The Operations Officer, or Operations Manager, or Chief of Operations, is a senior staff and department head position in a Starfleet unit.
Aboard Starfleet vessels, the Operations Officer is in charge of communications, sensors, environmental systems and hangar deck operations. This duty assignment is tasked with conducting all forms of sensor sweeps including planetary reconnaissance scans.
Essentially, the Operations Department monitors and controls the use of all ship systems not ostensibly involved with propulsion, navigation, or combat. The Operations Officer often must coordinate directly with the chief engineer to ensure that all of the ship's systems are maintained at optimal performance. When no engineer is on the bridge of a starship or operations center of a space station, the Operations Officer sees to any engineering matters that may arise. Although the transporter systems are Engineering Department assets, it is the Operations Department that puts them to use. With regards to special environmental conditions required for alien crewmembers or visitors, the Operations Officer must coordinate with the ship's chief medical officer. The Ops Department head position is in charge of the recreation areas of the ship or station as well, such as the various recreation rooms, gymnasiums and holodecks. The Ops Officer will also work very closely with the ship's helmsman with respect to the use of the ship's hangar bays, since the Conn Officer is responsible for flying the shuttles and training shuttle pilots.
While the Operations Officer is an important job, this post is often filled by junior officers, Lieutenants and below onboard minor starships. But for capital starships and major space stations, the position is usually occupied by a Lieutenant commander, or even a Commander and usually serves as either the second officer or third officer.