The Omega Directive is a classified Federation Starfleet general order that was enacted in 2270, and requires the commanding officer of a starship to immediately inform Starfleet Command if an Omega molecule has been detected.
The Directives supersedes all other standing orders and general directives, including the Prime Directive, and dictates that once the molecule has been detected the primary goal is to locate and destroy the molecule by any means possible. Due to the highly sensitive nature of the directive, information regarding its existence is on a strictly need-to-know basis for captains and above. Normally a specially trained Omega Team is called in to deal with any situations involving the particle; if this team is not available, the Captain is authorized to deal with the situation by any means they deem necessary. (VOY episode: "The Omega Directive")
Background to the DirectiveEdit
In the early 2260s, Dr. Bendes Kettaract, a human scientist, began performing research into the creation and application of omega molecules. By 2268, Kettaract had gained the support of Section 31 and was ready to begin active experiments to create omega molecules, and he arranged for him and his research team to be taken to a covert research station located in the Lantaru sector.
By the end of the year, Kettaract had managed to synthesize two omega molecules, however once they were synthesized they became unstable and generated a massive subspace shockwave. Thanks to the last minute efforts by the crew of the USS Enterprise the destructive energy was absorbed by the station's cloaking device, but the shockwave was still able to seriously damage subspace and prevent the use of warp drive in the sector, and cut off two Federation colonies from support. Captain James T. Kirk recommended that a directive needed to be created to look out for these particles and prevent similar destruction from occurring again. (TOS novel: Cloak)
Enactments of the DirectiveEdit
The order has only been enacted twice since its creation, the first incident occuring in the Delta Quadrant in 2374. The USS Voyager detected the molecule and Captain Kathryn Janeway set out to destroy the molecule. However, due to the unusual situation of Voyager being alone, Captain Janeway took it upon herself to inform the rest of her senior staff so that they could assist her in destroying the molecule. (VOY episode: "The Omega Directive")
In 2376, the Borg Collective were able to stabilize an Omega molecule and were using it as a power source which could highten their destructive power and mean destruction for the rest of the galaxy. After safely deflecting the third invasion of Sector 001, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the USS Enterprise-E led a large Federation Alliance into the heart of the collective and mounted an assault on the storage facility. The assault was successful and all allied ships managed to escape before subspace was severely damaged. (TNG video game: Armada)