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Thread: What to do with Ops?

  1. #1

    What to do with Ops?

    So my group has a CO, XO/Tactical, Science, Ops, Medical, Helmsman and Engineering officer. Not everyone at every session and we take turns GMing.

    I am having a tough time finding stuff for my Ops officer to do. They seem to operate in this null zone between Science, Engineering and Helm. When one of them isnt there he is great, but I am the XO so when I run they are usually all there lol.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    If I understand correctly, the ops position involves the guys who actually use the stuff that engineering maintains—transporters, shuttles, replicators, whatever. So if you're looking for plots, anything that doesn't necessarily break the equipment but makes it function oddly might give their job some screen time.
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  3. #3
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    Harry Kim's role in Voyager is a good example come to think of it.

  4. #4
    Data is also the Operations officer, basically from what I have also though is that the Ops officer is in charge of everything sans warp core, which includes the ships hull, superstructure, etc. They also work as a direct liason with engineering so as to not have to rely on verbal communication only. Data and Harry also appeared to be the ship's "machine" shop, developing, analyzing and installing new equipment.
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    Harry Kim is probably a better example of the Ops post. Data was 'Mr. Plot Explainer/Science Whizz'. He seemed to handle a huge bunch of things outside of his remit - easy enough for him, being an android, but not so simple for an organic being.

    Something you don't mention is what kind of specialty your Science officer holds - astrometrics, planetary sciences, exobiology? Having the Ops officer backfill for an area in which the Science officer is weak can help a lot.

    I know, I know, a Starfleet vessel of any size bigger than a Runabout has a science department, but just how often do we see any of them do anything in a given episode? Besides, the shows always have the stars go on the away teams... if you're Ensign Smith, with just two lines of dialogue this week, odds are you're doomed regardless of what colour your uniform is.

  6. #6
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    Talk about your poster boy for Ops, Harry Kim... man that is not a recruitment grabber!

    The problem with using Data was that he was originally Sciences but the teal didn't look good with his make-up, or so I read somewhere, so they switched him to gold.

    Operations is a blanket term for Engineering, Tactical and a half dozen other parts of the ship's crew. They are the red shirt wearers in TOS, so Communications, Security, Engineering, etc...

    As for things to do? Well think about it, they do anything and everything.

  7. #7
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    Real life counterparts

    I think if we look at Operations, as it is in Star Trek, unless there is major innovations in organizations many future organizations will have historical roots in past organizations. I remember someone writing, here or elsewhere once, that a legionnaire in the Roman Legion would look upon a modern NATO structured army and be able to find parallels to their past organizational structure, but with different names for unit sizes and titles. So let us look at examples from the modern world.
    What would Command/Conn be? Administration, Chaplain, Air, Deck, Legal, Navigation, Public Affairs, Safety, Training
    Medical? Dental, Medical
    Engineering? Aircraft Maintenance, Engineering, Maintanenence, Reactor
    Tactical/Security? Combat Systems, Weapons
    So this leaves Operations with: Operations & Supply. So shuttle coordination, operating the sensors, intelligence, planning for future operations, logistics, service duties, and IT appear to fall within the these two modern departments. It could also be said that Training may also fall within Operations, if not Command.
    I think this is reflected in the organization of Starfleet branches seen during the TMP era.

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  8. #8
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    There's a very well-done article on what the various departments do (especially in the 24th century) in Volume 2, Issue 1 of the Beyond the Final Frontier zine on my website.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PGoodman13 View Post
    There's a very well-done article on what the various departments do (especially in the 24th century) in Volume 2, Issue 1 of the Beyond the Final Frontier zine on my website.
    Looks familiar!
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