Circadian Rhythm Disruption: A Comparative Analysis of Enumeration for the Mobility Air Force
Technical Report,01 May 2017,30 Jun 2018
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB United States
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Mobility Air Forces MAF operate in a 365247 environment of shifting requirements, time zones, and levels of exertion, which can all have negative impacts on the safe execution of mission requirements. The short-notice, variability, and critical nature of airlift and tanker missions translate into circadian rhythm disruption CRD being a constant risk factor for MAF operations. The most serious consequences of a CRD when related to aviation, stem from impaired reaction times, lowered attention spans, diminished memory, and personal mannerisms of seclusion, all of which have been shown to increase pilot errors, incidents, and elevated aviation risk Brown and Antuano, 2009. This research analyzed the circadian rhythm disruptions for Active and Air Reserve Component Reserve and Guard aircrews across four major weapon systems MWS via a comparative analysis of enumeration based on over 43,000 operational sorties, across varied mission classifications. The resulting research is the first-ever empirically-based analysis of the MAF for the fleet-wide CRD, for a given year. Senior Leaders and decision makers could be unknowingly increasing the risk to aircrews by operating them in an environment that may not adequately account for the reduced performance and alertness impacts of a CRD. Through this research, decision makers could be able to make judgments of current operating procedures and recognize the amount of MAF crews impacted by a CRD, through the assumed risk levels to the MAF.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Stress Physiology