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The USS Thomas Paine was a New Orleans class heavy frigate serving in Starfleet during the 24th century.   The vessel had been preceded in service by a frigate,

Rixx assumed command of the vessel prior to attending the Altarian Conference in 2358 and remained in the center seat until transferring to the USS Beowulf in 2373.  

The vessel was part of a joint Starfleet-Vulcan operation to combat Orion Syndicate arms smuggling operations to the Vulcan Isolation Movement in 2365 under the command of Robert Leyton.

The frigate transported a team to Starbase 12 to assess the crew of the USS Bozeman following their reemergence from nine decades in a temporal causality loop.

On stardate 47943.2, the Thomas Paine, underwent an engine upgrade at Starbase 92. During the upgrades, Lieutenant Ferrel of the Engineering Department transferred to the USS Enterprise-D.

In 2372 the Thomas Paine was one of six starships suspected of being part of Admiral Leyton's conspiracy, due to tis previous service as part of a task he commanded in 2365.  ("Space Jacking Prefix")

The next year the frigate arrived at the Antares Fleet Yards for a two years of refitting and upgrading.

By 2375 Stefan Bartok was the vessel's XO when it was relaunched. The ship immediately joined the Sixth Fleet.

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