The Departmento Admiralitatis, unofficially referred to as the Imperial Admiralty, is the main agency responsible for overseeing the administrative and logistical management of the Imperial Navy within the Adeptus Administratum. Answering to the Lord High Admiral, the Departmento Admiralitatis is divided into multiple offices and is responsible for everything ranging from personnel matters and ship assignments to construction of new vessels and equipping Navy crews with the necessary provisions. It is headquartered on Terra and is overseen by the First Lord of the Admiralty, who often holds the rank of Lord Admiral or Admiral and answers directly to the Lord High Admiral of the Navy. It is largely regarded as naval equivalent of the Departmento Munitorum, an agency with which it often works as they play the same role for their respective branches, but is smaller and generally considered to be less important.
Due to the vast size of the Imperium, central management of the Emperor's Fleet was a difficult task and often one that was nearly impossible to carry out. In many occasions it took years or even decades before orders and directives from the Departmento Admiralitatis could be fully implemented. However, as the head of logistics and management for the Imperial Navy, the Departmento Admiralitatis is nonetheless responsible for general fleet administration. Its many offices, directorates, and bureaus oversee many aspects, which include (but are not limited to) the following: personnel affairs, transportation and supply, long term strategic and operational planning, construction and ship assignments.
Organization and structure
The department is divided into numerous smaller offices that carry out specific functions, and usually there are several offices that are answerable to one of the multiple Naval Lords. The First Lord, the senior most such office, acts as the overall head of the Departmento Admiralitatis as well as the chief of several sub-divisions. It is up to the Naval Lords – also commonly known as Space Lords – to coordinate the activities of the department itself as the situation demands, which is is a challenging task alone, while working together with the Navy commander-in-chief as well as the five Lord High Admirals of the Segmentae and their local commands. Listed here is the general structure of the department as well as some of the more notable branches within it.
- Departmento Admiralitatis
- Office of the First Space Lord of the Admiralty ("General")
- Admiralty Board
- Office of the Second Space Lord of the Admiralty ("Operations")
- Admiralty War Staff
- Fleet Reserve Command
- Office of the Third Space Lord of the Admiralty ("Intelligence")
- Fleet Intelligence Office
- Surveyor's Office
- Office of the Fourth Space Lord of the Admiralty ("Security")
- Naval Security Office
- Office of the Fifth Space Lord of the Admiralty ("Support")
- Naval Engineering and Controller Department
- Fleet Medical Center
- Fleet Aeronautica Office
- Office of the Lord-Commissar Admiral ("Commissars")
- Fleet Commissariat
- Office of the Civil Lord of the Admiralty ("Civil")
- Merchant Trade Department
- Fleet Auxiliary Command
- Office of the First Space Lord of the Admiralty ("General")
Each of the Naval Lords typically held the rank of Lord Admiral, though sometimes full Admirals were also appointed, usually in an interim capacity. Despite their naming, everyone except for the First Lord were considered to be equal on the hierarchy (i.e. the Second Lord did not necessarily have more authority than the Third Lord or the Lord-Commissar Admiral). Over time, these positions gained some amount of prestige and aura of seniority about them, so the opinions of holders of certain Naval Lordships were given more weight among the Departmento Admiralitatis. However overall the First Lord was the head of the department while he appointed another staff officer to serve in the position of his deputy, the Deputy First Lord.
The personnel of the Admiralty itself are not always staff officers but also include front line commanders to provide first-hand knowledge of the fleet's abilities and constraints. Many of its members are graduates of prestigious academies, including the Imperial College of Fleet Strategy on Terra, which also acts as the Navy's primary staff college.
Offices and branches
- Admiralty Board – Part of the Office of the First Lord, it has a broad range of responsibilities, serving the purpose of general management. The Board's primary role is personnel affairs, training, and mobilization. Promotions to senior ranks, assignments, training programs and naval academies, and recruitment of new officers and men are its primary duties. Among its other roles is oversight of the various other branches of the department and ensuring that they are all working in coordination. Members of the Admiralty Board often serve as advisers regarding naval matters to other members of the bureaucracy or the Imperial armed forces. It is also the largest branch of the Departmento Admiralitatis in terms of members.
