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U.S. Marine pilots at Iwakuni engaged in in-flight misconduct: report

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Lack of discipline both on air and on land, A perfect example of overbearing pride of US military. Disgusting!

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

A few bad apples spoil the bunch...

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Lack of discipline is a failure of command. Not just the individuals concerned need disciplining but right up the chain of command, Voltaire’s comment on Admiral Byng’s execution comes to mind.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

On the one hand, fighter pilots should be expected to be wild. If they are not daring, they are not fighter pilots. So, the selfies, by themselves, are not damning evidence. The pilots are aware that they cannot go without oxygen masks above 10,000 feet (ca. 3 km) for more than a few seconds.

On the other hand, repeated in-air disasters during refueling, both times the fault of the fighter planes, shows a lack of professionalism on the part of the pilots, or something seriously wrong with the planes or the in-flight refueling procedures. If these types of accidents are only happening in Japan, that indicates a failing in leadership. If prohibited drugs were found in the blood stream of the crewmen, that problem needs to be addressed immediately. During my time in the service we were subjected to random drug tests, and we weren't even aircrew. It is hard to believe that random drug tests would not have revealed the same results as drug tests done as part of an autopsy.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Four pilots, out of how many, not even worth the mention. I really don't care as long as the job they have to do up there gets done. That is what counts.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Yep rgvivilian, you’re a civilian alright. Military standards must be very strict. No place for foolishness because it will affect the lives of others. Live or die. Win or lose. Those jerks must be disciplined.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The incident should have been reported.

Those involved should have been disciplined. Everyone who knew about the violations and didn't properly report each of them.

Those pilots are fairly fit and trained to know how oxygen deprivation feels. If they were below 15K ft, a few minutes wouldn't matter. Humans spend hours above 14K. People live at 10k ft and above. Hiking thirteeners and foureeners is a common thing. There's no magic like at 10K ft where all oxygen disappears.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Having too much fun in Japan they are. Not a good example of US military.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Examples of such unprofessionalism included prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse, excessive alcohol consumption, adultery, orders violations, and failures in following fundamental principles of professional aviation training and operations," it said.

Sounds like a pit of vipers!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Fighter pilots have always been a special breed, including a crazy spirit of daring-do. No amount of PC culture can change that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

America has simply cast off its usual hypocrisy which disguises our basic disregard of common Human decency with telling ourselves how superior we are for being the most successful thieves and armed robbers of this Age and nothing says this more than the Commander-in Chief of these wouldbe but clearly self-overrated 'Topguns' who has no regard for anything but himself. We can no longer hide our baseness and lack of sincerity as a national polity and our military is reflecting that. How can we expect more from our people than they are capable of demonstrating due to their deteriorating narcissistic national identity, and the abysmal moral pit in which we wallow? Why even try? In the 1920s we had the "Keystone Kops" and now we've got a 'Keystone Kops Join the Military' military. And, of the U.S. militaries, the Navy/Marines pat themselves on the back more than anyone. See? Not paying attention...don't care anymore...let the marketing departments convince the American People that we still have a competent military and not just an obesely bloated Corporate/Military SCAM. Successfully sneak attacking an essentially unarmed compound in the middle of the night like terrorists and murdering the mostly innocent groggy residents, men, women, and children, is hardly something to brag about. But such cowardly acts are all we got to brag about anymore. sigh Semper Fidelis? Or Semper mihi fidelis tantum?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Hardly surprising considering how the "look at me" generation these days are so obsessed with selfies and social media postings every nanosecond of their lives. Military personnel are hardly immune from this nonsense.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ladies and Gentlemen, First, a bit of background. I was a U.S. Marine Corps officer for a while, having served one year at the joint-use base in Iwakuni, Japan. (Nice place, Iwakuni!) For part of that time I served as the Squadron/Group [of Squadrons] Legal Officer. Having taken a one-semester course in Military Law (actually not an oxymoron), I was able to use that information in a variety of situations.

Here is the deal. All U.S. Marines, officers and men, are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) far more restrictive than those laws pertaining to civilians. The military is, and must be, held to a higher standard, especially with regard to flight operations which are always potentially dangerous. Marines always pride themselves as being more professional and careful than people in the other services. Deliberate, and often even inadvertent, violation of the laws and regulations might result in a variety of subsequent events. The first is a formal (they are all formal) investigation by the unit's Commanding Officer( including the Legal Officer), as he/she is always responsible for the actions of his or her Marines. Also possible is the far more serious court-martial, resulting possibly in demotion, financial fine, imprisonment, and discharge from the service. One previous commentator is exactly correct. This is a command problem. That is why, I presume, the four (probably senior officers) were dismissed; their careers are almost certainly over. No crocodile tears about that action. Normally, such infantile actions (remember the JAL pilots violating their own regulations by drinking alcohol just prior to take-off?) result in a top-down serious investigation by an outside, independent authority. I suspect such is that case here. Psychological screening is one component of the many tests administered to anyone striving to become an officer ( = leader). Those screenings and screeners need to carefully reexamine what they are doing and how they do it. The Marines I personally knew were, for the great majority, fine, professional individuals. Still, Semper Fidelis!
3 ( +3 / -0 )

https://www.fodors.com/news/news/does-japan-have-a-drunk-pilot-problem

Plenty of examples to go around. Rules and regulations are in place for a reason, if the pilots were unprofessional then they deserve all the punishment and administrative procedures that come with it. Let's just not be blind to the fact that Japanese pilots are doing the exact same things.

Residents of Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture expressed anger by the findings of misconduct, with some calling for suspending U.S. military aircraft flights.

"They're extremely dangerous behaviors," said 74-year-old Jungen Tamura, a former Iwakuni city assembly member who monitors activities at the Iwakuni base. "They could cause an accident and (U.S. forces) need to suspend flights immediately."

Makoto Ebuchi, a 62-year-old adviser to a citizens group opposed to enhancing functions of the Iwakuni base, said, "It's shocking to find out that pilots were corrupted to this level and I'm horrified. The state and the city need to thoroughly study how to re-educate them."

So should we ground all JAL and ANA flights until all pilots are "re-educated"?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Seems pretty clear they are trying to automatically blame pilots for airplane accidents again cause they musn't blame the hardware or the big wigs.

Seriously...what the hell do some pilots taking selfies that didn't crash have to do with completely different pilots who crashed?

Any pilot who would goof off while mid-air refueling is a complete lunatic....and its on the chain of command if such a lunatic was not spotted before performing mid-air refueling. Some fighter pilot on autopilot for a half an hour taking a selfie? Who cares?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you think a Marine aviator taking a selfie while in autopilot is bad, infantry Marine selfie shenanigans would give you a heart attack.

Jokes aside, Marines and fighter pilots require an amount of daring and willingness to push the limits. Unchecked, however, it does sometimes cause accidents.

IMO the fault lies with the command in this case. Failure to incentivize good behavior and prevent bad behavior. Even if for no reason other than to avoid the consequences, a bad reason is better than no reason.

That said, the Marines I’ve had the pleasure and honor to work with were for the most part intelligent, professional, good natured and disciplined.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

William Bjornson - America has simply cast off its usual hypocrisy....

I'm reminded that even in the face of a problem with no apparent solution, people often quote ‘The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894’, urging people not to despair, something will turn up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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