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The Trade Defense Force was created to protect the transports of the Trade Federation. It was created due to the inability of local Planetary Security Forces to protect the Trade Federation's interests.
Around 214 BBY, a series of transport businesses in the Rseik sector decided to join the Trade Federation. They were burdened by pirates, and the Defense Force sent a flotilla including a Captor-class heavy munitions cruiser and two Munifex-class cruisers to stop the pirates, obliterating them.
Their officers wore black, gray, and red uniforms with opalescent stripes. The TDF marines were trained on Balmorra to defend freighters against boarders and to protect them while in port. The bulk of the capital ship assets were corvettes, frigates, and gunships—all of which were fast attack craft intended to drive pirates away from the slower bulk freighters. The fact that it possessed such a fleet disturbed some in the Core Worlds, although the TDF proved that they were effective in a number of early engagements with pirates and raiders, and the Federation also worked closely with the Judicial Forces against bigger threats. One argument against their effectiveness in direct military action, however, was their assets being constantly spread across the galaxy's network of trade routes. However, like its parent organization, it would become more ruthless in exploiting outlying sectors, and later act as the military "will" of the Trade Federation, including forcing concessions with backwater systems with their turbolasers, as well as driving away non-Federation transports from ports, and the Kuati and Balmorran traditions faded away as soon as the first Sullustan, Gran, and Neimoidians began taking over key parts of the Federation. The marines were also largely replaced by battle droids, with Lucrehulk-class battleships also increasingly enforcing their policies.
During the Federation's occupation of Naboo, the Defense Force temporarily substituted for the Royal Naboo Security Forces. After the Invasion of Naboo and upon the arrest of Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray, most of the TDF was turned over to the Galactic Republic.
After the Declaration of a New Order that reorganized the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire, and during the Empire's Reconquest of the Rim, the rogue Customs Vizier Marath Vooro refused to acknowledge the treaty that Acting Viceroy Sentepeth Findos signed regarding handing the Empire control of its resources, with Vooro also gaining control of the remnants of the Trade Defense Force and its droids at Enarc, resulting in the Five Veils Campaign until Vooro was captured at the Hook Nebula.
- Auxilia-class pursuit destroyer
- Captor-class heavy munitions cruiser
- Lupus-class missile frigate
- Munifex-class star frigate