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Marines offering big bonuses to keep certain aviators from leaving for commercial airliners

WASHINGTON ? The Marine Corps is offering some of its aviators bonuses of up to $280,000 to remain in the service as the service looks to improve pilot retention, an issue the military has struggled with in recent years.

The Marine Corps? fiscal year 2020 aviation retention bonuses target Marine captains and majors who fly certain fighter jets, tilt-rotor aircraft, cargo planes and helicopters in an effort to offer incentive to keep pilots from moving into commercial aviation. The bonuses are available for pilots of the F-35 Lightning II, the F/A-18 Hornet, the AV-8 Harrier, the MV-22 Osprey, the C-130 Hercules, the UH-1 Huey, the AH-1 Cobra and the CH-53 Stallion, said Maj. Craig Thomas, a Marine spokesman.

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The U.S. Navy Is Hiding Aviation Accident Data

The Naval Safety Center website has been an important stop for defense journalists and and enthusiasts for years. The site covered covered safety and accident data for the entire U.S. Navy, from how many sailors and Marines are involved in off-duty motorcycle and ATV accidents to major incidents involving aircraft. The site traditionally included accident data per type of aircraft?AV-8B Harriers or F/A-18C Hornets, for example?daily accident summaries, and general accident statistics. If you had a hunch a certain aircraft were suffering more mishaps than usual, or were wondering what the accident rate for September 2018 was, you could go to the Naval Safety Center for the data.

Not anymore.

The data is still there, but civilians, including reporters, are restricted from seeing it. The Navy has placed the data behind a digital wall where only Common Access Card (CAC) holders have access. CACs are only available to active-duty military, military reserves, government contractors, and civilian DOD employees.

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