How the Marines Plan to Meet Mattis’ Call to Fix Aviation Readiness

The Marine Corps‘ aviation woes have posed the biggest challenge to the force’s readiness, but the service’s top general has a simple response to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ call to improve aircraft mission-capable rates.

“Roger that,” Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said during a Wednesday Defense Writers Group breakfast with reporters. “… I’m sure if we don’t make it, we’ll hear about it.”

AI Sensor Data Keeping Naval Aviation Fleet Soaring

The U.S. Navy is now using artificial intelligence to determine when it needs to take birds out of the air and repair their wings before they get clipped.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is challenging the conventions of previous aircraft maintenance intervals through AI, in a manner that initially shook the engineering department but now provides early warning of when major systems in the Naval aviation fleet might be starting to fail.

Roy Harris, director of the Aviation Readiness and Resource Analysis Department at NAVAIR, said Wednesday at the Predictive Analytics World Government Conference that AI and data analytics are essentially fueling and refueling that fleet.

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.