{…from time to time I step outside of the standard blog and into one of my franchise worlds. I bring you an excerpt from The Commonwealth Encyclopedia, the definitive guide to the history of the 57th century… artwork credit Lucas Green @lucas.art.green}

Lucas Green – featured Artist

The Commonwealth Navy

One of the major branches of the Commonwealth of Colonized Systems, The Commonwealth Navy was the very first incarnation of The Commonwealth to be established.

The Commonwealth was Founded in -622cc (2012nc in the old neo calendara system) as a military alliance between the free colonized worlds of Geo Dominicus I, Delta Iona Meridian, and Ultima Thule Alpha to counter the economic and military might of planet Earth’s Kingdom of Heaven. Geo Dominicus had just repelled an attempted Kingdom invasion, but saw their military severly depleted by the effort. At the time the Kingdom of Heaven controlled three star systems outside of Earth; Terra Novia, Trappist Danghara and Perseus Marisol, meaning they had three star systems resources to rely on rather than each free colonies one. The Kingdom had a  history of launching invasions and offensives against the individual colonies, trying tirelessly to return them to Kingdom control. Each time Earth came with great fleets, and while they were repelled in nearly every instance, the cost in resources,productivity and Human lives of defending the colony worlds hobbled the independent governments.

After Geo Dominicus I repelled (barely) the Kingdom’s 10th Armored Fleet in -623cc they were left nearly defenseless. Knowing that the Kingdom could mount a new campaign within a year, while it would take Geo Dominicus at least ten times that to replenish their supplies and resources, the Prime Minister of Geo Dominicus I, Pasha Kincaid, (-673cc – -565cc) offered a deal to the other independent worlds. Put simply Pasha proposed a defence compact between the three star systems. Geo Dominicus possessed the shipyards and manufacturing facilities while materials would be sourced from the extensive mining reserves on Delta Iona Meridian and the agricultural regions on Ultima Thule Alpha. While the politics of the three star systems were still wide apart, the need to mutual defence was an easy sell. No more would one star system watch a Kingdom offensive smash against another’s shores, hoping they wouldn’t be next. Now resources could be pooled and directed across all three worlds for mutual benefit. The Commonwealth Navy was born in a joint political proclamation in -622cc, and fought its first war in -620cc, successfully annihilating a Kingdom invasion fleet bound for Ultima Thule Beta (‘The First Great Colonial War’). Ships from Meridian and Alpha joined the remains of the Geo Dominicus I fleet to create a naval force that outmatched the Kingdom fleet 2:1. Historical myth says that Kingdom Star Marshall John Thomas committed suicide on the bridge of his flagship The Flame Of Truman when he saw the Commonwealth Navy lined up ahead of his forces, a sight completely unexpected based on the evaulations of the Ultima Thule system alone.

Success in The First Great Colonial War was swift and decisive, and set the course for the next 17 centuries of the colonized worlds. Today The Commonwealth Navy has a presence in all 16 Commonwealth star systems and permission to operate in independent sytems Draco Leonis and Perseus Marisol (Perseus Marisol was liberated from Kingdom control and became independent after the Second Great Colonial War; -490cc – 475cc) It’s fleet of tens of thousands of ships protect shipping and travel starlanes, serve as a peacekeeping force in troubled areas on the fringe worlds, and most importantly stands as the first, best line of defence against aggressive actions by the Kingdom of Heaven and other non-aligned forces.

