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The Navy has grown enormously since the decline of the Old Republic, but its mission has largely stayed the same: to free the system space of member worlds from hazards to profitable commerce, to assure the safety of member worlds from attack from outside forces, and to bolster the planetary governments in times of crisis. This last mission has grown more difficult since the rise of the New Order.
Under the Republic, the Navy could move in and put down unrest in a system, secure in the knowledge that the majority of the governed species welcomed their intervention. The New Order has changed the attitudes on many of the constituent worlds. While the vastly increased firepower available to the Navy has so far been more than adequate to compensate for any increase in hostilities, the willingness of member worlds to resist the New Order is expected to be a greater problem in the future.
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Changes in Civilian Command Structure
Planetary governments had the right to call upon the Navy of the Old Republic in emergencies. The would simultaneously petition the Senate if the forces were to be engaged for more than seven standard days (most actions could be concluded within that time). The only lengthy campaigns were against the pirates located on the fringe worlds, and these were the concerted efforts of several hundred worlds who at one time or another had found themselves prey for pirates.
Since the disbanding of the Senate, the Navy is no longer required to respond to requests from planetary governments, including planetary governors appointed by the Empire. Under new doctrine, individual planets are too insignificant to allow them direct control over an asset as important as the Imperial Navy, even for short periods of time.
Civilian orders are now transmitted at the level of the Sector Group, from regional Moffs, Grand Moffs, or the Emperor himself. Smaller units are to receive their orders only from officers in the proper chain of command. This is a definite change from the Republican Navy, when Senators or other politically powerful beings could directly commandeer naval vessels - sometimes entire squadrons - for missions without having the order come down through the chain of command.
This change has greatly boosted the morale of naval personnel. The officers now know that the strategy is being set at a level of authority which is best suited for seeing the whole picture. Naval commanders have the authority and responsibility to execute their orders in the best manner possible, and they know they shall be free from political interference while doing so.
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Naval Command Structure
The Navy has responded to its rapid growth by changing its command structure, introducing intermediate levels of command which did not exist in the Republican Navy. Most of the junior level officers were promoted to these intermediate levels, while the senior officers kept their ranks but had the scope of their command enlarged. An admiral in the Imperial Navy commands forces over 10 times as great as an admiral did during the Old Republic.
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