Security Tactical Department

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I. Overview

II. Positions Descriptions

A. Security/Tactical Chief (STC)
B. Assistant Security/Tactical Chief (ASTC)
C. Other Positions

III. The Tactical Station

IV. Areas of Responsibility

A. Weapons
B. Shields
C. Sensors
D. Communications

V. Standard Security Procedures

I. Overview

The Security department aboard a starship is responsible for securing the safety of the ship and its crew. They have to protect every individual on board from both internal and external threats.

Internal, the Security Department acts like a police force, with all the protection and service that that term implies. They are keeping an eye out for any potential trouble. If there are any visiting delegations and/or dignitaries on the ship, Security has to be extra-alert. But although they are performing necessary and vital duties, they will voice their authority in a calm, polite and non-threatening way. Security Officers will only use physical force, detention, custody or arrest, if it's absolutely necessary. A Security force is needed not only to protect, but to serve.

External threats can be natural or artificial, security uses the external sensors to determine if a situation is dangerous. If the situation is dangerous they take actions to prevent it. Security controls all defensive shields, tractor beams and other beams and pulses. The are authorized to use all instrument of the ship to ward of the threat.

But a starship is not only capable of defending itself. When the threat is big enough it can be necessary to attack or maybe destroy the cause of the trouble. For instance, when an enemy ship starts firing on the starship, the only option can be to fire back. Or they have to destroy an approaching missile. Then the Tactical part comes to light. The Security Officers supervise all weapons on board the ship. They are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the main phasers, the photon torpedo launch systems and even the smaller hand-held weapons.

But Starfleet Security tries to prevent the use of force by anticipating all possible moves from friend and enemy.

"Knowing is the greatest weapon of all."

II. Position Descriptions

A. Security/Tactical Chief (STC)

The head of the Security Department on a ship is the Security/Tactical Chief. He has to be a highly trained and interactive individual. In reality he is always on duty and has be alert for imminent threats. One of his prime duties is guarding the commanding officer of a starship. The captain is considered a vital element of the ship, and treated accordingly. Part of safeguarding the captain involves performing security sweeps of areas before the captain enters or beams into them. The STC is usually an integral member of most away teams, acting as a bodyguard of all other members.

In the Tactical role, he is the vessels gunman. He is responsible for the ships weapon system, and is also the COs tactical advisor in Star Ship Combat matters. Thes STC is also trained in various ground combat and small unit tactics. He has to be able to defend himself in weaponless comdat and Zero-G situations.

The Security staff is generally large relative to other departments. When the ship is not on alert, guards are posted at security stations on the decks located near vital areas. If there are cases of emergency, Security personnel will be stationed on all decks. So you can imagine haw many security guards are needed. The total number of personnel also depends on the size of the vessel. The STC is in charge of these people and will need an office for coordinating their functions and schedules.

B. Assistant Security/Tactical Chief (ASTC)

The Assistant Security/Tactical Chief (ASTC) has to aid the Security/Tactical Chief in the execution of his/her duties. The Assistant Security/Tactical Chief is supposed to assume the role of his Chief when the need arises or if the Security/Tactical Chief is unable to perform his/her duty adequately.

C. Other positions

Security/Tactical Officer (STO)

There are a lot of Security Officers aboard of each Starfleet vessel. They are assigned to their duties by the Security/Tactical Chief his/her Assistant and mostly guard sensitive areas, protect people, patrol, and handle other threats to the Federation. They can also be put into service behind the Tactical Station. They assist the Security/Tactical Chief and his Assistant by running and maintaining the numerous weapons systems aboard the ship, and analysis and tactical planning of current missions.

Weapons Officer (WO)

The Weapons Officer is responsible for maintaining, repairing, storing portable weapons aboard a vessel. He supervises weapons locker access and distributes firearms to Security personnel.

Brig Guard (BG)

The Brig Guard is a Security Officer who has chosen to specialize in a specific role. He/she guards the brig and its cells. But there are other duties associated with this post as well. He/she is responsible for any prisoner transport, and the questioning of prisoners. Often Brig Guards have a good knowledge of forcefield technology, and are experts in escaping such confinements.

VIP Bodyguard

VIPs are sometimes difficult people to get along with. They want this and that, and want it as soon as they ask for it. So a VIP Bodyguard has not only to guarantee for the safety of the person he/she guards, but must also be good at organizing the requests from VIPs.

III. Tactical Station

On most ships, the Tactical Console is in the middle behind the Captain

IV. Areas of Responsibility

A. Weapons

All weapons systems aboard a starship are administered by the Security Department. They have to make sure they work properly and they are in charge of operating the weapons. Most Starfleet vessels are equipped with phase banks and photon torpedoes. It however depends on the function of the ship how heavily armed it is. A small science vessel many have only minor weapons.

