U.S.S. Hood, NCC-2541, is one of the first four Excelsior class starships that were fitted with a Bridge module designed for testing Transwarp drive and an emphasis on scientific exploration and discovery. From Enterprise NCC-1701-B onwards, the Bridge of the Excelsior class starship had modifications made to incorporate the singular importance of the Operations Officer and Mission Operations Officer roles, along with a dedicated Tactical station to rectify the deficiency of the old rear-facing Tactical station. With the loss of the Excelsior in 2308 and the modification of the other two pioneering Excelsior class vessels Repulse and Renown, the Hood is the only Excelsior class starship in service with her original Bridge module in original configuration.

For illustrative purposes, images from the Excelsior have been used:

Stations (Clockwise from the Main Viewscreen).

Auxiliary SystemsAuxiliary Systems: 2-seat station that provides graphic displays of all command systems, indicating the operational condition of each, schedules of maintainance and/or replacement. It automatically transfers function to auxiliary back-up units in case of general or selective system failure.

Many of the ship's systems are automatic [see notes on Ship's Computer] and run independantly of external operation. Hood's bridge stations usually deal with immediate operations concerning the ship. The remainding, more mundane and repetative functions are controlled by the Main Computer. Should the Bridge crew wish to perform or override any ships function, they may do so with very few vocal or keyboard inputs.

Science 3Mission Operations: 2-seat station responsible for the assignment of resources and priorities according to the guidelines specified by the Operations Officer and by operating protocols. Mission Ops ensures computer control does not unduly compromise any mission priorities, especially during unforseen situations. Telemetry and tricorder data are monitored from Away Teams and transporter 'windows' are monitored.

This is the station for Mission Operations Officer: Tellarite female

Science: This two-seat high-resolution information processing station is used to provide realtime scientific data in order to supplement Mission Ops in supporting command decision-making. All ship's sensors, both mission-specific and multi-functional, are accessible to the Science Officer. Science can also act as a command post for coordination of activities of various science laboratories and other departments, as well as for monitoring of secondary mission status. Science can reconfigure and recalibrate sensor systems at a moment's notice for specific command intelligence requirements.

Executive Officer (2313-): Commander Khessir of Cait. Seen by Captain Okigbo as his right hand man. Truly a lion of a man in both looks and build. Graduated 2291 from Starfleet Academy , being first assigned to the USS Mikado and assigned to the events in the Tabula Rasa region. Khessir made his mark early, helping an away team escape from the Metar assault. Khessir’s trials were not over as the Metar attacked the Mikado, causing a warp core overload. Khessir managed to guide some of the crew to lifeboats before the ship exploded. They were recovered by the USS Excelsior three days later, adrift and behind the expanding Metar lines.

Khessir insisted on helping out as best that he could on Excelsior, wanting to get back into the action to help Starfleet evacuate. The young Caitian impressed enough to be assigned to the Excelsior for the duration, being one of the science officers who saw the Metar escape from their subspace prison. Khessir was reassigned to the R’karra where he was mission operations officer. He volunteered to cover as watch officer on the night shift for bridge-keeping qualification. This led to promotion and a position as Operations Officer on the Ulysses class Tartarus for her plankowner shakedown voyage.

Science 1The voyage was interrupted by the ISC invading Federation space. Khessir had a prime position to observe the first encounters between the Federation and ISC forces. The Tartarus was part of the first main forces sent to repel the ISC from the borders of Federation space. She was badly damaged facing down the ISC fleet. The Tartarus was repaired and sent out to face the ISC as the only type of ship that could face down the ISC battleships. Khessir continued in the role of Operations Officer, liaising with the other capital ships and their escorts. The ISC would be faced down in a climactic battle with most of the Ulysses class dreadnoughts involved. The battle was tough, the captain of the Tartarus sent her down the throats of the ISC capital ships. She succeeded in destroying one battleship and damaging a second when the Tartarus succumbed to the firepower unleashed on her.

