Dressed in a khaki uniform and protective helmet, a French pilot emerges from the Rafale fighter jet that just landed on the deck of the Charles de Gaulle carrier, back from another mission over Libya.
A dozen mechanics scramble to assess the plane: the fuel specialists wear red, the maintenance crew green and the on-deck traffic controllers wear yellow, barking orders that have earned them the French nickname "yellow dogs".
A Hawkeye radar plane is next to land, soon to be replaced by another on the night flight. French forces said on Saturday that they had destroyed seven Libyan aircraft -- five planes and two helicopters -- in the western town of Misrata, where pro-Gaddafi units have mounted an assault to try to oust rebels.
For more: France's floating frontline against Libya's Gaddafi | Top News | Reuters