The Kongo was among the first five Ambassador class ships built. See was built as an explorer. She later served through the teeth of the Cardassian war. After a rebuild to repair war related damage she once again did duty as an explorer and protector.
She was condemned in 2385 for damage relating to an earlier battle with the Dral.
- Captain John Bush -- First captain of the Kongo. A solid man, good for working the kinks out of a new ship. Commanded 2332 to 2341.
- Captain Avalai -- First female Deltan captain in Starfleet. As Admiral she was later instrumental in repealing the discriminating "oath of celibacy" required by Deltans in Starfleet. Rumor has it she actually seduced several high ranking Admirals to prove that sex with Deltans was not destructive on other species. Admiral Avalai, nor any of the supposedly seduced, ever made comment on the rumors. 2341 to 2350
- Captain Eliza Rutlage -- Captain Rutlage fought the Kongo through the teeth of the Cardassian war. The Kongo was a lucky ship in battle. 2350 to 2363
- Captain James Timothy Kirk -- The last captain of the Kongo. Captain Kirk oversaw her refit and was among the chief designers for that refit. 2367 to 2385.
The USS Kongo is named for Mount Kongō (Japanese: 金剛山 "Kongô-zan"), a mountain not far south of the old capital of Japan at Nara. The word kongo was the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese translation of vajra in Sanskrit.
The vajra was originally the thunderbolt of the god Indra. Later in esoteric, Tantric, or vajrayona Buddhism, the vajra symbolized supernatural powers that could be obtained through esoteric rituals. In the sexual symbolism of Tantrism, the vajra was also associated with the male organ. Kongo can also mean a jewel or a diamond, or hard as a diamond. So appropriately Kongo as the name of a ship would imply the great power of a thunderbolt or the hardness of a diamond.