24 photos that show US Navy flight ops up close and personal

an aircraft director guides an fa 18c hornet onto a catapult aboard the aircraft carrier uss harry s truman

(Photo: U.S. Navy)

America’s aircraft carriers are the heart of the US Navy and serve as American territory floating around the world, allowing the US to project massive air and sea military might.

During flight operations, an aircraft carrier’s deck is an extremely dangerous place with expensive fighter jets and helicopters landing and taking off on a short runway. However, sailors and airmen mitigate risks by fine tuning the chaos with coordination and precision.

Here are 27 pictures to prove there is really nothing quite like America’s aircraft carriers.

Tiger cruise participants commemorate their voyage with a spell-out on the flight deck on the USS Carl Vinson.

Tiger cruise participants commemorate their voyage with a spell-out on the flight deck on the USS Carl Vinson.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans

An MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard.

An MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard.

U.S. Navy Photo

An aircraft director guides an F/A-18C Hornet onto a catapult aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

An aircraft director guides an F/A-18C Hornet onto a catapult aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kilho Park

An aircraft prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

An aircraft prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan J. Mayes

An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Black Aces of Strike Fighter Squadron 41 lands aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Black Aces of Strike Fighter Squadron 41 lands aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

U.S. Navy Photo

Sailors stow an aircraft barricade after flight deck drills aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Sailors stow an aircraft barricade after flight deck drills aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

U.S. Navy Photo

Sailors conduct a special patrol insertion/extraction exercise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Sailors conduct a special patrol insertion/extraction exercise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paolo Bayas

Ship executive officer addresses Sailors on the flight deck during an all-hands call on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

Ship executive officer addresses Sailors on the flight deck during an all-hands call on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zachary Bell

USS Bonhomme Richard conducts flight operations.

USS Bonhomme Richard conducts flight operations.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stacy M. Atkins Ricks

A pilot confirms the weight of his jet prior to launch on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

A pilot confirms the weight of his jet prior to launch on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

U.S. Navy photo

Airman position model aircraft on a planning board in the flight deck control center aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

Airman position model aircraft on a planning board in the flight deck control center aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Murphy

Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate signals a C-2A Greyhound on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate signals a C-2A Greyhound on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

U.S. Navy photo

USS Theodore Roosevelt conducts vertical replenishment.

USS Theodore Roosevelt conducts a replenishment.

U.S. Navy photo by Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Christopher Harris

USS Essex sailors scrub the flight deck.

SS Essex Sailors scrub the flight deck.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Adam M. Bennett

A landing craft air cushion enters the well deck of USS Kearsarge in Gulf of Aden.

A landing craft air cushion enters the well deck of USS Kearsarge in Gulf of Aden.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corbin J. Shea

USS Essex conducts deck landing qualifications.

USS Essex conducts deck landing qualifications.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bradley J. Gee

USS John C. Stennis conducts helicopter operations.

 USS John C. Stennis conducts helicopter operations.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ignacio D. Perez

A Super Hornet launches from the deck of USS Enterprise.

A jet launches from the deck of USS Enterprise.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman

Sailor signals for sailors to set up the aircraft barricade during a drill aboard USS George Washington.

Sailor signals for Sailors to set up the aircraft barricade during a drill aboard USS George Washington.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacob D. Moore

MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter lands aboard USS Essex.

MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter lands aboard USS Essex.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam M. Bennett

An AV-8B Harrier launches from USS Makin Island.

A Harrier launches from USS Makin Island.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kory Alsberry

Sailors conduct a chock-and-chain evolution with an SH-60 Sea Hawk aboard USS Wasp.

Sailors conduct a chock and chain evolution with an SH-60 Sea Hawk aboard USS Wasp.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rawad Madanat

An airman directs an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

An Airman directs an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

U.S. Navy Photo

Sailors prepare an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the USS Ronald Reagan.

Sailors prepare an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the USS Ronald Reagan.

U.S. Navy photo

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