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Marine Gen. tells Congress that Marine aircraft maintainers are prone to causing accidents

A Marine hooks a tow bar to an A/S32A-45, Aircraft Mid-Range Tow Vehicle from a CH-53E Super Stallion during aircraft transportation at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Jan. 29, 2016. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason Jimenez/Released)

While the US Marines are world-renowned for destroying things from the land, sea or air, it’s generally not a good thing when it comes to damaging their own equipment.

Marine Deputy Commandant For Aviation Lt. General Steven R. Rudder reportedly described such a problem during a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness on aviation safety last week, discussing the alarmingly high number of Class C aircraft incidents that result in anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 in damages to aircraft and equipment.

Rudder told officials that the majority of the Class C’s involved “young Marines trying to do the right things” while towing aircraft, but inexperience and nighttime conditions frequently contributed in damages caused by “towing very expensive airplanes into things.”

In order to alleviate the issue, Rudder said that accidents will be combated in the future by increasing “the level of expertise and [non-commissioned officer] leadership to our night crews.”

According to Military.com, maintainers may also be rewarded for their talents by getting slated to work on more advanced aircraft.

“So in the Marine Corps, we promote if you can shoot well, you can run, you are in shape, and you’re smart,” Rudder said. “In aviation maintenance, we would like to reward people that can do all those things as well as be a professional, qualified mechanic on an F-35 or V-22.”

Marine aircrews are currently averaging about 17.2 hours of flight time per month, a major increase from 2017, when they were averaging 15.4 hours per month.

“The truest metric of health in aviation is aircrew flight hours, because that number -which is easy to track- allows us to compare our combat readiness month over month and year over year [and] encompasses aircraft readiness, aircrew preparation, and flexible logistics and responsive supply chains,” Rudder said.

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