In the event of an away mission the duty of selecting members of an away team generally falls to the Executive Officer; although the XO may delegate this task to another member of the crew; generally a member of the senior staff. The crew selected for the away mission must include no less than two security crewmen but may increase depending upon the environment the away team is entering. It is common practice for the XO to join an away team but it is not necessary. At least one Commissioned Officer or Enlisted crewman of a rank no less than Chief Petty Officer must supervise the away team.
All away team members must carry both a phaser and tricorder with them unless the situation dictates otherwise. If an away team is entering a hostile environment then communications channels must remain open between the away team and their vessel and a transporter lock must also be maintained.
Commanding Officers on Away Missions
It is highly uncommon for a Commanding Officer of a starship or station to attend an away mission due to the uncertainty and possible danger involved. Often the Executive Officer will go in the Commanding Officer's place. However, there are times in which it is necessary for a CO to leave their ship the most common of which being for diplomatic reasons. In this event, extra security precautions should be undertaken to ensure the CO's safety.
Encountering a Hostile Vessel
Upon detection of a warship within Federation space and identifying it as belonging to a foreign power, the commander of the Starfleet vessel shall firstly raise the vessels alert status to 'Yellow Alert'. They shall then determine the reason(s) for that craft's presence in the vicinity. If there is conclusive evidence that the vessel has hostile intentions, the Federation vessel may take appropriate action to safeguard the lives and property of Federation members. In such cases, the commander may use his discretion in deciding whether to use force to disable the hostile vessel. However, care should be taken to avoid unnecessary loss of sentient life. In most situations, the Starfleet ship should retreat and report the encounter to Starfleet Command.
Activating the Self Destruct
The self-destruct sequence should only be used as a very last resort when all other possible options have being exhausted. The self-destruct should only be used in order to prevent the vessel from into enemy hands or in order to safeguard sentient lives when all other possibilities have failed.
A commanding officer's primary duty is to safeguard the lives of his/her crew. Therefore when activating the self-destruct sequence ample time should be assigned for the crew to evacuate the vessel. If the crew are unable to evacuate then the self-destruct should not be activated or, if it is already running, it should be canceled.
Evacuating the Ship
A ship should only ever be evacuated when a significant amount of danger has been positively confirmed to be imminent. Situations which warrant a full evacuation include: a medical contamination (where the ship has not being quarantined), imminent destruction of the ship (such as a warp core breach) and when the self-destruct has being activated. When evacuation has been ordered all crew and civilians must immediately make their way to the nearest life pods, shuttles or, if an option, transporters. A pre-designated crew member will be assigned to collect extra supplies if time permits but a selection of medical supplies and rations are on board every shuttle and life pod.
The first to be evacuated should be any children and civilians but each group should be accompanied by at least one Starfleet Officer. Next non-commissioned officers will be evacuated; once again with at least one officer to lead. Any remaining officers will be evacuated followed finally by the senior officers. It is customary that the commanding officer is the last to leave the vessel but this is not a strict protocol.
Removing a Commanding Officer from Command
A Commanding Officer may only be removed from their command if it is deemed that they are unable to successfully command the vessel. This can be for one of many reasons such as conflict of interest, gross misconduct, medical reasons and several more.
If such events occur then it is the Executive Officer's duty to proceed with steps needed to remove the Commanding Officer from command. Firstly, the XO should report the reasons for such action to the CO's superior officer. In most cases, it will then be this higher ranking officer who will remove the CO. However, if time does not permit for such action or contact cannot be made then two senior officers are required to remove a CO from command. One must be the XO or whichever officer will take command in the CO's place. The second can be any of the senior staff but in most cases, it will be either the Chief Medical Officer of the Chief Counsellor. These two officers should then approach the CO, explain their reasons for removing them from command and then take over. A full report should be written on the subject and submitted to Starfleet Command. However, it is possible for the Chief Medical Officer to remove the CO from command without the XO's approval.
This course of action is very rare and no officer should conduct such a response unless all other avenues of thought have been followed through.==