Ten days after Yin Takami assumed the mantle of Primus in 2979, Precentor ROM Karl Sims informed him and the rest of the First Circuit of a possible threat to the Order. In a routine survey of an empty star system near New Vandenburg, the Taurian Concordat had discovered a long abandoned Black Lion-Class battlecruiser, the SLS Tripitz, orbiting one of the planets. The ship was a battered relic left behind during the Amaris-Kerensky Civil War, but the Taurians believed they could recover the vessel and possibly even repair it.
Because the bitter fighting of Succession Wars had seen the loss of all Inner Sphere WarShips outside of ComStar's hidden fleet, the discovery of the Tripitz and even the slim possibility that it could enter active duty would upset the current balance of power in the region. Adding to the problem was indications that the Capellan Confederation's Maskirovka had also learned of the discovery and planned to stage their own recovery mission.
In response, Primus Takami ordered the 1st Division of the ComStar Guards and Militia to the star system with orders to destroy the Tripitz rather than risk it falling into the hands of either the Taurians or the Capellans. To disguise ComStar's complicity, the Primus ordered that the ships and fighters be painted white and given no identifying markings that might link them to the Order.
When the Taurians learned of an unknown JumpShip in the system, they immediately launched four Lances of AeroSpace Fighters, which the ComStar fighters quickly engaged. While the Taurians put up a determined fight, the advanced Star League-era equipment used by the Comstar forces more than made up for their lack of practical combat experience, especially against the low-technology aerospace fighters of the Taurians. The battle lasted just under an hour, with only three deaths in the ComStar forces. The Taurians sent several messages requesting that the mysterious white attackers identify themselves, but the ComStar commander ignored the attempts at communication. He quickly recovered the dead pilots and turned his attention to the battlecruiser.
The remaining fighters strafed and bombed the antique Tripitz, blasting the ship until it was no more than a charred hulk in a decaying orbit. After recharging their JumpShip, the ComStar Guards departed the isolated system, leaving only the Taurian recovery crew as witnesses to the entire event.
The Taurians eventually released a statement indicating that a mysterious group of white ships had appeared and attacked their forces in an uncharted star system, making no mention of the derelict battlecruiser. The incident generated much speculation and rumor as to the identity of the mysterious attackers, none ever suspecting ComStar's involvement, eventually inspiring the legend of the Vandenberg White Wings in Periphery folklore.
For ComStar the incident was a success, a dangerous technology was kept out of heretic hands. While some in the First Circuit had misgivings that such overtly visible action endangered the Order's neutral stance and the intent of Jerome Blake for ComStar to work covertly, Takami countered that he had complied with the will of Blake by concealing the identity of the Order's vessels and fighters. Outside of specific tactical roles, the use of the all-white color scheme would later became the mandated choice for all ComStar military equipment.
- ComStar (sourcebook), p. 46, "The Tripitz Affair"
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 13, "Bait and Switch"