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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

"Well, I for one am glad to have you at the helm for three weeks. I don't think these kids can steer."
"I see you have an appreciation for multivariate analysis. Maybe you missed your calling. It's a shame. I imagine it gets tedious up at the helm."
"I enjoy the view.

Helm (or helm control) was a term derived from old Earth navy parlance used to describe the person either steering or commanding a sailing vessel. By the age of spaceflight, the term was used to describe the flight control operations on board a starship or shuttlecraft, located on the bridge. (TNG: "Lonely Among Us")


On a number of occasions whenever the Captain left the bridge, he would tell his second-in-command that they had the helm.

This was the case in 2254, when Captain Christopher Pike left Number One in command of the USS Enterprise, informing her, "You have the helm. Maintain present course." (TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I")

When the USS Enterprise was under the temporary command of Commodore Stocker in 2268, he decided to fly the ship across the Romulan Neutral Zone in a concerted effort to make it to Starbase 10 to save Captain James T. Kirk and his senior staff, believing it to be the best way to save the crew in question who were suffering from premature advanced aging. Following the restoration, Kirk explained to Stocker that "there's very little a Starbase can do that a starship can't," to which Stocker replied, "If I may say so, Captain, I am now quite aware of what a starship can do with the right man at the helm." (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

In 2364, on two occasions when Captain Jean-Luc Picard excused himself from the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D, he told Data "you have the helm." (TNG: "Code of Honor", "Where No One Has Gone Before")

While speaking to Worf of the power of the Enterprise-D, Klingon renegade Konmel spoke of "what magnificent battles we could have at the helm of this ship." (TNG: "Heart of Glory")


The helm was responsible for controlling the flight operations of a ship, including warp, impulse and thruster control. The helm was also responsible for controlling the ship during a landing sequence or docking procedure. (VOY: "The 37's")

In the 23rd century, in Starfleet, the helm was usually manned by a helmsman. Sometime during 24th century, the position became merged with the navigator position creating a single flight control officer or pilot (DS9: "The Passenger"; VOY: "Thirty Days") position, and the station itself referred to as the conn. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint") Nevertheless, the term "helm" was still generally used to refer to flight control operations and the position manning it. (TNG: "The Naked Now", et al.)

Aside from piloting the ship, the helm position aboard a Constitution-class controlled the tractor beam (TOS: "Space Seed"), the viewscreen (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Savage Curtain"), and had ready access to the ship's chronometers. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

The actual helm console was usually positioned near the front of the ship's bridge. On some vessels, the helm stood alone, such as aboard the NX-class, Defiant-class, or Intrepid-class. (ENT: "Broken Bow"; DS9: "The Search, Part I"; VOY: "Caretaker") Other Starfleet vessels had two forward positions, in which case the helm was paired with another station, such as the operations station on Galaxy-class starships, or the tactical console on Ambassador-class starships. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "Yesterday's Enterprise")

The helm station aboard an NX-class starship had small monitors on which information could be displayed. In 2151, Travis Mayweather used the console to display information about the Terra Nova Expedition from the historical archives. (ENT: "Terra Nova")

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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