IC/OOC: 16th Fleet Personnel Shortage

Editorial taken from a Federation News Network Article by Mai Kranann, Staff Writer

As part of our continuing series exploring life for the citizens of the United Federation of Planets, today we are taking a look at a serious issue that affects every citizen: a growing shortage of personnel in Starfleet.

Since the Federation was founded in 2161 Starfleet has served the important role of peacekeeping and humanitarian armada within the galaxy. While many have compared it to being the official military of the Federation, its purpose is more far reaching. These people have the distinction of seeking out strange new worlds and boldly go where none have gone before. As industrious as this may sound, with the growing challenges facing the Federation more and more are turning away from a life among the stars.

No where has the personnel shortage been more widely felt than in the Federation’s 16th Fleet. Like all members of Starfleet, the 16th Fleet's duties are primarily exploratory in nature; however, this fleet’s mission is to rapidly respond to diplomatic and emergency missions in all four quadrants of the galaxy. With the growing Klingon Conflict, Romulan/Vulcan reunification, and our recent forays into the distant Gamma and Delta Quadrants the missions of the 16th Fleet have grown both in complexity and in danger.

“For everything we’ve been through we’re doing rather well,” interim 16th Fleet Director Admiral Preh th’Zalin told me while we were meeting in his office aboard the Starship Venture. “The problem is that we’ve lost so many people recently that we're having trouble crewing our ships. We have ships that require over a thousand souls aboard being launched under skeleton crews. Life in Starfleet is dangerous, we all understand that, but it's also one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in my life. It's a life that I want to share with others and I feel our adventures are just beginning.”

I can relate. As I toured the recently refitted Starship Venture with the Admiral I was amazed to find a Galaxy Class vessel so empty. When I served aboard one during the Dominion War it was alive with personnel – so much so that you could barely walk outside of a crowd – today entire decks are unpowered. It's eerily quiet especially when you're aboard a ship that's been rated for family life to see dim hallways and darkened portholes.

There is light at the end of the tunnel though. “We’re spending a lot of time now evaluating where we’ve been and what needs to be done moving forward,” th’Zalin explained. “Crew rotations are being looked at, criteria for Department Head promotions, and even qualifications for command are being reviewed to keep Starfleet and the 16th Fleet on the front lines of a strong Federation and a peaceful galaxy.”

Starfleet Command has launched a recent recruiting drive looking for the next generation of Starfleet personnel. For anyone who thinks they have what it takes to help build a stronger galaxy I implore you to visit your nearest recruitment office to take your place amongst the stars.

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