Tango Fleet is now one of the longest running PBEM RPG's on the internet. It may not be the largest, but it remains one of the most stable. The club was a major influence on the simming community through their openness and charity. In particular, graphics created by club members come to adorn websites across the simming community.
Tango Fleet has had a long and proud history. Mark Casey, and Andrew Grimm, originally members of the Seventh Fleet e-mail RPG, had a falling-out with the Seventh Fleet command and in in late December 1995 decided to begin their own RPG. By early January 1996 Tango Fleet came into existence when her flagship, the Galaxy Class USS Pegasus launched under the command of Captain Mark Casey, with Commander Andrew Grimm as first officer. The Pegasus quickly became popular, particularly among frequenters of the World Wide Collector's Digest (WWCD) Star Trek chat room, and within a short time it was time for Tango Fleet to add another ship - the USS Atrius, which Commander Andrew Grimm took on. The two-ship fleet continued to grow rapidly, and within another month the Atrius' Chief of Securtiy, Lt. Commander Michael Todd, was promoted to full Commander and given command of yet another sim - the USS Saturn. At about this same time, another Commander on the USS Pegasus was also given his own command named the USS Hyperion. The 4 ships also proved popular and not long after the launch of the Saturn and Hyperion, it was decided that in order to keep current with advancing fleet technologies that a new ship would be launched -- the USS Octavian, and Fleet Admiral Casey would transfer his command to this new flagship. The changover of command on the Pegasus herself was initially calm and organized, with the Pegasus' first officer, Michael Bremer, taking command. Unfortunately, as often happens in growing organizations, there was contention between the new Pegasus command staff and fleet command. Hard feelings led to the first rupture within the fleet. Captain Bremer and his crew left the fleet, taking the Pegasus name and beginning a new fleet - Bravo Fleet, which later flourished on its own account and has become a valued ally with Tango Fleet in the RPG commuity. However, the Pegasus' tradition did not die in our own fleet. After some rebuilding and transition, the Pegasus was once again flourishing within Tango Fleet under command of Captain Matt Decker. In 1997 Tango Fleet continued to prosper, as friends and fans alike enjoyed the fun and fellowship offered by the gaming environment. Not only was the fleet growing in terms of ships, however, but more importantly, the increased ships represented the invaluable addition of new and energetic players to the game. This led to more new ships, including an experimental Klingon Exchange vessel the IKC Hegh'Hov (later renamed the IKC Sang), and USS Masada under the command of Commander Amy Linderman (as Kiara Priest). As the growing interests and concerns of all the new players began to toll heavily on the time and energies of the Fleet Commander and Deputy, they increasingly sought the counsel and assistance of other captains and senior officers on their ships. Out of this counsel came the decision to distribute the administrative burden of the fleet by creating more leadership. Shortly after the Masada was commissioned, the Tango Fleet Administrative Board was formed. This consisted of Commander in Chief, Fleet Admiral Mark Casey; Deputy Commander in Chief, Vice Admiral Andrew Grimm; Director of Expansion, Rear Admiral Kiara Priest; and Director of Public Relations, Rear Admiral Michael Todd. Through this board the fleet was able to re-establish the sort of personal contact that Casey and Grimm had once had with all members of the original fleet, however the membership continued to grow! Shortly after, this board was formed the first ship was launched under the new Department of Expansion -- the USS Bismark, with the Chief Operations Officer of the USS Saturn, Commander Tara Marshall taking command under the auspices of a newly created character. In conjunction with the Bismarck's launch was the launch of Tango Fleet's first limited enrollment vessel -- the Defiant Class USS Telesto, which was intended to provide the intimate small group gaming environment that the initial players in Tango Fleet had experienced at the start of it all. The Masada's Marine Commander, Colonel Amin Yussef, was granted command as a different character. However, the success of this vessel was hampered by a lack of consistent posting habits by a smaller crew, and disagreements about gaming policies within the administration. As a result, this ship never reached its full potential and eventually in 1998, attempted to withdraw from the fleet, with little success, leading finally to its unfortunate decommissioning. By the end of Tango Fleet's second year, there were 9 ships each with around 10 players per ship. While 1997 didn't experience as much growth in number of vessels; Tango Fleet membership did continue