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Navy Cuts Flight Hours, Cancels Performances as It Deals with Aviation Budget Shortfall

The Navy will curtail flight hours for several East Coast rotary- and fixed-wing aviation units and cut several air show performances after demands on deployed patrol squadrons led to a budget shortfall of more than $100 million.

Navy H-60 Sea Hawk pilots in helicopter sea combat and maritime strike squadrons will see their flight hours cut by 25% for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, according to a Navy aviation official familiar with the plans. Pilots who fly in planes in maritime patrol or fleet support squadrons will also face a 10% flight hour reduction, the official said.

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Watchdog report sounds alarm over military aviation readiness

A government watchdog report released this week is the latest to sound the alarm over the Air Force and Navy?s fleet of aging aircraft, vital planes that are often in no shape to fly.

The Government Accountability Office report surveyed five Air Force and seven Navy types of planes between Fiscal Years 2011 and 2016.

?The Air Force and Navy are operating many of their fixed-wing aircraft well beyond their original designed service lives and therefore are confronted with sustainment challenges,? the GAO reports.

It found that nine of 12 aircraft fell short of availability goals in 2016. Availability overall declined for half of the planes from 2011 to 2016.

NavyTimes.com