The year is 2370, and the United Federation of Planets has been at war with the Gamma Quadrant Dominion for a long Earth year.
First contact was officially made between the Federation and the race that would be known as the Dominion, when its Jem’Hadar assault ship destroyed the Federation starship USS Odyssey. Open war didn’t occur untill 2373 when the Dominion, a race of shapeshifters commanding artificially bred Jem’Hadar shock troops, entered the Beta Quadrant through the Bajoran wormhole near Deep Space 9, waging a brutal and unforgiving war on all life in the Alpha quadrant not willing to bow to its will.
Caught off guard by the fierceness of their attacks, the Federation had to scramble to bolster its frontline defenses, reluctantly making the necessary switch from exploration and peacekeeping to a full war footing. With resources already scarce the Federation mandated its Starfleet to summon the last reserves and create a new fleet as the main battle force to face the Dominion invasion.
And so the 44th Fleet was established in 2373 for the sole purpose of tipping the balance of the war in the Federation’s favor. At the time it was Starfleet’s highest numbered active fleet, equipped and staffed by new recruits and seasond veterans, manning the various classes of Starfleet’s ships available at the time, from old but reliable Miranda class light cruisers to the new Akira class heavy escorts, supporting the massive Galaxy and Nebula class exploration cruisers.
Fighting courageously, the Tactical Wings of the 44th fought furious battles protecting core Federation worlds on the Bolian and Vulcan fronts, struck deep behind enemy lines by attacking the enemy shipyards at Torros III, and protected civilian convoys desperately fleeing the Dominion onslaught following the first battle of Vulcanis.
But after two years of brutal war the Federation, even when bolstered by an uneasy Klingon-Romulan alliance, saw the tide turning for the worst. During the Second Battle of Chin’toka the 44th Fleet lost over two-thirds of its remaining combat strength trying to break through the massive Dominion lines protecting Cardassia. What was left of the once mighty fleet was pulled back to Sector 001 to form a hastily organized defense.
With the Federation on the brink of extinction and reeling from devastating losses, the unthinkable happened: the Dominion surrendered.
The long 5-year war with the Dominion had finally come to an end. With many of the Federation worlds in ruins it was a bitter-sweet victory, but a victory none the less…
The remains of the 44th were assigned patrol and policing duties in various Federation sectors, providing humanitarian aid and assistance to many worlds and moons, rebuilding all that was lost. Slowly the 44th Fleet’s ships even returned to the exploration, science and first contact missions that are still the core duties of Starfleet Command.
The year is now 2409 and thirty-four years have passed since the Federation and Dominion signed a treaty of non-agression. With the major powers in the Alpha and Beta Quadrant rebuilding and reasserting their power and influence, old tensions have been slowly but steadily rising again. With the Cardassians still dealing with their devastated homeworld, the Romulans occupied with their own internal affairs, only the mighty Klingon Empire with its eternal rivalry between its Great Houses was considered a possible security concern, if ever. Or so the Federation thought.
Seven of Nine, serving as the Federation’s foremost expert on the Borg at the Daystrom Institute, warned the full Federation council 24 years ago of an impending Borg invasion. No one wanted to listen; too many other conflicts and operations demanded the full attention and scarce resources. There was little interest in some possible threat that may or may not come from far beyond the horizon.
Yet Starfleet Intelligence confirmed the reports of increased Borg activity near the borders of the Alpha Quadrant, noting increased probe activity and an occasional fleeting contact with a Borg Sphere.
But when the Federation finally reacted, it was too late.
The sudden attack on Vega colony and Defera Prime demanded a quick and decisive response from Starfleet Command. The Federation’s resources were stretched to their limit once again, but this time Starfleet Command had no other choice but to mandate the resurrection of the Mighty 44th.
With Starbase 817, Codename: Eden, as their main base of operations, the 44th Fleet was reborn and reorganized, tasked with providing a self-sustaining fleet for deep-space exploration and defense. Just as during the Dominion War, the 44th has and continues to serve the Federation with honor, bravery, and distinction.
Currently under dual command of Fleet-Admirals Marcase and Sargon, the 44th Fleet formed a solid command structure of over five-hundred outstanding officers and hundreds of mighty ships, ready to act as the main force for exploration, diplomacy and defense. Establishing Fleet Starbases for operations, Fleet mines to exploit dilithium resources, Embassies on New Romulus and modern Fleet research labs in the Delta Quadrant to research exciting new technologies, the Mighty 44th is finally equipped and resourced to fully commit to its assigned mission.
Building on the temporary -and uneasy- alliance with the Klingons and Romulans during the final phase of the Dominion War, 44th Fleet Command established the 44th Assault Squadron as a dedicated strike force formed around Klingons, Romulans and other alien races willing to strike deep into the heart of danger and to seek out and deny any new threats a foothold in Federation or allied space.
When the Delta Quadrant unlocked and operations expanded, the 44th’s Admiralty expanded on the proud tradition of the 44th Fleet, and formed the sister 44th Delta Fleet, tasked to explore and open diplomatic relations with the many new civilizations in the unchartered Delta Quadrant.
Huge Armadas were formed by allying with other fleets, sharing resources and supporting starbases in the far reaches of the galactic Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma quadrants.
The Mighty 44th continues to strive to follow the true principles of the Federation’s Starfleet and its ancient and honorable traditions, be it facing Borg, rogue True Way forces, unknown alien races or even temporal incursions.
The Mighty 44th is always looking for brave captains to venture beyond the known boundaries – will you heed the call to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go and explore the outer regions with the Mighty 44th at your side…?
The Dominion War Sourcebook: The Fires of Armageddon by Steven S. Long, page 48
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