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Expedition Fleet

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An Expedition or Expeditionary Fleet was the standard Imperial exploratory spacefaring force during the Great Crusade.


Originating from Terra, the Imperial Expeditionary Fleets dispersed all over the galaxy, carrying out the Emperor's vision of uniting known space under the banner of Humanity. Expedition Fleets had a wide remit. Their primary mission was to find lost human colony worlds and bring them into the bosom of the Imperium. Secondary missions involved the exploration of space, the cataloging of everything found, the claiming of resources in the name of the Emperor and the elimination of any alien threats.[Needs Citation]

The unification of human worlds did not always proceed without incident, as not all lost worlds showed immediate interest in making themselves subservient to the Imperium. In these cases, compliance with Imperial directives was enacted with the use of military force. These situations, as well as the ever-present alien threat, resulted in Expedition Fleets having a strong armed contingent, and were usually under the command of a military officer of the Imperial Army, a Lord Commander. In addition to a Lord Commander, each Expedition had a Master of the Fleet who was in charge of the Imperial Navy ships in the Expedition. Each of the Primarchs was able to, and often did, command an Expeditionary Fleet, attaching to it the majority of their Legion. Most Fleets had no Astartes presence at all, although some Primarchs split their Legions into small detachments that they parcelled out to various expeditionary forces.[Needs Citation]

The Imperium still makes use of Expedition Fleets in its recent history.[25]

Known Expeditionary Fleets

In the 203rd year of the Great Crusade, War Council logs indicated that there were[1a]:

  • 4,287 expedition fleets engaged in active exploration
  • 372 expedition fleets engaged in refit and repair
  • 60,000 (approx.) detached compliance groups involved in occupation and colonization.
Fleet Commander Astartes Contingent Imperial Army Regiments and Support Elements Notes Sources
1st Expedition Fleet Emperor of Mankind Early Space Wolves[22]

Adeptus Custodes

Unknown Known as the Principia Imperialis, disbanded towards the end of the Crusade. [12]
3rd Expedition Fleet Rogal Dorn (Primarch) Imperial Fists Unknown Conquered the Consus Drift, a belt of stellar debris which lay in the dark between stars close to the Sol System. [11b]
4th Expedition Fleet Lion El'Jonson (Primarch) Dark Angels Legion Unknown The Dark Angel contingent of the 4th Expedition replaced one of similar size made up of White Scars Space Marines led by an officer named Sheng Khan. [2]
7th Expedition Fleet Suleiman Grimm (Lord Commander) Dark Angels Unknown Conquered the Grail Abyss, including the world of Lascal. [14b]
8th Expedition Fleet Unknown Iron Warriors Legion Unknown Virtually annihilated after losing 29,000 Space Marines on Incaladion. [11c]
12th Expedition Fleet Roboute Guilliman (Primarch) Ultramarines Legion Unknown [3]
13th Expedition Fleet Angron (Primarch) World Eaters Legion Legio Audax [18]
19th Expedition Fleet Hector Thrane First Legion Unknown Fought at Behtelgen IV [24]
27th Expedition Fleet Corvus Corax (Primarch) Raven Guard Legion Therion Cohort [4]
28th Expedition Fleet Fulgrim (Primarch) Emperor's Children Legion Archite Palatines The 28th Expedition also existed under the command of the Primarch Magnus the Red and his Thousand Sons. It is unclear if this is a different expedition fleet or the same one.[7] [3]
40th Expedition Leman Russ (Primarch) Space Wolves Legion Outremars[9a]

G9K Division Kill[9a]

Took part in the war against the Olamic Quietude. [9a][9b]
47th Expedition Fleet Lorgar (Primarch) Word Bearers Legion[7a] Ouranti Draks[7b] [7a][7b]
51st Expedition Fleet Barabas Dantioch (Warsmith) Iron Warriors Unknown Took the Lesser Damantyne and Schadenhold. [15]
52nd Expedition Fleet Ferrus Manus (Primarch) Iron Hands Legion Unknown [3]
60th Expedition Fleet Ireton MaSade (Lord Marshal) Unknown, if any Solar Auxilia Took the Hive World of Agathon. Scored many other victories. Original icon of Solar Auxilia Cohorts of this Fleet was 'Equis Astra' - the head of white stallion [14a][14c]
63rd Expedition Fleet Horus (Primarch, later Warmaster)[1b] Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus Legion[1b] Byzant Janizars[1c]

