The Colonial Fleet uses three Readiness Levels aboard ship to quickly change the ship’s combat posture.
Condition One is the call to action stations (AKA general quarters, battle stations, etc.). Attack is present, or imminent. This alert places the ship at its highest state of readiness. All crews go to their combat posts. Bulkhead doors are closed in case of decompression. Additional Viper pilots are scrambled to supplement the Combat Air Patrol and the Alert Fighters, and flight support crews man their stations. The CIC is locked down and the ship’s commander is on station.
Ship alerts on Colonial warships are known as action stations and are given to prepare the crews for battle. The alerts are typically by voice as well as by a klaxon in the following format:
- “Action stations, action stations. Set condition one throughout the ship. This is not a drill.”
When Condition One is set:
- The CO assumes command on the CIC if he was not on duty.
- All Vipers are prepared for immediate launch.
- All weapon stations are manned and cleared for action.
- Damage Control teams are assembled and put on standby.
- Marine combat teams likewise assemble and prepare for potential enemy boarding and/or the need to assist in damage control.
- Medical crews prepare to triage incoming wounded.
- All hatches between compartments are sealed to control the effects of potential decompression or fire.
Condition Two is a more relaxed state of readiness. Threat probable, but not present. Crew readiness is somewhat more relaxed than full readiness. This is usually ordered directly after the end of a Condition One alert.
This is the “all clear” alert, returning crews to their normal, day-to-day non-combat duties after Conditions One or Two. This is normal cruising during wartime. Weapons are partially manned, but the ship is at less than full readiness. Even at Condition Three:
- One third of the crew is on watch including at least one of the three most senior officers in the CIC.
- Several CAPs are flying protection around the Fleet and an entire Squadron of fighters are on alert to launch at a moment’s notice.
- Marines continue to guard critical areas, patrol the ship’s corridors, and keep several response teams on standby.