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Memory Alpha

Yellow alert

"Yellow alert! Captain to the bridge. Yellow alert!"
"Bridge, this is the captain. How can you have a yellow alert in spacedock!"
"Sir, someone is stealing the Enterprise!"
"I'm on my way."

A yellow alert or condition yellow was the second highest alert signal status on Starfleet vessels and starbases, one stage below red alert. It designated a ship-wide state of increased preparedness for possible crisis situations.


In this status, a ship's defense fields were energized, and/or the deflector shields were brought to full power, but the weapons systems remained off-line. (TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon", "The Lights of Zetar"; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) Depending on the situation, the captain could order a reduction in the closing speed between itself and any potential incoming threats. (TAS: "The Pirates of Orion"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

A yellow alert could either be activated manually by the commanding officer in preparation for a tactical or environmentally hazardous situation, or automatically upon detection of unknown or hostile spacecraft, or upon detection of certain system malfunctions. If the situation escalated, the commanding officer or the main computer would order a red alert. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

Notable uses

A yellow alert light highlighted in the armrest controls of a Constitution-class command chair

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

Yellow alert displayed on a Crossfield-class viewscreen

When the hijacked USS Reliant went on an intercept course against the USS Enterprise, Admiral James T. Kirk ordered a yellow alert. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Yellow alert was not typically ordered in the Earth Spacedock. However, in 2285, such an order was given aboard the USS Excelsior when Admiral Kirk was stealing the Enterprise. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

In 2286, after the USS Saratoga lost power when the Whale Probe transmitted a call on an amplification wave of immense power at the starship, the vessel's captain ordered a yellow alert. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

In the 24th century, Starfleet Regulations still called for a Federation starship to go to yellow alert when targeted by a laser weapon from another vessel. (TNG: "The Outrageous Okona")

In early 2365, when the USS Enterprise-D was approaching a void in space, Lieutenant Worf recommended that the ship go to yellow alert. When pressed by Captain Jean-Luc Picard for this recommendation, Worf responded that he was thinking about an old Klingon legend about a large space beast that devoured entire ships. (TNG: "Where Silence Has Lease")

The following year, Admiral Haden informed Captain Picard that all Federation starships were on yellow alert in preparation for a possible Romulan invasion from Nelvana III. (TNG: "The Defector")

This implies that a yellow alert could have been a general fleet-wide order from Starfleet Command or the Federation Council.

That same year, in the wake of the Borg threat, William T. Riker ordered a standing yellow alert on the Enterprise-D. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")

In 2369, Commander Benjamin Sisko ordered yellow alert when an alien vessel from the Gamma Quadrant arrived via the Bajoran wormhole. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit")

The same year, Commander Sisko ordered yellow alert when the imaginations of the people aboard Deep Space 9 became reality. (DS9: "If Wishes Were Horses")

In 2372, Captain Benjamin Sisko told Major Kira Nerys to keep Deep Space 9 on yellow alert as he embarked on a mission to Cardassian territory on the USS Defiant with several other members of the station's crew. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

The next year, Captain Sisko put DS9 on yellow alert after learning the Dominion was about to invade the Alpha Quadrant. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")

In 3189, Argeth was placed on yellow alert after Starfleet received intel that the Emerald Chain might make a move on the planet. (DIS: "Scavengers")

The first references to "yellow alert" were in TOS: "Court Martial". In that episode's final draft script, however, those references were instead to "red alert". The term "yellow alert" was included when the revised final draft of the installment's teleplay was written, at which time pre-existing references to "double-red alert" were similarly changed to "red alert". Thus, these changes allowed for the invention of yellow alert, despite still making it clear that the references to that alert status were less urgent than red alert.

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