Search the Site with 
Divisions in the Air Department People who control Flight Deck Operations Meaning of the different Colors of Helmets and Jerseys to end of page

People on the Flight Deck

Much goes into flight operations aboard today's modern US Navy aircraft carriers. Preparations for a launch or recovery very much resemble a well-choreographed ballet. Those involved in the evolution have specific, clearly defined roles, and are easily recognizable by the color of their jerseys and helmets.

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

The Air Department aboard the Aircraft Carrier consists of the following Divisions:

V-1 Divisionis responsible for moving aircraft on the flight deck and "spotting" catapults. They are also responsible for making sure the flight deck is free of foreign object debris (FOD).
V-2 Divisionmaintains and operates all of the catapult launching and arresting gear.
V-3 Divisionhas about 80 people and is responsible for moving aircraft in the hangar bay.
V-4 Divisionhas about 50-60 people who work on the flight deck; fueling aircraft, defueling aircraft and repairing fuel stations.
V-5 Divisionconsisting of approximately 15 Sailors, handles primary flight control. This division works with the air boss and keeps track of all of the aircraft.

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

Five People control Operations on the Flight Deck:

Air Bossdirects all aspects of flight deck operations from Primary Flight Control, the carrier's control tower, including launching, recovery and shipboard handling of the aircraft.
Mini Bossthe Air Boss' assistant in directing operations on the flight deck.
The Handlerdirects the handling of the aircraft on the flight deck and in the hangar bay.
Air Bos'nsupervises crash crews and fire parties in handling aircraft emergencies during flight and general Quarters.
LSOLanding Signal Officer, monitors and directs the final approach and landing of every fixed wing aircraft.

Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

Meaning of the different Colors of Helmets and Jerseys:

Color of JerseyColor of HelmetTasksPhoto
blueblue- Aircraft Handlers
- Tractor Drivers

bluewhite- Aircraft Elevator Operators
- Messengers and Phone Talkers
no photo available
blueyellow- Aircraft Directorsno photo available

(The letters "UI" on a helmet stand for "Under Instruction" and indicate that this "Yellow Shirt" is an apprentice. Photo.)
- Plane Directors
- Aircraft Handling Officers

(with three red stripes)
- Catapult and Arresting Gear Officers

greengreen- Catapult and Arresting Gear Crews
- Air Wing Maintenance Personnel
- Photographer's Mates

(with three red stripes)
- Catapult and Arresting Gear Officersno photo available
greenwhite- Cargo Handling Personnel
- Helicopter Landing Signal Enlisted Personnel (LSE)

greenbrown- Air Wing Quality Control Personnel

(sometimes white)
- Landing Signal Officers (LSO)

whitewhite- Air Transfer Officers (ATO)
- Medical Personnel
- Visitors / VIPs

whitegreen- Squadron Plane Inspectors
- Liquid Oxygen (LOX) Crews

brownbrown- Air Wing Plane Captains
- Air Wing Line Leading Petty Officers

brownred- Air Wing Helicopter Captains

purplepurple- Aviation Fuels

redred- Ordnancemen
- Crash and Salvage Crews
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)

Back to ships list. Back to information about carriers page. Back to 1st Page. Back to selection page.