LOSING TIME: Keeping Marines Safe In The Air
|“Every day we live under a continuing resolution is a day we do damage to our military.” - Mac Thornberry, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
KEEPING MARINES SAFE IN THE AIR
General Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it best when he used the aviation community as an example of how lack of training and equipment is damaging the force: “I would give you an example of a pilot. If you look at a pilot specifically, you know, in the past, pilots might have had 30 hours a month to fly. Now they may be down as low as 15 hours a month. On a day-to-day basis, you may not be able to see the difference between Pilot A and Pilot B. But, if there is an in-flight emergency, I can guarantee you that the pilot that has 30 hours will immediately feel much more comfortable and confident in their ability to deal [with] an anomalous situation, be able to control their physiological response. And you and I may never find out about that incident. On the contrary, if a pilot has 15 hours a month, we may very well find out about it, because it's a Class A mishap [an accident resulting in the loss of life or aircraft].” Indeed, Marine Corps deaths due to these accidents are sharply on the rise.
Marine aviation resources are stretched so thin, that this spring the Corps faced the possibility of having to suspend all flight operations in the United States- including training operations- if additional funds were not secured.
WHAT WE ARE DOING TODAY:
CR restrictions hamper the Marine Corps ability to clear the backlog of broken aircraft. Without sufficient working aircraft, Marines are unable to get all the training time they should.
The House authorized increasing Navy and Marine Corps' aircraft depot maintenance by 9%. This is a $169M boost to ensure Marine aircraft are ready to fly and fight and Marine aviators come home safe.