The Fourth Fleet, colloquially known as Bravo Fleet, is one of the numbered fleets that make up Starfleet. Founded in response to the Borg incursions of 2367 and 2373, the Fourth Fleet has grown over the years to support operations in all four quadrants of the galaxy through its four operational units, Task Forces 9, 38, 72 and 93.
History of the Fleet
A Response to New Threats
For most of its history, Starfleet has responded organically to threats on the borders of the Federation’s expanding territory. In 2367, this status quo was shattered at the Battle of Wolf 359, when they engaged the Borg, a formerly unknown species from the far side of the Delta Quadrant. As opposed to the threats Starfleet faced in the past, the Borg came out of nowhere, had a supreme disinterest in diplomacy, and caught the Alpha Quadrant powers off-guard with technical capabilities generations beyond their own. In response, the Federation Council authorized a number of changes within Starfleet, including the creation the Fourth Fleet. Operating along the Federation and Klingon borders, the Fourth Fleet was chartered to stand vigil against threats from beyond.
While initially created to defend against the Borg, the Fourth Fleet found itself called on at the turn of the decade to deal with another unknown power from far across the galaxy: the Dominion. An interstellar power from the Gamma Quadrant that gained access to the Alpha Quadrant through the Bajoran Wormhole, the Dominion’s expansionist goals quickly came to a head with the Alpha Quadrant powers, and all-out-war began in 2373. Much of the Fourth Fleet redeployed in response, bringing to bear the unique tactical capabilities it had developed over its first half decade of existence. Ships from the Fourth Fleet were pivotal throughout the war, including the offensive to retake Deep Space 9, the Battle of Betazed, the First and Second Battles of Chin’toka, and the final Battle of Cardassia.
With the end of the Dominion War, the Dominion withdrew behind its borders, creating a power vacuum within the space surrounding the Bajoran wormhole’s Gamma Quadrant terminus. In order to address this, the Fourth Fleet has maintained a presence in the Gamma Quadrant ever since the war, its Task Force 9 responsible for safeguarding access through the wormhole and combating forces trying to take advantage of the current instability of the region.
The Raeyan Sector
While much of the Fourth Fleet’s early existence was focused on repelling tactically-superior formerly-unknown threats, it also made several important discoveries, few impacting its future as deeply as the discovery of the Raeyan Sector, a region of space beyond Klingon and Romulan Empires. Rich in resources and teeming with life, the Raeyan Sector became a permanent fixture throughout the Fourth Fleet’s existence, where it made first contact with regional and interstellar powers and established bases, colonies and even a fleet yard.
In many ways, the Raeyan Sector was a warm reminder of Starfleet’s idealistic mandate of exploration in an otherwise dark and war-torn era; however, not everything was smooth going in the Raeyan Sector.
In the late 2370’s, relations turned sour with one of the Raeyan Sector’s interstellar powers, the C’hakilians. Hostilities with the C’hakilians began to heat up in 2377, and, a year later, the C’hakilians launched a massive offensive against Starfleet’s assets in the Raeyan Sector. A combined Federation-Klingon alliance led by the Fourth Fleet eventually retook the sector, but not without great cost. An armistice treaty signed at the end of 2378 officially ended the war, but two years later, meddling by the Romulan Tal Shiar almost upended this peace. Since then, the C’hakilians have been relatively quiet, withdrawn behind their borders struggling with a plague that began the year after the armistice crisis ended. Nonetheless, many who participated in the C’hakilian War are still cautious of the day the C’hakilians return to the interstellar scene.
Another remote interstellar power neighboring the Raeyan Sector, the Krazzle Empire has also on several occasions challenged the Fourth Fleet. In the late 2370’s, they declared war against the Federation, but, following internal strife that led to the dissolution of dynastic rule and the establishment of a Republic in its place, an uneasy calm has existed between the Krazzle and the Fourth Fleet.
The Romulan Empire has also had a long-vested interest in the Raeyan Sector. The Fourth Fleet had a couple tense run ins with the Star Navy during the 2370’s and 2380’s, and the Tal Shiar even went so far as to manipulate a C’hakilian fleet into starting the armistice crisis of 2380. The greatest threat to the Raeyan Sector from the Romulans though would come not of direct intervention but rather of a natural disaster. In 2387, the Hobus star went hypernova, destroying Romulus and Remus and sending the Empire into chaos. It also had an unexpected consequence: it destabilized the subspace portal that gave the Fourth Fleet direct access to the Raeyan Sector. Through difficult diplomacy, the Fourth Fleet negotiated first an easement through Romulan territory and later a Raeyan Transit Corridor between the Romulan and Klingon Empires. This Corridor, while Starfleet’s life line to the Raeyan Sector, has proven to be a point of contention given its position as a buffer between the two rival powers.
