It does look naked but although I have no operational carrier experience but I’m pretty sure that it’s SOP for fixed air rob fly ashore before the carrier enters harbour.
QNLZ has a Commander. The Jimmy is 3 I/C.
Possibly, but looking back to my time on the Big 'E', remember their always seemed to be a few Buccaneers, Scimitars, Sea Vixens, Gannets etc cluttering up the flight deck, as was the case in visit to the US, late '60's....though stand to be corrected, was not yesterday!
The F35Bs being used for trials don’t appear to belong to the RN/RAF.
You raise an interesting point, and one which I'd never really thought about. Would the Jimmy ( a lieutenant commander) automatically take command in the event that the Captain and Commander were incapacitated? I appreciate that engineers, supply etc are not of the Chosen Branch, but Wings would be a seaman officer with three stripes.
Wings may be busy doing WAFU stuff. Even if he or she is not, embarked WAFUs don’t usually know much about their host ship. Mess, bunk, scran hall, Air compartments, sick bay. Wings may not be in date for driving. Best left to the Jimmy, just my take b