Mattis on aviation accidents: ‘We cannot repair our way out’

In congressional testimony partly driven by Military Times’ recent investigation into a 40 percent rise in aviation accidents, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned Congress that the deep cuts to pilot hours and lack of ready aircraft that are partly to blame will not find a quick fix.

In congressional testimony partly driven by Military Times’ recent investigation into a 40 percent rise in aviation accidents, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned Congress that the deep cuts to pilot hours and lack of ready aircraft that are partly to blame will not find a quick fix.

“We cannot repair our way out of the situation we are in,” Mattis told members of the House Armed Services Committee Thursday.

“We’re actually going to have to buy, in some cases, the capabilities we have simply worn out and had to set aside and can’t even be repaired, whether it be aircraft where squadrons do not have enough, or it be ships that cannot go back to sea on time, because when we open them up, long overdue for their maintenance period, we find things wrong inside that lengthen their time in the shipyard.”