Aircraft Launch and Recovery Specialist ... (Military - Enlisted)  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates and maintains catapults, arresting gear, and other equipment used in aircraft carrier takeoff and landing operations.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster National Security pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Operates consoles to control launch and recovery equipment, including catapults and arresting gear.
  • Operates elevators to transfer aircraft between flight and storage decks.
  • Installs and maintains visual landing aids.
  • Tests and adjusts launch and recovery equipment.
  • Installs airfield crash barriers and barricades.
  • Directs aircraft launch and recovery operations.
  • Operates and services aircraft ground-handling equipment and machinery.
  • Operates and services aircraft crash, firefighting, and rescue equipment.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work