Aviation Fire Control Technicians’ roots go back to 1954 when the Aviation Fire Control Technician (AQ) rating was established. Under the AQ umbrella were initially two service ratings: AQB ( Aviation Fire Control Technician - Bomb Director ) and AQF ( Aviation Fire Control Technician - Fire Control ). These two ratings were eventually merged into one AQ rating.
Regardless of the service rating, AQs were tasked with the maintenance and repair of some of the most advanced aircraft electronics deployed on U.S. Navy ships at the time. This might include troubleshooting an aircraft’s electronic weapon system as it sat on the flight deck to swapping out circuit cards in onboard computer systems. All aspects of aircraft weaponry and detection systems—including radars, navigation, heads-up displays (HUDs), multi-function displays (MFDs), target acquisition, weapons-release, and more — fell under the bailiwick of the Aviation Fire Control Technician.
In 1991 the Aviation Fire Control Technician (AQ) rating was disestablished when it was merged ( along with the Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technician (AW) rating) into the Aviation Electronics Technician (AT) rating.
While the military life is a great experience, Each branch has it's own unique environments. I spent 9 years in the Navy and over 2 years of that deployed aboard an aircraft carrier, the USS Saratoga. Deploying for months at a time makes for a very specific environment. And when you do get a break and pull into a port-of-call, that to is a predictable experience. To help you understand the Navy experience I have included these two guide lists. While they are meant to poke fun they also play on the day-to-day realities of shipboard life. Enjoy!