For the second time in his career, Khessir had to lead abandoning ship for this goliath dreadnought. The plasmatic pulsar device had crippled the main systems of the Ulysses class dreadnought and there was no alternative but to abandon ship.

After recovering on the Federation Medical Ship Joseph Lister, Khessir was eager to resume his duties. The reputation and experience of this Caitian saw him assigned to USS Ark Royal as the Operations Officer. His knowledge of Interstellar Concordium strategies made him invaluable in carrier operations as they proceeded into ISC space. Khessir was witness to the steady counter-invasion by allied forces. He helped to liaise with the Klingon and Romulan commanders to drive the ISC forces back to their homeworld where they surrendered.

Khessir has many tales to tell about his experiences during the Interstellar Concordium Pacification War, using examples to inspire crew to perform harder and to persevere even in the face of adversity.

Khessir was promoted to Executive Officer and served on the Youngblood class USS St. Lo. The assignment patrolled the Interstellar Concordium and ensured compliance with the ceasefire whilst the Treaty of Nimbus was drafted. Former ISC ships were escorted back into their space and the ISC borders were re-affirmed with the establishment of the Armistice Line. The St. Lo continued to patrol the Armistice Line along with the other forward-deployed elements of the Ninth Fleet.

After his tour of duty was completed, Khessir transferred to the Repulse for a short term, before joining the Hood to replace Commander Nathaniel Hawkins, who hd been promoted and transferred to U.S.S. Sheffield.

NavigationNavigation: This station is responsible for the navigation of Hood at Impulse and Warp speeds. Navigation displays readings from navigation and tactical sensors, overlaying them on current positional and course projections. Navigation has the option of accessing data feeds from secondary navigation and science sensors, for verification of primary sensor data. Such cross-checks are performed at change-of-shift or activation of Alert status. Flight information input can be done in numerous ways: Destination planet, star system or sector, spacecraft intercept and reletive bearing, Absolute Bearing or Galactice coordinates.

Navigation Officer: Trill Barajis Weks is the Navigation Officer on the Hood. He graduated in 2303 and served initially on the U.S.S. Levant before transferring to the Akagi. Lieutenant Weks served for a two year tour before transferring to the Hood.

Master Situation Display. Click on this image for larger version.
Master Situation: This is a large wall display behind the Tactical and Engineering stations, featuring a cutaway of Hood. This display shows the location of key systems and hardware, highlighting any elements that are currently experiencing any condition out of nominal. This display also incorporates controls to permit use of this station for troubleshooting.

At the Master Situation station there was either the Executive Officer or Operations Officer: Tiburonian Lieutenant Commander Saldin is currently in this post. He graduated in 2295 and was first assigned to the Ascension class USS Nashua. The dreadnought was in the final stages of refit and was being rushed to deploy her to assist in the operations against the ISC invasion forces. The Nashua deployed and saw action in several fights against the Interstellar Concordium forces. Saldin was injured in one of the encounters and was evacuated on medical ship Taro Takemi and recovered at Nirvana colony.

Once recuperated, Saldin was reassigned to the Excel Class USS Devonshire which was serving a tour patrolling the Tholian border. After serving a tour on the Devonshire, Saldin transferred to the Belknap class Mikuma for a tour along the Gorn border. Saldin acquired knowledge of the strategic deployment of the different nation’s forces. Lieutenant Saldin was promoted to Mission Operations officer and served aboard the Jenshahn class USS Gambier Bay for two tours along the Romulan Neutral Zone. The Gambier Bay was involved in the stand-off with the Romulans over Tomed. After an extended leave of absence, Saldin transferred to the Hood.

Captain's chairConn: The captain's chair sits in the centre of the Bridge. From here Captain Raekwon Okigbo can see most of the Bridge station displays. The controls on the arms of the chair allow the captain access to communication channels, Ship's Address System and access to the ship's library {LCARS} and main systems computer. The control can also change the ship's status to Yellow or Red Alert. New upgrades in Hood allow Captain Okigbo to override the basic operation of the ship, duplicating Helm and Navigation controls and operated by keyboard or vocal command.

