Aircraft mission-capable rates hit new low in Air Force, despite efforts to improve

The Air Force?s aircraft readiness continued its multi-year slide in fiscal 2018, as the overall mission-capable rate for the aging fleet dropped below 70 percent ? its lowest point in at least six years.

Of the 5,413 or so aircraft in the fleet, the percentage that are able to fly at any given time has decreased steadily each year since at least fiscal 2012, when 77.9 percent of aircraft were deemed flyable. By fiscal 2017, that metric had plunged to 71.3 percent, and it dipped further to 69.97 percent in 2018, according to statistics obtained by Air Force Times via the Freedom of Information Act. That is an overall decrease of nearly 8 percentage points since 2012.


Marine aviation squadron commanders inaccurately reported readiness, aircraft counts, DoD IG found

A recent audit found that most Marine Corps aviation squadron commanders reviewed by investigators were not accurately reporting their unit?s aircraft readiness, providing inconsistent and unreliable data in their reporting, and Marine aviation officials at higher levels failed to provide clear guidance or oversight on readiness.

Investigators with the Department of Defense Inspector General reviewed 10 F/A-18 and CH-53E squadrons within 2nd Marine Air Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, and at 3rd Marine Air Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

The main driver of the misreporting seems to have been an unclear order that outlined when, what and how commanders were to create and submit readiness reports. Also, the lack of proper guidance and oversight by higher level commanders may have exacerbated the problem.