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Inside Starfleet – Interview with FAdm. Oliver Tidwell

December 18, 2013

This week’s Inside Starfleet comes from the Headquarters of the Fourth Fleet. Fleet Admiral Oliver Tidwell.

Currently at Deep Space 6, following the signing of the Treaty of Nelvana in Romulan Space.

FNS: Thanks for joining me today Fleet Admiral.

OT:  It’s a pleasure to speak with you, Mr. Gillespie, or do you prefer Dean?

FNS: Dean is fine. So, the question on everyone’s minds right now. How are relations with the Romulans?

OT:  Depends, are we on the record or off?

FNS: On. Hehe

OT:  Seriously, we have a team of negotiators and diplomats who have most likely averted large scale tensions between the Federation and the interim government of the Romulan Star Empire. That team was lead by Fleet Admiral Robert Chadwick, acting as an Ambassador for the United Federation of Planets. Now, I’m not at liberty to discuss some of the specifics of what was involved in the negotiations, or all of the terms of the treaty which Admiral Chadwick signed on behalf of the Federation.

FNS: Completely understandable Admiral. So tensions have cooled off, at least for now? But, if you have any specific questions, I’ll try to answer them.

OT:  Yes, right now the mood between us and the Romulans is friendly.  Well, guarded, but cordial.

FNS: So something akin to out relations 20 years ago? We aren’t expecting any border skirmishes anytime soon?

OT:  Actually, I’d say overall our relations are better than they were 20 years ago.  We have been asked and tasked with maintaining a line of demarkation, or rather a boundary buffer between the Romulan Star Empire and the Klingon’s. To that end, a corridor stretching from Federation space through to the Raeya Sector has been ceded to the control of the Federation indefinitely.

FNS: Tensions between the Romulans and Klingon’s are increasing?

OT:  I wouldn’t say they have changed at all.  However, everyone is aware that the Romulan Star Navy is in a great bit of disarray following the Hobus incident, and frankly the Romulans are concerned that an opportunistic Klingon commander may take it upon themselves to strike at parts of Romulan territory, knowing that it’s likely the Romulans would be unable to counter the attack.

FNS: It wouldn’t be the first time a Klingon has taken it upon himself ‘for the good of the Empire’. We have all heard stories of General Chang.

OT:  Indeed. Plus this finally gives us the ability to cross through to the Raeyan Sector without needing to pass through Klingon territory.  The ceded territory will now act as our transit corridor.

FNS: So what would likely have happened had the Treaty of Nelvana not been signed?

OT:  Well, the crew of one of our ships would likely be charged as accessories in the murder of a Romulan Senator. And it’s possible, it may have escalated from there.

FNS: Lets be grateful for Fleet Admiral Chadwick and his team then. They may have saved the Federation from another full scale war.

OT:  Robert Chadwick was torn from his home on Earth and sent right into Romulan territory at the urgent request of the President of the Federation herself.  He didn’t even skip a beat.

FNS: Its officers like him that have encouraged thousands of people to want careers in Starfleet, and the Federation as a whole.

OT:  Indeed.  He exemplifies what is best about Starfleet.  His selfless service and dedication to the cause give us all great hope in the potential for peace in the galaxy.

FNS: So a change of subject. What’s the current status of the Fourth Fleet, on the whole.

OT:  On a whole, we are doing much better than even a year ago.  We’ve taken great control of our turnover problems.  We’ve grown each Task Force by at least 2 ships each, and the calibre of members on each crew just passes our expectations. I think it’s why Starfleet has seen fit to give us operational control of nearly all of Federation Space.

FNS: And with the expansions into the Delta and Gamma Quadrants, exploring seems to be on the table more now.

OT:  Indeed.  Of course, with the expansion into those quadrants comes the potential for new risks, so we’ve got to make sure our assets there are provided with enough weaponry to defend themselves should the need arise.

FNS: So you would say the overall policy of the fleet is that of exploration, with emphasis on defence?

OT:  We are on a mission of peace, science and exploration.  Having said that, we will defend ourselves if provoked.  To be sure though, we aren’t looking for a fight.  We aren’t looking, but we won’t go running with our tails tucked between our legs should a fight come to us.

FNS: I don’t think we have ever ran from a fight. And I don’t think we ever will. With the Dominion War, everyone knows now that we were so close to losing. We can get our noses bloody, but we will come back.

OT:  Of course, that’s also dependent on where you are talking about.  Take Task Forces 72 and 47, well, and now 93.  They’re just as much there for interdiction work in the travel corridors to get to their new expanded space corridors.

FNS: So what do you see as the future of the Fourth Fleet? are there any challenges heading our way that our readers would love to know about? the non-classified ones of course, hehe

OT:  There are several things in the works which I cannot discuss, but they will have great influence on the future of not only the Fourth Fleet, but for Starfleet as well.  Right now, it’s a day by day struggle to maintain our uneasy truces between the ruling factions in the Federation and surrounding territories.

FNS: Well on behalf of myself, and citizens of the Federation, we thank you for your amazing work.

OT:  Son, I can’t take the credit for it.  I’m just one man… just one officer.  It’s a team effort, and I want the credit to go to the men and women of the fleet.  It’s their hard work, sweat and blood which make it all happen. Chadwick signed the treaty, but he had to get there, so the guy who made sure the warp engines and intermix ratios were properly in line on the Farragut is just as responsible.

FNS: Well you are still a cog in the machine that is Starfleet. One man can make all the difference. Thank you for the opportunity to interview you Sir.

OT:  Thank you for the opportunity.  I will avail myself to you should you ever wish to discuss matters of the fleet.

Interview was held on Deep Space 6, where the Treaty of Nelvana was recently signed.
Dean Gillespie