(covers information from Vanguard universe)
this article was thought of and created by Maximus
|Task Force Invincible|
| USS Invincible,|
flagship of Task Force Invincible
| Station Frontier,|
headquarters of Task Force Invincible
The mainstay unit of Vanguard Command is Task Force Invincible. It is the largest permanent task force formation in all of Starfleet and is commanded by the best starship commander of his time, Rear Admiral Jean-Luc Picard. He is ably seconded by some of the very best and brightest starship captains and starship officers ever gathered under one unit.
History and formation
When Vanguard Command was to be formed, Fleet Admiral Maximus Hunter was in a dilemma on who should lead and man what was intended to become the foremost task force of the Vanguard Fleet, Task Force Invincible. Only one name came to mind when it came to abilities, experience and savvy – Jean-Luc Picard. But Picard was at that time most contented and already quite busy as commanding officer of the USS Enterprise-E and its small battle group. Hunter knew that it would be next to impossible to pry Picard out of the Enterprise-E. For all intents and purposes, there was no need at all for Picard to relinquish such a prestigious and fulfilling post.
So Hunter devised a plan that would somehow make Picard think twice about rejecting the offer of commanding Task Force Invincible and the USS Invincible herself. Since Task Force Enterprise had been placed under Vanguard Command as its exploratory unit, Hunter gave all the crews of the task force a one-month shore leave on Station Frontier, with the exception of Picard and a few of his senior officers and staff who had already been eyed for transfer to the Invincible with him. On the pretext that Task Force Invincible urgently needed a thirty-day shakedown cruise as a unit, Hunter assigned this responsibility to Picard. And Picard was indeed overwhelmed by what he had initially seen.
Onboard as observers of the shakedown cruise were some of the most famous captains of Starfleet alive: Benjamin Sisko, James Kirk, William Riker, Elizabeth Shelby, Kathryn Janeway, Mackenzie Calhoun, Kira Nerys and other prospects for command positions in Vanguard Command.
Picard was impressed by the collection of highly reputable officers of Starfleet who had been called in to comprise the shakedown crew of the USS Invincible. He was surprised that Captains Chakotay and Stareck and Lieutenant Commander Tom Paris had each accepted downgrades to the positions of First officer, Second officer, and Conn officer, respectively. And he was also mildly shocked to see a permanently “powered-down” Mark McHenry returning to Starfleet and serving as his Navigation Officer.
Among Picard’s many amusing experiences with the task force was witnessing the readiness, efficiency and sense of humanity of each of the twenty-six Emergency Holographic Complement of the ship during drills. Taking a cue from the USS Voyager’s experience with the Mark-I EMH, and witnessing first hand the amazing growth of the late Commander Data under his leadership in the USS Enterprise-E, Picard gave the entire Emergency Holographic Complement regular rotations like any other crew member, with scheduled downtimes and power-downs.
With Master Chief Petty Officer Annika “Seven of Nine” Hansen onboard, Picard readily placed her in charge of the ship’s Astrometrics Lab, in addition to her regular bridge duties as a Mission Specialist. Hansen had previously enlisted in Starfleet after her tenure as an adviser to the Federation President and had undergone a barrage of tests to quickly rise and gain the "noncom" rank of MCPO.
Hunter did not make the command offer to Picard outright during the shakedown cruise. Instead, on the third week of that cruise, the task force was made to utilize the quantum slipstream drive to travel through the terminus of the Beta Quadrant and perform a quick reconnaissance well inside the Delta Quadrant. He had recently received intelligence reports that the Borg had merged with roque factions of the Founders and the Hirogen and have been amassing a large fleet as its first wave, with plans to send it on its way towards the Alpha Quadrant in a few months using transwarp technology. Hunter had anticipated that Picard would come face to face with this new threat and would be forced to make a critical decision when the offer to command the task force was given.
It was at this point when Hunter formally offered permanent command of the task force to Picard, highlighting the fact that the USS Enterprise-E and own its task force cannot stand a chance against this new threat and that there was no one else of his caliber that Starfleet could give command of Task Force Invincible to without risking the destruction of the Federation.
Understanding the wisdom of Hunter's words, Picard accepted the offer. To keep the tradition alive, the USS Enterprise-E was designated as Hunter’s flagship in Vanguard Command, in concurrent capacity as Starfleet’s peace-time flagship.
