The findings were the usual collection of “pilot error, inadequate oversight of training and operations and an unprofessional command climate”. I won’t bore you with the details because we’ve covered them many times – every time there’s an incident, it’s always the same litany of problems and they never get fixed.
Here’s the part I want to focus on:
“The many findings of the investigation reconfirm our need to constantly evaluate risks, identify unsafe conditions, and ensure internal controls are being followed,” reads the summary.
Commanding General of III Marine Expeditionary Force Lt. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy wrote, when signing off on the investigation, that “we must all learn from these failures and not repeat them,” according to the summary. (1)
These statements make me want to vomit because of their meaninglessness. We’re not going to learn from the incident. We’re not going to make any true corrections. We’re just going to repeat the mistakes in the next incident.
Hey, Marines, here’s a radical thought … your report says you should constantly “evaluate risks, identify unsafe conditions, and ensure internal controls are being followed”. How about, just for shits and giggles, instead of waiting for the next incident and then repeating the same report results almost verbatim, why don’t you investigate BEFORE an incident occurs? That’s right – before. Pick any unit and any operation and investigate it as if an incident had occurred and I guarantee you’ll find all the same failings. Do that and you can correct the problems BEFORE they become the next fatal incident.
Hey, Gen. Clardy, if you care so much, why don’t you investigate your force now, before they die?
(1)USNI News website, “Marines: Lack of Training, Command Problems Contributed to Fatal 2018 Crash off Japan”, Megan Eckstein, 23-Sep-2019,https://news.usni.org/2019/09/23/marines-lack-of-training-command-problems-contributed-to-fatal-2018-crash-off-japan