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The USS Sutherland (NCC-72015) was a 24th century Federation Nebula-class starship operated by Starfleet. It was built at the San Francisco Fleet Yards orbiting Earth and completed in 2367, on stardate 44820.5. Her propulsion systems were constructed by the Yoyodyne Division.


In early 2368, the Sutherland was docked at Starbase 234's spacedock for repairs. The ship joined Captain Jean-Luc Picard's fleet that blockaded the Klingon-Romulan border during the Klingon Civil War. It was prematurely deployed, despite the yard superintendent's belief the ship was not ready for launch. Experienced officers from the USS Enterprise-D augmented the crew of this ship. For the duration of the blockade, the Sutherland was temporarily commanded by Lieutenant Commander Data from the Enterprise, with Lieutenant Commander Christopher Hobson as his first officer. The ship was one of twenty-three assembled for the fleet and was one of the seventeen chosen for the tachyon detection grid. Identified by its name and registry number, the ship's position in the network was monitored from the Enterprise.

During the blockade, the Sutherland was hit by a massive tachyon pulse by the Romulans, which disabled the tachyon detection grid in a radius of ten million kilometers around the ship. Data disobeyed Picard's orders to regroup at Gamma Eridon and modified the Sutherland's sensors to detect a residual tachyon signature around the cloaked Romulan ships. He then exposed the ships using modified low-yield photon torpedoes. (TNG: "Redemption II")

During the mid-2370s, the Sutherland was assigned to the Ninth Fleet near Bajor, during the Dominion War, under the command of Captain Shelby. In mid-2374, it docked at Deep Space 9 to be resupplied along with the USS Exeter, the USS Akagi, and the USS Potemkin. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited") The Sutherland was due to revisit Deep Space 9 a few months later, an occasion which Dax originally wanted to use as a justification to host a party in her and Worf's joint quarters. (DS9: "Change of Heart")

Command crew


Background information

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 483-484), "the Sutherland was named for Horatio Hornblower's flagship in the classic C.S. Forester novels that served as one of Gene Roddenberry's original inspirations for Star Trek."

The dedication plaque of the Sutherland reads "There will be an answer, let it be…" which was quoted from Let It Be, written by Paul McCartney in 1969 and performed by The Beatles.

The scenes aboard the Sutherland in "Redemption II" were filmed on Friday 12 July 1991 on Paramount Stage 9.

In a scene cut from TNG: "Chain of Command, Part II", when the Cardassians threatened to invade Minos Korva, the Sutherland, USS Aries, and USS Berlin were dispatched to Sector 21527 to assist the Enterprise. However, because the ships were three days away, the Enterprise was forced to find an alternative means of preventing the invasion.

According to writer Ronald D. Moore in an extra feature on the DS9 Season 6 DVD, the Sutherland crew was to have been a more regular element on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The concept, according to Moore, was that the Sutherland maintained a number of Hawaiian and Polynesian traditions, and would have appeared when a script called for "wacky party guys".

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