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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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Air Force Makes Readiness Gains Even as Pilot Shortage Continues

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson painted a grim picture two years ago of the eroding readiness levels plaguing her service in the wake of sequestration and budget cuts, including aircraft atrophying on flight lines and pilots getting too few flight hours. It didn’t mean that the Air Force wouldn’t step up to fight in a conflict, she said.

“It means fewer will come back. I think we need to understand that,” she told reporters at the Pentagon in 2017.

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