Every man onboard must work closely with the others in a dance that can be safe -- as long as no one breaks the rules -- or could turn deadly in seconds. It is an elaborate choreographed scene that once evoked words of praise from a Russian Admiral -- the US's one-time Cold War enemy. Even though the Soviet Union had built its own large aircraft carrier, the Kiev, Russian crews had found that they could not operate them with the efficiency of the US Navy.

With the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union, the Admiral toured a Navy aircraft carrier. After watching the flight deck action intently for some time, he finally shook his head in amazement and simply noted that the Russians could never achieve this. You couldn't one day sail to sea and perform -- the experience level required was just too high. There were just too many interlocking roles and duties.