The Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron or IAPS is a multinational force, currently comprised of a Zeppelin wing and a company of Sky Hussars. It operates as the enforcement group for the International Anti-Piracy Treaty. Its most famous ships are the SMS Zepherus and SMS Halcyon, captained by Kapitan von Grelle and Graf Georg von Ziger, respectively.
Its representatives—commonly members of the Zepherus and Halcyon—are regular sights at all sorts of gatherings, usually on the lookout for new threats to Imperial shipping and security. They also—oddly incongruous with their usual violence—offer educational seminars and, of course, host their ever-popular Airship Mixers (home to the most happening discotheque this side of the Himalayas.)
In 1871, following the close of the Franco-Prussian war and the proliferation of Zeppelins as both military and civilian vessels, airship piracy began to grow as a problem. Large numbers of disaffected soldiers took to the skies, turning their skills at dirigible combat and interdiction from the pursuit of a government's aims to the pursuit of their own personal enrichment, at the expense of others. Within months, several hundred such pirate ships were active over the skies of continental Europe; despite the ground facilities traditionally needed for airships, the menace proved difficult to combat from the ground, as the pirates had developed methods to quickly evacuate bases. They tended to need little in the way of ground-based infrastructure, using instead large anchors and elevator-type devices to allow their airships to remain aloft even when docked.
By 1872, repeated instances of piratical activities severely interrupted the merchant and civilian airship activities of several European nations. In January, the International Anti-Piracy Treaty Organization (IAPTO, traditionally anglicized as "Yap-to") was formed; the first signatories were the Kingdom of Prussia (in proxy for the nascent German state), the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire. This, indeed, represented in and of itself a revolutionary alliance of traditional rivals—if not out-and-out enemies. The IAPTO, however, lacked a coherent enforcement wing until mid-1872, when the IAPS was formed.
Several ships of the various countries began operation under the IAPS flag immediately, but these remained almost exclusively crewed by single nations; each ship was merely extracted from each of the various nations' navies. In 1873, the S.M.S. Zepherus project (an all-female ship) was launched, followed shortly by the commissioning of the S.M.S. Halcyon, the two first truly international ships in the squadron. Each ship's crew has been bolstered and buttressed since their original launch, as more and more nations sign on to the treaty, and more and more military groups nominate their soldiers to the squadron.
There is only one link that matters: The Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron's Official Web-Site