The red alert graphic as used on the Constitution-class refit

Red alert, also known as condition red or code red, was the highest alert signal status on Starfleet vessels and starbases.

Usage Edit

Capt chair control

A red alert option in the armrest controls of a Constitution-class command chair

Galaxy alert status indicators

A Galaxy-class alert indicator in normal, yellow alert, and red alert modes

Red alert (sovereign class)

The red alert graphic as seen on a Sovereign-class starship

Alert- Condition Red on Voyager

The condition red graphic as used on the Intrepid-class

One stage above a yellow alert, this status had weapons systems and shields brought to full power, essentially preparing the ship for combat. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) The Klingon equivalent of this status was defense condition one. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")

The Klingon equivalent for red alert may be a reference to the American alert system DEFCON.

Red alert could also be ordered during various other emergency situations, such as a ship being boarded, radiation exposure, a security alert, massive systems failure, an imminent warp core breach, and an evacuation order, among others. (TNG: "Descent", "Final Mission", "True Q"; VOY: "Threshold", "Day of Honor"; DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil"; Star Trek Generations; Star Trek Beyond)

A red alert could either be activated manually by the commanding officer or the officer in charge, or automatically, as when a ship was attacked, or entered a dangerous area, etc. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Arena") The raising of shields automatically triggered a red alert. (TNG: "Justice", "Contagion") The ability to activate red alert could apparently also be granted even to non-ranking crewmen at discretion, as Seven of Nine had clearance to place the USS Voyager on red alert. (VOY: "Nothing Human", "Virtuoso")

Engaging Self-destruct automatically triggers Red Alert and can only be deactivated by the captain using command codes. (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; TNG: "11001001"; "Where Silence Has No Lease"; DS9: "The Adversary" ; VOY: "Deadlock"; "Dreadnought"; Star Trek First: Contact)

Sections of a starship could be placed on red alert while other sections remained at a lower alert status. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Notable usesEdit

In 2152, "condition red" was among several possible names that Lieutenant Malcolm Reed considered for a security protocol that was eventually dubbed "tactical alert". Because of Reed having an obsession with the security protocol, Trip Tucker suggested "Reed Alert", which was also rejected by Reed. (ENT: "Singularity")

In 2266, upon discovering a phaser on overload hidden somewhere in his quarters on the USS Enterprise, Captain Kirk announced a "double red alert". (TOS: "The Conscience of the King")

In 2293, while the USS Enterprise-A was returning from Rura Penthe, an intercom message by Commander Uhura informed the crew that only certain decks should remain on red alert while in Klingon space. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

This makes it clear that only parts of the ship can be on red alert.

In 2369, Commander Benjamin Sisko ordered red alert for Deep Space 9 when an alien ship from the Gamma Quadrant fired a radiation burst onto the shields, which depolarized them. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit")

The same year, Sisko ordered red alert when a pulse wave torpedo was fired into a subspace rupture. (DS9: "If Wishes Were Horses")

In 2372, Captain Sisko ordered red alert on the USS Defiant, shortly before the cloaking device was deactivated and the shields raised, to prepare for battle with three Klingon Birds-of-Prey. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

In 2374, Chakotay mentioned that the USS Voyager would remain on "full" red alert. (VOY: "Scorpion, Part II")

Later that year, the USS Honshu went to red alert when it was attacked, and subsequently destroyed, by a Cardassian destroyer unit. (DS9: "Waltz")

Alarm soundsEdit

In addition to dimming of the lights and computer terminals displaying red graphics, an audible alarm would sound.


Background informationEdit

"Red alert" comes from the naval tradition of general quarters, and, in fact, the command "general quarters" may be used interchangeably to bring the ship into red alert. In TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", red alert is referred to as both "condition alert" and "general alert". In TNG: "Where No One Has Gone Before", Captain Jean-Luc Picard issues both commands.

The uses of red alert were preceded by double red alert being mentioned in "The Conscience of the King". The first produced episode to mention red alert was "Court Martial", which, in airing order, was preceded by a reference to it in "The Squire of Gothos". In the final draft script of "Court Martial", double red alert was used extensively instead of red alert, indicating that double red alert developed into this alert status. Scripted references to red alert in the same final draft teleplay were evidently later changed to yellow alert.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the red alert lights change during the show's run. The first time red alert is heard is in "Encounter at Farpoint", but the lights aren't flashing red. The first time the lights are seen flashing red is in "The Naked Now", which have only the top and bottom part of the lights flashing. However, beginning in "Where Silence Has Lease", the whole part of the lights flash. The next change the lights have is seen in "Man of the People", where there is a longer period between when it flashes and when the sound is heard.

External linksEdit

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