Federation Starfleet, also known simply as Starfleet or Star Fleet, was the exploratory and defensive force of the United Federation of Planets. Starfleet's function was to explore unknown territory on the behalf of the Federation government, to defend the Federation and its allies from threats, to further Federation policies and interests throughout interstellar space, and, when applicable, to initiate first contact with newly-discovered worlds and to engage in diplomatic negotations on the behalf of the Federation.
The Federation Starfleet was chartered in 2161 with the founding of the Federation. A charter was written and an institution for the training of the Federation Starfleet officer corps, Starfleet Academy, was established. The Federation Starfleet was created from the space and science programs and militaries of the Federation's founding Member States, including the United Earth Starfleet (founded only about twenty to thirty years earlier), the Andorian Imperial Guard, and the Vulcan, Tellarite, and Alpha Centauri military forces. Starfleet Headquarters, the primary hub of Starfleet Command, was built near the Presidio in San Francisco on Earth, as the United Earth Starfleet Command complex had been, as was the Academy. 
|Divisions and agencies of Starfleet|
|Academy • Administration • Advanced Starship Design Bureau • Advanced Technologies • Appeals Board • Bureau of Information • Bureau of Standards • Command • Communications • Control • Corps of Engineers • Criminal Investigative Service • Cultural Affairs • Dental • Exploratory Division • Headquarters • Intelligence • Inspector General • Internal Affairs • Judge Advocate General • Materiel Supply Command • Medical • Mission Operations • Operations • OSHC • Orbital Operations • Research and Development • Sector Guard • Security • Special Security Division • Science • Shipyards Operations • Stellar Imaging • Strategic Command • Tactical • Technology Assessment Directorate • Training Command|
|Federation Starfleet | Klingon Defense Force | Romulan Imperial Fleet | Cardassian Central Command (Cardassian Guard) | United Earth Starfleet (UFP) | Andorian Imperial Guard (UFP) | Bajoran Milita (UFP)|
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Formed as an integral part of the United Federation of Planets Charter in 2161, the Federation Starfleet incorporated elements of its founding members space-faring agencies, including Earth's own Earth Starfleet and its secret organization, Section 31. (DS9: "Inquisition"; ENT: "Detained", "Divergence")
Missions undertaken by the Federation Starfleet fell at least partly under the jurisdiction of the United Earth Space Probe Agency (or UESPA) as late as the 2290s. By the mid-24th century Starfleet missions were regulated solely by Starfleet Command, answering to the Federation Council and bound by its General Orders and Regulations. (TOS: "Charlie X", "Tomorrow is Yesterday"; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; et al)
|Federation Military (Star Trek: Remington)|
|Federation Starfleet | Federation Marine Corps | Federation Starfighter Corps|
|Ranks: Starfleet | Starfleet (dress uniform) | Marine Corps | Marine Corps (dress uniform) | Starfighter Corps | Starfighter Corps (dress uniform)|
A Navy was a military unit composed of various vessels and was commonly known as a Starfleet or a Defense Fleet. Though several worlds and civilizations used the word "Navy" as traditionally associated with a fleet of sea vessels, the majority of the the galaxy primarily used it to define a fleet of starships.
Some spaceships were shaped like ancient traditional maritime vessels, such as the Fairwind, though this was rare.
Numerous worlds built space navies for their own defense as well as for use by Galactic governments in times of peril. Prominent civilizations that were known for their contributions to the advancement of starfleets were Mon Calamari and Kuat.
A Naval task force would normally include:
Four major categories of most aquatic vessels are generally common among the galaxy:
The usage of the word "navy" or other naval terms (ship, frigate, corvette, cruiser, fleet, admiral, captain etc) which were inherited to space or stellar technology is not uncommon in science fiction works, such as Star Trek. Note that squadron is a term used in real life both for navy and aeronautics.
According to the encyclopedia of Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, space navy evolved from sea navy, although this evolution would have happened as early as 200,000 BBY.