Written by The Lone Redshirt. Edited (with permission) for the BtS universe by Christina Moore.
History of the Border Patrol Service
Following the conclusion of the Romulan War, Starfleet began to patrol the Neutral Zone between Federation Space and the Romulan Star Empire. The admiralty soon decided that such patrols were a waste of valuable front-line ships and they began the practice of assigning older ships for the patrol area. Soon, a separate branch of Starfleet was born—the Border Patrol Service. Duty in the Border Patrol was often monotonous and the service gained the reputation as a career graveyard for Starfleet officers and enlisted personnel. Morale was low, leadership was poor to non-existent, and corruption was rampant. By the early 23rd century, there was a move to abolish the Border Patrol altogether. However, in 2214, Admiral Jules Odegaard took over the reins of the Border Patrol Service and began to instill reforms that would turn the service into a truly professional organization, based on the model of the old United States Coast Guard. The Border Patrol Service was incorporated into a military branch in its own right on January 28, 2215, exactly 300 years after the official formation of the USCG. However, the "Border Dog" reputation would not easily die, nor did funding improve despite the positive changes implemented by Admiral Odegaard. It took the Four-Years War with the Klingons to finally begin loosening the Federation Council's purse strings.
After the war ended and another neutral zone was established, the Border Patrol began a slow modernization program to develop a series of forward bases at strategic locations along the edge of Federation space. By 2260, five of these stations were at least partially operational, including Starbase Echo, which was located at the juncture of Federation, Klingon and Orion space as well as the region known as The Borderland. Most ships were still hand-me-downs from Starfleet, however. It would be decades before the Border Patrol Service began to receive dedicated vessels designed for interdiction, rescue, and patrol. Even toward the end of the 24th century, the Border Patrol continues to use ships that are often 50+ years old. The "Border Dog" tag, once a term of derision, is now considered a badge of honor by the stalwart crews of Border Cutters throughout the Alpha Quadrant.
The Border Patrol Service mission can be broken down into the following areas:
Search and Rescue
Interdiction of smuggling and piracy operations
Maintenance of navigational aids and subspace relays
Removing asteroids or other navigational hazards from spacelanes
First line of defense along shared borders with the other major powers
Though not an official part of their mandate, Border Patrol ships and crews are often called upon for Special Operations missions. These are generally classified and little details are known.
The head of the service—known as Commandant, Federation Border Patrol Service (CBP)—is the only five-star admiral in the service. The commandant reports directly to the Secretary of the Border Patrol Service, who in turn reports to the Secretary of Defense. There are a number of vice admirals, who report to the CBP and administer several sectors each. Squadron commanders, usually commodores or rear admirals, oversee several cutters, buoy tenders, and asteroid breakers. During times of war or emergency, Border Patrol Command works with Starfleet Command to reallocate assets as needed.
Border Patrol Service Assets
Starbases with attached Border Patrol Squadrons:
Able - 1st Cutter Squadron - near the Romulan Neutral Zone (oldest station)
Bravo - 2nd Cutter Squadron - near Ferengi Space, Outland Expanse
Charon - 8th Cutter Squadron - repair & refit facilities, near the Romulan Neutral Zone
Destiny - 4th Cutter Squadron - near Gorn space
Echo II - 7th Cutter Squadron - repair & refit facilities, near the Klingon and Orion borders, The Borderland (largest station)
Freedom - 3rd Cutter Squadron - near Talarian space
Gamma - 5th Cutter Squadron - near the Talosian system
Hope - 6th Cutter Squadron - formerly near the Badlands, now on the other side of Tzenkethi space
India - 9th Cutter Squadron - repair & refit facilities, major medical facility, in Federation space on the other side of the Klingon Empire near the Klingon border
Jakarta - 10th Cutter Squadron - near Tholian space
Kilo - 11th Cutter Squadron - in Federation space on the other side of the Klingon Empire, near the Nenheim Nebula
The Border Patrol Service has several types of vessels in numerous sub-classes:
Border Cutter - SAR, Interdiction missions, Defense
Deep-space Cutter - Long range patrol, Interdiction, SAR
Asteroid Breaker - Designed to clear passages through dense asteroid fields
Buoy Tender - Obsolete ships, stripped of weapons, used to service unmanned navigational buoys, subspace relays, and sensor platforms.
Star Stallions - Heavily armored and armed shuttlecraft, smaller than a Danube-class runabout. Used as auxiliary craft, SAR-ops, ground support and short-range transport.