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Join Date: Dec 2007
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INTERSTELLAR INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC STUDIES*
The leading authority on interstellar security: facts, analysis, influence



REPORT
on
STARFLEET SECTION "DETACHED DUTY"
GHOST ISR UNIT
**




Contents (Part One)
INTRODUCTION
ORIGINS
ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIVES

Contents (Part Two)
MISSION OVERVIEW
MISSION PROFILES



* The IISS, based in Geneva, Switzerland, Earth, is an independent, non-government organization and the leading authority on political-military conflict in the United Federation of Planets. It has offices on all major Federation homeworlds.
** Summary of the entry in The Balance of Power - United Federation of Planets military forces at the turn of the 25th century. First edition IISS, Geneva, 2399.
For the full text, consult the 4th revised edition, vol. III, 2409, pp. 1745-1773.
For a definition of the terms "covert" and "clandestine", see note under Part Two.




INTRODUCTION

Starfleet Section "Detached Duty" is the unofficial designation of an unofficial and unconfirmed specialized covert Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) special operations unit possibly operating under the auspices of Starfleet Command. Such a unit has been rumoured to exist since the Dominion War in the 2370's, when indications of its activities became evident. In all probability it has existed for a longer period of time. The designation Detached Duty commonly used is due to the fact that operatives can only conduct their covert/clandestine operations while on detached duty. The true designation of such a unit, should it exist, is unknown, as is its command structure and composition. The following is a tentative analysis by IISS of this unofficial unit, based on extant and unexplained evidence, but also to some degree on conjecture and unconfirmed rumours.

NOTE: Starfleet Command denies the existence of such a unit. It is possible that the unit known commonly in military circles as Detached Duty is a small, rogue squadron operating outside Starfleet Command influence. Due to the very nature of such a unit, this analysis is bound to be inaccurate and flawed. While IISS believes the following to be the first and most accurate possible description of Detached Duty yet published and thus available to the general public, the Institute cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions, and misstatements herein.



ORIGINS

Detached Duty may have originated as a squadron of Vice Admiral William Ross' 7th Tactical Wing based at Starbase 375 in the early months of the Dominion War[1]. In the late spring of 2374, intelligence reported the Dominion had suffered several attacks against their extreme range sensor arrays that could only have been performed by an elite ISR unit. However, Starfleet Command denied having sponsored these attacks.
Similar incidents during that conflict support the claim that an unofficial, covert ISR unit was operating deep inside enemy-controlled sector space in violation of Starfleet and Klingon Defense Force military doctrine at the time. Several long-range attacks against Dominion ketracel-white storage depots and convoys deep inside Dominion-controlled space, where conventional fleets would have little or no chance of success, are another example. The Tal Shiar has been able to confirm that several similar deep-strike attacks by an unknown force against Dominion assets took place during the war. Against this evidence, Starfleet Command and the Klingon Defense Force have repeatedly denied having conducted such operations anywhere but near the war front[2].
In addition, military studies have suggested that a number of operations during the Dominion War presuppose the existence of an extreme measures ISR unit with capabilities beyond those of conventional Starfleet or Klingon Defense Force units. Such operations include the hazardous pre-hostilities covert area investigation of the Dominion shipyards at Torros III in 2373[3] and the intelligence preparation of the battlespace at the Chin'toka system prior to the First Battle of Chin'toka in 2374[4], among several notable cases. All this evidence strongly suggests the existence of a unit with the characteristics of Detached Duty.

However, others theorize that such a unit already existed during the Cardassian War in the 2350's or originated at that time. One argument in support of this theory is that there is little probability that the ghost unit designated as Detached Duty could have achieved the degree of success it enjoyed during the Dominion War without years of training and some degree of battlefield experience. Supporters of this theory usually claim this ghost unit would have been deployed in clandestine peacetime operations after the Cardassian War in order to maintain its battle preparedness. The proponents of this theory usually connect such a ghost unit to the activities of Captain ― later Rear Admiral ― Eric Pressman, who in 2358 conducted illegal interphase cloaking device tests aboard the USS Pegasus in direct violation of the Treaty of Algeron[5]. Captains Benjamin Maxwell[6] and Edward Jellico[7] are also often included in tentative lists of possible members of a clandestine Starfleet unit operating during the Cardassian War. This theory further proposes that Detached Duty still is employed by Starfleet today to conduct illegal or clandestine military research and development (R&D) in friendly and/or hostile space.
While such interpretations suggest that a an unofficial ghost unit exists under the auspices of Starfleet Command, other analysts point out that such a unit could very well exist as an autonomous group totally outside the influence of Starfleet Command, obeying only its own hierarchy or some internal code or set of rules.

