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A skeleton crew featured a minimal number of crewmen required for starship or space station operations, sometimes fewer. Skeleton crews were often formed during emergencies.

The D5-class variant was capable of operating with a skeleton crew of just four. (ENT: "Marauders")

The final version of the Xindi weapon was designed to be operated by a skeleton crew. (ENT: "Azati Prime")

In 2268, the USS Enterprise needed a skeleton crew of twenty while using the M-5 multitronic unit. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

In 2287, Starfleet Command had the USS Enterprise-A go to Nimbus III, much to Captain Montgomery Scott's dismay as he remarked, "The ship's in pieces and we've got less than a skeleton crew aboard!" (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

In 2368, Lieutenant Commander Data suggested a skeleton crew from the USS Enterprise-D could take the Kallisko to a starbase. (TNG: "Silicon Avatar")

In 2369, a skeleton crew operated the space station Deep Space 9 after an aphasia virus infected everyone except Quark and Odo. (DS9: "Babel")

The term was not spoken in the episode but is in the script for the episode. [1]

In 2370, the Enterprise-D was left with only a skeleton crew under the command of Beverly Crusher while the rest of the crew were on the surface of a planet, searching for Data. (TNG: "Descent", "Descent, Part II")

A few weeks later, a skeleton crew was left to run Deep Space 9 during a plasma disruption that forced the evacuation of the station. (DS9: "Invasive Procedures")

In 2373, when members of the USS Voyager crew were replaced with Nyrians via translocation, the ship was eventually left with only a skeleton crew, with Commander Chakotay as the last remaining officer before he, too, was removed from the ship. (VOY: "Displaced")

After the Reckoning began on Deep Space 9 in late 2374, a skeleton crew remained aboard once the majority of the station's population had left. (DS9: "The Reckoning")

Several scripts described small numbers of crew seen working as "skeleton crews". These episodes include TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I" as well as the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine installments "Babel", "In the Hands of the Prophets", "The Collaborator", "The Visitor", and "The Assignment". Similarly, in a line of unused dialogue from the script of TOS: "Shore Leave", Yeoman Tonia Barrows reported, "Skeleton standbys are set up to relieve the Bridge, Communications and Engineering."

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