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Away team

The away team on Kolarus III

An away team was a team of specialized starship or starbase crewmembers assembled to perform missions on planet surfaces and other starships.

These missions, deemed away missions, might include exploration, first contact, diplomacy, scientific research, or even combat. These missions are typically launched using a ship's transporter to send the crew to their destination, or by shuttlecraft, when use of the transporter was impossible or undesirable.

See also: List of away teams

Common away team procedures Edit

In the 23rd century it was common for the commanding officer to join the away team on its' mission. In the 2260s for example, Captain James T. Kirk constantly joined other crew members on a landing party or boarding party. For flag officers, doing so would be against Starfleet regulations, unless joined by an armed escort. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

In the alternate reality it was against regulation for the captain to join the away team. When Kirk told Spock he was "going with him." Spock told him that he would cite regulation to him, but he knew that he'd "ignore it." (Star Trek)

In the 24th century, the first officer usually formed and led the away team. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Pegasus") It was standard procedure for the second officer to be part of such a team and for captains not to accompany. (TNG: "Time's Arrow") On the USS Enterprise-D it was custom for the leader of the away team to have total control over the mission, including the allocation of personnel to the team. (TNG: "Peak Performance")

Starfleet regulations, specifically Starfleet Code Section 12, Paragraph 4, recommended against the captain joining away missions. (Star Trek Nemesis) Data once reminded Commander Riker of the captain's place on the bridge, as did Counselor Troi. (TNG: "Gambit, Part I", "The Best of Both Worlds")

It was both the personal policy of Captain Kathryn Janeway and recommended Starfleet protocol that away teams should consist of more than one member. (VOY: "Hunters") Despite this, Captain Jean-Luc Picard specifically sent Data as an away team of one to Vandor IV due to the nature of the temporal distortions occurring there and his unique nature as an android, preventing him from feeling the disorientation that would be experienced by other crew members. (TNG: "We'll Always Have Paris") Similarly, The Doctor was once sent as the lone member of an away mission to a Garan mining colony. His unique status aboard the crew as a photonic lifeform gave him protection from the macrovirus that was infecting the Garan, though the virus was not detected by the biofilters of the USS Voyager upon his beaming back, resulting in its spread. (VOY: "Macrocosm")

Types of away teams Edit

Background information Edit

The type of team tasked with performing away missions was, during preproduction of Star Trek: The Next Generation, to be called an "away-mission team," before this was simplified to become "away team." (Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Continuing Mission 1st ed., p. 17) The latter term entered common use at the beginning of The Next Generation, and continued its usage throughout the subsequent television series, up to and including the prequel Star Trek: Enterprise.

A recurring plot device throughout Star Trek: The Original Series was that a red shirted member of the landing party would be dead in the first ten minutes of the episode.

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