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Galactica (BS 75) is a veteran battlestar and the last of her kind still in service with the Colonial Fleet at the time of the destruction of the Twelve Colonies. Built during the early days of the Cylon War, she remains the only military vessel without integrated computer networks. Without networked computers, Galactica never upgrades to the new integrated defense system software developed by Dr. Gaius Baltar and his team. Because of this and other factors, she becomes one of only two known battlestars (the other being Pegasus) to survive the renewed Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies. At the time of this attack, she was part of the 75th Battlestar Group (BSG-75).
Construction and First War Service
These battlestars were all designed with non-integrated computer systems to avoid the Cylons' demonstrated ability to override or subvert networked command and control systems early in the war (TRS: "Miniseries, Night 1"). Rather than technological sophistication, the battlestar depended on its sheer bulk and defensive / offensive capabilities to ward off any threats to itself or the Colonies.
Entering service sometime prior to the tenth year of the War, Galactica's primary duties included planetary defense, and border patrol. It is unknown if the ship took part in any major engagement prior to this point, however it is known that the Colonials were facing heavy losses in the wake of Cylon advancements. Galactica did not participate in the Ghost Fleet Offensive.
Two years later Galactica took part in Operation Raptor Talon, along with Columbia and one other battlestar of her class. She was successful in inflicting major damage to Cylon forces, but not before they were able to destroy Columbia. The battle ended in a draw, when it was announced the Cylons had signed an armistice agreement.
Modern Service and Decommissioning
Post War Service
Even before the end of the War, Galactica undergoes a refit that sees the removal of much of her armor, removal of the Viper stacks, and many of her primary batteries. Changes to the layout of the CIC, hangar decks and infirmary are delivered at this point as well (TRS: "Razor Flashbacks").  This would be Galactica 's last major refit prior to her decommissioning nearly 40 years later. Galactica never receives the networked computer or Baltar's CNP upgrades like her sister ships do.
Following the armistice, the Galactica is regulated to intra-system duties, and has been known to take on "Coast Guard" roles involving the shipping sector. Having been stuck intra-system, the Galactica performs limited FTL jumps, and hasn't performed one for at least 20 years prior to the attacks on the Colonies. This has XO Saul Tigh on edge, when Adama calls for a jump to Ragnar Anchorage (TRS: "Miniseries").
With her active career drawing to a close, a decision was taken to retire Galactica and decommission her from service. The Colonial Fleet chose not to scrap her, but to turn her into a combination of living museum to the original Cylon War and an educational center, with her conversion being overseen by her final commander, William Adama.
At the time of her formal decommissioning ceremony, Galactica is stripped of all but one of her operational Viper Mark VII squadrons, her munitions are destroyed, and her starboard landing pod is converted into a pressurized museum which houses various items left over from the First War, including a Cylon Centrurion's armor, a vintage Viper, Landram, a scale model of a Cylon basestar, and a squadron of Mk. II Vipers that were restored to working order after they are needed to fend off attacking Cylon raiders after their sneak attack against Colonial Forces (TRS: "Miniseries, Night 1"). After fleeing the Colonies, Galactica's museum is essentially forgotten and destroyed.
Return of the Cylons
With the renewed and unexpected Cylon hostilities, Galactica is quickly brought back to combat condition and sorties several Mark IIs retrieved from her museum, engaging in her first battle with the Cylons in over 40 years (all but one last Mark VII squadron were sent to Caprica for reassignment). She survives a direct hit by a tactical nuclear missile, and later jumps successfully to Ragnar Anchorage to replenish her empty ammunition stores at this strategic depot.
Galactica emerges from the anchorage and engages one basestar with her gun batteries, providing cover for a fleet of 75 civilian ships harboring survivors of the Twelve Colonies. Once the entire civilian fleet successfully jumps away, and as a second basestar approaches to join the battle, Galactica recovers her remaining Vipers and jumps to the rendezvous point beyond the Red Line, never to return to Colonial space (TRS: "Miniseries").
Leading a Ragtag Fleet
Since the exodus of the Colonials from their overrun homeworlds, Galactica becomes both protector and provider for the Fleet. She provides covering fire for the Fleet during Cylon attacks no fewer than 240 times (TRS: "33": "Act of Contrition"). The battlestar provides much of the Fleet with recycled water (TRS: "Water") and she is the primary source of medical care, where groups of civilians are periodically brought aboard for check-ups and treatment (TRS: "Litmus"). Galactica also undertakes internal policing duties within the Fleet (TRS: "Water"; "Bastille Day").
