Here's why there are so many coloured shirts on a aircraft carrier's flight deck

Flight deck crewAmanda Macias/Business InsiderPersonnel inspect the flight deck of USS America on Monday, October 31, 2016.

ABOARD USS AMERICA — The flight deck aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier is a pageant of organised chaos, orchestrated by a crew sporting jerseys that are as colourful as they are important.

Here’s a brief explanation of what all the coloured jerseys mean.


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Personnel wearing white jerseys are responsible for overseeing safety on the flight deck. They also greet and escort visitors that come onboard along with a yellow jersey.

These were the first two people I saw upon arriving on the flight deck of USS America.


In the yellow jerseys are aircraft handlers who are responsible for taxiing planes around the chaotic flight deck. Catapult and arresting gear officers and plane directors also wear yellow.


Those wearing green jerseys are either cargo-handlers, air wing maintainers, or are responsible for maintaining the catapult and arresting gear machinery.


Amanda Macias/Business Insider

Purple-jerseyed personnel take care of all the fuel on the flight deck.


Those wearing blue jerseys help move aircraft around the flight and hangar decks. These personnel are plane handlers, aircraft elevator operators, and flight deck low tractor drivers.


Everyone wearing a red jersey is an ordnancemen, which means they handle the aircraft's bullets, bombs, missiles, and rockets on the flight deck.

Crash and salvage crews also wear red jerseys and work alongside those wearing silver protective suits.


Silver protective suits are worn by rescue personnel who save trapped aircrew from crashed aircraft.


Brown-jerseyed flight deck personnel are air wing captains or air wing line leading petty officers who oversee the maintenance of individual aircraft.

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