[1] That is, before Captain Bennet was promoted and given command of the unit in early 2374 [DS9 "Behind the Lines"]
[2] With the exception of Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax' destruction of the sensor array at the Argolis Cluster in 2374 (DS9 "Behind the Lines") and General Martok's attack on Trelka V in 2375 [DS9 "Once More Unto the Breach"]
[3] [DS9 "Call to Arms"]
[4] [DS9 "Tears of the Prophets"]
[5] [TNG "The Pegasus"]
[6] [TNG "The Wounded"]
[7] [TNG "Chain of Command I & II"]


ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIVES

Nothing is known about the command structure and operatives of the unit commonly designated as Detached Duty. Almost certainly the unit has no physical headquarters or base of operations. However, a few conjectures can be made about its organization. Starfleet Intelligence has for a long time been observing patterns of long-range inter-fleet communication which strongly indicate the existence of several informal but closely organized groupings within Starfleet. The characteristics of such groupings differ: the number of vessels involved seem to go from nearly twenty to just a handful. Analyses of assignment patterns corroborate this theory. Many factors seem to indicate that the vast majority of these unofficial groupings existing within Starfleet are to be compared to university fraternities or similar "brotherhoods" ― for example, most members appear to have been colleagues at Starfleet Academy, and are almost exactly the same age and rank. However, Starfleet Intelligence analysts monitoring encrypted subspace carrier wave communications between vessels assigned to detached duty have identified patterns that cannot be so easily explained.
While some of the larger informal groupings within Starfleet may have a pyramidal or hierarchical command structure, most such groupings in practice appear to have a horizontal command structure, indicating equality of the respective members in group decisions, or near-horizontal, with a single leader and perhaps an adjunct leader functioning merely as coordinator(s), since most informal groupings within Starfleet seem to be nothing but a restricted social club and are not seen as conducting any form of autonomous military activity.
A ghost unit conducting clandestine operations such as Detached Duty, however, may well have a strong hierarchical structure, with an all-powerful leader (possibly forming a duo with an "advisor"), an adjunct leader, section leaders and agents. It is also possible, however, that Detached Duty could have a horizontal command structure, decisions being reached by consensus, or even a clandestine cell structure ― often favoured by covert units and terrorist organizations ― with leaders possibly functioning also as a sleeper cell. Theories on this point remain highly speculative.



END OF PART ONE
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
.
.
INTERSTELLAR INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC STUDIES*
The leading authority on interstellar security: facts, analysis, influence



REPORT
on
STARFLEET SECTION "DETACHED DUTY"
GHOST ISR UNIT
**




Contents (Part Two)
MISSION OVERVIEW
MISSION PROFILES




MISSION OVERVIEW

All evidence indicates that Detached Duty is able to conduct a variety of covert/clandestine operations in enemy space. The precise nature of such operations remains unknown. In the past, the ghost ISR unit seems to have conducted mainly area investigation/ intelligence preparation of the battlespace (IPB) missions and deep strike special operations involving the application of force. Other roles could include high-priority covert/clandestine search and rescue (SAR) in hostile space; object recovery in hostile space; arms control treaty monitoring in hostile space; and, as stated earlier, support of military research and development (R&D) in hostile space.

The following is a tentative listing of mission types the ghost ISR unit with extreme measures capability known in military and intelligence circles as Detached Duty is assumed to be able to conduct. Whether this happens under orders from Starfleet Command or not is at present open to debate. Some of these missions could be directly related to greater/impending hostilities in the case that it involved application of force. Others, in contrast, could relate to peacetime and wartime intelligence and information-gathering activities. Most missions are assumed to be conducted in enemy space, whether clandestinely in peacetime or covertly in wartime. However, due to the very nature of this unit it is possible ― indeed, likely ― it is employed also in friendly and neutral space.

NOTE: The Starfleet Dictionary of Military Terms defines "clandestine operation" as "An operation sponsored or conducted by governmental departments or agencies in such a way as to assure secrecy or concealment. A clandestine operation differs from a covert operation in that emphasis is placed on concealment of the operation rather than on concealment of the identity of the sponsor. In special operations, an activity may be both covert and clandestine and may focus equally on operational considerations and intelligence-related activities. See also covert operation; overt operation." Starfleet, STMT, 2403, p. 320.




MILITARY MISSION PROFILES

COVERT AREA INVESTIGATION

Mission description: Detached Duty could be employed as a covert asset and military platform to help assure decision makers that the knowledge of threat condition in selected areas was enhanced.

Mission objectives could include the following:
a) Covertly providing responsive intelligence concerning the adversary’s use of sector space.
b) Covertly implanting sensor arrays in normally inaccessible areas of enemy space.
c) Conducting periodic area surveys for intruders via passages that would impede normal fleets.
d) Appropriate placement and maintenance of tactical sensor systems in enemy space.
e) Covertly monitoring choke points for high-interest fleet activity.
f) Covertly tagging those who transit choke points to enable follow-on tracking.



OFFENSIVE INFORMATION OPERATIONS
Mission description: Detached Duty could be a military asset able to covertly affect an adversary’s actions by interfering with or destroying an adversary’s information assets deep inside the adversary's sector space. These peacetime and/or wartime missions would deal with affecting the adversary’s information assurance to achieve or promote specific objectives.

