The Military Channel very recently ran a program on the day-to-day activities on-board a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier. Suffice it to say that the ship runs like clockwork.
Yet what the program instilled was a healthy appreciation–awe, perhaps–for the intricacies of what goes on aboard the flight deck. Every day, the launchers and arresting gear absorb dozens of take-offs and landings. The crew is on an incredibly tight schedule to maintain a flow of input and output. One misstep can spell disaster.
Amazingly, there are about three hundred individuals on a carrier flight deck at any one point in time. Their colour-coded uniforms identify which part of the crew they comprise. From a location above the deck, a single individual controls all of these movements. Little control is necessary, as the crews are synchronised and familiar with one another. But someone has to give the necessary commands, and that man is the “Air Boss.”
Victorinox Swiss Army liked the idea so much that they created a watch around the concept. What’s interesting about the Swiss Army watch is that it fits so well with the particular notion of responsibility. After all, it’s the Air Boss who’s responsible, day in and day out, for the fulfilment of the carrier’s main function: maintaining a battle-ready state. At the same time, he’s responsible for the health and safety of the on-board crew members.
This is not a duty to be taken lightly. Victorinox has thus gone to great lengths to ensure that its timepiece aids the Air Boss in the execution of these responsibilities. The piece should resonate very well with those in the professional classes, as well as those retired U.S. Navy officers who fondly remember their time serving America’s air fleets.