Into the Delta Quadrant
Among the many miracles of the Raeyan Sector, one of the most incredible was the discovery of an ancient and massive Iconian Gateway in the Union system that linked it to the F’hoca system in a distant part of the Delta Quadrant. Expanding on its mandate in the Raeyan Sector, the Fourth Fleet established the Delta Exploration Initiative to explore the Delta Quadrant and remain vigilant against the Borg, the very threat the Fourth Fleet had initially been conceived to fight.
Much like the Bajoran wormhole, the gateway into the Delta Quadrant was a hotly contested commodity. In order to address this, the Federation signed a Tripartite Treaty in 2381 with the Romulan and Klingon Empires, granting all three major powers unfettered access to the Delta Quadrant. This unfettered access would not last long though. At the end of 2381, the Borg attacked the Fourth Fleet’s assets on the Delta Quadrant side of the gateway, and two years later, the discovery of the Omega particles near the F’hoca system led to a crisis with the Klingon Empire that ultimately ended in the destruction of the gateway and Starfleet’s access to that part of the Delta Quadrant.
The Delta Quadrant would not remain cut off from the Federation for long though. A year later, Starfleet discovered a transwarp connection to another distant part of the Delta Quadrant known as the Round Table. Well equipped from its past experiences in the Delta Quadrant, the Fourth Fleet’s Task Force 38 was deployed to explore the Round Table. Unfortunately, in the middle of 2388, the Borg attacked the Delta Quadrant terminus of the connection, cutting off Starfleet’s access to the Round Table and stranding the ships and bases of Task Force 38 far from home.
Difficulties on the Borderlands
The Raeyan Sector’s close proximity to the Romulan and Klingon Empires has put the Fourth Fleet on the front lines of negotiations with them for most of its existence. Consequently, as crises have come up with the two neighboring Empires, Starfleet has assigned responsibility for managing many of them to the Fourth Fleet.
In 2379, following Shinzon’s coup d’état of the Romulan Empire and his attack on Federation space, the Fourth Fleet’s Task Force 93 took up headquarters on Deep Space 6, orbiting an experimental Romulan-Federation shared colony. Through much negotiation over the intervening eight years, tensions with the Empire backed down to the point that the Neutral Zone’s width was even reduced in size. The Hobus hypernova of 2387 changed all of this. In its wake, the Fourth Fleet responded by deploying its assets into Romulan territory to support evacuations, provide humanitarian aide, and maintain order at the behest of the Romulan Empire; however, the abnormally close proximity eventually created a crisis that compelled the Empire to order the Federation out of its space and close its borders. Since then, little has been heard from the Romulan Empire, which has withdrawn behind its borders to deal with the internal difficulties caused by the destruction of its former seat of power.
Klingon relations with the Federation were mostly positive in the decade following the Dominion War, going so far as to even see the expansion of an officer exchange program between Starfleet and the Klingon Defense Force. However, this has changed in recent years. The 2384 discovery of Omega particles on the other side of the Union portal in the Raeyan Sector led to an all-out battle between the two powers, and, in the aftermath, the Treaty of Union severely restricted the Klingon Empire’s rights to Federation space, resources and technology. The relationship was further tested following the Hobus hypernova, when the Fourth Fleet found itself forced to push back incursions by rogue Klingon houses into Romulan space. With the creation of the Raeyan Transit Corridor, this responsibility became even more firm as the Fourth Fleet found itself managing an area that served not only as its lifeline to the Raeyan Sector but also as a buffer zone for the Romulan Empire against Klingon aggression. A number of rogue houses within the Klingon Empire, resentful of the Treaty of Union and frustrated with the fact Starfleet is serving as a buffer against the Romulan Empire, have begun to seek out new ways to upend what they view as Starfleet’s overreach.
In safeguarding the Federation’s beta quadrant interests, the Fourth Fleet is also responsible for the Federation border with the Gorn Hegemony, a militant power that has long contested the Federation’s right to several border worlds. In 2379, this led to an all-out war between the Gorn and the Federation, ending only with the complete defeat of the Gorn all the way back to their homeworld. Almost nothing was heard from the Gorn again until 2388, when a massive Gorn armada flooded across the border, attacking and capturing a swath of borderland colonies before Starfleet could respond. Memories of heavy casualties from the last Gorn war still fresh in the minds of many, and the Gorn advance seemingly paused following their annexation of Cestus and Canterra, Task Force 93 is responsible for re-enforcing the new border with the Gorn Occupied Territories while trying to find a solution to reclaim its colonies and citizens. Rumors also run abound that several rogue Klingon houses may have been involved.
The Cardassian War Drum
Cardassians have rebuilt – contested a region of space with the Romulans called the Gavarain Corridor that Starfleet operated in for a while – still contest that, and now have invaded the Breen
A bit about the Tzenkethi, Talarians, Ferengi and Breen – Valoris nebula – Inconnu Expanse