To the editor:
According to USN Rear Admiral Rich it would cost about $1 billion to replace the OLF Coupeville. He said so at a Dec. 4, 2012 Oak Harbor Navy League meeting.
USN Captain Johnston stated, “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. That means using Coupeville and getting along with Coupeville folks the best we can.”
I argue also Coupeville folks need to do their patriotic duty and accept that Coupeville has served America since September 1943, according a 2005 AICUZ report.
Also according to the report, “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).” Those against OLF Coupeville need to consider endangering a major part of NAS Whidbey Island is therefore endangering Island County’s economic health.
Finally, having recruited other aviation buffs to watch Coupeville flight operations with me, I hope we can keep OLF Coupeville operational. In fact I’ve applied for a job on Whidbey Island so I can work for weekends watching NAS Whidbey Island flight ops..
Joe A. Kunzler