to grow, and along with this growth came a continued move towards a more democratic system of administration. As the Administrative Board was working with such success the first fleet census and poll was taken, seeking opinions and suggestions for improvement from every fleet member. With the responses under advisement, Rear Admirals Todd and Priest put forward the recommendations to Fleet Command that a 'Fleet Command Council' be formed in order to have access to the varied opinions and expertises of the executive staff. It was to include the CO and XO of every ship in the fleet. This system was simply a formalized expansion of a system that had loosely existed in Tango Fleet ever since its conception. With the growth of the fleet many new members that were taking commands did not have as much direct contact with the administrative staff, and this formalization came at an opportune time. The original Command Council held monthly meetings of all members via ICQ chat, but as the fleet grew such chats eventually grew impractical and chaotic. The council then changed to a group messaging system, though chats do continue to play an important part in the command process. With the addition of the Command Council, the decision was also made to represent our members in more cross sectional ways than just by each individual ship - the first Tango Fleet Corps and Bureaus were formed, and the heads of those organizations were included in the council. Also, as a result of the census/survey, the desire for better interfleet communication was expressed, thus a Director of Information Services was established. To reward their roles in organizing and coordinating this undertaking, the original administrative Board was revamped. Vice Admiral Andrew Grimm was promoted to Full Admiral. Rear Admiral Kiara Priest promoted to the administrative role of Chief of Fleet Operations, as Vice Admiral Amy Lindeman. Rear Admiral Michael Todd was made Chief of Fleet Relations, with a promotion to the rank of Vice Admiral, and Lt. Commander Haakon Vinje, then Chief of Security of the USS Pegasus, was instated as Assistant Chief of Fleet Operations. In 1998 Tango Fleet underwent even more major changes. In May Admiral Mark Casey resigned as Fleet Commander in Chief. Admiral Andrew Grimm succeeded him in the position, and Vice Admiral Amy Lindeman took the position of Deputy Commander in Chief with a promotion to Full Admiral. The fleet began it's second reorganization forming divisions and adding Division Advisors to the already existing roster of Command Personnel. The Division Advisors were selected from ship Commanding Officers or Executive Officers, and as such were still members of the Command Council, but they also joined the Admiralty in forming a new reincarnation of the previous Administrative Board now called Executive Council, which was given the authority to make decisions involving day to day operations of the fleet and things which required immediate attention. Their role was also to direct important issues to the Command Council, with the hope of relieving much of the administrative burden from the COs and XOs whose primary responsibility was to be game management. While all this was happening the fleet continued to grow rapidly by adding many new ships to accomodate new Cadets which were joining every day. The USS Artemis, USS Avalon (later renamed USS Arizona), USS Cambrian, USS Casey, USS Dauntless, and the USS Endymion were all launched, but the USS Telesto and IKC Sang were dissolved. By the end of 1998 the total number of ships in the fleet was 13 - most were doing well, but some continued to struggle. In retrospect, this growth was seen to be a bit too rapid and streched the resources of the fleet. 1998 proved to be a year of struggle and contention among the administration, as difficult decisions had to be made in order to recover the fleet from this precarious position. Fortunately when all was said and done, this succeeded and was marked with the celebration of Tango Fleet's 3 year anniversary in January of 1999. This was the first time that Tango Fleet was really able to sit back and look at our growth and successes, and the celebration what had been accomplished. 1999 saw the admission of three independent RPG ships, the USS Lancelot, USS Odyssey, and the USS Concordia. As well as the launch of three new ships, USS Phoenix, USS Edison, and USS Casey named in honor of the fleet's founding Commander in Chief. Starbase Tango was also created, as an alternative type of gaming environment for experienced players, but after a year was retrofited to serve as the fleet academy and base of training for our newest cadets. The fleet's command staff also underwent a change as both Admiral Grimm and Admiral Lindeman stepped down due to real life stresses and growing difference of opinions with some of the command staff. Admiral Liesel Gresham was named as Commander in Chief, with Phillip Barnes as Deputy, but as Adm. Gresham was on a leave of absence at the time of