It is a fact that one of the most dangerous work environments anywhere is the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. This video is about the sailors and Marines who work together to make a United States Navy aircraft carrier one of the most formidable weapons in the world.
In this video you will see how complex and dangerous the efforts of launching and landing aircraft on a moving, bobbing platform in the open sea really are. You will get an idea of how the many specialties and responsibilities of Navy flight deck crews work together with incredible precision and expertise to launch and land their Navy and Marine Corps planes and pilots.
What happens on a busy flight deck during launches and landings has often been described as something like an extremely complex ballet. Everything that is done, every detail of the complex efforts involved, is a fine-tuned and precisely choreographed set of duties and actions carried out by different actors coordinating all that is necessary to successfully launch or retrieve the ship’s pilots and their planes.
Each team, each member of a team, must perform their various duties with both efficiency and precision.
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The various crews that work on a carrier flight deck are identified by the color of shirts that they were. Everybody knows the functions of those who wear each color and each team or individual sailor trains constantly to improve their skills and the smooth operations of the flight deck.
It really is a finely crafted and choreographed dance that goes on with every launch and landing. It is a remarkable thing to witness.
And it is all done in the most extreme of conditions. You will get a sense of that as you watch this video. You will also get a sense of the camaraderie of each of the crews. Not only is the carrier pointed into the wind for launches and landings, but when those powerful fighter jets take off, the force of their jet engines can blow a man off of his feet on that open deck.
There are so many things happening and so many things moving at one time during launches and recoveries that if you are not paying attention and doing things exactly as they are supposed to be done, you can find yourself in serious danger and trouble in a heart beat.
The Veterans Site extends its awe and its respect to all those who work the flight decks of our US Navy’s modern, high tech and powerful aircraft carriers. You are the best.
We wish you and all of your fellow crewmembers, “Fair Winds and Following Seas.”
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.