Legio Mortis[1d]

81st Expedition Fleet Sigismund (First Captain) Imperial Fists Unknown Defeated the Hecuban Conformity and Eldar forces. [11a]
85th Expedition Fleet Konrad Curze (Primarch) Night Lords Legion Unknown Piamen campaign. [19]
88th Expedition Fleet Unknown, possibly Alpharius Alpha Legion Unknown Unknown [1e]
90th Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown Moved through the Coronid Deeps. [14b]
93rd Expedition Fleet Angron (Primarch) World Eaters Legion Unknown Angron's initial Expeditionary Fleet. Took part in the Ghenna Massacre. [23]
106th Expedition Fleet Unknown Blood Angels & Word Bearers Unknown Didn't discover the Horus Heresy until later in the war, fought with Word Bearers thereafter. [21]
125th Expedition Fleet Perturabo (Primarch) Iron Warriors Legion Selucid Thorakites [11d]
140th Expedition Fleet Khitas Frome (Captain) Blood Angels (3 Companies) Unnamed Army Regiment (4,000 strong) Destroyed by Megarachnids on Murder. [1c]
203rd Expedition Fleet Angron (Primarch) World Eaters Legion Legio Audax Fought on Aerius with Sons of Horus. [Needs Citation]
277th Expedition Fleet Unknown Raven Guard Unknown Unknown [8e]
376th Expedition Fleet Unknown Raven Guard Unknown Unknown [Needs Citation]
392nd Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown [Needs Citation] [7c]
406th Expedition Fleet Lasko Midoa (Iron Father) Iron Hands Unknown [Needs Citation]
413th Expedition Fleet Ulan Cicerus Ultramarines Serranic Peltasts

Marnean Armsmen

Took part in the Fall of the Lords of Gardinaal. [28]
611th Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown Moved through the Cyclops Cluster in Segmentum Obscurus. [14b]
670th Expedition Fleet Teng Namatjira (Lord Commander) None, see notes Geno Five-Two Chiliad

Zanzibari Hort
Crescent-Sind Sixth Torrent
Regnault Thorns
Legio Xerxes

Primarch Alpharius and an Alpha Legion force fought as part of the 670th Fleet during the Nurth campaign, but stood outside the order of battle. Overall command remained with Namitjira. [5]
809th Expedition Fleet Naraka Night Lords Unknown [17]
817th Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown Stationed at Hattusa at the outbreak of the Horus Heresy. The Remembrancer Solomon Voss was with the fleet at the time, along with his collaborator Askarid Sha. [10]
915th Expedition Fleet Jaghatai Khan (Primarch) White Scars Legion Unknown Waged the Chondax Campaign. [16]
954th Expedition Fleet Bulveye (Wolf Lord) Space Wolves (13th Great Company) Arcturan Dragoons [6]
1,301st Expedition Fleet Baloc Torvus (Fleetmaster)[8b] Word Bearers (Serrated Sun Chapter)[8b] Euchar Infantry[8c] Legio Cybernetica[8c] & Legio Custodes[8d] also part of E.F. [8]
2,003rd Expedition Fleet Unknown Dark Angels 24th Claristan Grenadiers Took part in the Muspel campaign [26]
2,188th Expedition Fleet Unknown Unknown Unknown Disappeared under mysterious circumstances in a region nearby the Word Bearers homeworld of Colchis. [8a]
2,901th Expedition Fleet Unknown Night Lords Unknown Disbanded due to the betrayal of the Night Lords just before the Drop Site Massacre. [13]
3,283rd Expedition Fleet Konrad Curze & Magnus the Red Night Lords, Thousand Sons Unknown Temporary ad hoc formation formed when the spheres of influence of the Night Lords and Thousand Sons overlapped. [20]
3686th Expedition Fleet Unknown. White Scars Solar Auxilia [27]
3,855th Expedition Fleet Unknown. Word Bearers (Bloodied Visage & Crescent Moon Сhapters) Unknown. [8c]