The USS Liberty was the 10th Sovereign class ship to be produced, shortly
after the commision of the USS Freedom. After the 'Rekal' incident with the Romulans
starfleet desided to radically change their apporach to the patrolling of the Neutral
Zone. The actual incident occoured when the USS Tamigosa received a distress signal from a
Federation colony on the Romulan border, the Tamigosa was intercepted and destroyed by a
trio of Romulan ships. The Romulan vessels then proceeded to attack, and plunder the
colony. After their assault there were only 35 people alive, of the 500 that had
previously inhabited the colony. This act nearly lead to all out war between the
Federation and the Romulans, however theis was averted when the Romulans agreed to return
over 200 captured Federation personnel in return for an armistice. The Federation council
agreed to this, and six weeks later the POW's were returned.
The ease with which the Romulans penetrated the Federation defense grid gave the Admiralty quite a start however and they ordered a total re-deployment of the fleet that patrols the Neutral Zone. Previously the fleet had functioned independently, but now it would function directly from the command ship. There would be patrols, as well as long range sensor bouys put in place. To this end the Admiralty ordered the production of a flaghip, of what is now known as the 12th fleet.
The new Sovereign class starship was dubbed Liberty. There were already two Sovereign Class ships in production at the time the Liberty was ordered by starfleet command, and one of the vessels, initially named the Herculese, was renamed Liberty and dispatched. Overall there was a nine month delay beteween the time the ship was requested by the Admiralty, and the time it began active service as the Command ship of the 12th fleet.
The 12th fleet consists of 280 vessels, 87 type 3 Excelsiors, and another 100 assorted capital ships. To boost the contingent there are also various supply, medical and research vessels in the fleet. There are also 60 Peregrine and Falcon class figthers in the fleet. The Atlantis under the command of Captain Patton began service as the flagship on the 21st of October 2373. After her first three weeks in command the ship had her first skirmish with the Romulans. She and and trio of fighters disabled and destroyed a pair of Romulan Xerses class battleships. There were no causalties and the ships systems held up well under the exceptional punishment she received from the state of the art Romulan vessels.
Since that incident the Romulans have chosen to give the flagship a wide berth, but there have been growing tensions along the Neutral Zone. A report from starfleet intelligence indicates that they believe the Romulans are staging for a major offensive against either the Klingons or ouselves, if this is true then the crew of the Liberty certainly has their work cut out for them.