Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
7th Fleet, the U.S. Navy’s Pacific forward deployed naval force, has burned itself out; the cost of this burnout is poor readiness, loss of ships and equipment, and most importantly, sailors’ lives. Since January, four significant ship mishaps have occurred in the 7th’s area of responsibility (AOR), including fatal collisions with merchant ships for the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain. Those two incidents killed 17 sailors — significantly more than the number of U.S. service numbers lost in the Afghanistan war zone so far in 2017. This summer has been a watershed moment for the 7th Fleet family.
Choosing where to live can be hard, but safety should always be a top factor. Every day, we scroll through our news feeds and see news about shootings, car accidents, terrorism, and natural disasters. What if you could live somewhere that would protect you from most of these phenomena?
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erick Galera
After several aviation mishaps in just a few weeks, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, mandated that Marine squadrons take an “operational pause” to refocus on safety. This isn’t an unprecedented thing. It is a “safety standdown” by another name. Military organizations in general, and aviation in particular, have been enjoying safety standdowns, both planned and unplanned, for many years.