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USS Cerritos in Star Trek Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks explained

With the new episode of Star Trek Strange New Worlds now here giving us a major crossover with Lower Decks, we're here to explain Starfleet's USS Cerritos.

Star Trek USS Cerritos from Lower Decks explained

Here’s everything you need to know about Star Trek’s USS Cerritos following on from the Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds crossover episode. Surprise! The new episode of Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 has arrived early, and with it come some familiar faces.

Of course, the new Star Trek episode sees Ensign Boimler and Ensign Mariner come aboard the USS Enterprise and cause absolute chaos in the process. But, it also sees the return of the USS Cerritos before the Star Trek Lower Decks season 4 release date.

In a short space of time it’s become one of the best Star Trek starships and a fan-favorite despite its underdog nature. Here, we break down absolutely everything you need to know about the USS Cerritos including its class, service history, and more.

USS Cerritos service history explained

The USS Cerritos had an eventful service history, primarily defined multiple ‘second contact’ missions and conflict with the Pakleds as seen throughout the events of Lower Decks. In the animated Star Trek series, the Cerritos is at the forefront of several battles with the Pakleds, following on from the destruction of the USS Solvang.

The Pakleds – first seen in the TNG episode Samaritan Snare – were becoming a more powerful and belligerent race, and had taken to creating new starships by combining the parts of others. Increasingly aggressive and hostile, they attacked Federation ships including the USS Cerritos, which had to be saved by the USS Titan. However, the rescue from the USS Titan and Captain Riker didn’t come soon enough to prevent the need for extensive repairs.

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What class is the USS Cerritos?

The USS Cerritos is a California class starship. The California class was a type of Federation starship which operated in the late 24th century within the Star Trek timeline.

The California class ships primarily served as support vessels, and were tasked with ‘second contact’ missions. Following on from first contact with a new alien species, second contact missions were more logistical in nature, and would deal with the practical details and difficulties of an alien race being a potential Federation member.

Star Trek USS Cerritos explained

With standard weapons and defense systems, the California class ships were visually differentiated by their underslung warp nacelles which were directly connected by a horizontal platform. Their warp systems weren’t designed to progress past warp 8.

Who is the captain of the USS Cerritos?

Captain Carol Freeman is the captain of the USS Cerritos, and she’s also the mother of Beckett Mariner. Despite being in charge of a relatively low-key ship, Captain Freeman had more than her fair share of trouble while leading the Cerritos.

The Star Trek captain‘s biggest challenge came during the Pakled confrontations, and she was accused of conspiring to blow up the Pakled home planet and taken into custody by Starfleet security. Thankfully, with the help of her crew, she managed to clear her name. Good old Captain Freeman.

That’s everything you need to know about the USS Cerritos for now. For more ships, check out our explainers on the USS FarragutUSS CayugaUSS Defiant, and USS Intrepid.

Or, learn more about Strange New Worlds’ Star Trek characters with our guides to Sam KirkPelia and Amanda Grayson. Then read our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review as well as our interview with Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn, and see which Star Trek captain we think would survive in a zombie apocalypse.

You can also see our ranking of the Star Trek movies and keep up with the status of the Star Trek 4 release date before seeing what’s new on Paramount Plus this month, and checking out our picks for the best TV series of all time.