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224 Lives, $11.6 Billion, and 186 Aircraft Lost: Readiness Chairman Garamendi and Ranking Member Lamborn Issue Statement on Briefing Concerning Rise in Military Aviation Accidents

December 3, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, issued the statement below after holding a briefing to review the findings and recommendations from a report issued by the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety.

Background: The National Commission on Military Aviation Safety was established at the direction of the House Armed Services Committee after reviewing a significant increase in the frequency of aviation mishaps in the military. The Commission’s report that the Readiness Subcommittee reviewed today is the culmination of a nearly two-year review of military aviation mishaps during the period of Fiscal Years (FY) 2010 through 2018. The Commission’s report includes 32 findings and 25 recommendations for Congress and the Department of Defense to implement.

“We applaud the exhaustive efforts the Commission undertook to compile this thorough report, and we thank them for delivering a comprehensive briefing on their findings and recommendations today before the Readiness Subcommittee. There is no question that their efforts will help inform necessary reforms and policies that will save lives.

“Military flight operations are inherently risky. However, the precipitous increase in aviation mishaps in recent years is alarming and it raises serious concerns not only over the apparent inattention to sustainment and maintenance of aircraft and whether the necessary safety procedures are in place to protect our men and women in uniform, but also the extent to which resourcing and leadership decisions made at higher levels of command have contributed to the increase in mishaps. Today’s briefing provided the Readiness Subcommittee with vital information that will inform its oversight going forward. The Readiness Subcommittee looks forward to discussing these findings and recommendations with the Department of Defense and will work with the Department to pursue policies that will help address these ongoing safety concerns.

“Congress must do its part to ensure that our military receives timely and consistent funding by passing the appropriations bills every year. The damage inflicted by continuing resolutions cannot be overstated.

“Thank you to General Richard Cody, Chairman of the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety, and Mr. Richard Healing, Vice Chairman of the Commission, for their briefing, and for the men and women who worked tirelessly to prepare this critical report,” concluded Congressmen Garamendi (D-CA) and Lamborn (R-CO).

The National Commission on Military Aviation Safety’s report can be viewed here.

Congressman Garamendi’s opening statement from today’s briefing is available here.

Congressman Lamborn’s opening statement can be viewed here.  

Chairman Cody’s opening statement can be viewed here.

Vice Chairman Healing’s opening statement can be viewed here.