Star Trek

USS Ochoa

The Sim

Ochoa is named after the 20th and 21st century astronaut and Johnson Space Center Director Ellen Ochoa, who was the first Hispanic woman in space. It was commissioned in 2249 at the Proxima Shipyards around Proxima Centauri Colony. After a one-year shakedown under command of Captain Moshe Samble, Ochoa took on a full complement of crew and scientists and set off on a five-year, deep space system survey assignment.

On its return for minor refit in 2255, it rendezvoused with starships T’Plana Hath and Nassau for a personnel and specimen transfer. The three vessels were attacked by two then-unidentified vessels. All three Federation vessels withdrew with minor damage and casualties. The belligerent was later identified as a new species known as the Sheliak, and the Sheliak Corporate had laid (unsubstantiated) claim to that system, known as Armens. It would, weeks later, become the site of the drafting of the Treaty of Armens.

Ochoa returned to Proxima Colony to complete repairs and refit. It relaunched in 2256 on its second, deep space survey assignment in the Alpha Quadrant “Galactic Southwest.” Eight months later, the Federation went to war with a resurgent Klingon Empire. The Ochoa received word of the war almost two weeks later and was six months from the Federation’s war front. As a science ship it had little to offer beyond reconnaissance. Nevertheless, the crew chose to make the long journey home.

The Ochoa, upon arrival, was largely mothballed from immediate action. Most of its experienced crew were assigned to other locations. Some would never return. The Ochoa itself was retooled at Proxima Shipyards to be a reconnaissance scout. By the time it was deployed, the situation had become quite dire. Ochoa saw itself thrust into a role it was never meant for: combat.

The Klingons considered the Ochoa to be an unimpressive foe; it avoided destruction thanks to the Klingons seeking high value targets that would propel their respective House to the Chancellery. Though it saw combat, much of the time it weathered the engagements with minor damage. It served a number of times as a civilian evacuation vessel. In the closing days of the war, it was quickly fitted with powerful tractor beams to essentially act as a tug. Starfleet was trying to salvage any damaged ship it could.

With the truce signed and peace restored, Ochoa was lost in the bureaucratic reshuffle. The postwar wheels ground slowly toward a return of Starfleet’s main purpose. However, they did finally return to the Ochoa to decide its fate. Nearly all of its war-footing systems were stripped out and replaced by new system designs more in line with exploration. Its science labs were restored. Its engines and shields were upgraded. It’s existing sensors were retooled from tactical to survey.

When they were finished, what was supposed to be a minor refit was a substantial overhaul. It’s first Commanding Officer, Moshe Samble, largely oversaw the refit but had chosen to step aside and retire so his Number One could take command. He would stay on as a civilian, a Captain Emeritus, as he’d largely seen the ship become home.

The Ochoa was relaunched in 2258 under the command of its former Executive Officer, Remy Stokes.

Utilizing its large, powerful warp nacelles, the Ochoa is a “Rapid-Response Scientific Surveyor.” Designed to move quickly to the frontier and beyond- and be able to stay in deep space for years- the Ochoa also has the added benefit of being able to reach newly discovered scientific phenomena or anomaly that may have a short window of existence or transformation. The mission profile suggests Ochoa is a ship with cutting edge engines, some of the fastest in Starfleet’s catalog.

Only marginally larger than the Magee-class, the Ochoa and it’s Hernandez-class brethren are large on scientific resources. They use flexible scientific lab space which can be easily reconfigured (and isolated) as the mission profile demands. However, it comes up short on being able to project force. Though it has excellent shields on par with any Starfleet vessel its size, it was never meant to have powerful phasers or a larger photon torpedo complement. Its torpedo capacity is only a third that of the Magee-class.
Designed at the Proxima Centauri Fleet Yards, the little ship does what it can to maximize usable space for creature comforts. The Proximans are well known for their interior architecture and design across the Federation. They have applied those talents where they could within the Ochoa. The result is a ship that feels spacious (where it can anyway), warmer and well-lit compared to the common ship designs of the 2250’s.

What makes the Ochoa unusual is the attitude toward rank (though the Bridge remains Starfleet) and the prevalence of civilian specialists aboard. It is not unusual for civilians to lead certain research teams.