1) ABF - Depends. Do you like the idea of being a gas attendant? Basically that's what you will be as an ABF and while on ship your part of the ships company. While on shore duty, you'll likely be part of the fuel farm (big gas station). But that's when you're actually doing your job as an ABF.
2) Deploy? That depends also. Long contracts usually place you on shore duty first and since your likely E-3 and below anyway, you'll likely see 2 yrs shore 3 yrs sea. You can only be deployed on sea-duty. And deployments all depend on the rotation of the ship you are attached to and the length as well. I've been on South-Pac that were both 3 and 6 months long and I've been on Med cruises that were both 6 and 9 month deployments. Also there are workups testing the ship to see if it's ready for the longer one (couple of weeks to a month or so) So it depends. Also depends on what's going on in the world. Obviously in a war time situations, you'll like be deployed much more but normal rotations you get the normal one maybe two deployments per enlistment period. Because you usually only sign up for 3-5 years at a time unless your like me and pull the 1 year extension twice in a row. LOL.
3) Again it depends, If you're ships company, there is a likelihood that you get stuck on the ship but chances are you'll get a chance to live in the barracks also. Best thing to do is to just wait the minimum time period (rate usually E-3 minimum and time at command some are 6 months to a year at the command) to request housing allowance (though you can request sooner if the barracks and I believe ship space is at certain capacity. I believe it's like 80% and above)
4) Not sure about ABF but Aviation side of the house at sea, is 12 on and 12 off 7 days a week but don't let that fool ya. We only really work when the air craft aren't working. Most of the time they are out doing flight ops which is why we are 12 on 12 off. They fly we do nothing, they land we fix them up enough to fly the next day. ABF though, those guys don't fix anything on the aircraft. They fuel and wear purple like Barney. On shore, it all depends on your command.
Advice: Make absolutely sure this is a field of work that you would consider yourself interested in doing. Because in the end, it's "your" Naval career. You chose it. If I were you, I'd look more into all the rates but I'll tell you what, I wouldn't switch over to the boat chuck side of the house for anything. Not baggin on the Ship rates, but I know the perks that come with being an Air-dale Aviation (and I can't say all if it on here as there is a limit to how much I can type per comment). ABF is somewhere in the middle to be honest because they are Aviation guys that do ship work. If you want to do Aviation try looking at (AD work on aircraft engines, AM work on aircraft structure, AO aircraft weapons, AE aircraft electricity, AT radars and such). Also understand that you likely won't be doing your job for the first year or so (boot, schools, TAD) and that you'll be doing what is likely considered B*tch work when you first get to actually do your job as part of the growing pains of being the new guy on the block. And that goes for "any" rate you choose.
Peace and good luck to you sir. If you need anymore info, just hit me up. I'm cool with shooting the Shhizzle about my military experiences.
· 6 years ago