The System Defense Initiative was established by Supreme Commander Crix Madine and Admiral Ackbar in late-15 ABY. Due to heavy losses to the New Republic Navy during the Imperial Blitzkrieg and the fall of Coruscant, it became clear to Ackbar and Madine that the existing deployment of battle groups simply wasn't working. They began meeting with top level advisers to plot out redeployment protocols, and thus, the initiative was born.
The proposed redeployment aimed at offering tighter defenses for each system in New Republic territory, while freeing up two main battle groups to become the primary offensive and reinforcement fleets. By shifting numbers and deployment protocols, Ackbar believed that a smaller series of System Defense Fleets would tighten the area of responsibility for fleet units, and provide a stable line of defense for all of the New Republic's people.
In order to ease the initial redeployment challenges and make future changes easier and quicker to manage, the Initiative's advisers developed a Priority Level system. This system would state an exact guideline of tactical formations and resources for a variety of Priority Levels, thus making it relatively simple to shift and declare fleet sizes as needed.
The Initiative was the most visible example of a significant shift in Republic strategic and tactical doctrine that took place right around the time that the Initiative was proposed.
Priority Levels Edit
Under the System Defense Initiative, individual system/planets are assigned a Priority Level, based on a combination of factors including strategic importance and the likelihood they will come under attack. These levels determine what share in the Navy's defensive assets that system is slated to receive. The practical results of this, are that Priority One systems have the largest defense fleets, while a Priority Four or Five system has a substantially smaller permanent Navy presence.
- For specific details on Fleet makeup as it pertains to these levels, see System Defense Fleets.
- For information on a given system or planet's priority level, see its page.
By the first month of 16 ABY, the initiative's first phases had commenced. Due to the severe weakening of the Navy's six battle groups, Admiral Ackbar ordered them to move into a 'spread defensive' deployment, with the stronger fleets converging at both the coreward border and the defense of Dac. This emergency move was conducted in order to get the fleets in place for their eventual system defense redeployment.
One month later, after painstaking planning, Fleets Three through Six were simultaneously ordered to execute the redeployment plan with all haste, engaging in the largest, most complicated fleet movement in New Republic history. The four fleets, taking advantage of operational cover from the simultaneous raids of Operation Scatterswipe, swung into a wide border patrol pattern that would allow them to detach convoys of ships to their new stations while on the move. Meanwhile, First and Second fleet remained at Dac and Ord Mantell, ordered into a short-response readiness in case assistance would be required. For weeks, the spacelanes of the Republic would be awash in convoys of transiting warships strung between hyperspace lanes in every direction.