A US Navy sailor has been seriously injured after being hit by a plane in tow onboard the USS Carl Vinson flight deck during a training exercise last week.
The Los Angeles Times reports the sailor was flown by helicopter to a hospital with a serious but non-life-threatening injury. The Friday incident follows a year of operational issues plagued in the naval services.
The event caused the Carl Vinson to suspend all flight operations on Friday, and also delayed many operations on the ship that were scheduled for Saturday.
The Carl Vinson was taking part in sustainment training exercises, called SUSTEX, off the coast of Southern California at the time of the incident, Sputnik reported. SUSTEX is training which allows carrier strike groups to evaluate their readiness for combat in expectation of a combat assignment.
According to Sputnik, the US Navy is struggling with systematic problems believed to have contributed to a series of unfortunate collisions earlier this year. One of the main issue discovered in an investigation is that the US sailors are struggling longer work hours, with shifts taking up to some 15 hours per day. The lack of rest has subsequently led to negligence of safety regulations and excessive reliance on electronic systems.
The Navy decided to address the issues by changing its work timetable in favor of much shorter shifts, but at the same time it has increased the load on sailors by requiring exercises and training that focus on labor-intensive basics such as old-school compasses and pencil navigation.