One mild criticism though: the exchange between the helmsman and Captain in which the helmsman says "May I remind the Captain that the landing party is expendable at this point?" seemed way off the mark to me.
I felt the same way. The Helmsman was too quick to dismiss the lives of his fellow crewmates just to save his own skin. That's the way it appeared to me.
Of course, that could be by design, maybe the writers were trying to convey the notion that the crew of the Saladin class ships weren't "Constitution class" material just yet. Some of them were young, inexperienced with faults that would change over time, eventually molding them into better officers. Some may make it, some won't. I guess it would be sort of a weeding out process, where those that proved themselves would get re-assigned to Constitution class ships and those that didn't make it would end up pulling cargo duty.
I would compare the Helmsman of the Ajax to Bailey from the TOS episode "Corbomite Maneuver" - he clearly wasn't ready to be a bridge officer so Kirk suggested he spend time on the Fesarius, with the hope that Bailey would learn from that experience and become a better officer.