US Army Launches ‘Safety Stand Up’ to Reverse ‘Trend’ of Helicopter Crashes

The US Army has ordered its aviation units to undergo additional safety training to refine their skills in avoiding fatal crashes.

The mandatory “safety stand up” was announced following 12 military helicopter crashes in a span of six months that killed 10 soldiers.

Director of Army Aviation Gen. Walter Rugen said the training will cover spatial awareness, aircraft power management, and risk mitigation at a decision-maker level.

He further stated that the move will aim to “reverse the trend,” which has resulted in serious public scrutiny about the safety of military choppers.

“We are working very hard on effective power management across a host of flight altitudes, higher temperatures, and wind conditions,” Rugen was quoted as saying. “We want to be more empowering to the force.”

‘No Stone Unturned’

According to the army, the safety stand up will only take four to six hours to complete.

It will include classified sessions on what happened during previous crashes and how to avoid them in the future.

Experts from the Combat Readiness Center will be taking part in the mandatory training to ensure that all lessons will filter down to the lowest levels of aviation units.

“We understand how to train ourselves. We understand what the standards are, and we just want to make sure everybody is aware of those standards and then they’re performing to standard,” Rugen said.

“Obviously, we are leaving no stone unturned.”

Active-duty units and reserve component units will have 30 and 60 days, respectively, to complete the training.

US Army cadets
US Army cadets listening to a message from Maj. Gen. David J. Francis of the US Army Aviation Center of Excellence. Photo: Kelly Morris/US Army

‘100% Unacceptable’

The latest of the US Army helicopter crashes happened in late March when an AH-64 Apache went down during a routine training exercise, injuring two Fort Carson pilots.

The incident occurred just 48 hours after another Apache assigned to the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade plunged to the ground at a military base in Washington state.

Two pilots were injured in the crash.

In February, two AH-64s also figured in separate accidents, causing two more injuries and two deaths.

“Certainly, any loss of life is 100% unacceptable,” Rugen stressed. “Even when we have accidents where we lose the aircraft or severely damage the aircraft, we consider that unacceptable too.”

Related Articles

Back to top button