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USMC orders aviation safety standdown as mishaps spike

The US Marine Corps is standing down aviation units for 24h each once over the next two weeks as the community copes with a spike mishaps, including two fatal accidents within the last weeks.

As each unit observes the 24h standown, operational commitments across the fleet will not be impacted, Commandant Gen Robert Neller says in an 11 August announcement.

“This operational reset will occur within the next two weeks and will be taken at the discretion of commanders, based on their unit's operational commitments, to focus on the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardisation, and combat readiness,” the USMC says in a statement.

The USMC is facing a spiraling mishap rate, with the Class A rate climbing to 4.56 per 100,000 flight hours since the beginning of Fiscal 2017, according to the Navy Safety Center.

Marine aircraft compiled a Class A mishap rate of 3.42 during the same period in fiscal 2016.

Last month, the USMC experienced one of its deadliest aviation accidents on record when a Marine Forces Reserve-operated Lockheed Martin KC-130T crashed in Mississippi and killed 16 service members.

On 5 August, a V-22 Osprey struck the flight deck of an amphibious transport dock and crashed into waters off the coast of East Australia, leaving three Marines dead.

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