Letter: Captain’s job is to follow rear admiral’s orders


This is a response to the June 2 guest column by Naval Air Station Whidbey Island commander Capt. Geoff Moore, titled, “Navy committed to compatible uses.”

I read this column several times to make sure I understood what, exactly, he was trying to say about the Navy’s intent. I found the language more of a misleading “sell” than a clear and concise explanation of that intent.

The tone was one of condescension rather than of a true “partner” in how the Navy intends to be a “good neighbor.” There is verbiage referring to EIS and “operations compatible with current land use and their impacts” before “we make a decision on the distribution of operations between Ault Field and Outlying Field Coupeville.”

“We” assumes this will be a decision made by the Navy. One can conclude that the Navy will determine that its activity has minimal impact on the surrounding citizens and the environment that they live in, that the “distribution of operations” is nothing of note really. That “there is no intent to force the closure or relocation of vital government, community medical and school institutions.”

Nothing is said about the effects of the horrific noise of these “operations” on the citizens. After having experienced the noise from these planes, the captain can claim “no intent,” but the reality is this activity is designed to drive people away. I can’t imagine being in a Coupeville classroom and trying to “educate” with this profound level of noise. I can’t imagine trying to sleep in my own home when these planes are “bouncing.”

I took my grandchildren to Fort Casey while these planes were flying into OLF Coupeville. The noise was such that we just left.

This is not “the sound of freedom.”

The captain refers to Accident Potential Zones, or APZs, as if “an aircraft mishap” were something of no import, that the Navy has defined APZs, and that “it is up to local communities how best to incorporate those recommendations into their zoning and future planning, and to reiterate, does not require current existing structures to be moved or abandoned.”

Would a “good neighbor” blast this level of noise into your home in the wee hours of the morning or put you in harm’s way?

Not to mention the groundwater pollution, or the thousands of “operations,” or the possibility of a “mishap” with one of these planes falling out of the sky, or the reality of being driven from your home by sonic abuse.

Rear Adm. Peter Fanta, in a moment of candor, said, “The service was adopting a philosophy of increased lethality and three ways to kill everything. I realize that might not be the nicest way to talk about things, but folks, our job is to kill people and break their toys, there’s nothing else in the world that matters.”

This admiral is Capt. Geoff Moore’s boss, and Capt. Moore will follow orders.

As a citizen, I am not anti-defense, I am opposed to being “collateral damage” to arrogance.

Dan Freeman


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