Freedom isn’t free, Whidbey jets are necessary

Editor,

I normally do not write letters to the editor, but Mr. Wahl’s incredibly short-sighted and error-filled letter has prompted my response. Mr. Wahl obviously has zero knowledge of aviation, naval aviation, Whidbey Island history, local economics, or democracy, but is long on “Pull at the heartstrings/poor us” metaphors.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island has been there for 75 years, Outlying Field Coupeville (OLF) 74 years. The reason the OLF was built in Coupeville was to efficiently and safely conduct fleet carrier landing practice out of the NAS. Because aircraft performance is paramount to combat survival, achieving the required level of performance preempts most noise considerations. Always has. Remember the A-3’s? So, if the jets are too noisy and the OLF is forced “way out,” the NAS must move “way out.” No thousands of Navy personnel on Whidbey, no prosperous economy on Whidbey.

We live in a country where we have the freedom to make choices, good or bad. So, Mr. Wahl, if you bought property under the FCLP (fleet carrier landing practice) bounce pattern near OLF or NAS Whidbey, and now you do not like it, look in the mirror and blame that guy, and no one else!

Finally, if you do not think the city or county is being fairly compensated by the federal government, review the Federal Impact Aid Program Act of 1950. Among other grants, the federal government annually contributes about $5,000 per military dependent student to the local educational district. If you think this federal help and a strong local economy are not enough compensation, run for public office Mr. Wahl and explain the virtues of your recessionary plan precipitated by a newbie’s desire for “quiet.”

Or, you and your friends can put on your big-boy pants, acknowledge your mistakes, accept your questionable losses and take Mr. Gutzmer’s suggestion. Move! Most people like it here and welcome more Growlers and the boost it gives our economy. Freedom isn’t free!

PETE BECKER

Clinton

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