Please check that your current browser is up-to-date.

Thank you for visiting navy.com – the official recruitment site of America's Navy. We have recently made technological updates to our site in an effort to provide a better interactive experience. To enjoy the best possible experience, we recommend that you consider upgrading to one of the following versions (or higher) of any of these popular browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 10.0+
  • Safari 6.1+
  • Firefox 26
  • Chrome 32
Quick Links
Main Links
Social Links

Flight Operations

Navy flight operator braces for next mission.

Flight Operations

Helping a fighter jet land on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the night? That’s one of the many high-stakes responsibilities for those in Navy Flight Operations.

Helping a fighter jet land on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the night? That’s one of the many high-stakes responsibilities for those in Navy Flight Operations.

What different types of aircraft does the Navy operate?
Navy air traffic controller direct Navy flight operator.

About This Job

The successful operation of a flight deck on an aircraft carrier is one of the most complex, high-stakes exercises on the planet. It’s no small task to ensure that each aircraft that leaves the flight deck performs its mission successfully and returns home safely. Navy Aircrewmen and Air Traffic Controllers are essential in directing the everyday complexities above and below the flight deck. Their responsibilities include:

  • Performing aircraft tactical duties as a flight engineer, loadmaster and/or reel operator
  • Executing handling duties related to the launch and recovery of Naval aircraft
  • Interpreting data shown on radar screens to plot aircraft positions
  • Operating tactical weapons, sensors and communications equipment
  • Working with Pilots to operate and control aircraft systems
part time
full time
Full Time
Part Time

As a member of the Flight Operations team, you could support your squadron’s flight line, assist Navy Pilots and Naval Flight Officers with antisubmarine warfare, contribute to search and rescue operations or control the movement of aircraft and vehicles on airfield taxiways.

As part of this community, you may have the opportunity to:

  • Perform pre-flight planning, equipment checks and post-flight maintenance
  • Maintain aeronautical charts and maps
  • Manage advanced airborne electronic equipment
  • Work with airborne mine countermeasure equipment
  • Act as a flight communications operator

Full Time
Part Time

Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Flight Operations personnel in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.

For Annual Training, you may serve anywhere in the world, whether on a ship at sea or bases and installations on shore.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.

Full Time
Part Time

Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.

Aircrewmen and Air Traffic Controllers in the Navy Reserve serve in an Enlisted role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.

For current or former military Enlisted servicemembers: Prior experience satisfies the initial Recruit Training requirement – so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.

For those without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial Recruit Training (needs link) requirement by attending Boot Camp for seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, Ill. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.

Full Time
Part Time

Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the field of Flight Operations can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education. You may also continue your education through opportunities like the following:

Full Time
Part Time

A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the Flight Operations field in the Navy. Those seeking a position as an Aircrewman or Air Traffic Controller must be U.S. citizens who can meet eligibility requirements for a security clearance.

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.


Paid training. Competitive salary. Comprehensive health coverage. Generous vacation. World travel. The list goes on.