Sunday, September 06, 2015

Is pushing a "Aviation" Centric Marine Corps the cause for mishaps?

via Marine Corps Times.
The Sept. 2 incident, which remains under investigation, was one of at least 13 since May 2014 that resulted in death, injury or significant property damage. Five aircraft mishaps have left at least 18 Marines dead in 2015 — up 15 compared to the 2014 total. The last spike in aviation-related deaths occurred in 2012, when 15 Marines were killed in aircraft mishaps.
Marine officials say they're committed to aircraft safety, but "by its very nature, there will always be inherent risk in military aviation," said Maj. Paul Greenberg a Marine aviation spokesman at the Pentagon.
"That being said, the Marine Corps utilizes highly reliable aircraft, extensively trains pilots and aircrew, conducts exhaustive maintenance, and at every step puts in place safeguards and precautions to ensure a high degree of aviation safety," he added.
The Marine Corps suffered its biggest loss of life this year in a single aviation accident when 11 troops, including seven members of Marine Corps Special Forces Operations Command, were killed when their UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Florida during a training exercise. That and other fatal mishaps over the past year and a half have some observers concerned about the safety of military aircraft.
Go here to read the story. 

What no one is talking about is the USMC's push to emphasize, no let me restate become even more "Aviation" centric.

From attempting to use SPMAGTF-CR's in place of traditional MEU's to developing adhoc joint task forces with aviation elements at its center, leadership has ignored something essential.

Upping ops tempo without regard to maintenance and personnel stress/deployment schedule/welfare is going to lead to accidents.

I don't know for sure if this is the cause but when you pull too hard on a thin string its going to break.  I think we're seeing Marine Aviation reach the breaking point.  Even worse?  This isn't happening in a wartime setting.  This is relative peace but with a CRAZY ops tempo.  1+1=2.

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