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Support the Troops, Local Edition

Also in the paper was a report about the required environmental impact public meeting for the changes at Eglin AFB as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure law. Due to this round of BRAC, Eglin is getting the Joint Strike Fighter Initial Joint Training Site, and the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

The JSFIJTS means that all of the services will be training in the new F-35 at Eglin, and the base will eventually get over a hundred of the aircraft.

The 7th SFG move means thousand more Army personnel and large training exercises.

The comments at the meeting were pure Twilight Zone.

The mayor of Valparaiso said the town would have to shut down because of all of the noise from the F-35 training.

Eglin AFB has been an active airfield since 1931. It’s a bit weird to think that these new aircraft are going to make any major change in the noise level. You have a house next to an active runway, you will hear planes. In addition to all of the testing at Eglin, the 33rd Fighter Wing flies F-15s at all hours and the local airport uses Eglin’s runways. You would think that some time after the first 50 years people would have figured out about the noise and the proximity of the runway, but after more than 75 years some people are having a problem making the connection.

Then you have the president of the Northwest Florida Dog Hunters Association [they hunt deer with dogs which I don’t like, even a little bit] complaining that the training requirements of the 7th SFG would mean occasionally closing up to 54,000 acres of land on Eglin to outsiders.

First off, there’s a 500,000 acre national forest on Eglin, so 54,000 acres is not that much of an intrusion, and it is a military installation, which means if you push too hard, they could close the whole damn thing. If they close the base you would need a boat, because there isn’t a road to or from this area that doesn’t run through Eglin. If Eglin closes, this is a ghost town. The whole area shuts down, because you can’t survive on tourist revenue from a few months in the summer.

This is how the Republicans support the troops.

6 comments

1 Kryten42 { 04.20.08 at 7:49 pm }

Stupid is as stupid does! Gump

LOL I love that quote, and yes, I do know it’s from a fictitious character! So? 😀

I have gotten so much mileage out of that quote since ‘Stupid America'(tm) allowed the ‘Bushmoron'(tm) to steal the USA from right under their noses. And ‘Stupid Australia’ allowed ‘Howard the Lame Duck'(tm) to steal Aus from under our noses! *SIGH*

We had a similar issue here with the Richmond (NSW), and Edinburgh (SA) bases. Turned out to be a Political shell game to get public outrage so they could move the bases North (Qld) anyway! LOL Which makes much more sense, but when has sense had to do with anything, anywhere? 🙂

2 Badtux { 04.20.08 at 9:00 pm }

Disgraceful.

I lived under the runways of Barksdale AFB for a while. When those big Buffs thundered over us during takeoff (and these were the D’s mostly with the noisy old turbojets, not the G’s currently stationed there with the turbofans), we (the entire freakin’ neighborhod) damn well nearly saluted as those things went overhead. The thought of complaining about the noise simply wasn’t an option that any of us would have considered.

I just don’t “get” these folks who are complaining about the noise of modern military jets. It reminds me of the folks whining about the noise of F18’s and F16’s training over the Panamint and Saline Valleys in California. Folks, this is freakin’ *open desert*. There’s eight people who live in the Panamint Valley full-time, and three of them are the caretakers of ghost towns or mining camps. There’s three people who live in the Saline Valley full-time, two of them are miners who are regularly blowing shit up with dynamite and one is the caretaker of a BLM facility. But the environmentalists whine that the noise of the jets “disturbs the solitude”… err, okay. But those areas have been used for low-altitude training since 1940, ever since China Lake Naval Air Station opened up. If there was ever any “solitude” out here (unlikely, because until the BLM cracked down on “hippies” with bogus mining claims there was no end of “miners” out here moving dirt around to keep their mining claims active so they could live on their claims), said solitude was gone a long, long time ago…

But hey, let’s not confuse folks with facts, okay?!

– Badtux the Flightless Penguin
(but who envies the fliers very, very much, sigh).

3 Bryan { 04.20.08 at 9:40 pm }

Part of the problem is people who move into the area and don’t really understand the location. Some of them buy lots on a bayou not understanding that they are in the flight path, which is the reason the lots are still empty.

The one I loved was the proposal for a condo tower, and the engineering study showed would have three floors that were essentially microwave ovens because they would be in the path of the military tracking radars for the Gulf test sites, which is why there were height limits on construction in the building codes.

I keep expecting the Air Force to get fed up with this and end all of the special leases on government property that have been granted to local government over the years. People forget how much of this area is owned by the Air Force.

The good news it that the government really can’t afford to leave, because it would have to do an environmental clean-up that would take decades and probably cost billions, just for the unexploded ordnance strewn around the ranges.

My favorite airport story was the one my Mother tells about her last trip to Britain. They were on a tour of castles and someone asked why they built so many near Heathrow. The other people on the tour agreed that if the tour guide killed this individual they would pay her bail and get her an attorney.

4 Bryan { 04.20.08 at 9:50 pm }

Badtux, I have the low-level ops going over my place almost every night, because that’s what they are training to do – fly at low-level in the dark. I didn’t know I was in the flight path when I moved in, but there’s nothing here if they leave.

I’m surprised they have opened the base back up to hunting, because for a long time after 9/11 the military didn’t want people with guns wandering around on the property [gee, I wonder why].

The city of Valparaiso doesn’t exist without the base. The majority of the people who live there are connected to the base in some fashion. The only reason for renting in ValP is because it is convenient for the base.

I just don’t understand these people.

5 Kryten42 { 04.21.08 at 12:21 am }

I don’t understand them either m8.

When they closed Edinburgh here, they seemed to forget or noy understand one little detail. DSTO (which is our equivalent of DARPA, but the part with the black budget, not the public one) was located in Salisbury near the Edinburgh base because they needed the base to shuttle material & people around the place secretly. So, when it was pointed out, they Poli’s said “OK. SO we move DSTO to Qld too.’ Aha, simple… not! Firstly, the Scientists had established families to consider, and many did not want to move to Nth Qld and the heat, humidity, tropical storms, cyclones etc, from the current relative comfort of Adelaide! 🙂 Second, DSTO have been playing with a LOT of very exotic material for decades. I saw an audit done where the cost of cleaning up just the metal isotopes around the place would be enormous! And since they were also an ordinance testing area, there were decades of munitions buried around the hundreds of acres of the base. So, they had to leave DSTO there, and keep the RAAF base operating minimally.

Similar thing happened here in Melb too with a local old Army training base they wanted to use for a large State school and sports ground. LOL Never happened, never will!

‘Stupid is as stupid does’! 😉

It’s a universal constant sadly!

6 Bryan { 04.21.08 at 4:20 pm }

Down in San Diego they turned an old coastal artillery base from WWII over to the state who sold it for development. Before it was over they had neighborhood kids dead from buried ordnance and a major military EOD sweep required. Every round does not detonate, and it sits there waiting to be hit in the right way.

Here we have remnants of every propellant ever used for rockets, missiles, or aircraft from 1930 as well as every type of explosive [they were all tested here]. There were a lot of failed attempts just buried in the woods, as well as weapons that flew off course and crashed. There is a layer of red clay that keeps this stuff out of the water table, but if someone starts digging, there’s going to be a problem.

Of course, another problem is that the records aren’t very good, especially on classified projects, so you can’t know what people were up to or where they were doing it in the sprawl that is Eglin.