- Admiralty War Staff – Considered to be another vital organization within the Departmento, the War Staff is responsible for operational and strategic planning. It functions to coordinate the actions of the Navy's fleets dispersed throughout the Segmentae, working with the Lord High Admiral of the Navy, the five Lord High Admirals of the Segmentae, and their local Segmentum Commands to plan for and carry out operations. Due to the large distances involved, in practice the Admiralty War Staff is often unable to effectively carry out that role and serve as operations advisers to the Lord High Admiral and the High Lords of Terra. Regardless, the strategists of the War Staff are responsible for managing operations and planning for the future development of the Emperor's Navy.
- Fleet Reserve Command – In a role similar to the War Staff, the Fleet Reserve Command oversees all reserve vessels and units of the Navy and performs administrative functions for them. It also commands reserve battlegroups and coordinates their activities with active duty formations.
- Fleet Intelligence Office – It works closely with the Logis Strategos to analyze information and recognize threats to the Imperium's space lanes and fleets, serving as the naval arm of the intelligence services. A representative of Fleet Intelligence is usually stationed aboard every capital ship.
- Surveyor's Office – The branch responsible for finding locations to build planet-side naval stations and other facilities, with the Surveyor's secondary role being to help manage exploration and colonization.
- Naval Security Office – The Naval Armsmen and marines which act as security aboard ships and planet-side facilities, and carry out boarding operations, are managed by the Naval Security Office. This is the highest authority for naval infantry within the Imperial Navy hierarchy and oversees the administrative and logistical aspects of the Naval Security Troops. That includes personnel matters as well as providing specific equipment and training. It often cooperates with the Fleet Commissariat to provide for military policing duties within the Navy.
- Naval Engineering and Controller Department – One of the main support offices, the Controllers, as they are called, are responsible for research and development of warships, smaller craft, and other naval technologies, as well as construction of new vessels for the Navy. They work closely with the Adeptus Mechanicus to provide for the Imperial Fleet's technological needs. It is also responsible for organizing the maintenance of warships and cooperates with the Adeptus Mechanicus for personnel affairs regarding the Navy's Enginseers.
- Fleet Medical Center – Works with the Officio Medicae to help provide the Navy with medical personnel and supplies aboard every warship.
- Fleet Aeronautica Office – The main authority of both the spaceborne and atmospheric fighter pilot corps. The Fleet Aeronautica Office is responsible for setting regulations for the Navy's aviation arm, as well as overseeing the training programs and equipping of pilots.
- Fleet Commissariat – Led by the Commissar-Lord Admiral, the Fleet Commissariat performs the same functions as their Imperial Guard counterparts, keeping discipline within the Imperial Navy. It has an office within the Departmento Admiralitatis which is responsible for managing the Navy's commissars, and it often works closely with the Naval Security Office on matters of training and recruitment.
- Merchant Trade Department – The branch of the Departmento Admiralitatis that acts as the intermediary between naval command and the various Rogue Trader Houses, civilian shipping concerns, and other officials involved with logistics. It also helps oversee merchant shipping, dealing in those matters as they pertain to the Navy. Thus the head of this department has the title of Civil Lord of the Admiralty.
- Fleet Auxiliary Command – This department oversees the modification of cargo vessels and other civilian ships into auxiliary warships that serve as a backup to the main Imperial Reserve Fleet. Essentially, the Fleet Auxiliary is only deployed in dire situations to support regular, local, or reserve units. The Auxiliary Command manages and organizes these elements and directs them, under the purview of the Civil Lord.
The Departmento Admiralitatis had its origins as the Admiralty Board of the Departmento Munitorium in the 31st Millennium, during the late stages of the Great Crusade, shortly before the start of the Horus Heresy. The organization essentially carried out the logistical functions for the Imperial Expeditionary Fleets. It was not until later that the Departmento Admiralitatis was founded as an independent agency, as the Imperial Navy was expanded at the expense of the new Imperial Guard in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy. Thus the Admiralty Board was elevated to its own separate department within the Adeptus Administratum, charged with overseeing the logistical and administrative functions for the Navy under the command of the Lord High Admiral on Terra. The Departmento Admiralitatis underwent many internal reforms throughout its existence.