|EA-6B Prowler doing a touch & go at OLF Coupeville|
A while ago, I did call for "concerned citizens" to ask Congressman Larsen to request "Navy Region Northwest to research the costs of alternatives to Coupeville NOLF. Purchase of persons’ property who have hardship should also be considered." It was a request with two purposes - a) to try to get a finite number so perhaps, maybe we can be humane about this and b) to play "gotcha" with the progressive agitators to put the few hundred max property owners in a very difficult policy pickle.
After all since only 200 or so property owners I guess live there a new OLF would cost more than the value of their property per property owner. I really think we lack the fiscal capacity to pay for that right now with Obama's mega-deficits, W's tax cuts, massive entitlement program growth, and massive economic distrust. Yes, distrust and I'm being fair-handed here.
But Growler Joe is not the only one talking about fiscal incapacity to pay for a new OLF. So is Capt. Tank Johnston. Yes, it is now gotcha.
The now-former NAS Whidbey Island CO stated to the Whidbey News-Times:
Johnston also worked on improving communication with Central Whidbey residents over noise concerns at Outlying Field Coupeville, though finding a solution is challenging.Despite claims that citizen complaints fell on deaf ears or that Navy officials don’t understand the severity of the issue, Johnston said that’s not the case.“I’ve been flying here since 1996; I get it,” Johnston said.The Navy has taken strides to be better neighbors, by printing flight schedules, meeting with elected officials and tailoring “operations to have the least impact,” but there isn’t much else that can be done, he said.Some voiced hopes that the Navy might purchase new land and train elsewhere, but the realities of military spending today might as well make that an impossibility, Johnston said.“There’s no money to develop additional training airspaces or runways … so it’s up to us to be the best stewards of what we have,” he said. “That means using Coupeville and getting along with Coupeville folks the best we can.”
Tank and the USN won't say this so I will: It also means the Coupeville folks need to be good patriots and take the Growler Noise & the Prowler Noise like patriots. Patriots of their country for obvious reasons and their county because "NAS Whidbey Island directly and indirectly accounts for nearly 17,500 jobs in Island County and over 20,100 statewide. The total impacts in terms of labor earnings sum to $674 million within Island County (approximately 88 percent of wage disbursements in the county". (SOURCE). OLF Coupeville flight ops are a big chunk of what pays for your roads, your First Responders, your schools, your transit, your parks, your utilities, your Senior Services, your Public Health, et al Island County. Not to mention keep our carriers safe with thousands of personnel aboard safe during flight ops!