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Aircraft Launch and Recovery Specialists

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Service Branches

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Work Environment

Aircraft launch and recovery specialists work outdoors aboard ships while operating and maintaining launch and recovery equipment or holding visual landing aids for incoming aircraft. They are exposed to noise and fumes from jet and helicopter engines.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Aircraft launch and recovery specialists ensure the safety of aircraft as they launch from and return to aircraft carriers. They perform this critical work by operating and maintaining catapults, arresting gear, and other equipment used in aircraft carrier takeoff and landing operations.

Military Training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field and covers tactical and survival skills physical training military life and customs and weapons training. Aircraft launch and recovery specialists gain skills through classes and on-the-job experience. Training content may include:

  • Operating and maintaining launch and recovery equipment
  • Installing crash barriers and barricades
  • Use of landing aids arresting gear and anchoring devices
  • Care of airfield surfaces
  • Operation of communication systems

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to use hand tools and test equipment
  • Interest in aircraft flight operations
  • Interest in working on hydraulic and mechanical equipment

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