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Helm

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Galaxy class bridge conn ops

The two forward stations on the bridge of a Galaxy-class starship. Ops was usually on the left, with conn on the right

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Helm (or helm control) is a term for the flight control operations on board a starship or shuttle. Helm is responsible for controlling the flight operations of a ship, including warp, impulse and thruster control. Helm is also responsible for controlling the ship during a landing sequence or docking procedure.

The term is derived from old Earth navy parlance. In the 23rd century, in Starfleet, the helm was usually manned by a helmsman. The term fell into disuse in the 24th century, and while "helm" is still generally used to refer to flight control operations, the position manning it is called the flight controller, or conn (the latter of which is also used to refer to the station itself).

The actual helm console is usually near the front of a Starfleet ship's bridge. On some vessels, the helm stands alone (USS Voyager, USS Defiant, Enterprise NX-01). Other Starfleet vessels have two forward positions, in which case the helm is paired with another station. The other console was the navigator on 23rd century ships, such as the USS Enterprise. Other consoles paired with the helm have been the stations of the operations (USS Enterprise-D) or tactical (USS Enterprise-C) officer.

The singular helm aboard NX-class starships was inspired by the singular helm aboard the Defiant-class. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 135, p. 62)

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