Colonial Fleet (TRS)
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The Colonial Fleet operates in tandem with other branches of the Colonial Forces, like the Colonial Marine Corps, and is augmented by a reserve, of which Lee Adama (CFR) is a member (TRS: "Final Cut"). A government military academy appears to be the primary training faculty and commission source for the fleet's officers. Many characters, including Saul Tigh, Kara Thrace, and Sharon Valerii attended (or claim to have attended) this academy. Moreover, a War College existed for more extensive education, which Lee Adama attended. The training of new recruits was under the Colonial Forces Training Command .
Other identified Fleet installations include the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards, the Caprican Colonial Forces Veteran's Hospital, Ragnar Anchorage, and Armistice Station. The Colonial Fleet was based at Picon Fleet Headquarters.
At the time of the Cylon holocaust, the Colonial Fleet includes approximately 120 battlestars, thousands of smaller vessels, numerous squadrons of Vipers and Raptors assigned to each, and various support ships . The Colonial Fleet also included modified Space Park vessels (although the single Space Park liner in Galactica's civilian Fleet is very likely a civilian liner) .
The Colonial Fleet was regarded by the Cylons to be a decisively superior force in a direct engagement. Therefore, the Cylons returned to a variation of their Cylon War tactics by undermining the Colonial Fleet's CNP to attack ships equipped with the software from within (TRS: "Downloaded").
Battlestars mentioned destroyed in the Cylon attack include Triton, Solaria, Columbia, and Atlantia (Admiral Nagala's flagship). Upon Nagala's death, Commander William Adama of Galactica assumes command of the remains of the Colonial Fleet, ordering them to regroup at Ragnar Anchorage for a counter-attack. However, virtually all capital ships of the Colonial Fleet are destroyed, leaving Commander Adama (after consultation with new President Laura Roslin) to choose retreat from the Cylons, opting instead to protect the surviving members of humanity.
Approximately a year after the Cylon destruction of the Twelve Colonies, the remnants of mankind colonize the world of New Caprica on orders of new President Gaius Baltar. The two remaining battlestars of the Colonial Fleet, Galactica and Pegasus (both manned by skeleton crews), orbit the planet and monitor for Cylon activity. A year after colonization, a Cylon fleet comprised of dozens of basestars finds the settlement. Unable to fight off an invasion of such magnitude, Galactica and Pegasus retreat to safety, leaving most of the civilian fleet under Cylon occupation on the surface of New Caprica (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II").
In the Battle of New Caprica four months later, Galactica is severely damaged while escaping with the liberated civilians. Pegasus, however, is destroyed after taking significant damage and ramming a basestar (TRS: "Exodus, Part II"). Galactica constitutes the only surviving vessel within the Colonial Fleet until it is destroyed (TRS: "Daybreak, Part II").
Limits of Authority
The Colonial Fleet is aware that they are a military force, not a police force. Commander William Adama warns new President Laura Roslin that mixing the two roles can turn the military against its own citizens. Acting commander Saul Tigh ignores this principle when attempting to stop an supply boycott in the civilian Fleet, leading to the deaths of four civilians aboard the Gideon (TRS: "Resistance").
Biological warfare is restricted in the Twelve Colonies, requiring presidential authorization (TRS: "A Measure of Salvation"). However, battlestar commanders have battlefield authority to use nuclear weapons (TRS: "The Eye of Jupiter").
Ships of the Colonial Fleet
Battlestars are the capitol ships of the Colonial Fleet. Introduced prior to the First Cylon War, they operate like an aircraft carrier in space, designed to launch a fighter screen, and then defend against an aggressor.
The Colonial Fleet has employed numerous combat and non-combat support ships to supplement the battlestar capitol ships. These include fleet tenders, escorts, cruisers, fuel tyliers, hospital ships, and various other specialized vessels.
Auxiliary vessels played an important part in the Colonial Fleet, and were pivotal in keeping capitol ships protected during combat. They had a multitude of functions from assault to recon, and no one fleet would survive without them.