Entrusted with the protection of all of the Caspian Democratic Union, the modern Caspian Navy is a diverse, highly visible martial entity. What it lacks in history and experience is made up for in its composition, strategy, and technology. It has traditions and practices of the navies of the Republic, the Empire, the Rebel Alliance, and the Hapan Consortium, as well as the defense forces of Corellia, Commenor, and Kuat to draw inspiration from. It is chiefly modeled after the Republic's Judicial Forces, but has far more powerful starships and less range of jurisdiction than the renowned peacekeeping force ever had.
Starships within the Navy are exceptionally versatile, outfitted to perform not only as battlewagons and starfighter platforms, but as assault ships, transports, and patrol vessels. They've also been called upon to be couriers and to be agents of mercy for humanitarian efforts. Besides the starships, the Navy also supports several key installations and stations throughout Union space, maintains the SONG network, and regulates all shipping and star traffic through the region.
Personnel are drawn from throughout, and even outside of, commonwealth space. A substantial number of Sarians, more so Meditersari over Casohavi, comprise the Naval ranks. There are some bonafide Yari as well, lending their skills where needed. An even mix of Caspians and Krittish, with some Rautherans blended in, fill out the rest. More than a few are formerly of Republic or Imperial enlistment, as the Navy offers structure and opportunity without overwatch or oppression. Many Union citizens have ties to the Navy in some capacity, whether it be Active or Reserve Naval Service, or employment by a company subsidized by the Admiralty.
The Navy is directed by The Admiralty, comprised of five Sar Admirals chairing a board comprised of Admirals, Generals, and representatives of the Crest. One of the Sar Admirals is designated as chairman by the Crest. Not all of the officers see active-duty in the fleets, as there are some officers that represent facilities, development, personnel, and resources.
Aerospace craft, including fighters, bombers, lifters, transports, and shuttles, are under the direction of the Naval Aerospace Arm. These craft are deployed on all manner of Naval possessions, from starships to installations.
Acting as the infantry force of the Navy are the Marines. Their senior-most General occupies a chair on the Admiralty board. Marines are the most adept, versatile, and effective fighting force the Union employs, and at least a detachment is on every warship in the Navy, as well as every installation. Marines are also dispatched to foreign embassies to safeguard Union interests.
Small in size, but still significant, the Naval Intelligence Office (NIO) keeps the Admiralty well-apprised of information from the galactic community. The officer in charge of this department has the added responsibility of working alongside the Assembly's Ministry of Information. The agency keeps a small pool of starships, among them the CMS Taciturn, especially for intelligence-gathering. It also closely taps into the SONG network's datastream.
- Captain / Commanding Officer — Commands, and is responsible for, the actions of the ship. Senior officer aboard (unless an Admiral is present), and all decisions are finalized by the captain.
- First Mate / Executive Officer — Second-in-command aboard, responsible for the smooth coordination of crew shifts and component systems. During combat, the First Mate takes up a position in the sensor suite, acting as an analyst and supplemental source of command decisions for the cascade of information coming from the sensors.
- PLOT Officer — Acting in an auxiliary, but vital, role in Caspian starship operations, the Planning, Logistics, Operations & Tactics Officer is a peripheral organic component that coordinates everything the commanding officers see, hear, and are informed of. Chiefly, during operations, the PLOT station keeps a running record of the ship's own position and direction, the position of other friendly starships, the position of enemy starships, the registration of all contacts and assets, and offers a voice of perspective to the captain, based on "the facts". This position is usually taken by a junior officer, assisted by numerous warrant officers, and is in constant contact with the squadron leaders, the Chief of the Watch, and the Boatswain.
- Fire Controls Officer — Also known as the Weapons Officer, this position oversees all weapons targetting, discharging, and maintaining. Often located in the Fire Director of the ship, and not on the bridge, but does take commands from the commanding officer directly.
- Flight Deck Operations / Landing Signals Officer — Specialized officer in charge of the flight deck and all physical operations thereupon. Often has enough seniority to be third in command, should the need arise. Only the larger starships have this position.
- Chief Engineer — Officer in charge of the propulsion, power, and electronics systems. Has several assistants, and directs operations from the Engineer's Bay.
