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Report: Marine Corps Grounds Majority Of Its Airplanes

Budget Cuts Leave 70 Percent Of Hornets In Unairworthy Condition

Deep cuts in the military budget have made it nearly impossible for the U.S. Marine Corps to keep a majority of its airplanes flying, according to statistics released by the Corps.

Fox News reports that, according to those statistics, only about 30 percent of the Marines' F/A-18 Hornets are ready to fly of the 276 in the Corps' inventory. And things are no better on the rotary-wing side of the house, where only 42 of 147 CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters are airworthy.

The sharp reduction of over $130 billion in military spending from 2010 to 2015 happened just as many of these aircraft were coming back from 15 years of service overseas. There has also been high attrition among the ranks of trained mechanics, who have left for better-paying jobs in the private sector.

Now, the Corps is struggling to acquire parts needed for the aging airplanes, often cannibalizing parts from several to make one airworthy. It can take as long as 18 months to acquire new parts for an older-model F-18, according to the report.

The cuts are due both to the priorities of the Obama administration as well as sequestration put in place by the U.S. Congress.

(Image from file)



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