The May 18 suggestion in the letter by Robert Brown, Walt Sutton and Bill Lane to move Growler landing practice operations to Joint Base Lewis-McChord was spot on.
SDA and COER have staunchly maintained that other doable locations are far better suited for landing practice than is the OLF — sites that are better for pilots, better for residents, and better for our school children.
The Navy has weakly responded that any place but the OLF is impossible, which of course everyone knows is a bogus and indefensible position anchored in intransigence and disengaged decision-making in DC.
So we appreciate and strongly support someone with Mr. Brown’s FAA credentials whose researched and informed JBLM suggestion debunks the Navy spin. Nevertheless, their suggestion will surely be countered with the usual dispositive attempts to explain why JBLM is also impossible.
JBLM is of course possible, and compared with more distant venues, it is probably the least disruptive of Growler air time and budget. All it requires is the Navy to accept some minor increased cost and decreased convenience.
In return, the Navy would: Avoid putting children in school and families at home in undue crash risk; Provide greater pilot safety; Bring an end to regional community discord; Preserve the soundscape sanctity of our nation’s first historic preserve; Avoid imminent real estate depression; Honor its commitment to the 2005 AICUZ to hold OLF to 6120 operations; Reduce impacts on noise-sensitive endangered species, like the marbled murrelet; End the noise detriment on childhood learning in schools and at home; Eliminate known health risks associated with jet noise; Eliminate risks of air and water contamination for residents of Central Whidbey; Return our rights to live life like any other US citizen unencumbered by jet noise unfit for human habitation.