Picard was promptly promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. Captain Beverly Crusher was likewise given command of the Hope-class Medical Cruiser USS Provider, but on a detached basis, as she assumed the post of Chief Medical Officer of the USS Invincible. Commander Lance McCoy, a grand nephew of Admiral Leonard McCoy, being Executive Officer of the Provider, would command when Crusher was off ship. Captain Morgan Bateson and the Sovereign-class Battle Cruiser USS Atlas were the last additions to Task Force Invincible. Picard was humbled by the fact that Captain Bateson wished his ship to be attached to the task force.
Task force complement
Task Force Invincible is composed of 68 combat-oriented Federation starships:
- One Invincible-class Command Fleet Carrier-Battleship, the USS Invincible
- Two Sovereign-class Battle Cruisers
- Two Rhode Island-class Battle Cruisers
- Three Luna-class Heavy Cruisers
- Three Nebula-class Heavy Cruisers
- Three Akira-class Heavy Cruisers
- Three Prometheus-class Assault Cruisers
- Seven Intrepid-class Light Cruisers
- Seven Norway-class Medium Cruisers
- Seven Steamrunner-class Medium Cruisers
- Twenty Saber-class Fast Frigates
- Ten Defiant-class Tactical Frigates
Task Force Invincible has Station Frontier as its headquarters.
The starships of Task Force Invincible are regularly deployed out of Station Frontier for three-month missions to any point beyond the "Frontier" borders. After each three-month mission, they return to base for at least two weeks to allow its crews time for shore leave and for needed repairs, resupplies, refits and upgrades to the starships.
Before deployment, Admiral Picard had drilled the officers and crew of the entire task force on tactical movements that were specifically designed by Admiral Hunter for high alert scenarios.
In each formation type, the starships were trained to follow a series of defensive patterns when engaged in combat that would allow the ships of each formation to augment each other’s firepower while at the same time strengthening each other’s shields.
At Condition Green, the task force is divided into permanent squadrons of three starships composed of one lead ship and two escort ships. The task force has 20 squadrons in all, excluding one Rhode Island-class Battle Cruiser and the seven Steamrunner-class Medium Cruisers. Each squadron were to undertake missions of exploration and diplomacy for a duration of 3 months, taking a circuitous route across one or more sectors, starting from and ending at the task force's home port. After each three-month mission, it returns to base for at least two weeks to allow its crews time for shore leave and for needed repairs, resupplies, refits and upgrades to the starships.
While one escort ship augments the research and exploration abilities of the lead ship, the other escort ship augments the combat abilities of the lead ship if they are engaged in battle.
At Condition Yellow, the task force is reformed into five mission groups, which still primarily undertake missions of exploration and diplomacy when Vanguard Command is on high alert, or when a particular mission group is traveling across more hostile sectors. To easily form these mission groups, squadrons under each mission group operate in sectors that are near each other. Each mission group is composed of 12 starships. Each mission group operate separately but in close coordination with one another.
- Mission Group Alpha is led by the USS Invincible
- Mission Group Bravo is led by the first Sovereign-class Battle Cruiser of the task force
- Mission Group Charlie is led by the second Sovereign-class Battle Cruiser of the task force
- Mission Group Delta is led by the first Rhode Island-class Battle Cruiser
- Mission Group Echo is led by the first Luna-class Heavy Cruiser
In situations where there is a need to deploy a group of starships larger than a squadron but the security situation in the area does not merit a declaration of Condition Yellow, Admiral Picard deploys the Rhode Island-class Battle Cruiser and the seven Steamrunner-class Medium Cruisers as a battle group to the situation. Together, they are called “The Wolf Pack.” The Wolf Pack is only formed for short a duration. Once their mission has been concluded, the seven ships return to their solo missions patrolling Alliance territory.
At Condition Red-1, the task force is reformed into only two strike groups and operate specifically to undertake tactical missions in defense of Station Frontier.
The second Rhode Island-class Battle Cruiser of the task force remains detached and does not appear until its part in the battle plan takes place.
During Condition Red-2 the whole 68-ship task force operates as one unit with the sole purpose of engaging an enemy fleet in battle.
The whole task force is also gathered as one unit during scheduled visits to the six field divisions of Vanguard Command. During these times, Fleet Admiral Maximus Hunter travels with the task force and is the ranking flag officer onboard the USS Invincible. While Hunter is onboard, Task Force Ticonderoga, his personal 5-ship task force, joins Task Force Invincible during these missions.
Although only the USS Invincible is the only starship in the task force with a Quantum Slipstream Drive, because of the size of the slipstream tunnel produced by the flagship, the rest of the task force could travel with it at slipstream speed in tight formation.