US Air Force dedicating one day for 'operational safety' due to recent fatal crashes

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The United States Air Force is stopping all flight services for one day this month for safety reviews.

Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein, has directed all Air Force wings with flying and maintenance functions to execute a one-day operational safety review by May 21.

This comes after recent fatal wrecks involving military aircraft, including the plane crash last Wednesday in Port Wentworth involving a C-130 Hercules. Nine members of the Puerto Rican Air National Guard were killed when the plane crashed on Highway 21.

In a release on the Air Force's website, Gen. Goldfein states, "We cannot afford to lose a single Airman or weapons system due to a mishap that could have been prevented."

You can read the entire release from the Air Force below:

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein directed all Air Force wings with flying and maintenance functions to execute a one-day operational safety review by May 21, 2018. 

"I am directing this operational safety review to allow our commanders to assess and discuss the safety of our operations and to gather feedback from our Airmen who are doing the mission every day," said Goldfein. 

After a series of recent aviation mishaps and fatalities, including a WC-130 Hercules crash May 2, the Air Force is taking swift action to ensure the safety of its force. Although safety statistics over the past decade show Air Force Class A and B aviation mishaps trended downward, the Air Force's manned aviation mishap rate increased since the beginning of fiscal year 2018.

During the safety review, commander-led forums will gather feedback from Airmen who execute the Air Force's flying operations and challenge Airmen to identify issues that may cause a future mishap. 

"We cannot afford to lose a single Airman or weapons system due to a mishap that could have been prevented," said Goldfein. "Our men and women have volunteered to give their last full measure for America's security. My intent is to have commanders lead focused forums with their Airmen to help identify gaps and seams that exist or are developing, which could lead to future mishaps or unsafe conditions."

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