What Is ABH in the Navy (With Skills and Requirements)?

Aviation Boatswain’s Mates play a major part in launching and recovering naval aircraft quickly and safely from land or ships. It includes aircraft preparation and fueling prior to takeoff and after landing, as well as fire-fighting and salvage and rescue operations. Later in their careers, ABs can earn the advanced AB rating that supervises all of the individual specialties.

Responsibilities. Aviation Boatswain’s Mate – Aircraft Handling (ABH) Sailors supervise the movement of Naval aircraft

Naval aircraft
Naval aviation is the application of military air power by navies, whether from warships that embark aircraft, or land bases.

https://en.wikipedia.org › Naval_aviation

and perform rescue duties when necessary. In this role, specific responsibilities may include: Assisting with the launch and recovery of aircraft. Spotting and securing aircraft and equipment.

Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate – Aircraft Handling – ABH

What does an ABH do?

An ABH performs Navy aviation duties, and their responsibilities depend on the specialty they complete.

ABH main duties and specialties

ABH mates perform the following tasks:

ABF mates duties include:

ABE mates duties include:

Sea and shore rotations

An ABH completes sea and shore tour rotations in the following order:

After they complete four sea tours, ABH mates rotate between 36 months at sea and 36 months ashore until they retire. To meet personnel requirements, the Navy might extend sea tours and reduce shore tours.

What is ABH in the Navy?

ABH is a navy mate responsible for launching and recovering naval aircraft from ships or land. The U.S. Navy classifies its jobs as “enlisted ratings,” which differs from other branches of the military where jobs are Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). The Navy rating of ABH involves fueling and preparing planes before they take off and after landing.

Aviation Boatswains Mates, Aircraft Handling is a community of Navy personnel that works both at sea and onshore. ABH mates mostly work outdoors in all weather conditions. They perform tasks on the aircraft carrier decks, which involve potential hazards, and work as a team in a fast-paced environment. ABH jobs include:

Specializations for aviation boatswains mates include:

ABH Skills

The ABH position requires the following skills:

Requirements for ABH

To achieve an ABH rating, you need to fulfill these requirements:


To qualify for an ABH job, you need to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), a series of tests that allow the Navy to select ratings and determine military jobs. You need to pass multiple subtests of the ASVAB with a minimum ASVAB total score of 184, which includes the Verbal Expression (VE), Mathematics Knowledge (MK), Automotive and Shop Information (AS) and Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) subtests. Other requirements include:


Once recruited, you train with all other new recruits of the U.S. Navy at the Recruit Training Command for eight weeks. Recruit Training Command is also called “Navy Boot Camp.” After completing this general training, you can enlist for class “A” technical school training.

When you enlist for ABH, you receive formal Navy schooling or on-the-job training. The class “A” technical school in Pensacola, Florida, provides the required education in approximately four weeks for ABH, five weeks for the ABE specialty and six weeks for the ABF specialty. During your time in “A” school training, you learn about aviation theory and build the basic skills required for the AB rating. Instruction and practical training are group-based.

After completing “A” school, the Navy might assign you to aircraft carriers, LHAs, LPDs, LPs, LHDs or Naval Air Stations overseas or in the U.S. The Navy might also assign you to different kinds of ships with helicopters or airplanes. ABs typically spend 60% of their time working on fleet units and 40% at onshore stations. Later in your career, you can have access to advanced technical and operational training. If you reenlist, you have access to “C” school for additional training.


How long is Navy ABH a school?

Here is a general idea of what you can expect to make in the Navy based on military rank. Most new Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mates (ABH) start at the level of Seamen Recruit (E-1) or Seamen Apprentice (E-2).

How much does a Navy ABH make?

A-School (Job School) Information

ABH training is six weeks long in aviation basic theory and basic required skills. Instruction is group-based and involves practical application of training.

What does an ABF do in the Navy?

The average salary for an Aircraft Director (ABH) is $46,666 per year in United States, which is 32% lower than the average US Navy salary of $68,737 per year for this job.

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