Four Marine officers fired in wake of deadly 2018 collision during in-air refueling

From left: Maj. James Brophy, Lt. Col. Kevin Herrmann, Staff Sgt. Maximo Flores, Cpl. Daniel Baker and Cpl. William Carter Ross were the five Marines who were declared dead after their KC-130J Hercules collided with an F/A-18 Hornet on Dec. 6, 2018. AP/U.S. MARINE CORPS
From left: Maj. James Brophy, Lt. Col. Kevin Herrmann, Staff Sgt. Maximo Flores, Cpl. Daniel Baker and Cpl. William Carter Ross were the five Marines who were declared dead after their KC-130J Hercules collided with an F/A-18 Hornet on Dec. 6, 2018. AP/U.S. MARINE CORPS

Four Marine officers fired in wake of deadly 2018 collision during in-air refueling

by Corey Dickstein
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON – Four Marine officers were fired after investigators determined a pilot’s inexperience conducting nighttime, in-air refueling and a toxic command climate within the unit contributed to the mid-air collision of an F/A-18 fighter and KC-130 air tanker late last year that killed six crewmembers, according to the service.

Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 suffered from “inadequate oversight of training and operations” and an “unprofessional command climate” when the Hornet fighter jet crashed Dec. 6 into the rear of the KC-130 Super Hercules while conducting predawn air-to-air refueling over the Pacific Ocean off Japan’s coast, investigators probing the incident determined. The investigation led Maj. Gen. Thomas Weidley, commander of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, to fire the unit’s commander, its executive officer, its operations officer and its aviation safety officer, the Marine Corps said Monday in a statement.

The Corps announced in April the firing of Lt. Col. James Compton, the commander of the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni-based fighter squadron, but declined to provide a specific reason for his removal at that time. It had not previously disclosed the removal of the other three officers, who were not named in a statement announcing the investigation’s findings on Monday.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.600213

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