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Standard Starfleet Operation Modes and Protocols

Cruise Mode (aka, Green Alert): The normal in-flight operating mode of the ship, only one of the three duty shifts is on duty. Only two of the ship's four shield generators are on standby, the other two are off-line for repairs or maintenance, as are half of the phaser arrays and two of the torpedo launchers. The sensors and communications systems are operating at the levels decided necessary by the Bridge duty officer. Level 4 diagnostics are performed once every twelve hours, with other diagnostics performed as needed or requested.

Yellow Alert Mode: In times where the ship could be entering a potentially dangerous, unstable, or threatening situation that has the potential to cause harm to the ship, crew, or success of the mission, Starfleet Operational Protocol requires that the crew and starship be brought to Yellow Alert. Yellow alert is a higher state of readiness from Cruise Mode. Yellow alerts are activated at the commanding officer's (or whomever is the senior officer on the Bridge) discretion. The personnel of the next duty shift are summoned to their battle stations, joining the crew who are already on duty; in addition, all senior officers are required to report to their stations. All shield generators are brought on-line (note, brought on-line, not raised), as are the phaser arrays and the torpedo launchers. Sensor arrays are fully brought on-line. The Mess Hall's food replicator is powered down, however the medical staff can use it to synthesize medication. A Level 4 diagnostic is performed every hour, with a Level 5 diagnostic every ten minutes. A subspace message is sent to the nearest Federation outpost, alerting them of the present situation. Raising shields or locking weapons is at the commanding officer's discretion, though many starship commanders order "shields up" at the call of yellow alert.

Red Alert Mode (aka, Combat Alert): If circumstances present a direct threat to the ship, its crew, or the success of the mission, the ship is brought to the highest state of readiness: Red Alert. All personnel are required to man their battle stations. Shields are raised and all weapons systems are powered and ready to lock onto target; the commanding officer can order their lock at his or her discretion. Internal sensors run a sweep of all decks every fifteen seconds, alerting the chief security officer of any unusual activities or the presence of unauthorized persons. A Level 3 diagnostic is performed every hour, with a Level 4 diagnostic every fifteen minutes. A subspace message alerting Starfleet of their status is sent out to the nearest Federation outpost. An emergency communications buoy (a Class VI probe) can be launched if communication frequencies are being jammed by hostile vessels.

Black Alert Mode: If a ship is equiped with a cloaking device, it is extremely important that when the cloak is activated, the power, radio, and radiation emissions are carefully monitored and metered. With this in mind, when a ship activates its cloaking device, it enters Black Alert Mode. All sensor activity is strictly limited to only passive scans; internal sensors are not affected. All propulsion systems are reduced to a standby condition, unless otherwise needed. Starfleet recommends that the subspace transceiver on the communications array be taken off-line, while RF operates on a tightband only; intraship communication is not affected. Deflector shields and weapons systems are taken off-line. Level 4 diagnostics are performed every hour, and a Level 5 every ten minutes, as in a yellow alert.

Blue Alert Mode: In the event that circumstances require the ship to make a planetary landing, the ship's systems are brought to an increased state of readiness. Specifically, the ship's navigational, SIF and IDF systems are brought to full readiness, and the SIF and IDF fields may be enhanced or have extra power diverted to them. Like in a yellow alert, the following duty shift is summoned to battle stations. Upon atmospheric entry, artificial gravity and inertial dampeners are taken off-line, as the ship is now within the planet's gravity well. Landing struts are brought down after atmospheric entry has been completed.
NOTE: Advanced sensors will be able to detect a cloaked ship while it enters through an atmosphere; the device should work properly, however, once the ship is safely within the planet's atmosphere.

External Support Mode: When the ship is docked at a starbase, it receives supplementary power from the station. This is because it no longer needs to generate its own power, therefore enacting a shutdown of both the warp core and impulse engine's fusion reactors. However, if the estimated time of docking is less than seventy-hours, the warp core may just be reduced to a stand-by mode, as it will need to be restarted prior to launch. All other non-essential systems are taken off-line. Life support, library computer access, replicators, science labs, and medical facilities are still powered, though some areas of the ship may have laboratories powered down.

