The High Guard Fleet Organization is the name for the structure of the Systems Commonwealth military fleet. The High Guard has traditionally been charged with the defense and exploration of the entire Local Group, an area of the universe quadrillions of cubic light-years in size.
Because of several factors, such as the sheer number of ships, missions, and distance between ships, the command organization behind the High Guard's fleet organization is rather flexible, but is still a complicated hierarchical system with definite rank roles. Since the distance between fleets and individual ships is vast even when they are close, and couriers traveling in Slipstream can still take days or weeks to relay their message, each regional commander is given discretion to do what he sees fit in the area in every aspect. Because of the obvious potential for abuse, each commander is rigorously trained and monitored by the Commonwealth.
The High Guard's vessels are divided into 3 fleets, which each have a complex internal organizational structure that allows for the individual vessels and task forces of the fleet to be used with precision for whatever problem arise. Each fleet is charged with local forward presence responsibilities in the Triangulum, Andromeda, and Milky Way galaxies respectively. These fleets are further sub-divided into Heavy Cruiser Battle Groups and Planetfall Readiness Groups.
As of CY 9784, there were just over 360,000 ships in the High Guard, of which nearly 150,000 were dedicated combat/exploration platforms, and performed such roles as treaty enforcement, border patrol, first contact missions, and defense. The remaining 210,000 assets formed the backbone of High Guard long-range logistics support operations, with most of them in replenishment or scientific roles, and the small remainder of them in service as cargo ships, ferrying refugees or delivering cargo to impoverished worlds.