Today The Commonwealth Navy is the most powerful symbol of The Commonwealth across known space. Naval starships are found around most worlds, colonies and outposts. They serve as a reminder of the forces of justice and order that have kept The Commonwealth the efficient, functioning socialist edifice it has been for the past 17 centuries. The Navy has participated in countless wars with the Kingdom of Heaven, as well as conflicts with rogue fringe outposts, separatist pirates and organized agitators. It also serves as a kind of ‘galactic community’ for those who enlist, as it reaches all corners of The Commonwealth and touches the lives of every citizen. All new recruits are taught Algin, the universal battle-language utilized in the Navy to supercede the thousands of local languages and dialects that come from all across The Commonwealth. 18 rote is the age for application to military training academies and combat schools. There are too many select divisions to list here, but the Navy offers education and employment in hundreds of different fields, talents and skills. This includes enlistment in the Naval Infantry. The Naval Infantry are the units of foot-soldiers kept at ready by Naval forces either in garrison bases or on board military vessels. The Commonwealth itself does not have any ‘army’ as such (Individual star systems and worlds construct ‘armies’ if they need them, as they see fit) however it does maintain the Naval Infantry for situations where a large force is needed to be deployed planetside quickly. The Naval Infantry saw spectucular losses during the eight decades that were The Last Colonial War.

The Navy employs more than 40% of citizens who work for The Commonwealth itself across its various units, threads and services. The Navy itself consists of the Naval Force comprised of all vessels with the designations:

  • SSCN (StarShip of the Commonwealth Navy – all vessels equipped with a Nul-Drive capable of making a Fall) All non-civilian vessels registered to the Navy are considered ‘Starships’ if they can make a Fall.
  • CNC (Commonwealth Naval Craft – all military vessels without the capability of making a Fall [Note: all Naval Bolo’s carry the CNC designation as well, despite being essentially Nul-Drive’s with cockpits – this reflects their purpose providing Nul-Drive power and Fall access to other CNC non-Nul-Drive equipped craft] This encompasses all transports, maintennance vehicles, starfighters and other support craft.
  • CNCS (Commonwealth Naval Capital Ship) Capital Ships are a special designation inside the Commonwealth Navy. Where as most ‘starships’ are produced in batches of multiples from uniform design plans en masse, Captial Ships are each designed and constructed as unique, individual one-off vessels. They are usually larger and more powerful than other comparable vessels, and are revered as flagships and banner carriers for the Navy around expored space.
  • MMC (Merchant Marines of the Commonwealth) Designation appropriated to vessels who serve the Merchant Marines arm of The Commonwealth Navy. Their duty is the protection of Commonwealth shipping, goods, ships and crews within star systems. None of these vessels typcially have a Nul-Drive.

The Commonwealth Navy was intended to replace the need for individual star systems to construct their own defensive fleets. Some rare star systems like Quingdao Palakkad and Halliwell Foxtrot still chose to maintain their own separate naval forces, but these are in the minority. Most systems pay for the Naval services out of their taxes to The Commonwealth, with most of the costs defrayed and spread out across sixteen contributor governments. This means that defence of The Commonwealth is largely centralized in the Naval command structure. There are rarely any regional commanders making large scale defence decisions, these duties fall to strategic defence executives in the Naval hierarchy who are able to act without approval or confirmation from The Commonwealth Parliament. It is sometimes argued that The Commonwealth Naval command structure operates outside the controls of The Commonwealth Parliament as a rogue agency, directing Commonwealth policy through the application of power free from citizen supervision. The claims are not inherently wrong, as decisions inside The Commonwealth Parliament can take months if not years to be approved, and military decisions typically need to be made in a much shorter time frame. Like all other official activities of the Commonwealth, military command decisions are evaluated and audited after the fact, and instances where actions have been taken that do not hold an inherent benefit for The Commonwealth and its citizens are logged, reviewed and revised as needed. The Naval command and control structure is subject to the same ‘tri-audit-review’ process as the rest of The Commonwealth authorities are.

The Navy today is in a much better position that it was thirty years ago during the closing time of The Last Colonial War. Fighting a war against The Market on eight fronts, against multiple coordinated enemies,across most of explored space stretched the Navy to its limits. If not for ‘The Thornley Campaigns’ and ‘The Great Push’ The Commonwealth may not be standing today, replaced by the authoratirian profiteering of the corrupt Market. All citizens of The Commonwealth have the Navy to thank for their freedom to live, work, and do as they please.