The Krowtonan Guard was an aggressive military organization encountered by the crew of the USS Equinox in the first week of their journey home after having been forcibly transported to the Delta Quadrant by the alien entity known as "the Caretaker" in 2371.
In response to the Guard's claim that the Equinox had violated their territory, Captain Ransom issued the order to traverse their space rather than condemn his crew to spend the rest of their lives in the Delta Quadrant. Over the course of the next week, attacks by the Guard resulted in serious damage to the Equinox and the deaths of thirty-nine people, over half the crew. In 2376, after encountering the USS Voyager, Ransom relayed these events to Captain Janeway, claiming that the crew never fully recovered from the traumatic experience. (VOY: "Equinox")