Prime Minister Nayrok: Do not relax your security for an instant, Captain. He is extremely violent, and very cunning, as you already know. Jean-Luc Picard: A matter of internal security: the age-old cry of the oppressor. The Hunted [3.11]
Fleetmembers contribute to fleet to build starbase
Fleetmembers contribute to fleet to build shipyard
Fleetmembers contribute to fleet to buy fleetship provisions
Fleet pays you for your contributions in fleetmarks
...You then buy 'permission canisters' (fleetship modules) from cryptic,
You buy fleetship with FM's fleet paid you AND modules purchased from cryptic.
And you start over again to buy fleet weapons for your new ship (minus the modules from cryptic, they already got 20 bucks in zen from you for the fleetship modules)
Nope, you can also buy them on the exchange for energy credits (something around 3.5 to 4 million Energy Credits apiece)
Depending on your EC supply it's something worth considering IMHO.
I usually buy mine on the Exchange since I find it rather easy to get large amounts of ECs just by playing the game.