Modern United States Navy Carrier Air Operations - Flight Deck Crew

Flight Deck Crew

The flight deck crews of a Carrier Air Wing wear colored jerseys to distinguish their functions.

  • Landing Signal Officers

  • Catapult Crew

  • Ordnancemen

  • Aviation Fuel Handlers

  • Plane Captains

  • Plane Handlers

  • Flight Deck Crew

  • Aircrew

Colors Task
Yellow
  • Aircraft handling officers
  • Catapult and arresting gear officers
  • Plane directors – authoritative for all movement of all aircraft on the flight/hangar deck
Green
  • Catapult and arresting gear crews
  • Air wing maintenance personnel
  • Air wing quality control personnel
  • Cargo-handling personnel
  • Ground support equipment (GSE) troubleshooters
  • Hook runners
  • Photographer's mates
  • Helicopter landing signal enlisted personnel (LSE)
White
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
  • Squadron plane inspectors
  • Landing signal officer (LSO)
  • Air transfer officers (ATO)
  • Liquid oxygen (LOX) crews
  • Safety observers
  • Medical personnel (white with Red Cross emblem)
Red
  • Ordnancemen
  • Crash and salvage crews
  • Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD)
  • Firefighter
Blue
  • Plane handlers (Trainees)
  • Chocks and chains – entry-level flight-deck workers under the yellowshirts
  • Aircraft elevator operators
  • Tractor drivers
  • Messengers and phone talkers
Purple
  • Aviation fuel handlers
Brown
  • Air wing plane captains: squadron personnel that prepare aircraft for flight
  • Air wing line leading petty officers
White/black
  • Final checker (inspector).

Everyone associated with the flight deck has a specific job, which is indicated by the color of his deck jersey, float coat and helmet. Rank is also denoted by the pattern of trousers worn by flight deck crew:

  • Navy blue pants – Denotes junior sailors and petty officers.
  • Khaki pants – Denotes chief petty, warrant and commissioned officers. This keeps in line with the traditional khaki color of CPO and officer service uniforms.

When a Distinguished Visitor (DV) arrives on the ship by air, a call to "Muster the Rainbow Sideboys" is made. Typically two of each colored jersey stand opposite each other in front of the entrance to the ship to render honors to the DV. These sailors in their colored jerseys are referred to as "Rainbow Sideboys."

Read more about this topic:  Modern United States Navy Carrier Air Operations

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