AIR DEPARTMENT 

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Air Department is the largest department, with more than 600 men and women assigned. The department ensures the safe and efficient launch and recovery of aircraft and is divided into five major divisions. Flight Deck Control is responsible for handling, spotting, and movement of aircraft on the flight and hangar decks. It is supervised by Aircraft Handling Officer, who must, at all times, have current and complete status of all aircraft on board. The Airwing Maintenance Liaison Officer "CAGMO" or representative will be on duty at all times during flight or general quarters. Most carriers have a basic spotting order, i.e., the aircraft are spotted before a launch in approximately the same location each time. The spotting order allows for placing certain aircraft in certain locations to permit servicing, loading of ammunition, maintenance, etc. Before each launch, the Aircraft Handling Officer holds a brief that will cover procedures and the correct sequence. The disposition of "Go-Down" Aircraft before or during launch cycle is given. Handling crew supervisors (Directors) are given specifics verbally and via spotting cards. After the launch, remaining aircraft in landing are moved. The basic spotting order for aircraft that have recovered is similar to the launch spotting cards. As an exact landing sequence cannot be determined, the aircraft are spotted in a feasible location as they come aboard. "Hard Down" Aircraft are usually sent to the hangar deck and are replaced with "up" aircraft from below. Re-spotting of aircraft on the flight/hanger deck is an exercise in cooperation between personnel of refueling and rearming crews, squadron maintenance personnel and plane handlers.

V-1 Division is tasked with the security and movement of aircraft on the flight deck. Included in this is the Crash and Salvage crew who are the flight deck's fire department and rescue team. The V-1 Division handles, directs, moves aircraft on flight deck. It also operates aircraft handling/servicing equipment and mans the crash/salvage team.

V-2 Division maintains and operates the four steam catapults and associated machinery, Visual Landing Aids (VLA) and arresting gear.

V-3 Division is responsible for the security and movement of aircraft in the ship's three hangar bays. V-3 Division handles, directs, moves aircraft on the hangar deck. It operates aircraft elevators, hangar bay doors and assigned fire fighting equipment.

V-4 Division operates the aircraft fueling system, providing fuel services to air-wing aircraft. V-4 Division is responsible for fuel storage and transfer equipment, fuel purity, and fueling of all aircraft.

V-5 Division operates the ship's aircraft control tower, commonly known as "Pri-Fly (Primary Flight Control)," as well as running the department office where the paperwork never seems to end. Pri-fly is manned by the Air Officer (Air Boss), Assistant Air Officer (Mini Boss) and assistant subordinates. It is responsible for aircraft on deck and for visual control of all aircraft operating in the carrier's control zone.