The military services are recovering from an aviation readiness crisis that led to a slew of accidents, but they still have a "long way to go" to protect personnel, according to Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry, ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. Citing a Military Times report March 9, which noted that aviation deaths increased during fiscal 2018 even as the number of accidents declined, Thornberry said aviation deaths in the past six years signal that the Pentagon and Congress must continue supporting maintenance and training across the services. Between 2013 and 2017, manned aviation accidents rose 40%, resulting in the deaths of 133 service members. Accidents then dropped by 12% — from 903 in fiscal 2017 to 794 in fiscal 2018 — according to the report. However, those 794 mishaps in fiscal 2018 resulted in the deaths of 38 pilots or aircrew, a number that worries Thornberry. He said he will support a defense budget of $750 billion to give service members the platforms and support they need to do their jobs. Read more on Military.com.
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