The advanced battlestar Pegasus, commanded by Admiral Cain, joins Galactica approximately 6 months into their exile (See the series timeline for special information about this milestone). The two battlestars destroy two basestars as well as a critical Cylon support ship known as the Resurrection Ship. After Admiral Cain's death, President Roslin promotes William Adama to Admiral, restoring him to overall Fleet command, but now with two battlestars at his disposal (TRS: "Resurrection Ship, Part II").
Following the founding of New Caprica, Galactica is assigned to the orbital defense force that protects the planet. During this time the majority of her crew are allowed to the surface in an effort to populate the planet and restore the human race, a majority of whom are seemingly convinced that the Cylons will never find New Caprica. The diminished crew inevitably results in standard maintenance becoming overlooked or ignored; basic military responses, such as the launching of alert fighters and routine training exercises become difficult to execute. One year following the founding of New Caprica, a fleet of Cylon ships jump into orbit of the planet. Severely limited in their abilities, Admiral Adama orders the defense fleet to jump away from New Caprica along with a handful of civilian ships still in orbit of the colony. They vow to eventually return to New Caprica and liberate it from the Cylon invaders (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II").
Battle of New Caprica
Four months after their escape, Galactica's staff is still in the process of developing a rescue strategy with 16 training exercises having been completed and a 17th underway when an accident causes its early cessation (TRS: "Occupation"). This forces both a change in strategy and the reformulation of a rescue plan to deal with personnel who have not seen conflict in 16 months. While Galactica fights to liberate the Colonials on-planet, Pegasus is assigned to protect the remaining civilian Fleet and continue its search for Earth (TRS: "Precipice"; "Exodus, Part I").
After coordinating with the New Caprica Resistance, Galactica leaves Pegasus to guard the space-bound members of humanity while it uses a series of drones to misdirect the bulk of the Cylon Raiders and avoid immediate detection by baseships, thus allowing the civilians on the planet to escape to their ships and flee New Caprica.
Galactica then jumps into low orbit, plummeting from an altitude of 100,000 feet. As the ship falls, Admiral Adama orders the launch of all remaining Vipers. Galactica then jumps back into orbit. In the subsequent battle with the orbiting basestars, Galactica is overtaxed, out-gunned, and faces destruction when Pegasus unexpectedly arrives. Pegasus's salvos draw the attention of the basestars away from Galactica, buying Galactica time to bring her FTL drives back on-line and escape, but at the cost of Pegasus's destruction (TRS: "Exodus, Part II").
Galactica bears the scars of the battle with significant scorching and dents to the hull. Nonetheless, the battlestar remains combat ready, holding off a superior Cylon force for a short duration in the Battle of NCD2539 (TRS: "A Measure of Salvation"), and threatening to use its nuclear arsenal twice after New Caprica (TRS: "The Eye of Jupiter"; "Crossroads, Part II"). Given the loss of Pegasus, Galactica now boasts a larger crew, Viper and Raptor complement, to the point where there are more pilots than there are ships to fly (TRS: "Torn"), although the training of new recruits is still ongoing (TRS: "Dirty Hands"; "Crossroads, Part II"; "He That Believeth in Me"). Further, there are various redundancies between the two crews that are appropriately dealt with (e.g. Lee Adama in a deleted scene from "Exodus, Part II").
Colonel Tigh comments that Galactica took so much damage in this battle that it would "take six weeks in dry dock just to bang out the dents" (TRS: "A Day in the Life"). This indicates that the damage is extensive enough to require a significant amount time (probably months) for full repair, and would be unlikely to survive a massive battle again.
Resuming the Search for Earth
Galactica takes aboard a significant quantity of civilians following the exodus from New Caprica, as several civilian ships are lost during the escape from the failed colony. Cramped conditions increase as crew and civilians struggle to adapt to life back aboard a ship. The civilians reside on the refurbished starboard hangar deck as a refugee camp nicknamed "Camp Oil Slick" and later "Dogsville" (TRS: "Torn"; "The Woman King").
During a food shortage crisis caused by contamination of the Fleet's food processing systems, Galactica (along with her Raptors acting as pilot ships) guides the civilian Fleet through an area of intense heat, light and radiation caused by a dense star cluster to reach edible resources on the algae planet. Galactica's heavy armor and radiation shielding protect her from the intense effects of the cluster, but the ship still suffers hull damage and decompressions.
The ship confronts a Cylon fleet and barely escapes a nova during the events over the algae planet, jumping out at the last moment after recovering its ground teams and additional data on a way-point to Earth known to the Colonials as the Ionian nebula ("The Eye of Jupiter", "Rapture"). Repairs continue on the journey to the Ionian nebula. Damage to one particular airlock nearly causes the deaths of Galen and Cally Tyrol during what they expected to be a quick repair of a hull micro-fracture (A Day in the Life).
