The Merchant combat Fleet (M.C.F) is a private military organisation that is devoted to the protection and policing of the many trade routes and shipping lanes throughout colonised space.
Although it is a highly structured military outfit, it is run on a galactic scale like a franchised business, with individual sectors housing their own branches of the M.C.F. which operate semi independently using the M.C.F guidelines as a basis of operation. To keep the various branches in line the M.C.F. also has its own internal complaints and policing department which is based at M.C.F headquarters, in sector 08 03 SEC. It is the duty of this internal police force to prevent corruption and abuse of the well respected name that the M.C.F has acquired over the years.
Different systems can have radically different attitudes to this combat fleet as some systems will have a M.C.F outpost somewhere in the system that has to enforce taxes on merchants to provide funding to keep the system safe, whereas some others, most notably the Dagyr system which has incorporated the local M.C.F branch into its government and provides public funding, as well as mandatory national service to provide recruits and a permanent planet side base with permanent staff and facilities.
Most of the legal disputes and non-combat issues that are encountered by the M.C.F are passed on to the local representative of the UTrA, with whom the M.C.F have a very close working relationship with, being two sides of the same coin. The UTrA being the civilian side of the merchant policing world and the M.C.F being the military arm.