Unlike nearly every other large spacefaring civilization, the United Federation of Planets does not expand primarily through conquest or even large-scale colonization, but through diplomacy. For over two hundred years, Starfleet has served as the Federation’s first, best impression and its most adept diplomatic arm. First contacts, trade negotiations, ceasefires, and countless other diplomatic exercises conducted by starship captains have slowly but steadily turned the Federation into the largest and most progressive alliance of species the galaxy has ever seen. This is the spirit that guides Task Force 72, the Fourth Fleet’s designated Diplomatic Operations unit.
All starship captains are empowered to conduct negotiations on behalf of the Federation, as real-time consultations with Starfleet Command and the Federation Council is often impossible for front-line exploratory vessels, but Task Force 72’s specific mandate is to handle the most pressing and sensitive diplomatic missions within and outside of Federation space, especially those with national security implications for the Federation and its member worlds. This task force also handles peacekeeping operations and conducts many joint operations with allied or friendly powers, such as the Klingon Empire, Cardassian Union, and Romulan Republic.
Historically, Task Force 72 was assigned specifically to the Federation-Cardassian Border and remains headquartered at Starbase 72 in the Minos Korva system, but its operations have expanded to the full width and breadth of the Fourth Fleet’s tip-of-the-spear ethos, with vessels in all four quadrants of the galaxy. The evolving diplomatic situation in the Former Demilitarized Zone remains a focus for the task force, with a number of ships directly working with the Cardassian military to end the True Way crisis diplomatically and through direct peacekeeping operations. Other important operations include forging new alliances with Delta Quadrant powers, and ongoing negotiations with neutral worlds within Federation space that the Federation is eager to finally bring into the fold.
As the 25th Century dawns, Task Force 72 seeks to build new ties between the Federation and its members, its allies, and its friends, after several of the most turbulent decades in galactic history. Through forging connections and representing the olive branch as much as the shield, this unit serves as a critical piece of the Federation’s foreign and domestic diplomatic apparatus, and it is prepared to meet the challenges of this new century in the greatest traditions of Starfleet.