Devolution through Transformation
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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During the dark days 1950s of naval aviation safety, approximately 800 aircraft were lost annually to accidents. The concept of a Replacement Air Group RAG, more recently known as a Fleet Replacement Squadron FRS, was introduced to enhance safety and standardization. One squadron per airframe is responsible for all initial training of aircrews, ensuring standardization for that aircraft. Following the introduction of the KC-130J in 2005, this practice will be curtailed and the KC-130 FRS will be retired. After the retirement of the FRS, the Air Force will stand up the Joint Maintenance and Aircrew Training System JMATS for joint C-130J training. However, the retirement of the KC-130 FRS will compromise the standardization and safety along with the combat readiness of the KC-130 communitys aircrews. The training departments of KC-130 squadrons are already struggling to accomplish their current missions. If the FRS is retired and the responsibility for the training and standardization of replacement aircrews is dispersed to the KC-130 fleet squadrons, real decreases in safety and readiness will certainly be manifested. Moreover, because the FRS is being retired in 2005 and full introduction of the KC-130J is not anticipated until 2015, shortfalls and deficiencies in replacement pilot training will exist for over a decade for both legacy KC-130 and KC-130J aircraft. Although the JMATS program contains fiscally sound ideas, the losses in safety and standardization along with combat readiness preclude logical justification. Aircrew safety combined with the decrease in combat readiness provided to the MAGTF is reason enough not to retire the KC-130 FRS.
- Military Aircraft Operations
- Transport Aircraft
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations