The Stargate wiki says that the crew size of a BC-304 cruiser is about 200 people. Where does this number come from? The BC-303 is stated to have a crew size of 115 at one point in the show, but the BC-304 is significantly larger.

BC-304 vessels include the Daedalus, Odyssey, Korolev, Apollo, Sun Tzu, and Hammond, but not the Prometheus.

  • This may help. Digging through the history for that page, I found that line was added on August 5, 2008, so if it's sourced, the source is older than that date. – user1027 Apr 8 '11 at 18:59

In my answer to the question which precipitated this one, I gave an estimated crew size of 250.

I have been unable to find a source for the Stargate wiki's numbers.

My numbers were WAG'd (Wild-Ass Guessed) as follows:

  1. Observed command and communications crew
  2. F-302 Pilots and crew
  3. F-302 support personnel
  4. Support staff (technicians, cooks, various extras doing extra-y things in the background)
  5. Security personnel.

First, the hard numbers: There are 16 F-302s. Each of them has two personnel responsible for in-flight activities (pilot and co-pilot). This means there are a minimum of 32 pilots. There must be backup pilots assigned. A reasonable safety margin would be 3 or 4 per wing, bringing our total up to 40 pilots.

Flying a plane (or space fighter, in this case) is the easy part. There is also a requirement for fueling, arming, maintaining, and controlling the ships themselves. In real air operations, this number is several times larger than the number of pilots. Given the cramped conditions aboard the 304 class, we can assume they carry minimal support personnel. I would estimate that they number perhaps twice the number of pilots (which would be hilariously low for something like an F-14. We have to assume that the 302s require much less maintenance than purely Terran craft). This brings us to 120 people, minimum, purely for the fighter wings.

Observed command staff seems to hover right around 12, possibly as high as 20. We routinely see 5-6 officers on the bridge during crisis (or normal operations). That being the case, there must be an equivalent number of 'bridge officers' for each shift (traditionally 3, though the late shift steps down the number of officers on deck). We can average this out to approximately 18, bringing us to 138 people.

Next we must consider the rest of the crew - the people who do things like cook food, clean the floors, run the engines, carry the big wrenches and clipboards, etc. They are the people who are ultimately responsible for keeping the entire ship flying.

Traditionally each officer would have a staff under them that does this grunt work. They have to cover 3 shifts (just like the bridge officers) and do a wide variety of tasks. I'd guess they are split into groups of 30, 30, and 10. It's likely that the technical staff of the 302 wing can be tapped in an emergency to support engineering, bolstering their numbers. This brings our total to 208 people, just over the total the wiki suggests.

It should be noted that none of these people are combat troops. They're engineers and pilots, janitors and cooks, commo officers and scientists. They aren't the folks you'll call to suppress the Replicator attack in Engineering, or to break up the fight in the galley.

That brings us to security.

Security personnel are harder to nail down, but given the levels of armed response we've seen on the show, I'd estimate that there are about 35 security personnel on board, split into three shifts of 15, 15, and 5. This would leave an adequate number to guard any prisoners or sensitive areas (if needed), be stationed for quick response to any area of the ship, and handle the armory. This brings my estimate to 243 personnel aboard each 304, rounded up to 250 people for simplicity.

EDIT: Found a potential source for that number.

About half-way down this page, there's an episode quote (From 'No Man's Land') which puts the number at 'around 200'.

McKAY: Good. Good. (They enter a room and Rodney smiles at what he sees.) Ah, now we're talking. How many more of these do we have?

(Crewmen are unpacking sets of breathing gear.)

KLEINMAN: Twenty in total.

McKAY: How many people on board?

KLEINMAN: In and around the two hundred mark.

This seems too low by my estimation, but I've not seen this episode. There may be mitigating factors which I'm not aware of (was this ship out with a reduced fighter wing? Had they taken losses?). In any case, a difference of 50 people can't easily be waved away in this apparent situation (seemingly a discussion of how much life support would be required)

Edit 2:

Further searching brought me to this page which is from a wiki for a Stargate-based forum game (? I believe) called Stargate: The Next Generation. They don't source their numbers, either, but the descriptions are internally consistent and nothing contradicts 'more official' sources.

  • +1 very good answer. one thing to consider though is the timelessness of space. a reduced personnel third shift does not make sense when there are no "shifts" to go by (third shift typically being during the dead of night on planet). after the first ship got spanked for being "under" staffed at a critical time just because on a planet hundreds of light years away part of it was in darkness, they'd have to change the rotations. more than likely the ship would run on a 4 shift rotation with numbers slightly lower than what you estimated for "first" and "second" shifts – Xantec Apr 8 '11 at 19:53
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    @Xantec - it's true that there is no basis for 'night' on a ship, however it's important to note that humans evolved on a planet where it did make sense. People are set into patterns, and a three-watch pattern is in keeping with the SGC's traditions. The third watch would occur during the time when the majority of personnel are sleeping, the effective 'night' of the ship. This is the case for submarines, which have many of the same limitations. In an emergency, additional personnel would be woken to do their jobs, and it would be 'all hands on deck'. – Jeff Apr 8 '11 at 20:20
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    And if the BC-304 staffing is in any way influenced by the Navy, those three shifts won't be doing 8-hours on/16 off... they're going to be 4 On, 4 off, 4 on, 8 off. A-B-A-C-B-C-A pattern. And that pattern is, unlike the Navy, they are unlikely to have a pair of dogwatches to shorten it; they may even stretch it to 5, so that it's a 25 hour shift cycle instead of 18, using a 5 on, 5 off, 5 on, 10 off. – aramis Apr 13 '11 at 1:33
  • @aramis - interesting. I don't know much about the navy (my relatives are Army and Air Force, and those & marines are where my focus typically lies) so that's interesting information. Do you feel it changes my crew estimates in any way? Feel free to revise with you own answer, if you do. – Jeff Apr 13 '11 at 12:51
  • @jeff the only revision is all three wind up being equal, as the shift schedule rolls through the daylight hours when using the USN 3 shifts/7 watches system (5 four hour and 2 two hour watches). The USAF has used such a schedule before in limited roles, but using a 6 watch system (6 four hour watches). Ships are unlikely to preserve a day-night schedule, but separate shifts are likely to be bunked in different halls so their 8-hour downtime is in a darkened section. – aramis Apr 13 '11 at 16:10

Just as a note as one of SGTNG's admins, we picked the number from one of the books (if I recall), though I'd be damned if I could remember which one (I'm the primary reader, & I've read a good twenty or so, sorry).

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