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An outpost was typically any frontier base or settlement that was usually minimally equipped, and which served many purposes, including research and defense. On many worlds, an outpost was the precursor to a colony.

Following the Earth-Romulan War, Earth established a series of outposts, constructed on asteroids, in order to monitor the Romulan Neutral Zone. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

The colony on Cestus III was an Earth Observation Outpost in 2267 prior to its destruction by the Gorn that same year. (TOS: "Arena")

A Federation outpost was located on Caleb IV. It came under a attack by Kor and Kang's forces at one point in the 23rd century. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach")

The Federation maintained a scientific outpost in the Guernica system. (TNG: "Galaxy's Child")

Medical technician Simon Tarses served at several Federation outposts before joining the crew of the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "The Drumhead")

The Melona colony was considered a Federation outpost. (TNG: "Silicon Avatar")

Calder II was the location in 2370 of an outpost that consisted of a small science station and had limited defensive capabilities. Because Calder II was a Federation outpost, it was defended by Starfleet. The outpost had a type-four deflector shield, which protected it and the surrounding ruins, as well as two phaser banks. (TNG: "Gambit, Part I")

The Son'a had an outpost on Devos II in 2375 that was the site of a ketracel-white production facility. In that year, Weyoun had Damar send Dominion ships to the outpost to protect it against a possible Federation attack. (DS9: "Penumbra")

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