You might recall the incident that took place January 14, 2016 when two CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters collided while training off the coast of Hawaii. As a result, 12 American Marines lost their lives.
MW News Rep. Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, asked Marine Corps General Robert Neller why the number of serious air accidents have been “increasing significantly” over the past three years. Without a second thought, he pointed right at Obama.
“We track this very closely and the simple fact is we don’t have enough airplanes to meet training requirements for the entire force,” he said. Just like that, the General slapped Obama with a nasty admission, blaming the severe budget cuts our military has sustained under our so-called commander-in-chief.
He went on to stress that the Marines currently deployed are “trained and ready,” but “non-deployed forces training may not be good enough,” according to Washington Examiner. Unfortunately, the 12 Americans lost in January are really just the tip of the iceberg, as the military is struggling to keep up after Obama has tied their hands.
Twelve helicopter crashes in 2015 killed 30 service members — three times as many deaths as in 2014. Twelve more died Jan. 14 when two U.S. Marine CH-53 Super Stallions collided off the coast of Oahu in Hawaii during a night training flight. Almost all the deaths, including those on Jan. 14, occurred during home-station training missions.
Stars & Stripes Cuts to funds by Congress and the White House used by the Marines and other services to pay for flight time and helicopter repairs means that there may not be enough air-worthy aircraft available for nondeployed units to train safely. For the Marines, for example, almost one-fifth of their helicopters aren’t available due to maintenance requirements.
In addition, because nondeploying units spend less time in the air, their training opportunities become even more dangerous, former Marine Corps and Navy pilots say.
In the Marines’ 2015 aviation plan, the service noted “we need to increase the amount of time our aviators spend in the air,” and set new training hour requirements based on each type of aircraft. Requirements are “just above the bare minimums for safety,
Retired Cmdr. Chris Harmer, who flew SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopters for the Navy, and who now is a defense analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, said there is a direct tie. “There is no doubt whatsoever that reduced flying hours equal increased [accidents] and fatalities,” he said.
Essentially, the problem is that the military is trying to cram too much into their training program, seeing how they’re no longer able to do it as effectively as they’d once been able to do. What this means is that ill-prepared service members are taking part in sporadic training exercises – and our brave volunteers in the military are the one’s paying for it.
“The real bill payer for underfunded readiness is lost lives. I think that helps bring it into context for all of us,” Thornberry said. The worst part in all this is the simple fact that Obama is just twiddling his thumbs over it. While he guts the military of all its worth and spends the money elsewhere, our president is effectively creating an environment for America to be left defenseless.
When a commander of our military comes forward and says, “Look, things are unsafe,” before selling out his commander-in-chief, I’d say we definitely have a problem. This goes far beyond politics – this is about the well-being of our nation and the safety of its people.