Security does not only control the shipboard weapons, also smaller ranged hand-held weapons and even man-to-man arms, such as blades and swords, are supervised by them. The most used weapon used by Starfleet itself is the modern phaser.

B. Shields

Security is also responsible for the ship's deflector shields, its prime means of defense against attack. The shields protects the ship from projectiles, phasers and torpedoes; They are also impenetrable for transporter beams and most other sort of beams. Although shields can be overcome with sufficiently powerful force, they can be penetrated by learning the exact modulation and frequency of the shield. Therefore it is sometimes needed to rotate the shield's modulation and frequency, to block off attacks.

C. Sensors

The sensor arrays are maintained by Operations and mainly used by the Science officers, but the Tactical officer on duty also uses the sensors to determine all threats. Security is monitoring the internal visual and motion sensors, sending out an alarm when they detect intruders.

Security keeps an eye on the external sensors, too. Sensor technology in the 24th century is capable of picking up nearly every type of energy in the electromagnetic spectrum and locating every atom or ion on a far distance. Security concentrate their traces on ships, by looking for disturbances in subspace, caused by warp engines. They also scan for biological signs, from possible dangerous species.

D. Communications

Also part of the job is handling incoming and outgoing communications. This part is often shared with OPS, it depends on the ships configuration.

Security makes sure vital information is sent, received and secured. Securing the transmissions can be very tricky. A transmission can be overheard by anyone with a receiver tuned to the proper band, making communications vulnerable. A number of technological solutions have developed to keep communications private and prevent eavesdropping, but for every technique of covert communication, there is a way around it.

The simplest means of keeping a communication secret is by using some sort of pre-agreed code essentially an artificial language that conceals the true information of the message. Starfleet encodes high-priority messages and has coded communications channels for (relatively) secure communications through subspace. In the age of isolinear computer processors, codes can be very complex. Fortunately, with the help of the same computers (and universal translation software) it is still possible to break most codes, given time.

Encryption is a complex mathematical algorithm that scrambles the information content of a transmission. The receiver can reconstruct the message using a special mathematical sequence called an encryption key. Encryption is handled by computers, which are capable of performing the massive calculations required. Complex encryption sequences are very difficult to break, requiring considerable time and computing power.

It is also possible to alter the visual and audio components of a message to present whatever image a character wishes. For example you can make the captain look like a Klingon, standing on a Klingon bridge, speaking in their native language. If Starfleet is able to fool others, it is also possible they are receiving a false communication.

V. Standard Security Procedures

Starfleet uses a large number of security procedures and protocols to safeguard the lives of its personnel, and to prevent valuable Starfleet resources from falling into the wrong hands. Starfleet's complete security regulations take up a book many times the size of this one, covering everything from proper handling of prisoners to emergency situations.

Guarding the Captain

One of the prime duties of Security is safeguarding the commanding officer of a starship or station. The captain is considered a vital element of the ship, and treated accordingly. The captain should have a security escort at all times in red alert situations, and when beaming down into any situation that might become dangerous. The Security Chief and/or Operations Officer helps to safeguard the captain while on the bridge, but additional security personnel should be present if trouble is expected.

Part of safeguarding the captain involves performing security sweeps of areas before the captain enters or beams into them. Security personnel check for any potential hazards and ensure they are within reasonable limits before the captain arrives. The captain can, of course, override standard security procedures in these matters, but it is not recommended.

Guarding Vital Areas

One of the primary duties of the Security department on board a starship or starbase is safeguarding vital areas that may be vulnerable to theft or sabotage, or that might draw intruders. Such areas include the bridge, main engineering, the central computer core, cargo bays containing valuable goods, the shuttlebays, and the brig. When the ship or station is not on alert, guards are routinely posted at security stations on the decks located near these vital areas, able to monitor the security scanners and respond quickly if there is a need.

For a yellow alert, security personnel are placed on guard at vital points throughout the ship. They may be given special orders regarding access to those facilities (such as allowing no one but the Captain and First Officer access). The security guards allow access to authorized crewmembers unless ordered otherwise. The Captain, First Officer, or Security Chief can also give certain crewmembers access privileges, as needed. Under red alert, security guards are posted on all decks, as well as vital areas of the ship.

If an intruder alert is sounded, security personnel guard all turbolifts and airlocks, and begin sweeping the ship for signs of intruders. Information is relayed back to the main computer and the Security Chief, so the intruder can be caught rapidly.

