Cerberus: Deck Crew


The Cerberus' Deck Crew is essential to the smooth and efficient functioning of the battlestar's air operations. They are charged with, among other things, directing the movement of all planes on the flight and hangar decks, operating and maintaining the Viper launch tubes, preparing planes for flight, and repairing planes when they break. Damage control operations (like firefighting) fall jointly under the Deck and Engineering Departments.

Job Specifications

Personnel below the rate of Petty Officer are trained as specialists in one of four fields, Aircraft Handlers, Survival Equipment, Air Engineering (Mechanical) or Air Engineering (Avionics). For promotion to Petty Officer and above, a crew member is expected to broaden their knowledge in all specializations in order to effectively lead a multi-disciplinary team. Chiefs and Petty Officers will stand watches in overall charge of the Flight Deck, its safety, and operational readiness.

Aircraft Handler

A physically fit and self-disciplined specialist who ensures that the fleet's small vessels are able to take off and land safely. The work of an AH is essential where ever fleet aircraft take off or land. Before pilots can take off, aircraft handlers make the preparations that secure the safety of the aircraft, the flight crew, and everyone in the support team. They marshal the aircraft on the deck, directing them to the right place, and prepare the flight deck for takeoff and landing.

While everyone in the fleet is trained in firefighting duties, Aircraft Handlers also train in specialist aircraft-crash firefighting and rescue duties. AHs also learn to maintain safety and security standards in aircraft hangars and carry out routine maintenance on all the equipment used.

Survival Equipment

A thorough and accurate specialist who is responsible for the life-saving equipment and clothes that protect anyone who flies in a fleet aircraft. Survival Equipment specialists (SE) safeguard the lives of pilots and other aircrew and passengers in aircraft. If one of the fleet's aircraft is involved in an accident, aircrew are trained in survival techniques. People and aircraft have a range of specialist clothing and equipment to help protect them, and this equipment, and the training in how to use it, is the responsibility of the SE.

SEs are responsible for all aircrew's special protective clothing, including zero-G suits, flying helmets, oxygen masks, and emergency breathing equipment. They maintain, check and repack essential kit including survival packs and emergency signalling devices such as wireless beacons and distress flares. An SE can also become a qualified instructor in the art of survival, briefing aircrew — and civilians — about the use of their survival equipment.

Air Engineering

A multi-skilled member of the team whose checks and repairs ensure that the fleet's aircraft remain at the peak of readiness. Air Engineers are part of a highly trained team that keep Vipers and Raptors, as well as fleet shuttles and small craft, fighting fit to do essential tasks. The heart of their job is to keep aircraft ready to fly on operational duties.

Fleet aircraft are highly technical, finely tuned machines. They are fitted with state-of-the-art systems for navigation, detection and attack — equipped to fly in adverse conditions and kitted out for the multiple jobs they do. All of those pieces of equipment need specialist technicians to keep them operational.

  • Air Engineers (Mechanical) - AE(M) - are involved in routine servicing, maintenance or deep repair of the aircraft itself - its fuselage, flying controls and propulsion systems, hydraulic and fuel systems.
  • Air Engineers (Avionics) - AE(A) - work on the equipment fitted to fleet aircraft: electronics, weapons and electronic warfare, navigation and digital communications systems, power supplies and DRADIS.


Trainee deck crew are assigned tasks and duties under the supervision of more experienced personnel, learning as they work in order to maximize the effectiveness of the department and ensure key maintenance continues uninterrupted.

Each trainee is issued a training log book according to their specialty and sub-specialty, and each task must be observed and signed off by an authorized senior crew member before the trainee may be considered for promotion.

General Deck Training Logbook

Aviation Support Operations

  • Read aircraft quantity, temperature and pressure gauges and instruments.
  • Stand fire watch during fueling/defueling and starting of aircraft.
  • Perform duties as a member of an aircraft handling team for launch and recovery of aircraft.
  • Secure and tie down aircraft.
  • Ride brakes of aircraft being towed or pushed.
  • Operate mobile equipment around aircraft.
  • Know the general types of aircraft handling equipment.
  • Clean, service and lubricate aircraft handling equipment.
  • Know the general methods of handling ship based fleet aircraft.
  • Identify and know the purpose of general aviation support equipment.
  • Service aircraft servicing equipment and tools.
  • Connect and disconnect external power cables for starting and servicing aircraft.
  • Service aircraft with oil, fuel, hydraulic fluid, and nitrogen/air.
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