Starbase Rockford is a Federation Cascade II-class space station located on the border between the UFP and the Cha'ouw Empire. It is a strategic space station located near the Klingon Empire, Romulan Empire, Cardassian Union and Bajor, as well as Breen and Tholian space. It is also a major starship construction site with capabilities to construct or repair any number of Federation, Klingon, Romulan and alien vessels due to the large number of drydock facilities that are part of the starbase and the number of construction tenders stationed there. It is not unusual to have a Klingon drydock only a few miles away from a Federation or Romulan drydock.
History of the Illinois sector area
Need for a station near the Cha'ouw Empire
The need for a space station near the Cha'ouw Empire was first addressed with the construction of K21, near the present site. For over 25 years it was a major hub for travelers between Chal, Bajor, Romulus, Qo'noS and nearby Federation systems. It was dismantled in 2304 when an agreement at Khitomer was put in place concerning that area of space.
In 2359, the Cha'ouw approached the Federation, inviting it to establish a permanent base on the border with their empire. Talks lasted until 2367 when an agreement was reached to place a Cascade-class space station, to be known as Deep Space 021. Following a treaty between the Cha'ouw and the Cardassians, the Cha'ouw suggested to use an abandoned Nor-class space station, which was found in space ceded to the Cha'ouw, and which was similar to Deep Space 9, to be the outer shell. However, after closer inspection it was found that the station was five times bigger than a true Nor class. Dismantled and brought to the site by the Cha'ouw, both Cha'ouw and Federation engineers started work to combine it with new enlarged spacedock class station as its core and designated it a Cascade II-class space station.
Work was briefly slowed during the Dominion War as the incomplete space station was joined by drydock facilities of several allies of the Federation in their fight with the Dominion. Mysteriously, the station was never attacked during the Dominion War, even with major action occurring in the nearby Hades star system, which allowed it to be finished in 2377, just after the war's conclusion.
The starbase is named after Rockford, a city in northern Illinois, which straddles the Rock River and is part of the Winneford Multiplex in the 24th century (coincidentally, Admiral Higdon was born in Winneford). It is located near the extreme section near the Cha'ouw homeworld in what is known as Sector 021, also known as "Sector Illinois".
The name was given as a nickname, as one of the command construction engineers was from Winneford, and it stuck.
Both Starfleet and Cha’ouw personnel man Starbase Rockford. Among the Federation personnel besides Starfleet's contingent is a full brigade of the Federation Marine Corps as well a detachment of Federation Legionnaires, the latter placed there at the invitation of the starbase commander. The Cha'ouw also supply members from their own Imperial Star Fleet, Marines and Special Operations personnel. A Starfleet Chief Surgeon, assisted by a Cha'ouwian medical officer, oversees the medical facilities which have many species and support groups attached to it. Admiral Stormclaw of the Cha'ouwian House M'KVy oversees the construction areas and departments, and Starfleet Rear Admiral Steven Keriz runs the bureaucracy of the station.
The promenade area, located on Deck One (the spacedock section), is an area of commerce, religion and diplomatic relations. Most of the special embassies have offices on this deck. Restaurants of different types also ring the promenade, including one named after the traditional lounge on Galaxy-class starships, Ten Forward. A feature of the lounge is a transparent floor that appears to look down on spacedock operations, which is a projection from above (during times of emergencies the floor becomes black). An entrance to the James T. Kirk Memorial Reception Hall, which doubles as an officers' lounge when not used for receptions, is also found on the promenade.
The Office of the Starbase Commander is located off the interior docking facilities, with a large window behind the main desk, with a spectacular view of the interior of the docking area for starships within the station. The office contains a large desk where the starbase commander can monitor any activity concerning the starbase and the treaty exploration zone. On the right side of the desk (as the commander sits behind) contains monitors that can display any information the commander wants displayed. In times of emergency special consoles along with seats, stored in the lower part of the wall and in the floor, can be activated at anytime.
In front of the desk, several meters away, is the main entrance, leading from the outer office, where normally the commander’s personal assistant, or yeoman, and a security officer, usually a Starfleet Marine sergeant, mans the outer office.
On the left side is a large wall with holographic pictures and diagrams pertaining to the starbase, including seals of the Federation, Cha’ouw Empire and the starbase seal. The wall is retractable and in emergencies reveals the Strategic Command Center, used to coordinate starbase operations and operation in nearby sectors. This room was completed in time for the Dominion War and was used by the Cha’ouw to coordinate actions within their borders.
Flags also adorn the room inckuding the Federation, Starfleet, Cha'ouw Imperial Flag, Cha'ouw Senate Flag, House K'HIg'Den Flag, Admiral's Flag as well as the station's flag. The current commander, Admiral Jeffery Higdon, has placed the dedication plaques of the USS Shiloh, the USS Ticonderoga and the original plaque of the USS Black Hawk. Models of different starship and space vessels are also included. Displayed with the plaque is the commissioning sword of the USS Shiloh, presented to Higdon when the Shiloh was commissioned.
On the other side of the docking area, opposite of the commander's office, are the offices of the Cha'ouwian Vice Commander, who is primarily charged with the construction yards within the starbase sphere. The Starfleet Vice Commander's Office is located on a different deck for security concerns and has a direct turbolift to the Strategic Command Center.
The dedication plaque has both the seal of Starfleet on the top left of the plaque and the Cha'ouw Empire on the right, as well as the project logo for Starbase Rockford in the top center. The Starbase Rockford project logo resembles the Galaxy class project logo, without the oval behind it, and words defining where and what is the project is. The listing includes several Starfleet and Cha'ouwian personnel.
- The plaque contains the names of two of the Duras Sisters Alien Pub of Sin RPG players, giving their real names as Starfleet admirals and their Cha'ouwian names in the RPG and subsequent Star Trek: Black Hawk stories. Karen Higdon is listed as a commodore, as that is her rank in the Cha'ouw Imperial Star Fleet.
The plaque is located in the promenade area next to the main turbolift, in order that passers-by may read it. It also gives the following dedication statement, given by Admiral Higdon at the official commissioning ceremonies:
- "...Of all the battles, of all the glories, the truest test of a warrior, whether it be a Cha'ouwian, Klingon, Teni, Kilrathi or Human, whether it be a fighter or a lover, can only be found in the heart."