Aviation is a major part of the Navy mission. There are aircraft carriers that carry all types of aircraft, helicopter carriers that can also handle other types of vertical takeoff aircraft, smaller combatants that have a helicopter onboard, and many ships with fantails that are capable of landing a helicopter. Any ship capable of launching and/or landing aircraft has a designated flight deck.
- Red deck. Indicates that the ship is not ready to receive the aircraft.
- Green deck. Indicates that the ship is ready to receive the aircraft.
- Foreign Object Damage (FOD). Results from any loose object on deck that may be pulled upward toward the aircraft by suction of the rotors or jet intake and may cause damage to the engine rotor blades, or an object that may cause damage or injury by being blown by prop or test wash.
- Landing Signal Enlisted (LSE). Aircraft director, stands within the pilots view and directs his movements. His uniform is a GREEN shirt and RED cranial.
- Landing Signal Officer (LSO). Monitors all approaches from a platform beside the fight deck and acts as safety officer.
- Helo In Flight Refueling (HIFR). Refueling of a helo while it is hovering overhead using a quick disconnect fitting which provides a manually operated emergency breakaway capability.
- On Deck Refueling (Hot/Cold). Hot refueling is when the aircraft engine is operating, and cold refueling is when the aircraft engine is shut down.
- Vertical Replenishment. Vertical replenishment employs cargo helicopters (CH-46) as a method of transferring materials to combatants from the underway replenishment group of supporting forces. It is a faster and more flexible replenishment system than the conventional alongside method of replenishment (CONREP). It allows combatant ships to refuel concurrently. Its speed is limited to the speed in which cargo can be struck down to ensure safe operations.
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