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Unread post21 Nov 2019, 00:07

An open letter to the leaders of Marine aviation
18 Nov 2019 Col. Tom Hewes (Retired)

"The story of the midair collision ­between an F/A-18D and KC-130J on Dec. 6, 2018, as reported by the ­Marine Corps Times in September is now out for the entire world to see. It is, sadly, a damning indictment of the leadership at every level of Marine aviation....

...For starters, it seems apparent that VMFA-242 was deployed to the 1st ­Marine Air Wing neither fully trained nor ready to perform its ­primary mission. Certainly the problems identified in the Times report were long-standing and did not suddenly arise in Iwakuni, Japan. This indicates that the leaders of the squadron’s home group and wing were not properly exercising their responsibility for preparing the squadron for deployment.

Considered in this light, relieving those responsible at the squadron level was necessary but insufficient. What is clearly called for now is a thorough investigation of the relevant commanders and staff officers of the squadron’s home group and wing, with those found culpable, whatever their grade, being summarily relieved and reassigned or retired.

Equally troubling is the fact that ­concurrent leadership failures at ­squadron group, and wing level, ­heretofore unprecedented, imply that Marine aviation has a systemic ­leadership problem....

...Should we take another look at command selection and its long-term effects? And most importantly, are the most senior leaders of Marine aviation fighting to provide their subordinate commanders with the resources, including adequate flight hours, to properly train and deploy combat ready squadrons?

Until you as a leader can answer those questions with an equally resounding yes, you haven’t begun to lead your Marines ethically."

Source: ... -aviation/
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