Commanding officer: Captain Raekwon Okigbo. Raekwon Okigbo is a Starfleet officer from the old school of Starfleet Academy. Raekwon has faced up to the Klingons and Romulans many times. Ever the diplomat, Raekwon has been at the forefront of Starfleet diplomatic talks on more than one occasion - this has contributed to him still being an active starship commander, rather than a flag officer behind a desk.

Raekwon Okigbo graduated from Starfleet Academy in the class of 2275. Raekwon Okigbo served as Executive Officer on the Constellation class U.S.S. Montrose [2298 - 2305] before transferring to Excelsior class U.S.S. Hood as Commanding Officer. Okigbo has served with distinction on one five-year mission on the Hood and is now commanding for another. Raekwon is highly decorated and is expected to become a flag officer after his current assignment ends.

Okigbo brought Nathaniel Hawkins from the Montrose to be his First Officer for the Camp Khitomer Accords 20th Anniversary cruise to Qo'noS. Okigbo wanted an Executive Officer who would be knowledgeable about the Klingons and their culture. Whilst the Federation President would be doing all the talking to the new Cancellor, Kaarg, Okigbo and Hawkins would be able to observe the new High Council and senior Generals of the Klingon Defence Force. Once the mission was over, Okigbo wrote a letter of recommendation to get Hawkins a command and to further his studies of the kLingon Empire and its neighbours.

Tactical: Dedicated to starship internal security and defensive systems control. Tactical has an unobscured view of the Main Viewer due to its raised position. This allows the Tactical Officer to exchange information with the captain whilst able to see the information on the viewscreen.

Tactical operates in a tier-system: benign, low-level observation of basic crew safety, second tier security during diplomatic and cultural missions and third tier counter-terrorist operations. Security teams can be controlled from Tactical via voice or keyboard input. armoury inventories, security team personnel assignments and detailed directives are all controlled by Tactical.

Chief Security Officer: Lieutenant Thalib Ch’delis, an Andorian Male, is currently in this post. He graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2298. Ch’delis first served aboard the USS Montrose, on her mission through Interstellar Concordium space. Ch’delis next served on the USS Endeavour, exploring the frontier in the Alpha Quadrant. This five year tour included First Contact with four new races. His next assignment was the Carron, operating in the Alpha Quadrant in the region of Cait. This was followed on the Athabasca class USS Cándido de Lasala for a five year tour as assistant Chief Security Officer. Ch’delis was then assigned to the Hood.

Security Operations Officer: Anka (Ania) Gabrjela Chmielewski from Gdansk in Poland. Graduated in 2307 from Starfleet Academy and assigned to Excel class Vortigern for a tour of duty along the Tholian border. When the ship was reassigned to the Ninth Fleet, Anka stayed with the ship for a further tour along the ISC Armistice Line.

The very survival of Hood may rest in Tactical. In the performance of operations hazardous situations include: celestial bodies, artificial constructs and Threat vessels. A wide variety of defensive options are open to the Tactical Officer including: shields and deflector screens, phasers and photon torpedoes. Tactical coordinates with Helm, Navigation and Science in all situations involving external hazards. Other systems that may be commanded by Tactical include long- and short-range sensor arrays, sensor probes, message buoys and tractor beam devices.

Communications as seen on the identical Enterprise-BCommunications: 2-seat station consisting of a class one capable subspace radio with 74 000 channel capacity receiver and sender of audio/visual transmissions. This system is equipped with a Sternbach/Okuda Language Translator, ultra high-power subspace interference filters, including coding and decoding capabilities. The system also possesses higher encryption levels for secure transmissions and a constant open channel to Starfleet Command. Communications is responsible for intraship communications, ship-to-ship communications and ship-to-ground communications, from messages from one person to another to Main Viewer communication and data transmission transmitting and receiving.

