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Lieutenant Minako Aino is the Chief Operations Officer and Chief Science Officer onboard the U.S.S. Benjamin Sisko. This position places her as Second Officer (third in command).
The U.S.S. Sisko is Lt. Commander Aino's first starship assignment. For her entire Starfleet career, Aino has been assigned to starbases and outposts, working in science positions.
Lt. Commander Aino's assignment just prior to the Sisko was at the Federation science post on Titan, where she specialized in disaster forensics; primarily studying ship debris and the causation of destruction.
Lt. Commander Aino was one of a select few who was place in a semi-correct position on the Sisko, even though her experience level normally would not have qualified her for a position on a Starfleet flagship - much less a position as a command-level officer. Despite being a very talented and qualified science officer, her real-world experience was lacking, as was her knowledge of ship operations.
Despite this, Lt. Commander Aino took to the job very well and excelled with only a minor incident in her first few weeks aboard the Sisko.
One event of note though happened at a welcoming reception thrown by Captain Ranma Saotome.
Due to a misunderstanding, Captain Saotome was splashed with water by the Sisko's bartender, Gosnell. This activated his Jusenkyo curse which Lt. Commander Aino mistook for shape-shifting. In order to prove/disprove Captain Saotome's existence as a Founder, Aino attempted to take a blood sample.
Lacking a medical hypospray, she chose a more crude method. First, a steak knife, which failed, then a bottle, which was much more effective. The blood drawn from Captain Saotome did not change, however, and Lt. Commander Aino's theory was disproven. Captain Saotome declined to discipline Lt. Commander Aino for the incident.
Lt. Commander Aino was in command of the Sisko for a period of approximately four weeks after Captain Saotome was relieved of command and reduced in rank following the Vor'Gal incident and before Captain Karyn Walker came on board. During this time the ship was dry docked, undergoing massive repairs.
As of stardate 63014, Aino was promoted to the rank of Commander and assumed the role of the Sisko's Executive Officer, replacing Commander Shampoo who took command of the U.S.S. Miyazaki.