When the Fleet reaches the nebula, four Cylon baseships are detected following an unexplained power outage. With the entire Fleet crippled and unable to escape, Galactica scrambles her Vipers and prepares for a lopsided fight, outnumbered and outgunned (Crossroads, Part II). During the following battle, Galactica manages to hold off the main attack of the massive Cylon attack force. Despite the damage suffered in previous engagements, the old warship wields her main guns and point defense batteries effectively again in defense of the Fleet. During the battle Galactica takes many hits while covering the Fleet, with one of her dorsal gun batteries being destroyed. Despite having the advantage, and managing to destroy or damage several civilian ships, the Cylons retreat in the middle of the battle, after detecting one of the Final Five among the Colonials (He That Believeth in Me).
Galactica is once forced to prepare for a battle against the rebel Cylon basestar, but the Demetrius arrives to defuse the situation. In the wake of the basestar disappearing from the Fleet (Guess What's Coming to Dinner?), Saul Tigh assumes command of Galactica, jumping along with the Fleet (Sine Qua Non).
After Kara Thrace picks up a strange signal in her Viper, the Colonials have a direct bearing towards Earth. Shortly later, after three years of searching, Galactica and her Fleet finally make the last jump to Earth (Revelations).
After discovering Earth is a nuclear wasteland, discipline and morale on Galactica fall dramatically and the overall cleanliness of the ship suffers, e.g. outside CIC, the words "Frak Earth" are spray-painted on the walls (Sometimes a Great Notion). When former deck chief Galen Tyrol disables the FTL drive, foiling the mutineers' escape with the ship, he discovers multiple tears in the chamber's walls, a sign that the aging battlestar's structural integrity is faltering (Blood on the Scales).
A structural survey of the ship finds several torn supports and weakened areas in the hull, and a more in-depth examination finds endemic metal fatigue throughout the ship, with virtually every part of the hull riddled with small cracks and fissures.
Galactica's advanced age, the corners cut during construction and the abuse it has been put through since the war started contributed to its condition. Tyrol suggests treating the damaged parts of the ship with an organic Cylon resin from the Rebel Baseship, which would fill the cracks and bear the stresses, which Adama at first refuses. However, Adama finally appreciates Galactica's dire condition when he finds a tear in a bulkhead in his quarters, and orders Tyrol to carry out his plan to repair the ship (No Exit). Tyrol later says that the resin will buy more time but the ship's integrity has been fundamentally weakened and it might not survive more FTL jumps- it is impossible to say how long she can hold. Galactica is dying of old age and accumulated battle damage.
Later Galactica is damaged even further when Boomer jumps away very close to the hull. The resulting spatial distortion of her Raptor's FTL jump causes what appears to be buckling and explosive decompression in several sections of the alligator head of Galactica on her port side (Someone to Watch Over Me). This causes a chain reaction of explosions, structural failures and power outages throughout many parts of the ship including CIC.
At first refusing to accept the reality of the ship's fate, Admiral Adama gives the emotionally painful order to stop the repairs and begin the process of abandoning ship, moving to the Rebel Baseship as the Fleet's new flagship (Islanded In a Stream of Stars).
As the ship is slowly offloaded of parts and personnel, the Admiral relents one last time, stops the scrapping of the battlestar, and calls for volunteers for what will likely be a Galactica's final mission- to get the kidnapped Hera back from Cavil's Cylon colony (Daybreak, Part I).
Endgame: Battle of The Colony
With a skeleton crew and a frail battlestar, Admiral Adama executes a daring mission to rescue Hera Agathon.
Galactica jumps to the Colony at point-blank range. Besieged by the Colony's gun batteries at first, the ship is pummeled relentlessly (destroying the dorsal Colonial roundel) until the Hybrid Anders manages to take them and the Colony's Hybrids offline. As Galactica's Vipers engage incoming Raiders, her Raptors jump directly from their berth in the starboard flight pod (causing extensive damage to it) and maneuver to board the Colony.
Adama does the unbelievable: he rams Galactica's bow into the Colony, forming not only a second breech for his search teams to enter, but also forming an alternate escape route.
The rescue is successful thanks to Boomer's help (before Athena kills her), but Galactica is far from safe. The Raiders are still attacking the ship, destroying at least one of its remaining heavy gun batteries. The rescue teams are pursued back to Galactica by Cavil and his troops, determined to recapture Hera. Platoons of enemy Centurions swarm into the ship. Cavil personally leads an attack on CIC but is foiled.