Standard procedure calls for at least one security guard on duty in the transporter room when unknown or potentially dangerous individuals transport on board. The transporter chief can hold such individuals in stasis in the pattern buffer if necessary to await the arrival of security, and transporter scanners automatically detect any dangerous weapons or other devices, and can render them inoperative before the subject rematerializes, making security's job easier.

Away Team Procedures

Security personnel form a vital part of Away Team Missions and every away team is well-advised to have at least one security officer, more if the Away Mission is expected to encounter trouble (particularly armed resistance). In some cases, away teams may be made up entirely of Security (and Command) personnel.

While on an Away Mission, the duties of the Security personnel include: 1) Remaining alert for any signs of danger to the crew or mission; 2) Safeguarding the lives of all away team members, particularly senior officers; 3) Gathering tactical and strategic information regarding any possible threats; and 4) Taking necessary action to ensure the first three priorities, including the use of force, but only as a last resort.

While all Starfleet personnel on Away Missions are expected to remain alert, it is the security officer's duty to look out for potential threats to the Away Team. This includes the use of tricorder scans for hazards (both natural and artificial) and "reading" the reactions of any life-forms the crew may encounter. The security officer should make recommendations to the commanding officer of the Away Team with regards to appropriate security precautions.

It is important to note that Starfleet security officers are expected to take a defensive posture with regard to possible threats. Stunning (much less injuring) native life-forms "simply because they might pose a threat" is against Starfleet regulations. A strategic withdrawal is normally the most prudent response in a dangerous situation, followed by neutralizing the danger as quickly as possible, if a withdrawal is not an option.


There are occasions when a Starfleet crew may find itself with prisoners: criminals they have apprehended, captured attackers, or even unknown aliens. In general, Starfleet crews are authorized to keep such individuals imprisoned until they can be turned over to the proper authorities, either of the planet or civilization that has jurisdiction, or to Federation authorities at a Starbase.

Each starship or station is generally equipped with a brig to hold prisoners. The brig consists of one or more cells equipped with force fields and a security station. On board larger ships and space stations brigs are capable of holding a number of prisoners. Smaller ships may only be able to hold a handful, while the smallest ships may not have a brig at all. Crews may resort to using guest- or crew-quarters as makeshift cells by locking the door and posting guards (perhaps even reinforcing the door with a force field). Most brigs use force fields to prevent any chance of the prisoner escaping via transporter.

A starship crew is expected to turn any prisoners over to the proper authorities as soon as reasonably possible. The captain, of course, is the judge of what is "reasonable" in these situations. If the ship is already engaged in a mission, the prisoners may be held until that mission is complete and the ship has an opportunity to deal with them. More delicate political and diplomatic situations may require the crew to deal with their prisoners immediately.

Starfleet regulations require that prisoners be treated well, and that all of their life-support needs be met. In the case of non-Federation citizens, the crew should make every effort to contact the proper authorities of the prisoner's home world, although prisoners accused of crimes against Federation personnel or property should be held over while Federation authorities discuss matters of extradition with the prisoner's home civilization.

Computer Systems

The center of nearly every Security system is a computer. Control the computer, and you control the security system. The computer is the "brain" of a starship or installation, making it one of the parts most vulnerable to subversion and attack. Since the computer controls many functions automatically, completely outside the control of its crew, damage or sabotage of a ship's computer can sometimes leave the Security helpless.

That's why Starfleet Security installed Passwords on all systems. You need to have the proper access codes to log into a console before you can operate with it. Generally you can enter the code manually, but a lot systems have also voice-recognition capabilities. These voice-codes are often used when entering restricted areas. The computer can require an authorization code by voice, so their voiceprint can also be scanned. Sometimes an additional verification like a DNA scan has to be done.

Every member of a Starfleet crew has his own level of Security clearance code. The higher the officer's rank the more data and command functions are available for this officer. The captain has of course the highest security clearance. The First Officer and Security/Tacical Chief have equal levels.

Authorized officers can often change the available access. For example, the First Officer has the authority to localize command functions, preventing the ship's computer from accepting commands from any locations other than the bridge. But the Captain can overrule him and localize command in Main Engineering. The captain can also lock out any or all of the computer's functions and place a code that unlocks them into the system. Until an authorized person inputs the code, those computer functions are no longer available.

Finally, as an emergency measure, the ranking command officer can lock out all of a starship or starbase's command functions, preventing anyone from accessing the computer until those functions are restored. This is done to prevent an enemy for seizing control of a boarded ship, allowing the crew the opportunity to take counter-measures.

Starfleet gives each starship its own prefix code, providing outside access to the ship's computer to other Starfleet personnel. In the event of an emergency, or a takeover of the ship, another Starfleet vessel can use the prefix code to override the ship's computer system and take command of its key functions.

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