organization, namely:
- Starfleet Academy
- Starfleet Engineering Corps
- Starfleet Command
- Starfleet Intelligence
- Starfleet Medical
- Starfleet Security
- Starfleet Tactical
- Starfleet Judge Advocate General
Though Starfleet is comprised of many races, Humans and Vulcan, two of the four founders of the Federation (the other two being the Andorians and the Tellarites), have the most prominent roles in early episodes. As the stories progress into later series, other races such as Bolians, Betazoids, Trills, and others begin to be given central roles.
Starfleet has been shown to handle diplomatic, scientific, and military missions, although their main mandate seems to be one of peaceful exploration. The flagship of Starfleet (and also of the "1st fleet", see Dominion War) is often the starship USS Enterprise.
Most members of Starfleet who handle day-to-day operations are enlisted persons. There are also Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers in leadership positions. Officers typically serve as department heads and as commanders. Most officers are trained at Starfleet Academy San Francisco, California, Earth in a four-year course which trains them in skills such as warp travel and military tactics. Starfleet ranks and insignia are similar to those used by the United States Navy.
In other science fiction universes, starfleet is used as an alternative name for starfaring space navies. The Imperial Navy in Star Wars, for example, is properly called the "Imperial Starfleet". This does not apply to all storylines; the military in Wing Commander, for example, is known simply as the Terran Confederation Navy, while the main military force in Macross is known as the UN Spacy. The term starfleet was also used in several episodes of Doctor Who prior to the creation of Star Trek.
- List of Starfleet ship classes
- Starfleet ranks and insignia
- Comparative Ranks and Insignia of Star Trek
- Department of The Star Fleet Inc. Official Site Homepage
- Dept. of The Star Fleet Development Base Site
- www.cygnus-x1.net The Star Trek LCARS Book / Episode / Blueprints Database Site