Navy and Marine Corps aviation units were ordered to suspend operations June 13, because of the recent loss of life due to air accidents.
The Naval Air Forces issued the following statement: “As a result of the recent crashes involving U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, Commander, Naval Air Forces has directed all non-deployed Navy aviation units to conduct a one-day safety pause on June 13 in order to review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes. In order to maintain the readiness of our force, we must ensure the safety of our people remains one of our top priorities. Deployed units will conduct the safety pause at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Published news reports and military press releases addressed details of two specific incidents that prompted the safety pause.
Navy Lt. Richard Bullock died when his F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed June 3 near Trona, California, in the Mojave Desert. Bullock was on a training mission at the time.
Five Marines – Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, Capt. John Sax, and Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland – were killed June 8 when their MV-22B Osprey crashed during what the service described as a routine training mission near Glamis, California. They were attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor (VMM) Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), based at Camp Pendleton, California.
Additionally, a Navy MH-60S Seahawk helicopter crashed June 9 near Naval Air Facility El Centro, California, while on a routine training mission. All four crewmembers survived the crash and sustained non-life threatening injuries. The aircraft was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3, based at Naval Air Station North Island, California. The mishaps are under investigation.