Kirk and Enterprise landing party

A 23rd century Starfleet landing party

A landing party, or a landing force, was an away team of starship personnel equipped for a mission involving landing on a planet's surface. Generally, this party, as the first team to explore a planet, was tasked with assessing the situation on the planet's surface. If the planet was safe, scouting and scientific parties were sent next. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I")

On 1947 Earth, while trying escape from the US armed forces, Nog claimed that Ferengi landing parties were to land in the United States of America. Captain Wainwright thought the first landing parties would invade Cleveland. (DS9: "Little Green Men")

The term was used by Starfleet as early as 2151, (ENT: "The Andorian Incident") although the term "away team" was used as well. (ENT: "Fortunate Son")

In 2268, Captain James T. Kirk regarded landing party recommendations as a matter of judgment. M-5 multitronic unit chose its recommendations on the basis of logical selection. It did not choose Captain Kirk or Doctor McCoy on the basis that they were "non-essential personnel." (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

In 2338, the USS Tripoli sent down a landing party to the planet Omicron Theta. There they discovered Data and the remains of the destroyed Omicron Theta colony. (TNG: "Datalore", "Inheritance")

By the 2360s, Starfleet adapted the term "away team" instead of "landing party," although it was occasionally used synonymously. (TNG: "The Last Outpost", "The Arsenal of Freedom", "The Royale")

Other cultures, such as the Ferengi, would still refer to the term "landing party" into the 2370s. (TNG: "Gambit, Part I"; DS9: "Little Green Men")

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