Navy's first operational Osprey
The Navy’s first operational Osprey hovers above North Island Naval Air Station in 2020. Photo credit: U.S. Navy photo

As a result of two crashes, one fatal, involving U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, the Navy on Saturday announced a “safety pause” to assess operations.

Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Naval Air Forces, directed all non-deployed Navy aviation units on Monday to begin a review of 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,” according to a statement by the command.

Deployed units, the command said, will conduct the safety pause at the earliest possible opportunity.

The pause takes place in the wake of the two crashes, both in Imperial County.

Five Camp Pendleton-based Marines, including Capt. John J. Sax, the son of former Los Angeles Dodger Steve Sax, died Wednesday in a MV-22B Osprey accident near the community of Glamis.

A day later, near Blythe, around 40 miles east of where the Osprey went down, a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter based at Naval Air Station North Island crashed. One of the four crew members suffered non-life threatening injuries.



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Ellen Bullock