‘Class A Mishaps’ Hurting Military

(DailyEmailNews.com) – For thе past year, the Army and Marine Corps have seen a significant rise in severe aviation accidents, the most costly and deadly in recent memory.

These accidents are defined as “Class A mishaps,” which hurt the military by causing deaths, aircraft loss or damage exceeding $2.5 million.

Additionally, overall reductions in force size have put more pressure on aircrew and maintenance teams.

The Army reportеd 11 Class A mishaps with 9 deaths in just the first half of fiscal year 2024, surpassing the entire last fiscal year’s total.

The accident rate for this fiscal year has gone up to 2.95 per 100,000 flight hours, a huge increase from last year’s rate of 1.08 and well above the five-year average of 0.85.

During a Congressional hearing, Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) confronted Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James Mingus, saying, “You have the worst record over the past 18 months. What are you doing about it?”

Recent incidents include two deadly Army National Guard AH-64 Apache crashes in February, which caused a temporary grounding of all helicopter units until additional training was completed.

There was another tragedy in March when a UH-72 Lakota helicopter crash ended in three deaths and one injury.

These series of accidents have continued despite increased budget allocations for flying hours in recent years.

However, flight hours actually decreased in 2020, and accident rates from Class A to Class C rose during the same period.

According to Army documents, budgetary constraints have led to difficult decisions, with fiscal year 2025 seeing the lowest requested flight hours in five years at only 8.7 hours.

Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr from the Center for Strategic and International Studies explained the challenges, stating:

“In order to execute flying hours, a lot of things have to come together: aircraft have to be available in sufficient quantities and readiness, crews and pilots have to be trained and available, and sufficient numbers of maintenance personnel must be present. Especially in the case of the National Guard, bringing all those factors together has proven to be hard.”

Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has also experienced a dramatic rise in Class A mishaps in the first half of 2024, with a rate of 4.31 per 100,000 flight hours, nearly double the 10-year average of 2.24.

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