Special Action Team 47 is a special operations unit in the Interstellar Criminal Police Commission, also called the Galactic Space Police. It is the ICPC's première counter-terrorist and special investigation group, with its primary focus being as a special response team for terrorist incidents that are of interstellar importance. It is simply referred to as Silver Team in most media reports.
The unit originated with the Sagittarian space police organisation in the late 3260s, was subsumed into the Confederate public safety and state security apparatus in the middle of the 3270s, and became a component of the Interstellar Police in 3276. It operated largely clandestinely until its involvement in foiling the Keystone Incident in 3280. Its existence was made public and it has since had an expansion in its membership. Nonetheless it remains highly selective, with only a hundred and fifty sworn officers and just over five hundred support operatives and staff.
The unit retains much of its Sagittarian law enforcement traditions, focused on detective work and pacification techniques and nonlethal capture of opposition forces during terrorist incidents. As such, the unit has been called into action in major hostage rescue situations, and to investigate the disappearances or assassinations of public officials. Its members are each assigned a codename, corresponding to an animal, and often wear highly idiosyncratic protective gear and field equipment suggestive of their namesake animal and involving the colours silver and black.
The original Silver Team was formed as the 47th Action Group "Silver" of the Sagittarian Space Police Force, by three Sagittarian police officers: Mohamed Ibeji Sana'a, Ryo Toriyama, and Kurtis Amadeus Angel. They took the callsigns Silver Lion, Silver Dragon, and Silver Tiger. The group expanded in 3274 with the inclusion of another six officers, including free alien Krokken Fraugg, a kuhn EOD specialist. In 3275 the group was made part of the provisional Galactic Space Police at the foundation of the Republic. In the 3276 Public Security Act, the GSP was reorganised as the Interstellar Criminal Police Commission. The unit operated clandestinely, accruing a few more members over the next several years. The team acquired its present system of organisation during this period, being subdivided into initially two "operations groups" composed of around three pairs of officers each.
The Keystone Incident sparked in June 3280 as several political assassinations led to police crackdowns and reactionary terrorist action against police and government organisations on the colony world Keystone. It was considered a local matter until August, when the detonation of a nuclear weapon on the planet's capital killed several hundred thousand people. With the planet's coordinating police bureau effectively destroyed, the local State Security office took command and requested assistance. The Interstellar Police deployed its own special investigative unit in the form of the Silver Team based on suspicions that the bombings may be tied to colonial insurrectionist networks across the Outer Colonies and to pirate groups operating throughout Terran space. Silver Lion led the investigation himself, along with four officers from Operations Group Kaleidoscope: Tiger, Wolf, Snake, and Hawk. After failing to foil a second bombing in Hauberk, Silver Lion died. According to reports, he was attempting to defuse the nuclear device when the device detonated, while he ordered the other team members to flee the site. Two other members of Kaleidoscope were dispatched as support along with Silver Dragon and Silver Crane from Operations Group Cobra. The team participated in the raid on terrorist leader Constantine Bronstein's headquarters and aided the investigation of his terrorist network known on the planet as the Bandit Union.
In the aftermath, Silver Tiger temporarily held command but relinquished it to Silver Dragon, who was made Acting Commander. Tiger was still the nominal Commander until he voluntarily took a lower posting as Operations Officer, and Dragon was officially appointed Commander. The group's fame due to the public reports on the incident led to the official recognition of their existence. Petitions for admittance into their organisation increased, but the team remained very selective. Membership was and remains solely by selection by the Operations Staff under the Commander's discretion. The unit has since been deployed in various counter-terrorist operations, and utilised in several investigations of galactic importance. Only a small number of these operations have been made public.
The Silver Team is divided into an Operations Staff, an administrative and logistics support unit, and several Operational Groups composed of six officers each. Its officers all must be certified detectives, and are selected on the recommendation of the Operations Staff. A prospective candidate is selected on the basis of their service record, unique skills, and the needs of the team's operations and planning. Police officers often petition for admission, but these are usually ignored unless they fit the exacting standards of the Silver Team operations staff. The evaluation of a prospective member is rigorous, and many prospective candidates washout. The selection process includes a written examination; a range test with the P4A police service pistol, the FMP-5 folding machine pistol, and the PSG precision rifle; a full physical and psychological examination; and a rigorous obstacle course. Following this, a candidate is subjected to a two-month training course in orbital drops, HALO jumps, air assault techniques, combat diver techniques, breaching techniques, close quarters combat, marksmanship, and negotiation tactics. This is followed by a one-month course in ballistics and forensics science and criminal psychology. The Silver Team has an operational force of 143 sworn officers, among the smallest units of action in the Interstellar Police, in part because of the exacting standards designed to craft its officers into "masters of many skills" and experts in all areas of police operations and detective work.
