ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, IN THE PERSIAN GULF – Nearly one year after naval flight student training ground to a halt due to soaring rates of physiological episodes among jet aircrew, deployed aviators are vigilant in self-monitoring for PE symptoms and are armed with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to treat any potential cases while at sea. Read More
The Navy’s top two aviation safety priorities could benefit from a half-billion-dollar bump in funding for aircraft modification kits if the service’s fiscal year 2019 budget request is approved. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy isn’t moving fast enough to fix the ongoing systemic physiological episodes that have plagued fighter pilots and flight students, members of the House Armed Services Committee said on Tuesday. Read More
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2017.
The following is part of a series. Please also see Top Stories: International Acquisition, Navy Operations, Marine Corps Operations, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Acquisition, International Operations and New Administration.
2017 began with the promise of planning for a larger fleet: at the end of 2016, the Navy announced a 355-ship requirement, and the incoming Trump Administration expressed its support for a larger military and a heftier Navy. Few concrete steps were taken this year, though, to begin a buildup – though many programs that will be pivotal to the 355-ship fleet of the future reached significant programmatic milestones in 2017.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy’s multi-pronged efforts to address hypoxia, decompression sickness and other physiological episodes (PEs) in its F-18 and T-45 aircrew are showing positive results, with the number of PE events down in most aircraft types and the T-45C Goshawk trainers set to resume full operations by the end of the month, according to the commander of Naval Air Forces. Read More
THE PENTAGON – The Navy is seeing first-hand that thoughtful data collection and analysis can go a long way in addressing lingering readiness problems, as the Navy Digital Warfare Office continues to roll out a set of pilot programs meant to introduce the service to the benefits of data science.
The Navy is grappling with even more questions about the physiological episodes its fighter pilots have been facing, after Carrier Air Wing 8 deployed with additional tools to measure and treat PEs and returned with less clarity on the connection between cabin pressure and physical side effects. Read More
THE PENTAGON — The Navy has appointed former commander of Carrier Air Wing 3 and F/A-18 Hornet pilot Capt. Sara Joyner to lead the service’s effort to research and prevent physiological episodes in its fixed-wing aircraft, amid progress this summer collecting data to help understand the root cause of these PE events, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran told USNI News on Wednesday. Read More
The House Armed Services Committee passed its annual defense bill on Thursday after a 14-hour markup, sending the bill to the full House of Representatives with no major changes to its recommended procurement profile.
Though few amendments that passed directly affect Navy and Marine Corps programs, several that failed or were withdrawn sparked serious debates about how the Navy ought to address pressing issues of the day: hypoxia concerns in the Navy’s fighter fleet, how to transition from the Littoral Combat Ship, industry’s ability to upgrade to the Flight III guided-missile destroyer design and more. Read More
The following is the June 21, 2017 CRS Insight brief to Congress, Out of Breath: Military Aircraft Oxygen Issues.
The Air Force recently grounded some of its newest aircraft, F-35A strike fighters, due to incidents in which pilots became physiologically impaired with symptoms of oxygen deficiency while flying. Although the root cause of the F-35 incidents has not yet been established, the grounding has renewed attention on hypoxia, a physical condition caused by oxygen deficiency that may result in temporary cognitive and physiological impairment and possible loss of consciousness. Hypoxia has affected pilots of F-22, F/A-18, and T-45 aircraft in recent years. Read More