Star Trek: Nautilus
Starbase 23 is located close to the Romulan Neutral Zone and is approximately 80 light years from Earth. Along with Starbase 24 on the Klingon border and Starbase 234 in The Triangle, Starbase 23 monitors and guards the most volitile region in the Beta Quadrant.
Starbase 23 plays several vital roles for Starfleet and the federation as a whole. Firstly it is the only starbase in the Onias Sector which has a long history of Romulan military activity. Countless Romulan incursions have been staged from the Onias Sector and the nearby Paulson Nebula. Starbase 23 is also the end point of the gravitic sensor net that runs along the Romulan Neutral Zone for hundreds of light years, ending at the Garadius IV Station. Starbase 23 maintains and mans the six Quebec Outposts along the Romulan Neutral Zone and is an essential sub-space relay hub for the Beta Quadrant.
Completed in 2223 as the final piece of the Federation’s sensor barrier arrayed against the Romulans, Starbase 23 had a rather quiet history until 2266 when the Romulans began raids into and beyond the neutral zone. Starbase 23, which up until this point was little more than a communications hub built on the surface of a large asteroid, now was at the center of the tensions with the Romulans. Two large asteroids, each 5KM in length were bored into and armed with the latest defensive systems. By 2275 the asteroid star base was joined by an Alamo-Class defense platform.
In the years between 2275 and 2293 the Starbase continued to grow. There were plans to build a Spacedock-Class Starbase here in 2290, but the project was halted and the materials on site were incorporated into the asteroid Starbase.
In 2293 Starbase 23 became the base of operations for the Starfleet Intelligence Stealth Initiative. The whole of Starbase 23 changed crews, the replacements all being Starfleet Intelligence under Admiral Rickhardt. While most of the information about the starbase during this time is classified, it is known that the USS Ajax was outfitted with a prototype cloaking technology in 2294 and began running covert missions into the Romulan Neutral Zone by 2295. By 2311, six other Excelsior-Class starships were outfitted with cloaking technology and joined the Ajax in these covert operations.
In 2311 Starbase 23 was temporarily shut down as a result of the Tomed Incident and the subsequent Treaty of Algeron. The base remained officially closed until 2319. The aging Alamo-Class defense platform was replaced with a Regula III-Class orbital platform at that time, signifying to the region that Starbase 23 would be reopening with a more peaceful mission.
Since its reopening Starbase 23 has grown once again as a frequent stop for Federation Starships. While there are few recreation facilities for the many crews who have come to expect at a star base, Starbase 23 is still a favorite among crews mostly owing to the base’s history and unusual layout.
Starbase 23 is not just one floating platform, but a group of facilities collectively known as “Starbase 23.” The main center of the base are two oblong asteroids connected to each other by a series of turbolifts, power umbilicals, and gantries. Each asteroid is 5KM long, with approximately 25% of the interior hollowed out for star ship docking and star base facilities.