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PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 27, 2023) U.S. Sailors observe an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Fist of the Fleet” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 25, launch off the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Nov. 27, 2023. Theodore Roosevelt, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group Nine (CSG 9), is conducting integrated training exercises in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adina Phebus)

Pacific Ocean. (November 27, 2023): Talk about a day at the office! In this photo by MC3 Adina Phebus, Sailors watch as an F/A-18F Super Hornet launches off the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Unlike most offices, the deck of an aircraft carrier must be one of the most dangerous and thrilling experiences anyone can ask for. Launching and landing high speed aircraft requires an elegant symphony of tasks done in coordinated duties by various air crews working seamlessly under enormous pressure.

Deck crews are assigned separate roles in managing these air operations signified by the color of their jerseys. Sailors wearing Yellow are responsible for the movement of all aircraft on the flight deck and hangar assisted by entry level flight deck workers who wear Blue. Sailors that operate the catapult and arresting gear wear Green while aviation fuel handlers are identified by their Purple jerseys. The fire fighters and damage control parties wear Red as do those that oversee explosives. Finally, Brown is worn by the air wing squadron personnel who prepare aircraft for flight while White is worn by quality assurance and landing signal officers.

Each crewmember must perform their duties in a chaotic, high-pressure environment that tests their skills, and nerves, as they launch and retrieve attack aircraft from a pitching deck both day and night. Unlike most jobs, making a mistake on the deck of an aircraft carrier can cost lives and millions of dollars of taxpayer money.

America can be proud of these brave servicemembers, most of whom are in their twenties, who do these dangerous tasks well.