The Secretary of Defense announced today that DoD has just completed its safest
year in modern memory.
This accomplishment is particularly noteworthy
considering the incredible challenges the Department faced with many
humanitarian missions, worldwide deployments, and restructuring.
The statistics are impressive.
DoD aircraft accident rates dropped from 1.94
to 1.63 accidents per 100,000 flying hours.
The dollar cost of major aircraft
accidents dropped from $1.6 to $1.2 billion dollars.
dropped significantly from 119 to 68.
The number of destroyed aircraft also
reached an all-time low of 84, down from 110.
Accidental military deaths dropped from 666 to 526, an all time low in
Although some of this decrease resulted from downsizing, the
continuing improvement is reflected in the DoD fatality rate -- which dropped
from .39 to .36 accidental deaths per thousand Service members.
Accidental deaths among DoD military personnel have been declining faster than
other non-hostile deaths.
A key objective of DoD's Environmental Security
efforts has been to create a future environment where accidents claimed fewer
lives than other non-hostile fatalities.
This future arrived in 1994, when for
the first time ever, there were fewer accidental military fatalities than
In an organization as large as DoD, it would be easy to tally these deaths as
just another set of grim statistics.
The reality is that each and every such
loss is a tragedy, both to those families left behind and the larger "family"
that is the Department.
On a very personal level, the Department is
particularly proud of these dramatic reductions in losses.
Attached are charts showing the long-term major aircraft accident rate trend
and the fatality trend for uniformed members from FY80 through FY94.