Main support base for the Imperial Navy and hub of its support and supply system. The navy maintains a network of 19 depots to support its fleets, generally one per sector. Depots are placed in systems where they will be close enough to the expected action to be useful, but far enough back to ensure that they will not be captured.
A naval depot is a huge harbouring area for starships, naval personnel, and supporting services. It typically occupies an entire system and thus has unlimited starship berths. It is designed and stocked so that it can withstand isolation from outside contact for years at a time. Facilities, materiel, and personnel are extensive enough to repair and resupply a large fraction of the fleet simultaneously. It provides construction and repair facilities, and produces and tests experimental ship prototypes. In short, a naval depot is the focus of the Imperial Navy's system of bases .
A naval depot provides three distinct types of services to the ships of the Imperial Navy: ship services, personnel services, and training.
The main task of a naval depot is to provide ship services to the Navy. For ships in service, these include periodic inspections, annual overhauls, repairs of operational damage, and upgrades to new equipment. In addition, these cover the design, construction and testing of new ships. Depots keep on hand a stock of repair and replacement parts that would be unavailable at any one place anywhere else in the Imperium. In wartime, the main task is to repair battle-damaged ships and return them to service. In peacetime, the main task is the design, construction, and testing of ships. A large staff of naval architects (the cream of the area) and construction personnel is maintained at every depot. In emergencies, the depot's construction yards can be pressed into service for production of military ships.
Depots are a natural assignment for large numbers of naval personnel. Any skill required by the Navy can be found at a depot. Support services, administration, dependant support, housing, recreation, and technical services are all needed on a continuing basis at the depot. With such a large staff available, a depot becomes a natural replacement centre, providing crew rotation and replacement from its own assets as needed.
Each depot is also given the task of providing training for naval personnel. The many services provided by the depot make it uniquely suited to train personnel for those services. As a result, a depot maintains an extensive training establishment, providing in depth training for all aspects of starship technology.
Since a depot is obviously a very sensitive installation, security is tight. An extensive array of both entry and exit codes are employed to ensure no unauthorised vessels enter or leave the system. Contingents of marines and SDBs are stationed throughout the system, and are constantly ready for action.
(SUPP-11, 1107; MT-ENCYC, 1120; MT-REBEL, 1120)
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