Air Force suicides surged last year to highest in 3 decades

Associated Press
February 10, 2020 - 9:00 am
Bracelets, labeled with the message, "You Got This. We Got You," are handed out to participants during the Dragon March on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 13, 2019. The three-mile walk was held as part of the wing stand down day directed by Air

(U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

The number of suicides in the active-duty Air Force jumped last year to the highest level in at least three decades, exceeding the worst years of the post-9/11 period. The increase, from 60 suicides in 2018 to 84 last year, came even as other services saw their numbers stabilize or decline. That's according to officials and unreleased preliminary data. The reasons for the Air Force increase are not fully understood, coming after years of effort by all the military services to counter a problem that seems to defy solution and that parallels increases in suicide in the civilian population.