The grounded aircraft situation is largely due to the fact that, for the entirety of the Obama administration, the Democrats in the executive branch and the Republicans in Congress couldn’t agree on a budget, though we’re sort of past the point of arguing about it now:
According to the Navy, 53 per cent of all Navy aircraft can’t fly — about 1,700 combat aircraft, patrol, and transport planes and helicopters. Not all are due to budget problems — at any given time, about one-fourth to one-third of aircraft are out of service for regular maintenance. But the 53 per cent figure represents about twice the historic norm.
The strike fighter situation is even more acute and more remarkable since the aircraft are vitally important to projecting the fleet’s combat power. Sixty-two per cent of F/A-18s are out of service; 27 per cent in major depot work; and 35 per cent simply awaiting maintenance or parts, the Navy said. Continue reading