Reduced Power Mode: In the event that it becomes imperative to conserve power, Starfleet recommends the following systems limitation protocol. Deflector shields, weapons systems and sensors be taken completely off-line, unless there use is absolutely required. In addition, the communications array should be limited to RF transmissions only. If subspace communication is required, a power saving option would be to launch a communications buoy (Class IV probe), maintain an RF connection with the probe while using the probe's subspace communication ability to make the connection to another party. Turbolift access is restricted during a reduced power mode, as is intraship communication. In addition, life support to all special access and control rooms is taken off-line and those areas of the ship are sealed off by security bulkheads. If it is deemed absolutely necessary, artificial gravity can be terminated to conserve energy. In addition, crew can be restricted to the Bridge, Mess Hall or the Engine Room, with life support being taken off-line in all other areas of the ship to save power.

Abandon Ship Protocol: In the event of a catastrophic incident in which the ship has been damaged beyond repair or recovery, Starfleet mandates that all personnel abandon ship. On all starships, there are enough escape pods to ensure that all crew +200 or more individuals would be able to evacuate. Each escape pod two crewmen for up to 72 hours. In the event that another ship or planet is within transporter range, personnel can also use the transporter systems to beam off the ship. It is also advised that personnel trained in shuttle flight operations, and who are close enough to a shuttlebay, should launch themselves (and any nearby personnel) in a shuttle. Shuttles have much longer operational times and can be used as emergency triage centers as well as a command post to coordinate the operations of the nearby escape pods and shuttles. If at all possible or available, Runabout should be launched in evac situations, as the offer additional space for up to fifteen crew if necessary, and can hold much more cargo/emergency supplies than normal shuttles. Never-the-less, in all cases where the ship is abandoned, the commanding officer is obligated to activate the auto-destruct system (see below) if there is a risk of the ship falling into enemy hands.

Auto-destruct Sequence Protocol: Starfleet Operational Protocol demands that the crew of each of its starships do everything possible to prevent hostile forces from obtaining control of the ship, even if it means destroying the ship itself. The auto-destruct sequence requires the authorization of both the commanding and executive officers; should either or both officers by incapacitated or absent (the ship's internal sensors will verify this), the auto-destruct sequence can be authorized by any combination of three senior officers; if every senior officer is not available (which again the ship's internal sensors will verify) then the 3 crew members with the most senior ranks can activate this system. The personnel who activate the destruct sequence can specify how long a countdown they want and whether the countdown is silent or broadcast. Any duty station or control console can be used to activate the system. Once activated, only the personnel who authorized its activation can disengage the system.

Docking Protocol: Upon approaching a starbase, the ship powers down its defensive systems and all sensors except for ones used for navigation. All systems, except for life support and maneuvering thrusters, are placed on stand-by during the docking procedure itself. Once complete, the ship goes into its external support mode.

Emergency Medical Assistance Protocol: In the event that the ship is required to assist another ship, starbase or planet in medical treatment, its ability to assist is somewhat limited by both the type of ship it is, its crew compliment, and the avilability of supplies or space. Its life support systems are only capable of supporting a limited number of humanoids. All Starfleet ships are equiped with full sickbay and medica facilities, as well as cargo bays and other areas that can be used for triage centers. Thanks to advances in holographic and medical technology over the last decade, the Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) has also been installed on all Starfleet vessels to aid in situations where an extra medical hand is needed, or the Chief Physician is unavailable. Many of the newer Starfleet ships have holographic generators installed in key areas of the ship, and some even have holographic generators throughout the ship.

Launching Protocol: If a ship has been docked, or otherwise in a stand-by mode where the warp core has been completely powered down, standard operational guidelines require that a cold restart must begin at least seventy-two hours before scheduled launch. All other systems are powered up and checked one hour before launch. A Level 3 diagnostic is run on all systems. Systems do not need to be brought on-line until twenty minutes before launch.
NOTE: In an emergency situation the ship can be launched in less than ten minutes, and the warp core can be brought online in a matter of minutes if diagnostics confirm that everything is in stable and working condition, and the Chief Engineer confirms this.

Updated: 04/13/2006 by FSF Scott2