Is becoming an aircraft launch and recovery specialist right for me?

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What do aircraft launch and recovery specialists do?
What are aircraft launch and recovery specialists like?

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How to become an Aircraft Launch and Recovery Specialist

Aircraft launch and recovery specialists are usually enlisted personnel, and no prior job experience is necessary since the Navy provides comprehensive job training aboard ships and possibly at naval bases.

However, physical endurance, attention to detail and mission focus are required for a successful completion of training and accomplishment of military job tasks. Enlisted men or women may be supervised by deck officers who ensure that launch and recovery operations are performed by maintaining proper standards of safety, speed and efficiency.

Becoming an aircraft launch and recovery specialist requires, first of all, dedication and passion for protecting the country's national security through military operations. Potential candidates don't need prior experience in operating machinery, but technical skills and the ability to quickly operate with hand tools is a great advantage. Physical endurance, resistance to stress, mission focus and being detail-oriented are also required for successful completion of training aboard an aircraft carrier.

Upon enlistment, a contract will be signed, which represents the commitment of the individual to military service. The Navy provides comprehensive and detailed training that addresses technical aspects and safety procedures that need to be applied by aircraft launch and recovery specialists on the job (see also Navy or Marine ROTC).

The candidate is expected to show discipline, mission focus and proficiency in operating and maintaining expensive and complex equipment aboard naval vessels.

Because the safety and integrity of aircraft and pilots depends on the proper function of catapults and arresting gear, any major mistake or failure to act in emergency situations may result in catastrophic consequences or the delay of a military mission.

Aircraft launch and recovery specialists need to test their equipment frequently and report any malfunction on time. Responsibility and attention to detail are essential, and crewmen are expected to make quick decisions in a potentially stressful environment in conditions of uncertainty.