While helicopters are not new to naval service, the overall health of helicopter naval aircrewmen has worsened in the past two decades. The helicopter will remain a cornerstone of the fleet, however. In 2012, Sikorsky Aircraft signed a contract with the U.S. military for roughly $11 billion to ensure the Navy will continue to receive support for its fleet of MH-60 helicopters, which are responsible for a myriad of missions, including strike coordination, reconnaissance, antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, and search and rescue.
1. Rob Perry, “NAVAIR Delivers MH-60S Gunner Seat Replacement to the Fleet,” Naval Aviation News, 25 November 2019, navalaviationnews.navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/11/25/navair-delivers-mh-60s-gunner-seat-replacement-to-the-fleet/.
2. Amir Qaseem, Timothy J. Wilt, Robert M. McLean, and Mary Ann Forciea, “Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians,” Annals of Internal Medicine, 4 April 2017, annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2603228/noninvasive-treatments-acute-subacute-chronic-low-back-pain-clinical-practice.
3. C. M. Simon-Arndt, H. Yuan, and L. L. Hourani, “Aircraft Type and Diagnosed Back Disorders in U.S. Navy Pilots,” Naval Health Research Center, 26 December 1996, apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a319230.pdf.
4. R. P. Delahaye, R. Auffret, P. J. Metges, J. L. Poirier, B. Vetes, and H. Viellefond, Physiopathology and Pathology of Spinal Injuries in Aerospace Medicine (2nd Ed.), NATO Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development, AGARD-AG-250, (English) 1982, 48–53, 226–60, 276–80, 293–96.
5. Delahaye et al., 293–96.
6. P. M. Bongers, C. T. J. Hulshof, L. Dykstra, and H. C. Boshuizen, “Back Pain and Exposure to Whole Body Vibration in Helicopter Pilots,” Ergonomics 33 (1990): 1007–26.
7. For example, see: R. S. Bridger, M. R. Groom,
H. Jones, R. J. Pethybridge, and N. Pullinger, “Task and Postural Factors Are Related to Back Pain in Helicopter Pilots,” Aviation Space Environmental Medicine 73 (2002): 805–11.
8. R . L. Nevin and G. E. Means, “Pain and Discomfort in Deployed Helicopter Aviators Wearing Body Armor,” Aviation Space Environmental Medicine 80 (2009): 807–10.