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In peace time, the Alliance's Naval Exploration Flotilla is used as a survey force to chart out new systems. The NEF came under fire in 2185, when several dozen service people were charged with withholding information on rich mining deposits in order to sell the locations to the exploration firm, Baria Frontiers. The Alliance attempted to hide the controversy to little avail, as more and more officers were indicted. Eager to bury its shady history, the NEF had dedicated its entire flotilla and material resources to constructing the Crucible.