- Ship's Surgeon — Highly educated and specially trained in all medical proceedings. Oversees the infirmary on the starship, and may be consulted on scientific matters. Usually has an assistant, acting as an intern in training for a posting on another starship. Officer may be of a Marine rank, depending on the starship.
- Chief of the Watch — Senior non-com officer on a Caspian ship, charged with the maintenence of the physical ship itself. By way of experience, he's often the coordinator or "interface" between the officers and the enlistees. He seems to be everywhere at once.
- Boatswain — Non-com officer who oversees all secondary or support craft, such as lifters, shuttles, tankers, and skiffs. On smaller starships, manages the flight deck; on cruisers or carriers, assists the FDO and LSO directly.
- Master At Arms — Non-com officer who reports directly to the Executive Officer (XO), and handles the issuing of weapons, forming of security details, and maintains the brig. Also assists in the presiding of courts martial.
- Quartermaster — Assistant to the Chief of the Watch, tasked with management of the ship's compartments, holdings, and supplies. In larger ships, there may be several quartermasters.
- Midshipman — Various entry-level junior officers stationed throughout the ship at specific locations to coordinate the efforts of crewers, whether it be damage control, fire support, electronics operation, or flight operations.
- Helmsman — Enlistee trained and tasked for rotations at the helm, often of a higher rank than common Ablemen of other employments.
- Technician or Machinist — Enlistee aboard warships charged with the maintainence and support of aerospace craft berthed aboard; or, posted to the operation of electronics gear or support tools within the ship.
- Ableman — Enlistee given a specific task or series of tasks aboard a ship. Their responsibilities may be rather generous, but they always have to answer to either a Crew Chief or a Midshipman. Much more capable level over a Probational or Probie.
- Lieutenant Commander — Spoken as "Leftenant Commander" or "Lit-Com".
- Lieutenant — Spoken as "Leftenant".
- Sub-Lieutenant — Spoken as "Sub-Lef".
- Master Chief (Petty Officer)
- Senior Chief (Petty Officer)
- Chief Petty Officer
- Petty Officer
The CDU's fleet has been characterized as a "frigate navy", due to being heavily weighted towards smaller warships (smaller vessels requiring inevitably less assembly infrastructure). Though this characterization has often been made in derogatory terms, and more than a few foreigners have turned up their noses at the Union's "toys". Its frigates carry a lot more of the proportional workload than those of the Imperial and New Republic fleets. The current Shearwater-class frigate is representative of the CDU's highly refined approach to its smaller warships. The Fleet does possess a highly capable and growing force of Capital Ships (in CDU Navy terms, this term applies to Fleet Carriers, Battleships, and Battlecruisers). In 15 ABY, the Union possessed or was on the verge of completing 24 such modern vessels (divided evenly between carriers and battleships/battlecruisers). Current defense white-papers suggest that this figure will likely grow in coming years.
Regardless of size and role, Union warships are invariably designed to make the most of available manpower, and hence tend to have smaller crews (and more automation) for their sizes than is typical in designs used by the great powers. Electronics likewise tend to be top-notch, making comparisons of capabilities between Union and foreign designs tricky. On paper, a Union vessel might be outgunned by a foreign counterpart, the quality of the CDU vessel's fire control and sensor systems often means that the Union warship will be able to land more blows per salvo, and land them first. Considering the Caspian penchant for fitting its vessels with hard-hitting anti-shipping missiles, this is not a threat to be taken likely.
All starships of Caspia are prefixed with either Caspian Military Ship (CMS) or Caspian Commercial Ship (CCS). Ships names may originate from any of the Union's cultures, though more than a few have origins in the Old Republic (e.g. CMS Repulse, CMS Ascension, etc). Some confuse a ship's name as a sign of the vessel's affiliation, thinking that a Krittish name indicated Krittish affiliation. In practice, all ships belong to the Union, making the Navy one of the largest collaborative efforts of the Union's people. On small ships, a crew might conceivably be drawn from a single culture, but larger vessels inevitably have mixed crews. This has led to the Fleet being a major 'melting pot', and a symbol of unity.
- The Home Fleet - based at Kichnar Navy Depot, Caspian System.
- Task Group H - operating in the Rautheran system.