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Marine Corps Finds 2018 Crash Investigation Had Flaws, Proposes New Safety Measures

A review of two previous Marine Corps aviation mishaps and their subsequent command investigations concludes that “organizational culture and command climate” contributed to both a 2016 and 2018 mishap within 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Japan – and it adds that some conclusions made by the chain of command regarding the fatal 2018 crash were inaccurate or misleading.

In 2018, an F/A-18D Hornet aircraft from Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 and a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 collided off the coast of Japan during a nighttime refueling, killing all five Marines on the KC-130J and the pilot of the Hornet. The weapons system officer on the jet survived. In 2016, aircraft from these same two units were involved in another refueling mishap, though no one was injured.

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This commission wants to hear your uncensored concerns about military aviation safety

A team of retired generals and other top military aviation experts is traveling the world to check in with aviation units throughout the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as their Reserve and National Guard components, on a mission to help the Defense Department solve some of its glaring issues with the readiness of its aircraft and aircrews.

As the death toll from helicopter and plane crashes hit a six-year high in 2018 ? 38 in total, 24 of those during training ? Congress responded by ordering a top-to-bottom review of aircraft mishaps from 2013 to 2018, charging the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety to investigate, crunch numbers and come back with some answers.

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Braving rough seas: An exclusive look inside the Coast Guard’s toughest job

On the banks of Cape Cod, Air Station Cape Cod is home to the Coast Guard’s aviation unit. Rescuers here face it all.  You don’t have to look far to see bold examples of what they do. 

In November of last year, rescue swimmer Mike Kelly battled 20-foot waves off the coast of Maine to save four fishermen who abandoned ship after their boat started taking on water. Kelly admits it’s a tough job.

“It’s hard to become a rescue swimmer and once you do, the job is great,” said Kelly.

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Commission zeroes in on military aviation safety

Army aviation safety and readiness were the focus of a round table discussion Aug. 27 between Redstone Arsenal aviation leaders and members of a national commission charged with reviewing the effects of 17 years of war on the military aviation fleet.

Members of the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety participated in the discussion, which took place at Army Materiel Command headquarters and included a safety briefing by Aviation and Missile Command leaders. The two-day, fact-gathering visit also included in-depth focus group discussions with leaders at AMCOM, the Futures Command?s Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation Engineering Directorate and the Program Executive Office for Aviation.

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Military to Have 2,936 Aircraft with ADS-B (Out) by Jan. 1, Air Force Says

The Pentagon will have 2,936 aircraft equipped with Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Broadcast (Out) by the FAA-mandated deadline of Jan. 1, according to the U.S. Air Force, the military service in charge of the effort.

That number is just 21 percent of DoD’s total aircraft inventory, but officials have said that ADS-B (Out) modifications present a significant depot scheduling challenge, and, in some cases, engineering challenges, such as for fighter aircraft. By 2025, DoD plans to have about 62 percent of its aircraft equipped with ADS-B (Out), including 35 percent of fighter aircraft, 67 percent of helicopters, and 100 percent of mobility, command and control/intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C2/ISR), and trainer aircraft, an Air Force official said Aug. 19.

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Marines Moving To Composite Hornet Squadrons Made Up Of F/A-18Ds And F/A-18Cs

Single-seat F/A-18C Hornets have started appearing in Marine all-weather strike fighter squadrons, designated VMFA(AW)s, which have traditionally been equipped with two-seat F/A-18Ds. It hasn’t been made clear exactly what is going on with what is truly an odd sight for military aviation aficionados to see?single-seat Hornets flying with the designations and motifs of famed two-seat VMFA(AW) squadrons.?The War Zone was just as curious as anyone about the peculiar arrangement, although we had a good idea of how and why it came to be. But still, the move, if permanent, is a major one for the USMC and its four VMFA(AW) squadrons, so we reached out to the Corps to get the bottom line on just how extensive and long-lasting the new squadron structure may be. The information we received from our inquiry describes a far more widespread metamorphosis that is happening across the entire Marine Corps’ Hornet enterprise.?

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Military Pilots Aren’t Getting the Training Needed to Fight, Watchdog Warns

The U.S. military’s aviation training ranges are outdated and underfunded, leaving pilots operating in the Asia-Pacific region ill-prepared to deal with modern-day threats, a Defense Department investigation found.

Eighteen years of combat missions in the Middle East and the congressional gridlock that has delayed federal budgets have negatively impacted the DoD’s aviation range modernization efforts. That has left aviators in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command training on ranges designed for World War II or Cold War-era threats, according to a once-secret 69-page Defense Department Inspector General report released this week.

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Is military aviation getting any safer? New mishap data shows mixed results.

Last spring Military Times reported that the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force?s aircraft were in deep trouble. Manned aviation accidents had spiked almost 40 percent over the past five years, killing 133 service members since 2013.

More catastrophic crashes followed and Congress got laser-focused on the problem. After multiple hearings, lawmakers injected $39.4 billion into this year?s budget ?to begin to overcome the crisis in military aviation by getting more aircraft in the air.? Capitol Hill also passed legislation creating a National Commission on Military Aviation Safety.

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Blurring the Lines Part II: A Pilot by Any Other Name

It?s been pointed out so often that it?s gotten boring: The Air Force has a pilot shortage. Imagine: The organization that bills itself as the premier aviation organization on the planet is short of fighter aviators, has been for some time, and will continue to be for a significant period to come.

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