After the navigator plotted the course, the helmsman implemented those co-ordinates into the ship's computers, controlling the ship's speed and attitude. Aboard the USS Enterprise, the person at this position was also responsible for the ship's offensive and defensive systems.
The term "helmsman" was sometimes used generally for a person responsible for ship's speed and attitude. Aboard the Enterprise (NX-01), there was a single helm station, but it remained unclear whether there was a separate or integrated navigation station. (ENT: "Broken Bow", et al)
- If this is the standard helm complement for a vessel of the Enterprise-A's size, it may mean that all three main bridge shifts needed to be covered by a helmsman, plus at least one for the emergency bridge/auxiliary control while on yellow- and red alert. As well, it should be assumed from on-screen evidence that navigators were cross-trained on the helm.
In at least the late 23rd century, the chief helm officer was expected to be the most proficient shuttle pilot, as well. To this end, Demora Sulu logged in some flight time on a shuttlecraft after the battle in the Alpha Tucanae system. (Orion Press: Chekov's Enterprise)
By the 24th century, the flight controller position was responsible for both helm and navigation functions, while tactical and operations positions handled offensive and defensive capabilities. (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", et al)
Notable Helm Officers
- Ensign James Dunbar
- Lieutenant Michael Engelking
- Commander Kevin Fry
- USS Dauntless (NCC-75310) (2374)
- Ensign Kate Howard
- Lieutenant Gretchen Jaeger
- Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell
- Lieutenant "Number One"
- Lieutenant/Lieutenant Commander Hikaru Sulu
- Ensign Dawson Walking Bear
- Lieutenant Commander Nicole Halloway