On the USS John C. Stennis, airman Manuel Santis hauls off a length of arresting wire with frayed ends. Arresting wires are replaced before they break and cause injury. A cross-deck pendant wire has a maximum life of 125 “traps,” or arrests, while the purchase cable leading to the hydraulic arresting engine lasts up to 1,400.
An arresting wire attaches or is “swaged” to the purchase cable in a loop, which is fabricated below deck in a dangerous procedure of heating zinc to a molten state at 1,000 degrees. The Navy is testing an automated hydraulic press to replace the manual labor in the job.