SAN DIEGO – On Saturday, Commander, Naval Air Forces ordered all non-deployed aircraft units to conduct a one-day safety pause after multiple recent crashes in Imperial County, authorities said.
“As a result of recent crashes involving U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, Commander, Naval Air Forces has directed all non-deployed Navy aviation units to conduct a safety pause on June 13 in order to review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes,” officials said in a statement Saturday evening.
The pause comes after five Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton were killed when their aircraft went down in Glamis, a city east of San Diego County. Less than 48 hours later, a helicopter from the Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego crashed near the border of Arizona and California. Four people were inside of the helicopter at the time of the crash and all on board survived. The cause of both crashes are still under investigation at this time.
“In order to maintain the readiness of our force, we must ensure the safety of our people remains one of our top priorities,” Navy officials said in the statement Saturday.
All aircraft vessels that are currently deployed are asked to observe the pause at the “earliest possible opportunity.”
On Friday, officials at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton released the identities of the five service members killed in the aircraft crash Wednesday. All five were assigned to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39, and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Their names are:
- Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief
- Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire, an MV-22B Pilot
- Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Johnson County, Wyoming, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief
- Capt. John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, California, an MV-22B Pilot
- Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico, a Tiltrotor Crew Chief