Things appear to settle down after Cavil and Adama call a ceasefire. Cavil agrees to let Galactica leave with Hera in exchange for the information needed to bring back resurrection technology. Part of the deal is that Cavil will leave humanity alone forever as well. The Raiders return to the Colony, while the Vipers return to Galactica. However, as the Final Five begin to download their knowledge into the Colony, they are exposed to each other's secrets, and Galen Tyrol learns that Tory Foster murdered his wife Cally Tyrol (The Ties That Bind). Tyrol flies into a rage and kills Foster, severing the download. Chaos ensues and the ceasefire ends. The Raiders renew their attack on the ship. In CIC the Simon, Doral and Cavil there open fire but Apollo and Starbuck kill Doral and Simon while Cavil, realizing the hopelessness of the situation, kills himself.
Meanwhile Racetrack's Raptor, drifting in space after all aboard were killed, is hit by a stray asteroid, causing the Raptor to launch its nuclear missiles into the Colony. The Colony's orbit immediately decays, pulling it into the black hole--threatening to take Galactica with it. But Kara Thrace jumps the ship, using coordinates she had extrapolated from The Music at the last second.
The ship does not retract its flight pods as Kara Thrace executes the emergency jump; this, as well as the cumulative stresses of the previous battle and the past four years turn out to be the death knell for the old battlestar. Galactica experiences a series of fatal structural failures that send shockwaves and fractures rippling through the ship. The hull visibly flexes and twists, so much so that sections of the ship explosively decompress and blow out and entire pieces of the hull begin to shear off. While the Cylon organic resin applied earlier prevents Galactica from snapping in two, the ship permanently loses its FTL ability as its structure has been all but destroyed (Colonel Tigh mentions red-lines through the ship's lateral structural members, and groaning and buckling can be heard throughout the ship, indicating Galactica's framework is damaged beyond repair, and the resin is the only thing keeping the ship from ripping itself apart from the stress). However, despite the loss of FTL, Galactica's other systems are still online, including life support and sublight propulsion. The fear of being stranded in space due to the inability to jump is short-lived as Galactica arrives in the vicinity of a lush, blue-green habitable world, already populated by tribes of primitive humans who naturally evolved there.
The population of the Fleet, arriving later, agree to leave their technology behind and start new lives on the planet they decide to call "Earth". The Rebel Cylons also decide to stay on the planet. With this decision, the Rebel Baseship is left to the Centurions, who leave to seek out their own destiny. Anders, still acting as Galactica's Hybrid, brings the legendary battlestar's adventures to a close as he pilots Galactica and the last ships in the Fleet into the Sun, destroying Galactica and her Fleet. Admiral Adama is the last person to leave the ship, departing in his Viper Mk II from his service in the Cylon War.
Early in the flight of the Fleet, Galactica carried "40 Vipers and 21 pilots" (Act of Contrition) , of which at least six were Mark VIIs. Following the advent of Pegasus, Galactica receives supplies that aid in the repair and refurbishment of her initial fighter complement (Pegasus). Some time later, new Mark VII Vipers are constructed at Pegasuss' Viper construction facilities utilizing the raw ore mined in an asteroid belt (Scar), and several of those are assigned to Galactica.
The number of Raptors available to Galactica is portrayed inconsistently. The assumption prior to joining up with Pegasus is that the battlestar has at least five Raptors, having left Ragnar Anchorage with at least eight. After the Battle of New Caprica, Galactica takes on Pegasus's Raptors. The subsequent number of available craft is unknown, but is at least 40-50, considering how many Raptors are deployed to rescue to the resistance fighters on Caprica (TRS: "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II") and still have enough to move people from ship to ship through out the Fleet.
Galactica has five nuclear warheads as of "Bastille Day". Commander Adama uses one warhead to destroy the Cylon basestar orbiting Kobol (Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II), and Dr. Baltar cannibalizes one to use in his Cylon detector. He later gives the warhead to Gina Inviere, who detonates it aboard Cloud Nine.
It is unknown how many nuclear warheads Pegasus has when it encounters Galactica, but the two ships pool their nuclear ordnance stockpiles after that. As of "The Eye of Jupiter", Galactica possesses at least seven warheads (missile tubes 4 through 10).
Before the attack, Galactica has approximately 2,900 crewmen. By the time of the arrival of Pegasus, attrition has reduced this number to about 2,660. (c.f. Crew tally) It is unknown whether the Colonial Marines account for members or not.