More troops killed in training than in war

As a result of three Boeing 737 Max aircraft crashes since October, 2018, airlines have shut down operations using this plane, while investigations are undertaken.
A total of 346 people had lost their lives before the FAA decided to ground the aircraft, deeming it unsafe to fly.
Sadly, there are also an alarming number of American military air crashes which also account for much loss of life.
Lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee recently stated that “almost four times as many military died in training as were killed in combat,” a shocking and alarming statement.
If this were common knowledge at the time a recruit joins the service, our military might have an even greater problem in attracting personnel.
Featured in the April 2019 issue page of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA Annual Calendar is a brief story of one of its members, 28-year-old Marine Captain Samuel Schultz, of Trevose, Pennsylvania. He was recently killed in a training accident in Southern California, along with three of his crew while piloting the CH-53.
The military aircraft which appears to carry the highest accident record is the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, used by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines, yet it is considered the most versatile model, able to lift the heaviest of equipment.
Hopefully, the recent lobbying efforts of the JWV and others will result in improved training and equipment maintenance of the CH-53E and therefore fewer accidents, until they are replaced in 2020.
Adequate upkeep and repair to our current fleet must continue to ensure the optimum safety of our military personnel.
Since there are never enough military funds to buy the latest development in planes, ships, tanks and weaponry, and as well as maintain the current equipment, the number of accidents have increased; 132 of our nation’s finest have been sacrificed since 1974 on new aircraft.
There are many possible causes of training accidents, injuries and deaths. I recall basic training many years ago at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, with freezing temperatures and foot-deep snow on the ground. One of the recruits, complaining about his ears hurting, wanted to report to “sick call” but our Company Commander refused in order to maintain his unit’s perfect training attendance record.
By the time the recruit did get medical help, it was too late and frostbite took his ear. As a result of this “incident” the commander was court-martialed.
Everyone in the military is rated or judged by their performance record. I wonder how many and how often “shortcuts” are taken in order to maintain “high performance.”
Pentagon budget cuts began in 2013 and may be a factor in fatality increases. Military pilots are not flying as many training hours as they have in the past.
Planes are grounded for repairs for longer periods of time by an inadequate number of trained mechanics to handle the workload.
Adequate funding for equipping our military is one thing, but the safety of our military in training should be our greater priority.
We mourn all who die in our military, including Captain Samuel Schultz and his crew, lives that should not have been lost.

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