Starbase 12 was a Federation starbase located in the Gamma 400 star system (TOS episode: "Space Seed") in the Fries-Posnikoff Sector (TNG novel: Ship of the Line), in the Beta Quadrant. (ST reference: Star Charts)
Starbase 12 was one of the most important outposts in the Federation as it was in reach of both the Klingon and Romulan empires (TNG novel: Ship of the Line), and located near the Klingon Neutral Zone and the Orion Neutrality Area. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
- In Armada, the starbase's space station name was randomly assigned to a playing field station by the game software.
- There is some uncertainty over the foundation date and design of Starbase 12. The timeline inside the FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update claims Starbase 12 was built in 2265. However, the TNG episode: "Power Play" makes it clear that a facility with this name existed as early as 2167. Furthermore, the TNG novel: Ship of the Line and the FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge both have the base as a planet-side facility, while the Decipher RPG module: Starfleet Operations Manual mentions an orbital outpost, the TOS novel: Ishmael describes it as an alien space station tunneled into a planetoid and refurbished for Federation use, and the TNG video games: Armada, Armada II depict a standard Federation space station (though this a randomly selected name). TOS novel: Black Fire also described a space-based facility. It is possible that all of these are parts of the same base complex, with both orbital and ground-based facilities developed at different times, or that operations have moved between these locations over time.
In the 22nd century, Starbase 12 was the site of a Central Computer terminal, which was the closest such terminal to the planet of Gamma Spica. In 2122 SFC (c. 2196), Doctor Stephan Mortimer, a science officer aboard the USS Bellweather, used recently developed and much faster subspace radio communications to transmit geological data and codes to the more-advanced computers on Starbase 12. The data was processed and sent back in time for the Bellweather to prevent earthquakes on Gamma Spica. (ST reference: Spaceflight Chronology)
New construction had already begun on Starbase 12 when the Federation Council surprisingly reduced Starfleet funding in stardate 1/3612 (circa 2210). Funds for completion of the starbase were "indefinitely postponed", and it remained incomplete and inoperative. (FASA RPG module: The Federation)
- In the FASA RPG continuity, this would refer to the planet-side facility.
In 2253, a diplomatic party of ambassadorial personnel from Delta Indus II were dropped off at Starbase 12 after the passenger vessel they were traveling on developed engine problems. The USS Enterprise was expected to retrieve them and ferry them the rest of the way to their homeworld. (TOS novel: Vulcan's Glory)
In response to the creation of a Klingon base at Mastocal and the danger it posed, Starbase 12 on the planet Rontelm was completed and assumed operational status in reference stardate 2/0705 (circa 2265). (FASA RPG modules: The Federation, The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update)
The USS Enterprise visited Starbase 12, or planned to, several times during Captain James T. Kirk's five-year mission. (TOS episode: "Space Seed", TOS novels: The Joy Machine, Ishmael, The Final Reflection)
By 2267, Starbase 12 lay in free, unclaimed space. At the time, it was built into a planetoid. The tunnels into this planetoid were originally made by the Karsid Empire when they used it as a base. These were remodeled by the Federation and formed the oldest parts of the base, including the officer's quarters. This Starbase 12 was built with the main aim of observing the Tau Eridani Cloud. In 2267, the USS Enterprise delivered a number of astrophysicists here to observe the passage of a white dwarf star through the Tau Eridani Cloud. (TOS novel: Ishmael)
The USS Enterprise returned to the space-based Starbase 12 in 2270 for repairs following an explosion on its bridge. A hearing was held to investigate the cause, officiated by Commodore Kingston Clark. The USS Raven had also docked at Starbase 12's airlock #6 for rest and re-provisioning, but Commander Spock and Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott stole it on stardate 5505.6. After being captured and returned, they underwent a court martial on Starbase 12, with Commodores Clarke and Pierce and Fleet Captain Iko Tomako presiding, Commodore Bragg prosecuting and Ellen Janest serving as Scott's legal counsel. Soon after, the Enterprise made several returns to Starbase 12. (TOS novel: Black Fire)
The crew of the USS Arkadelphia assembled at Starbase 12, beginning with the reassignment of Captain Ian Vellacora to there in stardate 2/1708 (c. 2278), and the ship itself was transferred to the station in stardate 2/1709 following its completion. More crewmembers were appointed to the Arkadelphia over the next two months.
