|11 Reference Article 1: Ship Operations and Officers [OOC]
|This article is for use as reference by anyone who wishes to write fan fiction. Its purpose is to help provide some consistency and background to those who want it. Use of this article as information is not mandatory, and information in this article may be subject to change without prior notification.
Starship command and operations for Humans and K’Luth both stem from each species long naval histories. This has evolved into the current command and operations system present on starship.
Human ships operate off of a 24-hour clock. This clock is divided into four watches of six hours each. All crew are assigned to one of these watches. Each crew fills six hours of station duty, four hours of non-watch duty which is used for any ship specific duties that do not require them at their station (such as checking duty rosters, tertiary maintenance duties should there be any, paperwork, broadening skills through study, personal training exercises, etc), three hours are set aside for meals and other breaks, and three hours for personal activity. Meals and breaks are generally taken at regular periods, and are scheduled with the department watch commander. All activities that take place during non-personal hours must be cleared with the department watch commander.
K’Luth ships are very similar in function, but operate off of a 30 hour clock, with five watches of six hours each. They only posses one hour of personal activity time, which is generally given over to religious rituals. They have six hours of non-watch duty, half of which is typically devoted to combat training.
Efforts are taken to insure that there is a relatively even distribution of talented officers and crew across all watches, as emergencies are generally not accommodating enough to schedule their presence ahead of time.
During normal operations, no changes are made in the functioning of the watch system.
Alert operations require that the primary command staff (highest ranking officers in each department, and ship’s commander) take duty stations. All crew are to be ready for possible duty, but only the regular watch crew is to be on station. It is generally accepted that under alert operations, crew should make sure they could be called up for duty at a moment’s notice. In other words, sleep with your boots on. K’Luth refer to this status as Pal’Naur, which translates roughly to the stance that a warrior would take when preparing for battle.
General Quarters are sounded when combat is imminent. All crew are to report to combat stations, with the primary command staff being on duty. This status is to only be called in cases of active combat; otherwise alert status is to be assumed to keep crew relatively fresh. K’Luth call this level as Pal’Racheck, which roughly translates into the taking of a stance by a warrior when battle commences.
Unexpected situations generally call for Alert status if the bridge staff feels that there is the possibility of damage to the ship or it’s crew, but no imminent threat is detected.
Any situation where combat is immediately imminent, or the ship has suffered or will suffer damage in the near future, require a call to General Quarters.
Here is a list of Human officers typically found on a starship. The ICC and UGTO have yet to develop a different command structure, though this is likely to some degree in the future. Officers are generally equal to or less than the rank of the ship’s Commanding Officer, though subordinate officers possessing a higher rank than the Commanding Officer is not unheard of. Generally, only the Commanding Officer will move beyond captain rank and still be an active member of a ship’s staff. Other department officers that move beyond captain are generally assigned desk jobs at important locations suited to their specialties. It is not unusual for a Commanding Officer or a department officer (with permission from the commanding officer) to refuse transfers and promotions that would require them to change ships.
Commanding Officer (CO): Generally, though not necessarily, the highest ranking officer on a ship. Has absolute authority over the functioning of a vessel, and ultimate responsibility for the actions of his ship and crew.
Executive Officer (XO): This is the right hand of the CO. The XO oversees all bureaucratic duties on board the ship (authorizing duty rosters, overseeing crew transfers, handling day to day personnel issues of running the starship). Additionally, all orders from the XO are to be considered as if they had been issued directly by the CO, and can generally not be counter manned except by a direct order from the CO.
Helm Officer (Helm): The Helm Officer is responsible for piloting the starship in sub light. This officer is also directly responsible for all other Helm operators, and their training. A keen ability to picture three dimensional movement and location is a must for this position, as well as the ability to foresee the location of all objects in space based on their vector. This station is responsible for all combat maneuvering of the vessel.
Navigational Officer (Nav): The Navigational Officer is responsible for all ship maneuvers that take place in faster than light speeds. Additionally, this department is responsible for the tracking of all stellar objects in the vicinity, and the plotting of all courses beyond 2000gu. Any changes or anomalies in the stellar cartography of the area are to be tracked and cataloged by this department. Nav works very closely with Helm for maneuvering in areas of space near stellar objects, and Intel for long range scans.