Mission objectives could include the following:

a) Covert destruction of an adversary’s military communication or information assets.
b) Implantation of devices able to sever commercial or military communication lines on command.
c) Covert destruction or interference with dedicated military communication assets.
d) Overt operations (by Detached Duty or a known Detached Duty support fleet) in the vicinity of adversary communication systems. This would degrade the adversary’s confidence in assured communications.



GATEKEEPER OPERATIONS
Mission description: Detached Duty could enhance Starfleet's ability to monitor choke points or militarily important space-lanes either by itself or by implanting appropriate monitoring devices with the capability necessary to remotely monitor for traffic of interest.

Mission objectives could include the following:

a) Covertly implanting and servicing of detection devices in normally inaccessible areas.
b) Providing capability to monitor choke points/areas beyond reach of normal units.
c) Covertly placing/maintaining tactical sensors.
d) Assisting in assurance of security of Starfleet sensitive areas in a manner beyond the capability of other units.



INTELLIGENCE PREPARATION OF THE BATTLESPACE (IPB)
Mission description: Detached Duty could contribute to the ongoing process by which uncertainties concerning the potential adversary and environment for all types of operations are reduced. These missions would deal specifically with developing an understanding of threat networks deep in enemy space and the extent to which adversaries were exploiting sector space for military purposes.

Mission objectives could include the following:

a) Conducting covert pre-hostilities area surveys of adversary-controlled space in support of potential future battlespace operations.
b) Covertly deploying surveillance systems sensors in adversary-controlled space.
c) Supporting other intelligence missions by ensuring battlespace is free of adversary tripwires.
d) Supporting future Special Warfare operations by battlespace data gathering in a manner beyond the capabilities of other reconnaissance vessels.
e) Supporting future combat missions in adversary-controlled space by covertly disabling enemy anti-access systems.



SPECIAL COVERT OPERATIONS
Mission description: Detached Duty could be a military asset employed independently or in support of operations in heavily defended enemy space, using both traditional and nontraditional means to covertly neutralize adversary assets/systems in wartime operations. In addition to neutralization, this mission could include tagging. This mission could also include covert IPB or ISR of enemy sector space - that is, requiring capabilities unique to Detached Duty.

Mission objectives could include the following:

CLASSIFIED


SPECIAL WARFARE OPERATIONS SUPPORT
Mission description: Detached Duty could be available to provide a range of support enhancing the capability of wartime Special Warfare operations and their likely mission success deep inside enemy space.

Mission objectives could include the following:

CLASSIFIED

COVERT SEARCH AND RESCUE
Mission description: Detached Duty could provide a tailored search capability for covert search and rescue of high-profile civilian (e.g., diplomatic) or top secret military vessels in unfriendly or enemy space, including covert emergency first response SAR. Additionally, Detached Duty could provide a shuttle support capability between disabled vessels deep inside said space and a support rescue fleet in Federation space.

Mission objectives could include the following:

a) Responding on warning to the indications of a missing or possibly wrecked/crashed vessel.
b) Conducting covert search of enemy space for evidence of wrecked vessels.
c) Establishing covert communications with and providing covert logistic support to potential survivors of wrecked/crashed vessels.
d) Effecting covert rescue of such surviving personnel in enemy space.



COVERT OBJECT RECOVERY
Mission description: Detached Duty could be used to recover items or assets of military value or interest in or near enemy space in both peacetime and wartime operations.

Mission objectives could include the following:

a) Covert recovery of sensitive Starfleet military items from enemy space.
b) Covert tagging of wreckage for tracking upon recovery by other nations.
c) Recovery of sensors previously implanted for Starfleet military purposes.
d) Recovery of components for later forensic analysis.



COVERT ARMS CONTROL TREATY MONITORING
Mission description: Detached Duty could operate in or near enemy space to service fixed or temporary arrays, to implant sensors as necessary for added surveillance capability, and to assist in servicing assets in said space in the case of their failure. Detached Duty could also be used as a primary platform to assist in testing and support of advanced surveillance systems in or near enemy space.

Mission objectives could include the following:

a) Covertly implanting sensors for detection of evidence of illegal warfare production activity.
b) Covertly implanting sensors for detection of other arms control treaty violation activities.
c) Manipulating and disrupting various systems for specific purposes.



COVERT MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT
Mission description: Detached Duty could support military Research and Development (R&D) through cooperation in testing. Missions could entail covertly taking objects to their test environment in enemy space (e.g., certain nebulas) when required, observing installed performance in said environment, or providing deep target services.

Mission objectives could include the following:

a) Testing next-generation military space vessels in enemy-controlled space.
b) Testing installed hardware, such as sensors, emitters, and deflectors.
c) Serving as a conventional threat vessel surrogate in space testing.
d) Setting up/maintaining in space test ranges (e.g., exercise space minefields).




END OF PART TWO
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