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My Idiot Neighbors

I live surrounded by Eglin AFB. It is one of, if not the, largest military facilities in the world. They test weapons here. They also have the headquarters of the Air Force Special Operations Command, the Army Ranger School, the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal School, an Army Special Forces Brigade, an Air Force Fighter Wing, a National Guard tank training area, and a half-million acre national forest on the base.

The first runway was built at the site of the current main base in 1933, so it is not exactly something new to the area. The local airport is located on the base and uses the Air Force’s runaway and tower facilities. The fact that there are planes taking off and landing can in no way be considered a new phenomenon.

These realities make this report from the Pensacola News Journal, F-35 decision delayed, blatantly absurd:

TALLAHASSEE — The Air Force has put off a final decision on how it will accommodate training for the Joint Strike Fighter F-35 at Eglin Air Force Base.

Still in development, the F-35 is the military’s next-generation fighter.

Ultimately, 113 F-35’s are set to be at Eglin as training for the jet is developed. It means hundreds of flights at low altitude and noise levels the Air Force says are “incompatible with residential use.”

That’s got residents concerned in an area that supports, and relies on, Eglin, but is nonetheless concerned about the noise and its effects on property values Joint Strike Fighter training represents.

Let me give them a hint: Eglin AFB is the economy of Okaloosa County, Florida. If Eglin is unable to perform its military mission the area becomes a ghost town. You cannot support the current communities without the paychecks from Eglin. Local business cannot survive without the base. It was there when you paid too much for your house, so suck it up and deal with reality. Your property value has dropped at least 25% and will probably go lower, so don’t worry about the training. If you don’t like, I could suggest you move, but no one can afford to buy your house, so its real value is zero.  Earplugs are cheap.


1 Steve Bates { 11.21.08 at 11:23 pm }

Good grief. It’s not just military bases… IAH and Hobby in Houston still get complaints about the noise, and they’ve been there over half my life (IAH) and all my life (Hobby). Why can’t people look at a map when they shop for a home, or actually spend a day in the neighborhood before they sign on the line? I feel sympathy for marine mammals that face high-powered sonar; they never agreed to have it in their vicinity. But if a human can’t discover that their intended new neighborhood contains an air base… well, I may not be the brightest bulb on the string, but I think I’d notice that.

2 Bryan { 11.21.08 at 11:51 pm }

These people are just unbelievable. They don’t seem to understand that the wide, straight limited access roads that make it easy to get in and out were built by the military and are on the base. They are are designed as emergency runways and to facilitate the moment of military equipment. The state of Florida sure didn’t build them.

The base is the only reason we have reliable telephone service, decent electric power, and wide-band access. All of the fiber installed in the area was due to military contracts.

If the base leaves we are stuck with sports fishing and minimum wage service jobs.

I don’t think these people understand that the military retirees want access to military facilities, and if the base closes, they will move to be near another base, probably down to Tyndall in Panama City.

3 LadyMin { 11.22.08 at 9:53 am }

They must be related to the idiots who bought homes near O’Hare airport and are now squealing about the expansion project.

4 Bryan { 11.22.08 at 11:54 am }

Isn’t it amazing that people move next to one of the busiest airports in the world and can’t visualize the consequences. There was a reason the houses were less expensive in that area.

What do they think will happen if the airport loses business because it can’t compete?

I’m in the flight path to the range the Special Ops uses, and they overfly at low level until about 2 am. You get used to it, or move – those are your realistic choices.

5 Anya { 11.22.08 at 12:44 pm }

I live under the air traffic pattern of the secondary runway of the local airport. Manchester-Boston Regional is not a huge or busy airport, but there are some days when the weather is not optimal for landing on the main runway that the planes, mostly UPS and Fedex, fly through my living room. I barely notice. I give the pilots coffee on their way through.

The one period in which I did notice was during the runway extension work when the planes flew through every day. It was the three days after Sept. 11, 2001, when the planes stopped flying altogether.

That was far more eerie and terrifying than the roar of jets.

6 Bryan { 11.22.08 at 1:11 pm }

The newer engines are more efficient and quieter. When they have an older C-135 [Boeing 707] take off at Eglin you can hear those four engines roaring across the water, but the newer DC-10s have to get close before you hear them. Over time things will get quieter.

I live a block away from a main road, and the sirens are a more obvious problem. You have to wonder who they think they are alerting at 3 am on empty roads.

Our barracks in Germany were across an open field from the main runway at Rhein-Main which was a joint US military/German civilian facility and the most active civilian airport in Germany. You adjust.

7 Badtux { 12.07.08 at 1:49 am }

I’ve lived under an airport runway for 5 years now (one year was under a runway that Herky Birds use — those turboprops are *loud*, much louder than the jets). I lived under an airport runway for 2 years before that in another city. I just don’t get it. I knew the airport was there when I moved there, but moved there for factors of convenience, price, etc. The airport noise was/is just part of living here, a logical consequence of moving under an airport runway (duh!). Color me baffled at idiots who make the same decision, but don’t want to live with the consequences…

8 Bryan { 12.07.08 at 10:37 am }

It doesn’t take long for people to forget that the reason the price was lower and the houses were built in the first place was because of the runway. You can’t build on the main stretch of beach in the town because it is a low shelf that will flood in a wind driven tide without a tropical storm, like a barrier island.

I’m miles from the runway, but in the flight path for one of the ranges, so I get low level overflights all the time. It’s part of living in the area. If you don’t like it, there are houses for sale to the East on the coast. You will spend a lot of time driving to stores, and the schools aren’t as good, but the houses are newer and will probably appreciate much faster.

Of course, you can’t go too far or you will run into the flight patterns from Tyndall AFB, in Panama City, the reason Panama City exists.