Intelligence Officer (Intel): The Intelligence Officer is responsible for analyzing all sensor data that is collected. This includes compositional analysis, identification, threat analysis, tracking, disposition of objects, and calibration of the sensor equipment. Intel is also responsible for providing it’s recommendation to the shift command officer in regards to activity involving unknown factors and dynamics in a situation. Intel is also responsible for creating and maintaining communications channels.
Engineering Officer (Chief Engineer): The Engineering Officer is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and general functioning of the starship. The Chief Engineer’s staff performs all system modifications, after approval by the XO or CO. The Chief Engineer must make sure repair crews function efficiently, and sees to the prioritizing of repairs in the event of damage, unless overridden by the XO or CO.
Weapons Officer (Weap): The Weapons Officer sees to the coordination and training of crews that man any ship to ship weapons, as well as seeing to the calibration of targeting systems, the creation of fire profiles, the maintenance of weapons, and monitoring the ammunition stores of the ship to ship weapons. Weap is also responsible for recommending target priorities based on weapon strength and tactical considerations, and the tracking and guidance of any space to surface weaponry.
Flight Officer (Flight): The Flight Officer is responsible for the functioning and maintenance of all fighter craft on board a starship. In addition, Flight insures proper training of all fighter pilots and approves mission profiles. In combat situations, Flight may take direct control over the coordination of pilot tactics, though this is usually left in the control of active wing commanders in battle at the time. Finally, the Flight Officer makes sure that the ship’s fighter complement is well stocked with ammunition and fuel. Note: Maintenance of launch equipment falls under the command of the Chief Engineer, not the Flight Officer.
Troop Operations (GroOps): Troop Operations officer is actually not a naval officer at all. This station is held by an army officer, no less than Colonel rank and usually not more than Major General rank. GroOps oversees all troop landings, all boarding operations, and is also responsible for ship security in the event of a boarding by hostile forces. In the event that the ship is boarded, the GroOps officer controls all authority over internal security. Naval personnel are to cooperate with Army personnel in the defense of the starship, so long as doing so does not endanger the ship further. During boarding operations and planetary landings, the GroOps officer will generally coordinate activity of their troops from their starship. If support fire is required from surface actions, the GroOps may order such weapons fire from the Weapons Officer so long as space superiority has been established. Otherwise, all such requests must go through the XO or CO, who will decide if the situation allows for the change of tactics.
The K’Luth have similar command positions, though with generally different names:
Commanding Officer: Tar’Esh (First Voice)
Executive Officer: Set’Esh (Second Voice)
Helm Officer: Pak’Ratal (roughly translates to “Blood Dancer”, in reference to maneuvering during melee combat)
Navigational Officer: Tsak’Jital (Star Gazer, or Head Astronomer)
Intelligence Officer: Oolarith (roughly translates to “see before the move”, in reference to reading an enemy’s body language to see what they will do next)
Engineering Officer: Keresh’Meran (Master Builder)
Weapons Officer: Ullaran’Mal’Thak (Chief weapon keeper) Note: This is generally a position of high honor on a K’Luth ship. Commanding Officers who have served the K’Luth well often retire to the position of Ullaran’Mal’Thak to serve out the remainder of their lives.
Flight Officer: This position does not yet exist within the K’Luth command structure. It is only recently in their history that they have found a need for possible large-scale fighter control, due to battles with Humanity. It is unknown as to whether they will choose to pursue the large scale us of fighter craft at this time.
Troop Officer: Kol’Meran (Troop Master) Note: This position has traditionally be a rather vague one. Some times the Tar’Esh will fill it’s role, other times another K’Luth will be chosen to fill this position. Traditionally, no assignment to this task is permanent. Assignment to this position is considered a high honor, and is traditionally used to reward warriors who serve their ship well. However, in recent history the K’Luth have become mired in increasing numbers of long term and large-scale planetary invasions and defenses. This has prompted some ship commanders to assign a permanent Kol’Meran to their ship’s staff. It is unknown if this will be a permanent change. Regardless, the Kol’Meran is not from a separate branch of the military, like the Human Troop Operations Officer, as the K’Luth only have one branch of their military.
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