The 73rd Fleet is a standing Fleet in the Virgo Sector, currently home based at Sechler (Virgo 1218). It's had many different missions over it's long history and has a reputation for being highly trained, well equipped, and with personnel of high morale and willing to support and defend the Empire. The fleet is highly selective of it's admirals, and even moderately good officers have been known to be put to shore or moved to other independent units within the Sector. The fleet tries to promote from within first, generally finding mid-career officers who have shown some spark of competence that is being sought by fleet administration at the time. The fleet's current composition consists of 10 Dreadnoughts, 20 Battleships, 15 Fleet Carriers as the major fleet combatants. These may be (and usually are) split off into independent units of Task Group or Task Force size depending on the mission requirements. In addition to these major ships, the combatant ships include battle cruisers, heavy cruisers, fleet cruisers, frigates, and destroyers. Support ships in the fleet include numerous fleet couriers (high speed, lightly armed message carrying vessels), ammunition and fuel carriers, report ships, personnel and equipment carriers for Army and Marine units, and medical ships. Each of the major fleet combatants serve as the flag ship of the unit that is created around it and as such, each of these ships has the equipment and space to support a fully manned Task Force or Task Group staff. For units organized as squadrons or flotillas, dedicated ships provide space to man the staffs assigned. Generally one Dreadnought, two Battleships, and one Fleet Carrier will be laid up for overhaul and repair on a schedule basis and not available if the fleet is rallied as a whole. In addition, one Dreadnought, two Battleships, and two Fleet Carriers are assigned to as training ships along with a full complement of support vessels, for wargames, training exercises, and fleet indoctrination. The training ships are organized as a Task Force under the command of an Admiral.
A fleet's manpower is defined by the ships assigned to it and the support structure required to ensure it's operational readiness. Although each fleet also nominally has a home port, a class A starport with depot level maintenance available to support the ships of the fleet, in practice, most fleets will find help in any other fleet's port when in need or even for normal maintenance if it has been deployed too far from home.
The 73rd Fleet is centered around the twenty battleships and ten fleet carriers along with the scores of support ships for a fighting unit of this size. Escort carriers, troop transports, cruiser and destroyer squadrons, fleet express messenger boats, along with a host of ammunition, fueling, and repair ships make a numbered fleet an independent fighting unit able to conquer parts of a subsector or hold major portions of a subsector.
A fleet is commanded by a Fleet Admiral. While it has a nominal command and staff structure at this level, in practice it hardly ever functions as a complete unit. The realities of space travel and the huge distances involved usually means that smaller independent units, formed on an ad hoc basis, will operate in different areas assigned while maintaining communications and operational through fleet message boats. These units may be either task forces or task groups which will be given specific missions while the fleet is deployed.
A fleet will generally be assigned an operational area no larger than a SubSector and more usually a portion of a SubSector. Subordinate units will be assigned missions within the fleets assigned area of operation.
Unless the full fleet has been assigned an operational mission, portions of the fleet will be in training exercises at any one time. This will consist of both individual, small, and large unit tactics. A general rule of thumb is that a task force sized unit is dispatched from the main fleet for training at any one time.
Imperial units are staffed through Imperial Navy Recruiting stations located on most worlds with ship traffic. Recruits are sent for training and then will join an operational unit either passing through during a fleet crew replacement phase or while under way or through ship replacement operations.
The 73rd has a rich history starting from it's humble beginnings as Task Force 3.7, a hastily formed unit from Third Fleet to break off and conduct offensive operations against a flanking attack during the third Cluster War. It performed so well that the Emperor promoted the Task Force Commander and created the 73rd Fleet from the surviving units. Since then, the 73rd has been a constant force in the Sector, sometimes fighting in far off wars in different parts of the Cluster, but always coming home, regrouping, rebuilding, and continuing it's legacy of service.
The 73rd Fleet has traditionally been based at sec . Throughout it's three hundred year history, it has been deployed in each of the four surrounding sectors at least once, although no further. It originally stood up at wes but has been based at Sechler for more than 250 years. The 73rd has always been directly loyal to the current Duke of Westholm. It is one of the two Imperial Fleets permanently deployed in the Westholm SubSector.
Overall training Level