REPRESENTATIVES FROM EACH MILITARY SERVICE EXPLAIN HOW THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL COMMISSION ON MILITARY AVIATION SAFETY THAT DEMOCRATS PROPOSED IN THE FY 19 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL WOULD HELP THEIR SERVICE:
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee at last week’s hearing on military aviation safety:
Can each of you please take a moment to offer your thoughts on how a National Commission on Military Aviation Safety would benefit your service?
Lt. Gen. Mark C. Nowland, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Air Force:
Yes, ma'am. Thanks for the question. We would believe that that Safety Commission could look at overall things, as we have found trends, we find operational tempo and time are key to both readiness and safety. There we think that that study would help us highlight that the Air Force is too small for the mission set that we need to do and I think it would highlight that we need the more manpower and to grow to accomplish a national defense strategy to provide that time to train.
Lt. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation:
Yeah, I agree, I one of the things that I think that Commission would find, I think it would find some efficiencies in pilot production and pilot training. I think we would find some efficiencies in how we maintain aircraft as we begin to compare ourselves to other organizations around the world and how we do maintenance.
But I also agree that it would also see ops tempo as a driver. I would think also would see maybe as a young force and the turnover that we have within our services that the training to get on step for the next deployment as a driver or some of the mistakes in the maintenance spaces.
MG William K. Gayler, Commanding General, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence:
Yes, ma'am, thank you. I think we certainly all agree that any effort to improve the safety and safeguard the treasure of our nation is certainly worth pursuing. And I think it would have to, I would recommend it have to be fairly focused to determine causal factors that affect risk to include manning, equipping, training, but I think we ought to also capitalize on some of the things we already do with the OSD oversight with our joint safety councils that meet and each of our own internal safety center capabilities.
But we're certainly encouraged by any opportunity to help better protect our soldiers.
RADM Roy J. Kelley, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic:
Yes, ma'am, thank you for the question. As we look back in naval aviation history, 50 years we've had significant changes in our mishap rates and it was because of the advent of NATOPS, Naval Aviation Training Operations Standardizations as well as an angled flight deck.
And those were significant impacts to our safety and readiness as we look at something new to come on that would help us to be more impactful for the future I think it needs to be an organization that can help us be predictive and the mishaps when they're -- they think that were -- they're going to happen to help us to be predictive in that process. Otherwise, I think we're going to have minimal impact in the current safety structures that we have.
So if it can be something it helps us in a predictive manner then I think it would be very helpful.