NAPLES–Sixth Fleet (the Star Trek sim club) reached an agreement with Sixth Fleet (the actual US Navy Sixth Fleet) earlier this week to conduct bi-lateral exercises this fall. Sixth Fleet Commander-in-Chief Fleet Admiral Brad Denim (of the Star Trek sim club) and Sixth Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Lisa M. Franchetti (of the actual US Navy Sixth Fleet) signed the pact just before holding a joint press conference on Tuesday. Exact dates and a schedule of operations are expected to be published following a planning conference set for July.
“This is something we’ve wanted to do for some time,” said Vice Admiral Franchetti at the presser. “We’re happy to have finally found dates that work for both fleets. This partnership and information sharing should continue to pay dividends to all parties involved for several millennia.”
Fleet Admiral Denim explained a little of what the actual exercises will look like. “Yeah, so um, like, we’re gonna, you know, uh, switch roles and stuff. We’ll run some of their stuff and they’ll run some of our stuff.”
“Fleet Admiral Denim, are you nervous knowing that you’re going to be running an actual Naval fleet, albeit for a short period of time?” asked a reporter.
“Not at all, no. None. Zero.” said Fleet Admiral Denim. “We’re just going to be dropping bombs, shooting torpedoes, and launching depth charges and stuff, you know? I mean, how hard can that be? I think the real challenge is for them. I don’t know if they’ve ever even role played before, right?”
“Fleet Admiral Denim, what’s it like being around a real admiral?” asked another reporter.
“It’s no big deal,” chuckled Denim. “You know, I’ve been an Admiral way longer than she has. I’ve been an Admiral since like 2002. I don’t even know if she was a Lieutenant Commander back then. Besides, last I checked, Fleet Admiral still outranks Vice Admiral.”
The July Sixth Fleet (the Star Trek sim club) / Sixth Fleet (the actual US Navy Sixth Fleet) exercise planning conference is slated to take place in IRC chat rooms with representatives from both parties. The final joint exercises are expected to happen in September or October.
Oh man. This is excellent.
As a former CinC of Sixth Fleet, I was invited to observe these bilateral exercises. Honestly, I could not overstate how impressively the Sixth Fleet club performed; in both professionalism and creativity in the exercise. USN Sixth Fleet, however, was not quite up to par. Immediately there seemed to be some command and control issues with the Navy. They wanted to run the exercise messages through the SIPRNet, which was incompatible with Ygroups and Nova. While the club very nearly caused an international incident with a “very cool maneuver” between two squadrons of FA-18s that occurred just a little too close to Russian airspace than President Putin prefers, the Navy’s deployment of Starfleet assets along the Klingon Neutral Zone and violent annexation of a full third of the Empire into Federation space will reshape galactic politics for generations. Overall, the mission was a success from the club’s point of view, but with the USN’s clear inadequacies with simming, it is unlikely the bilateral exercise will be repeated. Indeed, Fleet Admiral Denim has already stated that the mission will be relegated to “it was all a dream” status and will not be entered into Fleet canon.