What's Navy life like for an ABH?

What are deployments like? How often is down time? Is there anyway to contact your family? Any additional info is appreciated, this is the rate I'm going into in a few months and I would lobe to know everything before hand, thanks

5 Answers

    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Aviation Boatswain, Aye... That's one of the most key positions on the flight deck, particularly an ABH.

    Flight deck personnel are always busy, and it's about as dangerous a place to work on the planet as you can find. Pay attention when you get to A school and when you're training on deck and at an NAS; flight decks do not tolerate those who aren't alert and smart.

    I won't BS you; deployments on any ship, particularly Carriers, are long and taxing over time. 3-5 month deployments for us on submarines was long enough; 9 months or more on a CVN would've probably driven me up the wall. Still, you get more port visits and crew can rotate off if necessary; for us, we had no contact once we were at sea. It's a lot different for Carrier crews. Fresh air every day also helps.

    Unless of course you're in State 3 seas and the deck is rolling 20 degrees and you're taking waves over the bow...

    Carrier personnel, while they do deploy longer with their respective battle groups, tend to have it better as far as family communication and general shipboard life.Letters of course, and these days teleconferencing when possible. Carriers also have their own shipboard TV networks. Personally though, I was always more fond of smaller crews; I could never fathom being on a ship that's got 5,000+ sailors. Makes for crowded liberty port visits as well.

    Speaking of which, port visits will of course depend on whether or not you're a Pac or Atlantic Fleet sailor; in general, Pac sailors tend to get better port visits (better weather also). As an example, the USS George Washington was in Brisbane, Australia this week. If you're in the Med, Naples isn't exactly an "exotic locale".

    Bottom line - pray for San Diego or Pearl as your homeport rather than Norfolk. San Diego's a great place to be in the Navy; spent almost 3 years there myself.

    As far as when you're moored at home, duty ever day is pretty much like any work day as a civilian, though it'll get longer and harder as you get more senior in rank. But you've got a few years before that happens, Your first couple of years will be primarily training.

    You're in for a lot of hard work like any sailor who works a flight deck, but get the most out of it and enjoy it, and above all, stay safe. I wasn't BS'ing on how dangerous it is to work a flight deck; again, pay attention and stay safe. You'll be doing stuff that your friends won't even be able to comprehend. Make sure you've got a good camera for port visits as well; you'd be surprised at how many sailors don't document their time in the Navy. I've got pics from my days that most people in the submarine force don't have, even today.

    My wife would envy you; when we were on active duty years ago, women weren't yet allowed to serve aboard combat vessels. That's the only thing about being in the Navy she regretted not being able to do, though she did serve aboard a support vessel.

    If you can swing the $$, this book is a great photographic record of flight deck and Naval aviation ops by C.J. "Heater" Heatley, a Tomcat driver in the '80's. His pics are stunning, and will give you insight as to why having a good camera is worth it. It's out of print and not cheap, but it's worth it.


    In other words, make friends with the shipboard Photographer's Mates. Naval operations make for some outstanding pics.

    Bottom line is that you're in for a great adventure, however cliche' that might sound. The key to Navy life is to always be a sponge when it comes to learning, and never be afraid to accept/learn the tough assignments. I will say also that to be honest, if you really want to get the most out of your rate/profession, you really need to make First Class; anything less than 8-10 years is kind of a waste. If you're single, you should have a lot of fun; if you're married, the separations will be tough as it is on all sailors, but you'll get through it.

    Source(s): See Profile.
  • 7 years ago

    I was An ABH on the USS coral Sea CV-43, The USS Kitty Hawk CV-63 and The USS constellation CV-64 i served on both the Flight Deck and Hangar Decks during my enlistment. Both are demanding and require the the best that you have to give. Attention to detail is of the upmost importance. You are handling litterally Millions of dollars worth of Aircraft every minute of every day when Flight-Ops are being conducted.

    You have to keep your eyes open as on the Flight Deck No one can hear anything, except what the Air Boss is saying on the Com.

    ALL communication is done through hand signals and body language

    as far as your duties when not handling Birds, he he he

    grab a grinder. man a paintbrush and get used to the color grey Aye aye Sir

    Dangerous Your damn straight. i would like for you to watch a clip

    go to youtube.com

    and look up "USS forrestal 1967". click on any clip that is showing smoke or fire. this clip will serve as a fantastic example of why attention to detail is so important.

    I would just for giggles like you to look up 'USS Kitty Hawk wave"

    keep in mind that the flight deck is 62 feet above the waterline

    I HAVE seen a solid wall of green come up over tha bow

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Depends on your platform, manning, and home port. Anything out of Japan will deploy more. CVNs do not get as many ports as small ships, the food is god awful, but there are more people to pick up the slack. Long hours and lots of yelling. And getting punked out by V-2 if you go to a carrier.

    Source(s): Served on a CVN 2 years ago.
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Its what you make of it. If you want to do your job, you will love it regardless of what you do. Dont worry about going out to sea, youll be with THOUSANDS of other people, and there are plenty of large open spaces on a carrier. Dont ever let yourself think poorly about your job. Think about moving forward, but never rip on yourself. Good luck

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  • 7 years ago

    Raven has provided the best answer you are going to get. Give him five stars for a thorough job.

    Source(s): retired officer (submarines)
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