A citadel is deployed in space and is invulnerable for 24 hrs while its built. Then, after its deployed it has 15 minute window in order to repair itself and get its shields up. The citadels you hear about getting destroyed are all getting hit during that repair period.
After seeing some other low sec citadels getting blown up good we debated holding off but decided to go ahead as the death rate was relatively low and we felt that even the experience of defending it would be a good lesson. I donated an Astrahus to the corporation and we planned to deploy it Saturday with the aim of it coming out of construction during our prime Sunday night fleet time.
In the hour lead up to the go live point we prepped a large fleet and dispatched scouts to watch the two entrance systems to Fliet. I expected reports of a large hostile T3 or battleship fleet any minute as the countdown continued. At the fifteen minute mark we were keyed up to undock as powerful fleet as we could muster which is either impressive or unimpressive depending on what we were facing.
And yet, intel reported nothing... WAIT, a lone pilot in a nemesis, perhaps a cyno for a black ops fleet or titan bridge? Silence... but nothing.
The timer hit zero and the citadel was online but vulnerable. We quickly attempted to put fighters into it and began a hilarious routine in which we 1) couldn't figure out at first where the fighter bay was, then 2) discovered neither of the two leaders trying to use the fighters had the new skill trained, and 3) when I tried to take control of the citadel (amazing feeling by the way) I lacked permissions! Finally we got squared away and I was able to load and launch fighters which I used to attack a friendly unfit Incursus as a test. By the way, the key to activate the move mode for fighters is 'Q' only if you left the default key bindings. The more correct thing to say is that the Approach key binding is the same as the fighter move mode command.
The 15 minute timer expired and our citadel, named Kirith's Grand Emporium thanks to my donation, was safe! OP SUCCESS!