The Operations Staff is headed by the Commander or Acting Commander, who has been Major Ryo Toriyama since December 3280. The Commander reports directly to the Chief of the Space Police. The Commander is supported by the Operations Officer, who acts as the unit executive officer and planning officer, and two other staff officers who advise on direct action and on special investigations, respectively. In addition, each Operational Group commander has an advisory capacity on the Operations Staff.
The team is subdivided into the following Operational Groups, each commanded by a police Captain. Each group has an executive officer with the rank of a police Lieutenant. The commanders are denoted with an asterisk next to their callsigns. The other members are noted by their callsigns, as most are not publicly known by their legal names for security reasons:
Kaleidoscope: Ape*, Bear, Salamander, Dove, Penguin, Peacock.
Cobra: Crab*, Fox, Bat, Owl, Rhino, Kraken.
Limestone: Bull*, Boar, Crow, Elk, Manta.
Jay: Jackal*, Jaguar, Jackrabbit, Jackass, Junglefowl, Jellyfish.
Quicksand: Hare*, Barracuda, Squirrel, Raven, Partridge, Moose.
Aquamarine: Shark*, Turtle, Swan, Lobster, Crocodile, Gator.
Thunderbolt: Hawk*, Elephant, Iguana, Thrush, Ram, Spider.
Olympus: Wyvern*, Mandrake, Basilisk, Siren, Phoenix, Griffin.
Rockwell: Kodiak*, Cock, Panther, Frog, Salmon, Mantis.
Sand Castle: Orca*, Gull, Snail, Seal, Sealion, Marlin.
Cataphract: Stallion*, Camel, Roebuck, Mule, Ostrich, Yak.
Vexillum: Eagle*, Leopard, Otter, Brock, Stoat, Scallop.
House: Hound*, Cat, Ferret, Marten, Boa, Rat.
Ranch: Ox*, Caribou, Mare, Swine, Hen, Swan.
The Silver Team utilises a variety of standard police and military-grade weaponry. The Beretta P4A Police Pistol is the standard sidearm, issued to every officer along with OC sprays and a stun baton. Common submachine guns and personal defence weapons used for assault tasks include the Thay Corporation XR-31 caseless rifle and CS-5 submachine gun, the Colt FMP-5 compact machine pistol, and the National Fabrications MPK-81 personal defence weapon. Special application and sniping rifles include the Muscovy Corporation SR-38 designated marksman rifle, the Hellfocker M991 sniper weapon system, and the BAe PSG precision rifle. In situations requiring heavy firepower and rapid mobility, the Muscovy FG-101 para rifle and National Fabrications K-3 commando carbine are used. Breaching weapons include the Remington Magshot and M23 Combat Shotgun. Riot control and ranged support is facilitated through grenade-launching weapons like L-19 grenade launcher and the GW-2 hand mortar, and various forms of tear-gas and poison gas grenades.
In practice, Silver Team utilises a black-and-silver pattern of field uniform, usually with black tee-shirts or tank-tops, silvery-gray cargo pants, and teal berets. In tactical situations, however, many members wear combat armour accented or patterned after their callsign animals. Silver Tiger, for instance, has often been reported as wearing a grotesque-style mask of a tiger's snarling face as a helmet during assault raids. Official uniforms for formal settings are identical to Interstellar Police uniforms, but with teal berets. Face coverings are utilised for public appearances to maintain the security of each members' identity, usually balaclava masks or grotesque face masks. In court cases, their animal-themed callsigns are used instead of names.
In spite of standard weapons and uniforms, many members of Silver Team are reported to use idiosyncratic weaponry and equipment for direct action situations, and these idiosyncrasies sometimes carry over during plainclothes investigation, many of it based around their selected or assigned animal-themed callsign. As noted, armour and field uniforms are often greatly varied on this basis. Some members utilise customised personal weapons, surveillance equipment, and professional gear. The colours silver and black are frequently used, even in plainclothes sartorial choices, and especially in tactical situations.
Relatively few officers of Silver Team have died in the line of duty. Their names were disclosed to the public upon death. The list below contains their names, callsigns, dates of death, and other public details:
Watchmaster Pietro Barton (Silver Rook), died 3 September 3277.
Lieutenant Sasha Manikova (Silver Snake), died 3 June 3285 during the Battle of Kolossen.
Lieutenant James Oliver Smith (Silver Wolf), died 31 October 3285.
Senior Watchmaster Renee Oubliette (Silver Sparrow), died 25 March 3289.
Watchmaster Theobald Thyssen (Silver Pike), died 19 January 3293.