Apparently the new foundry reward rules have spawned a new kind of mission.
You go into the map, a bunch of weak enemies keep spawning being engaged by a powerful friendly NPC.
The friendly NPC is not in any real danger to lose, and takes care of all the weak enemies.
So the player can go afk and do other stuff while "earning" free dilithium and fleet marks.
It is certainly better than one click missions and afking in STFs and PvP maps, but it still is borderline cheating/exploiting the system.
At least it consumes time for the player without screwing over other players... I guess that'S something.