Freighting LACs to the Talbott Quadrant
First, about whether or not CLACs should be used to transport LACs to the Talbott Quadrant. There are several reasons to use CLACs. Among them are:  They are the fastest units available with already existing LAC bays and simulators, not to mention entire magazines full of LAC munitions.  There is no particular need to retain any of them not assigned to Eighth Fleet at home. Only Eighth Fleet was contemplating offensive operations before the Battle of Manticore, and for the most part, LACs operating from permanent basing facilities, are at least as effective as those operating from mobile bases when it comes to defensive actions (like the Battle of Manticore), with the added advantage that you can leave the CLACs even farther out of range.  By the time Mike Henke is sent to Talbott, there are serious concerns about a shooting war with the Solarian League, which is a significantly greater problem than the simple suppression of piracy and general "Coast Guard" functions. It makes a lot of sense (at least, Admiralty House think so) to send the most capable possible platforms to support Mike, especially when they aren't needed for mobile operations closer to home.  The best way to get LAC groups into Talbott, fully trained up and ready for action, is to send them aboard carriers which just happened to be specifically designed to keep them that way.  While the Hauptman Cartel is busy building modularized LAC simulators and the Navy is busy refitting several of its military-grade-speed freighters to play the role of LAC tender, getting all of that into the production pipeline and deployed is going to take a while. The CLACs are available now, they aren't doing anything else of remotely equal strategic importance, and of the available modularized simulators and basing facilities can be sent along with them aboard one of the Navy's already existing vast freighters.  Although various opposition forces (like the Solarian League for example) are definitely prone to underestimate the military capabilities of modern Alliance LACs, a military ship the size of a CLAC is going to be pretty darn impressive to anyone who sees it -- perhaps even more so if they assume that it's an SD rather than something carrying ridiculous, flea bite-sized LACs. As such, the CLACs are going to be extremely reassuring to the new citizens of the Star Empire of Manticore as visible proof of the RMN's size, capabilities, and willingness to "send the very best" to help defend them. At the same time, one can at least hope that any Solarian admiral whose sensors actually pick one of the ships up will have the wit to assume that the Manties wouldn't have spent the time, money, and military resources to build something that size if they didn't expect it to represent a genuine military threat.