The Dixie Lady relayed news of the destruction of its sister ship Dixie Princess to Starbase 12 on stardate 2/2201.29 (c. 2284), but Klingon jamming let only a portion of the message through. This last transmission from a Dixie starship marked the failure of Operation Dixie. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update)
After an encounter with the Orion pirate Makon, the starship USS Enterprise-A towed Makon's ship to Starbase 12, where Makon and his crew were incarcerated, and Makon's victims aboard Ace Industries Cargo Vessel 10658 were provided with assistance. (TOS comic: "What Goes Around...")
The USS Enterprise-B was loosely assigned to Starbase 12 during its career, from which it took part in a number of engagements within the Klingon Neutral Zone and the Triangle. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual)
The starbase was evacuated for two days in 2364, though no explanation was given by Starfleet Command. Starfleet Captains Walker Keel, Rixx, and Tryla Scott believed this was evidence of a conspiracy within Starfleet, which was caused by possessing parasites. (TNG episode: "Conspiracy")
By 2378, another Starbase 12 was in the New Holland Colony in the Maelstrom sector. Vice Admiral Alice Liu was based at Starbase 12 and served as Chief of Starfleet operations for the Maelstrom region. The USS Dauntless and the USS Sovereign, both under the command of an unknown Starfleet captain, were assigned to the base to fight against the rogue Cardassian Matan. (TNG video game: Bridge Commander)
Starbase 12 coordinated a great deal of Starfleet traffic dedicated to the defense of the Federation's core areas. It was an important location for starship maintenance, and also provided a useful conduit of information. (Decipher RPG module: Starfleet Operations Manual)
In the late 23rd century, the ground-based Starbase 12 supported 39,000 Starfleet personnel and over 150,000 civilian employees, two-thirds of whom were Orion. This was so many that it counted as an Orion Colony. Apart from some occasional unrest, Rontelm was considered a showcase of Orion-Federation co-operation and harmony. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
Starbase 12 was, at that time, the home of the 12th, 42nd, and 91st Strategic Forces as well as the 3rd, 6th and 7th Pursuit Groups of Scorpio-class corvettes, and reputedly was home base of an anti-pirate force which Starfleet denied the existence of at that time, with classified numbers. (FASA RPG modules: Federation Ship Recognition Manual, The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
It had superb facilities for starship maintenance. (Decipher RPG module: Starfleet Operations Manual) It also contained legal chambers, a detention unit and a secure docking bay. (TOS novel: Black Fire)
The ground-based starbase was supplied by farms and mines on Rontelm, as well as mines on other planets and moons of the Aladso system. It had a number of factories and was self-supporting. Its secondary support base was the world of Rhinate. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
- As a small planet-like world and secondary base of Starbase 12, Rhinate may potentially be the planetoid Starbase 12 presented in Ishmael. However, Rhinate lays in the neighboring Vitabon system.
In 2267, the planetoid Starbase 12 was serviced by civilian establishments, including the Wonder Bar and Sexy Sadie's Literature Emporium and Haircutting Establishment. (TOS novel: Ishmael)
- USS Essex visits Starbase 12. (TNG episode: "Power Play")
- USS Enterprise sets course for Starbase 12. (TOS novel: Vulcan's Glory)
- USS Enterprise diverts from a course to Starbase 12 to visit Ceti Alpha. (TOS episode: "Space Seed")
- USS Enterprise undergoes a maintenance layover at Starbase 12. (TOS novel: The Joy Machine)
- USS Enterprise visits space station of Starbase 12. (TOS novel: Ishmael)
- USS Enterprise arrives for maintenance. (TOS novel: Black Fire)
- USS Raven stolen from Starbase 12. (TOS novel: Black Fire)
- USS Bozeman visits Starbase 12. (TNG episode: "Cause and Effect")
- c. 2283
- USS Enterprise visits and the crew take leave for a week. (TOS novel: The Final Reflection)
- Starbase 12 evacuated for two days. (TNG episode: "Conspiracy")
- USS Enterprise-D arrives for maintenance. (TNG episode: "Captain's Holiday")
- USS Enterprise-D plans for possible visit to Starbase 12. (TNG episode: "Aquiel")
- USS Enterprise-E constructed onsite. (TNG novel: Ship of the Line)
- USS Bozeman-A constructed onsite. (TNG novel: Ship of the Line)