Improving Aviation Readiness is 'Most Challenging' for Marine Corps, Commandant Says

An F/A-18C Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-10 Extender.

An F/A-18C Super Hornet receives fuel from a KC-10 Extender.

March 12, 2018 | Source: National Defense, nationaldefensemagazine.org, 25 January 2018, Connie Lee

The Marine Corps is working to address severe aviation readiness problems that have been blamed for multiple crashes and emergencies, the service's commandant said Jan. 25.

Readiness is below steady-state requirements across the board, according to the Marines' 2018 aviation plan. Last week, Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said roughly 80 percent of the aviation units lack the minimum number of full-mission capable planes.

"Aviation is probably the most challenging readiness picture" that the service faces, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said during remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. "Our problem right now is not number of airplanes per say, it’s just getting the airplanes we have flying.”

The service needs to speed up the acquisition of spare parts, he noted. 

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