Communications Officer: T’nil of Vulcan is assigned to this station. He studied at the Vulcan Science Academy from 2260 up until 2301. Wanting to explore new avenues he applied to Starfleet and graduated from the Academy in 2305. T’nil’s experience facilitated his assignment to the Starfleet Intelligence Cassandra Array in the Beta Quadrant. T’nil excelled at cryptography and analysis. The Hood is T’nil’s first starship assignment.

helmHelm: Manned by the Helm Control Officer. Responsibilities include: status of shipboard activities, supervision of power allocations, continuous revised Action Status Menus for command review, designated weapon control and shield activation (if no Tactical Officer present). Helm is also responsible for manual flight operations including: monitoring relativistic effects at impulse speeds as well as inertial dampening status. During Alert status, flight rules permit Helm to specify manoevres that are potentially dangerous to the ship or crew.

Helm Officer: Ensign Fenela Pel of Bolarus IX is the helm officer of the Hood. Fresh out of the Academy, she has shown aptitude for helm systems and an eagerness to learn.

EnvironmentEnvironment: The 3-seat Environment station monitors and controls life support systems including: artificial gravity, heat exchange, food synthesis and service, water, waste management and hazardous waste management. During Alert and crisis situations, Environment monitors and allocates life support resources to maximise crew survivability. The Environmental System Officer is authorized to initiate Yellow and Red Alert conditions and is responsible for the execution of survival scenarios such as evacuation to environmental shelter areas.

Chief Medical Officer: Doctor Joiyvuud is the Rigelian chief medical officer. Guided by the spirits, she joined Starfleet Medical School in 2302 and graduated in 2310, serving on the medical ship Thrapas Tanzing in support of operations at Kronos. She transferred to the Hood in 2312. She likes to remind patients that the three most important words in any language are “Let me help.”

Propulsion Systems and Engineering: 3-seat station that monitors the Reaction Control Thrusters, Impulse and Warp Drive systems, deuterium and antimatter fuel usage and reserves involved in making Hood move. In full enable mode this console can actively override and control all propulsion systems.

Chief Engineering Officer: Lieutenant Commander Paul Rutherford from Manchester, England. Graduated in 2299 and was assigned to Starbase 15 ‘Pharos’ as a spacedock technician. Four years in the role gave him experience over a wide range of starship types from Starfleet and other nations. Assigned next to USS Dibner, a Corps of Engineers frontline support ship, Rutherford made a good impression. Paul met his future wife on the ship and they served a couple of tours on the Dibner.

The above artwork is copyright © Doug Drexler. All rights reserved.

General bridge shot from the commissioning of the identical Excelsior

The clarity of modern bridge stations

Diagram of the Main Bridge:
Main Bridge

"The above artwork is © Star Trek Fact Files. All rights reserved"

Author's notes:

I was mindful to make the Bridge of the original Excelsior class U.S.S. Hood to be identical to the Excelsior. This was a tip-of-the-hat to NCC-2000 and her Transwarp systems, that Hood had too (being identical to the NX-2000 configuration filming model. The Flashback version of Excelsior's Bridge set is VERY science-heavy with one side of the Bridge having no less than THREE science stations, as opposed to the usual one. How much this was down to requiring both Tuvok and Valtane to be science officers in the Voyager episode 'Flashback' I am unsure, but screen captures show there to be Auxiliary Systems next to the viewscreen in The Undiscovered Country.

This Bridge set therefore needed some thought for me as having three science stations means you lose out on having Mission Operations and Operations stations - roles that are part of a starship since the mid-2280s. Auxiliary Systems and Mission Operations had to stay as it was clear to me the Excelsior Bridge in ST: VI had all of the Enterprise-A stations in the same locations. Tactical faces backwards at the back of the Bridge, offering the person on the viewscreen a view of their display, and also hampering the person at that station as they have their back to the viewscreen. The Enterprise-B Bridge set solved so many issues.

Navigation, Helm and the the centre seat

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