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“The heat needs to come, and I think it needs to come at the highest levels,” a Marine pilot told Fox News.
“The guys at the lowest levels are working their butts off, and we don’t see any change.” Fox News Correspondent Lea Gabrielle is a former Navy F/A-18C pilot who flew missions in Afghanistan from the deck of the USS George Washington for Operation Enduring Freedom.
One saw an indication of pressurization problems and pulled the “green apple,” a green-colored ring that has about 10 minutes of emergency oxygen stored in the ejection seat.
The other pilot had pressurization problems but was already hypoxic by the time he realized it.
To deal with the situation, the Navy has installed decompression chambers on two of its deployed aircraft carriers—the USS Carl Vinson and the USS George H. But this only helps pilots who make it back to the ship.
One of the Navy pilots who spoke to Fox News acknowledges the Navy is doing the best it could to address the problem.
One thing the pilots and their leadership agree on, he said, is that it’s “a complex problem.” A Marine Corps Aviation public affairs officer told Fox News that Marine Corps Aviation has seen fewer incidents than Navy pilots, but said its leaders are taking “this matter very seriously.
Mike Shoemaker, Commander in the Naval Air Forces, said the issue was his “No.
1 safety priority.” “We will not be limited by money or manpower as we diligently work toward solutions," he said.