- "One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done."
- — Marie Curie
The USS Invincible (NCC-88777) is the prototype of the Invincible-class Federation Fleet Carrier-Heavy Battleship hybrid in the late 24th century. The Invincible was launched from the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards in 2384, along with most of the starships that now comprise the Vanguard Fleet, and was commissioned in 2385.
In 2384 Captain Chakotay was asked to take a one year sabbatical from his command assignment onboard the USS Voyager by Fleet Admiral Leonard James Akaar who personally asked this of him. He had been singularly chosen by Starfleet Command, on recommendations from Rear Admiral Kathryn Janeway, to head the shakedown cruise of the newly launched Invincible-class Fleet Carrier-Heavy Battleship prototype USS Invincible.
The shakedown cruise took six months to complete. It was shorter than the usual, but considering the prevailing situation in the Alpha Quadrant, Starfleet Command wanted the prototype and all newly launched capital starships to be commissioned and fully operational as soon as possible.
Also on hand in the shakedown cruise was Captain Charles Otieno, a seasoned and well-decorated tactical fighter pilot. While it was Chakotay's task to test the space-worthiness of the starship, it was Otieno’ responsibility that the Tactical Fighter Group embarked on the Invincible was as ready as the mothership, down to the last specs.
In 2385, the Invincible was immediately assigned to serve as the flagship of the Vanguard Fleet and of its lead unit, Task Force Invincible. As such, she leads sixty-eight (68) combat-oriented starships during task force formations. Outside of task force formations, she is always accompanied by a permanently attached escort complement of one Akira-class heavy cruiser, one Prometheus-class assault cruiser, one Intrepid-class Scout, two Steamrunner-class Light Cruisers, and two Saber-class Frigates.
Task Force Shakedown CruiseEdit
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.
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 beyond 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 rogue factions of the Founders and the Hirogen and have been amassing a large fleet as its first wave, with plans to send it towards the Alpha Quadrant in a few months. 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.
His first action as CO of the Invincible was to choose his XO. Acknowledging their exceptional work during the vessel's six-month shakedown cruise and during the task force's one-month shakedown cruise, Picard offered the position of ship's Executive Officer to Captain Chakotay and the position of Tactical Fighter Group CAG to Captain Charles Otieno, respectively. Both readily accepted.
- Rear Admiral (upper grade) Jean-Luc Picard - Commanding officer
- Rear Admiral (lower grade) Chakotay - Executive officer
- Captain Stareck - Second officer
- Captain Charles Otieno - Third Officer / CAG
- Captain Beverly Crusher - Chief medical officer
- Commander Valtor Grad - Chief Operations Officer
- Commander Rexar of Kojarra - Chief Tactical Officer
- Commander Zak Kebron - Chief Security Officer
- Commander Burgoyne 172 - Chief engineer
- Commander T'Lenn - Chief Science Officer
- Commander Valdor - Chief counselor / Chief Diplomatic Officer
- Commander Julian Bashir, MD - First Assistant chief medical officer
- Lieutenant Commander Thomas Paris - Chief Conn Officer
- Lieutenant Commander Mark McHenry - Chief Navigation Officer
- Lieutenant Commander B'Elanna Torres - Assistant chief engineer
- Lieutenant Commander Gen - Assistant chief engineer
- Lieutenant Commander Robin Lefler - Assistant chief engineer
- Lieutenant Commander Reginald Barclay - Assistant chief engineer
- Lieutenant Commander Selar, MD - Second Assistant chief medical officer
- Master Chief Petty Officer Annika "Seven of Nine" Hansen - Mission specialist