Navy Dads


Aviation Boatswain's Mate

This group is for all ABs (ABE/ABF/ABH) family and friends!

"Guardians of the Flight Deck"...

Members: 48
Latest Activity: May 25, 2023

Job Description:

- ABs Rates & Rating -

  • E-1 Airman Recruit (ABEAR/ABFAR/ABHAR)
  • E-2 Airman Apprentice (ABEAA/ABFAA/ABHAA)
  • E-3 Airman (ABEAN/ABFAN/ABHAN)
  • E-4 Petty Officer Third Class (ABE3/ABF3/ABH3)
  • E-5 Petty Officer Second Class (ABE2/ABF2/ABH2)
  • E-6 Petty Officer First Class (ABE1/ABF1/ABH1)
  • E-7 Chief Petty Officer (ABEC/ABFC/ABHC)
  • E-8 Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (ABCS)
  • E-9 Master Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (ABCM)

ABs are ships company, not air-wing personnel. They work with and maintain catapults and arresting gear (green shirts), aviation fuel supply systems (grapes), and move aircraft on the hangar deck and flight deck (yellow shirts). They wear red shirts when they man the crash-and-salvage and fire fighting equipment. They do maintenance below decks where their equipment is housed-the parts you can't see on the flight deck...

The Air Department aboard the Aircraft Carrier consists of the following Divisions:

V-1 Division - responsible for moving aircraft on the flight deck and "spotting" catapults. They are also responsible for making sure the flight deck is free of foreign object debris (FOD).

V-2 Division - maintains and operates all of the catapult launching and arresting gear.

V-3 Division - has about 80 people and is responsible for moving aircraft in the hangar bay.

V-4 Division - has about 50-60 people who work on the flight deck; fueling aircraft, defueling aircraft and repairing fuel stations.

V-5 Division - consisting of approximately 15 Sailors, handles primary flight control. This division works with the air boss and keeps track of all of the aircraft.

Five People control Operations on the Flight Deck:

Air Boss - directs all aspects of flight deck operations from Primary Flight Control, the carrier's control tower, including launching, recovery and shipboard handling of the aircraft.

Mini Boss - the Air Boss' assistant in directing operations on the flight deck.

The Handler - directs the handling of the aircraft on the flight deck and in the hangar bay.

Air Bos'n - supervises crash crews and fire parties in handling aircraft emergencies during flight and general Quarters.

LSO - Landing Signal Officer, monitors and directs the final approach and landing of every fixed wing aircraft.

The Aviation Boatswain's Mates Prayer

I am convinced, Our Father, that your fondest feelings are reserved
for the least pretentions and most genuine of us.
I am sure that Aviation Boatwain's Mates are some of your favorites.
Certainly Aviation Boatwain's Mates have yet to find the virtues of
humility, or soft-spokenness or gentleness...
They do lead with their jaws...
And they always seem to be more ready to fight than to switch.
They can be singled out by their red eyes,
and by a grubbiness, which is a mark of their trade.
But their wills match their strong backs...
And their love of each other is a wondrous thing to behold.
They are the salt of the deck...
And the saltiness is honest and open...
And they are uniquely Your sons. We are grateful for them...
As you love them specially, we mark them particularly tonight.
Bless them every one...
And forever keep them from harm and hurt...
In Christ's name, Amen.

-- R. W. Bedingfield, Chaplain (USN)

ABMA | facebook

Discussion Forum

Where are your AB's?

Started by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary. Last reply by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary May 25, 2015. 20 Replies

My ABH is currently serving on the USS Anchorage (LPD 23) homeported in San Diego, CA. How about yours?Continue

Tags: handling, handler, fuels, flight, launch

From Blue to Yellow: Evolution of an Aviation Boatswain's Mate...

Started by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary Jun 17, 2013. 0 Replies

Story Number: NNS130604-10Release Date: 6/4/2013 12:30:00 PMBy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Vargas, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Public AffairsUSS KEARSARGE, At Sea (NNS) -- Imagine…Continue

Tags: LSE, Yellow Shirt, Blue Shirt, Aviation Boatswain's Mate, ABH

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Aviation Boatswain's Mate to add comments!

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on January 9, 2021 at 12:40pm

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on October 6, 2019 at 2:31pm
Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on January 14, 2018 at 1:54pm

Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas – An instructor, left, escorts two Aviation Boatswain’s Mate students near a large-scale mock aircraft fire on board Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. The students are performing their final evaluation in the Fire Protection Apprentice Course at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense (DoD) Fire Academy. U.S. Navy photo by Cryptologic Technician 1st Class Patrick D. Wormsley (RELEASED)

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on January 22, 2017 at 1:02am

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on April 13, 2016 at 5:28pm

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on April 7, 2016 at 9:54pm
Mike, 6-8 weeks..
Comment by NavyDads Admin (Paul) on April 7, 2016 at 7:42pm
Comment by Mike Conroy on April 7, 2016 at 7:32pm
Can anyone tell me how long ABH A school is?
Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on March 19, 2016 at 2:00pm

160314-N-XK809-071 EAST SEA (March 14, 2016) – Aviation Boatswain’s Mates remove chocks and chains from a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the “Island Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25, on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard is the flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group and is participating in Exercise Ssang Yong 2016, a biennial combined amphibious exercise conducted by forward-deployed U.S. forces with the Republic of Korea Navy and Marine Corps, Australian Army and Royal New Zealand Army Forces in order to strengthen our interoperability and working relationships across a wide range of military operations - from disaster relief to complex expeditionary operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William Sykes/Released)

Comment by NavyDads Co-Admin, Gary on December 9, 2015 at 11:44am

Thanks Rod! Will keep you posted. Just a shout-out to all the ABs who advanced during the last cycle well done!


Members (47)



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