change, Admiral Barnes took temporary command and named Capt. Becky Manes of the Bismarck as Acting Deputy. During the last half of this year the proposal to create an RPG Constitution was made, and a panel was created by the Command Council to discuss and come up with an outline. Admiral Gresham finally returned late in the year, but once again the rapid growth, coupled with the command changes became fracture point which led to the USS Artemis, USS Atrius, USS Endimion, USS Oddyssey, and USS Phoenix all either leaving or being dissolved before the end of the year. The fleet stabilized with 13 ships, and one starbase. In early 2000 the fleet began it's greatest period of trial and recovery. Against the wishes of some in the Command Council, Admiral Gresham disbanded the Constitution panel. During the outcry that followed she resigned and was officially replaced again by Phil Barnes with Becky Manes once again as Deputy. Three ships were lost as a result, the USS Pegasus and USS Protostar withdrew from the fleet, and the USS Concordia was dissolved. The Constitution panel was re-formed with several new menbers of the Command Council, and by late 2000 the team completed the RPG Constitution. The fleet CO's and XO's ratified it nearly unanimously, and the Command Council was reorganized to consist only of CO's, XO's and the members of the Executive Council. In August the fleet Academy completed it's merger with Starbase Tango to provide a training simulation for new players. One sim was created to take the place of the departed sims, the USS Edison began under direction of Chuck Billheimer. Slow and stable growth became the new watchword for the fleet. By early 2001, the careful growth allowed 2 new sims - the re-launch of the USS Pegasus, and Starbase 98 (which was later renamed Intel Team IV). In an attempt to learn from past mistakes, the fleet set goals to promote open communication between members and the fleet administration. It was met by some success, but there remained a great lack of communication within the Command Council. In July this communication problem became a major point of contention, which led to Admiral Barnes resigning from the fleet, and causing the withdrawl of the USS Masada and Starbase 98. Admiral Kreg Asay became the first player to be elected as Commander in Chief under the new RPG Constitution, with Admiral Lindeman returning to be elected Deputy CinC. This administration was intended to be a temporary, transitional administration while the fleet had time to stabilize and get in a positive direction once again. The new Administration had 3 primary goals: Try to repair the fractures caused by the old Command change from Admiral Marshall, and the recent one with Admiral Barnes; Streamline and update the Constitution which had been shown to have a few faulty sections, and improve communication within the Executive Staff, Command Council and members of the fleet in general. To improve communication with members of Tango Fleet, 'The Commlink' newsletter began to be published this year. Also the Tango Fleet forum was once again established as to provide an outlet for members to make suggestions, exchange ideas, and get to know other players. A new Constitution panel was formed to work on the Constitution - composed of many members of the original panel. Admiral Lindeman served until January 2002 when real life concerns once again pushed her away. Admiral Matt Grant was elected to take the position, and Admiral Asay chose to retain his command and continue leading the fleet on its road to recovery. By the end of 2001 the fleet was well on it's way to meeting the goals. With the start of 2002 the fleet once again began to grow with the USS Zealandia joining from an independent RPG, and a new experimental sim; Deridous Colony. In May, Admiral Grant stepped down due to lack of time, and Admiral Becky Manes was elected to fill the position once again. Communications between the fleet's groups had been improved, which helped to heal many of the old rifts, but it remained a continuing process. Late in the year the new Constitution was approved by the Command Council. At the end of the year, with the completion of the goals established by his administration Admiral Asay stepped down. Admiral Lyn Merical was elected to take the position with the start of 2003.
Sometime after 2003 but before 2005 Cain Bentiot was elected commander-in-chief of the fleet. After that, it was Carter Schimpff who was elected in as the last CinC of Tango Fleet.
The Last Weeks
In 2006 there were several internal issues that eventually lead to the breaking up of Tango Fleet. In the month of May the commander in chief of the fleet at the time, Carter Schimpff and most of the commanding officers of the fleet who turned around and left the Tango Fleet name behind and developed something new, giving birth to another fleet known as Sixth Fleet. Although the players who remained in Tango Fleet tried to keep it alive after Sixth Fleet was formed, it eventually folded.