Starfleet Vessels Stolen in Raid, Identity of Attackers Unknown

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Federation Starfleet Auxillary Yard at Chamballa IV Attacked Amid Reports of Increased Pirate Activity Along the Federation Frontier

Zidell Yards, File Photo, Andorian Imperial Wire Service.

By Kerian Lomar and R’Tan
April 23, 2395

ANDORIA PRIME — Starfleet vessels have stepped up patrols along civilian routes throughout the northern frontier of Federation territory after a raid on an isolated facility in the region of space formally known as the Delphic Expanse. Wedged between the Ferengi Alliance, Breen Confederacy, and the Cardassian Union, the region is home to several remote outposts and installations constructed after the Dominion War to monitor Breen and Cardassian activity. Five years ago, Starfleet announced a draw down of patrols and resources to the region citing warm relations with the Cardassian Union and relief efforts in the shattered remains of the Romulan Star Empire.

In the years since the announced draw down, Starfleet reduced its presence in the region by 60% and relegated enforcement to the Frontier and Trade Authority. Attacks on Federation and Cardassian civilian and merchant traffic in the last 11 months has called this decision into question. Last week’s attack on the Auxillary Yard at Chamballa IV has renewed calls for a full return of Starfleet resources to the region and raised questions of the ability of the Authority to manage its new security mandate across far-flung regions of the Federation.

According to Starfleet Task Force 72, the raid occurred during the morning shift rotation at Zidell Yards in orbit of Chamballa IV. A dozen vessels attacked the patrol vessels assigned to the system and overwhelmed the defenders in minutes. The USS Calhoun and USS Kang were lost with all hands. Both vessels operated under the command of the Frontier and Trade Authority. Within hours, the attackers fled with eight armed Starfleet vessels.

The last time Starfleet vessels were stolen was in 2374 when Dominion Forces boarded the USS Ticonderoga and captured the Akira-class vessel.

Starfleet has begun a search across several dozen sectors for the stolen vessels and the still-unknown attackers. No information has been released on the identity of the attackers or the motivation behind the raid. A Starfleet tactical officer related to the investigation speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the attackers employed antiproton beam weaponry and high-yield antimatter devices.

Antiproton weapons are not utilized by the Federation, Klingon Empire, or defunct Romulan Star Empire and are instead characteristic of Dominion technology. They are considered incredibly dangerous. During the Dominion War, Starfleet and Klingon shield technology proved especially susceptible to antiproton beam weapons employed by the Dominion.

Task Force 72 has been deployed to the region to supplement the contingent of Frontier and Trade Authority vessels responsible for security. At a press briefing on April 21, the spokesman for Task Force 72, Commander Courtney Hammerstein, reiterated the Federation’s commitment to the region and provided registry information for the stolen vessels. She refused to answer questions on the nature of the attackers weapons or the motivation behind the attack. When pressed for additional information the Commander stated that “Starfleet was committed to bringing the attackers to justice by any means necessary.”

Commander Hammerstein added that Starfleet Tactical will continue to monitor and direct civilian traffic throughout the region until additional Starfleet assets can be deployed to the region. No estimate of when, or what measure of additional forces, was provided by Commander Hammerstein when pressed.

The Breen Confederacy released a statement of support for anti-piracy efforts in the region through its diplomatic offices in Paris. Minister Thak Pal said that “security in the region is in the best interests of the Breen Confederacy and its regional partners.” When pressed for information on the reports of pirates launching attacks from Breen space, the minister rejected those accusations.

“We are partners in peace, not enemies. Despite our brief alliance with the Dominion, the Confederacy recognizes the challenges facing the region and the Federation at large. We will continue to cooperate with the Cardssian Union and United Federation of Planets to curtail illegal activity in the area.”

At press time the Cardassian Union failed to respond to repeated request for comment.

Additional reporting by T’Rell and Andorian Imperial Wire Service.