After two Marine Corps F-18's crashed over the past week, one on July 28th and another on Tuesday, the Department of Defense has made the decision to suspend all flight activities and enact a 24-hour "operational pause."
"This operational pause is to happen within the next seven business days," Capt. Sarah Burns told Military.com in an email. "Operational pauses are routine and are a time to align, discuss best practices and look at ways to continue to improve."
Maj. Richard Norton of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 was killed July 28 when his F/A-18C Hornet crashed near Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. And a second pilot attached to the same squadron is being treated after ejecting during a training flight on August 2nd near Nevada.
Does this have anything to do with the report from Fox News in April that examined the dire situation of the Marine Corps aviation program? According to the report, the vast majority of Marine Corps aircraft can’t fly and out of 276 F-18 Hornet strike fighters in the Marine Corps inventory, only about 30% are ready to fly.