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.

Naval Safety Center Standing Up Data Analytics Office Amid Surface, Aviation Mishap Increases

CAPITOL HILL ? The Naval Safety Center is standing up a new Knowledge Management and Safety Promotion directorate, which will use data analytics to help get ahead of potential future mishaps.

Though the creation of the new directorate came out of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command-led Comprehensive Review last fall following two fatal?surface navy collisions, Naval Safety Center commander Rear Adm. Mark Leavitt said it will also help address the rising number of naval aviation mishaps.

Speaking at a House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Leavitt said, ?based on the findings in the Comprehensive Review and the Strategic Readiness Review, we are working with fleet and type commanders to aggregate training and other data sources so we can conduct complex modeling and analytics. This will allow us to provide a holistic picture about the overall health and risk-level of units. Such analysis will provide preventative solutions that naval leaders can use to make decisions that reduce unnecessary exposure to risk. Getting this right is of vital interest to our Navy/Marine Corps team: our people are our greatest asset, and keeping them safe is our responsibility.?