I've been thinking about the idea of a small Fed. Scout ship on an extended mission in uncharted space and I was trying to decide what kind of crew it would have (based on the idea of having the absolute minimum necessary to keep the ship safe and running smoothly). The smallest canon starship I know is the Defiant, which Memory Alpha says had a crew of 40, although I rarely remember seeing that many (probably many of their missions were so short that they didn't bother taking a full crew compliment). The numbers I'm coming out at are around 30-40 (depending on how many crew would be capable of performing a double function) which matches up well with the Defiant, but I'm curious if anyone here can think of any truly important functions that I haven't thought of. So this is the list so far: Obviously you need three command officers (because the mission is long term, the ship's normal day has to be based on the standard three shifts so that the crew has time to relax), ie, Captain, XO and Second officer. Certainly the so and probably the xo could perform a double function. Further bridge crew is: helmsman, navigator, tactical, science, communications and operations officers, three each to cover all shifts (although it could be cut down further by requiring the helmsman, navigator and tactical to all be proficient in each others' specialties so that one person could cover all three areas during a routine shift, and the same for science/comm/ops). Medical staff is necessary, but the availability of the emh/lmh means you could probably get away with just one doctor and two highly trained nurses. One of those three would likely double as counselor. Which leaves just Engineering and Security, which seem to be the only departments that absolutely must have a larger number of crew. My guess is the absolute minimum, considering it would be a small ship, would be nine to twelve crew each, so three or four per shift. Under normal circumstances, security would not be too high, and so a portion of the on duty security officers could be employed in any kind of general work that may pop up (ie, please fetch x from the cargo bay or go see what that weird sensor reading in the mess hall is). So are there other very important positions that i'm forgetting? Do you think a ship could function on its own for years in deep space with such a small crew?