Wednesday, May 31, 2023
HomeDefenseNavy air boss orders 'safety pause' following string of crashes

Navy air boss orders ‘safety pause’ following string of crashes

An F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Black Diamonds of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 stands by on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).(U.S. Navy photo by Seaman David Claypool/ Released)

WASHINGTON: After three crashes in the span of 10 days, the Navy’s top operational aviator has ordered a “safety pause for all [service] aviation units” to begin today, the Navy said in a statement over the weekend.

“While all Navy aviation units are ordered to review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes, the commander for each unit will determine how to conduct the safety pause in a way that works best for their personnel,” according to the statement.

A pause in naval aviation often occurs when the service experiences several severe incidents in a short amount of time. The statement that adds that Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, the service’s top aviator or “air boss,” deemed the pause was warranted given recent events.

Five Marines were recently killed in an MV-22B mishap on June 8 near Glamis, Calif., and a Navy helicopter carrying four personnel, all of whom survived, crashed in California on June 10. A Super Hornet pilot was killed in a June 3 crash near Trona, Calif.

“We have a responsibility to prepare our people to go into harm’s way and there is a degree of risk that come along with training for combat,” said Cmdr. Zach Harrell, a spokesman for Whitesell. “We know that our people are our most valuable resource in all that we do, and we must to ensure that we are making our best effort to keep our people safe as we train and operate.”

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