Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Those complaining should think about consequences


The letter by Eric Tremblay regarding the Navy’s Outlying Field near Coupeville prompts me to respond with what I hope is some sense of grace.

I understand his problem and specifically avoided moving to the mid-part of the island because I knew there was an airfield nearby.

Apparently he didn’t notice it was there 20 years ago.

I have landed on an aircraft carrier deck a couple hundred times and it is a near-death experience every time. A night landing requires extreme skill, total concentration, and lots of practice.

Even practice on a deck painted on a runway isn’t the same as hitting the number three wire on a moving deck.

Practice is why U.S. Navy pilots are the best in the world.

A night launch is an exercise in simple faith because you don’t know if you are flying or falling until you realize you are airborne and not dead yet. In times of combat, the next thing you need to do is go face the enemy who is never happy to see you.

If you do come back to the carrier, you face a big challenge and you better be well trained for it, especially if the aircraft has battle damage and failing systems.

Maybe there won’t be any future wars, but if there are, it seems unlikely the enemy will agree to combat only between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The U.S. military’s challenge isn’t whether or not its neighbors get a good night’s sleep, but whether or not U.S. citizens have the freedom to live wherever they want to, and sleep wherever they want to. And those Navy pilots sleep right under the flight deck where planes are being launched and trapped all the time, so they know a little bit about noise.

It seems to me that Mr. Tremblay and his complaining neighbors won’t help themselves much by declaring to the world that their property is uninhabitable and therefore unmarketable.

Sometimes it is hard to see the big picture when you have a problem.

I would encourage Mr. Tremblay and his neighbors to pause for a moment and think about the consequences of their campaign.

Stan Walker



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