I never thought I’d be writing a Letter to the Editor about fairy tales, but Michael Monson’s April 12 letter, “Don’t Be a Chicken Little over Jet Noise,” prompts me to do so.
Monson’s a master at leaving data and evidence out of his arguments. He claims that the COER does not want the Naval Air Station to close, yet when closing it was being considered, former COER President Ken Pickard said, “There was hope when the NAS was placed on the BRAC list.”
Monson further misleads his readers that by saying that closing the OLF and moving the Growlers won’t result in the NAS closing. Have a look at seaforces.org and note the number and type of squadrons based at at NAS Whidbey Island. Thirteen are VAQ squadrons who fly, or will fly, the EA-18 Growlers. Out of the kindness of his heart, Mr. Monson would leave the VP Squadrons, currently flying P3’s, in place. How many VP Squadrons are there? Four. Monson doesn’t think that moving the Growlers would result in base closure? He does live in a fairy tale.
Mr. Monson tries further to minimize concern about base closure, implying that there’s nothing to worry about, and calling those who do worry “Chicken Littles.” Check militaryinstallations.dod.mil and find that a NAS Whidbey closure would negatively impact the following people:
7,050 military personnel
14,000 family members
2,420 civilian and contract employees
That’s a lot of “Chicken Littles.” In addition, one must also consider the devastating effect that would have on Island businesses. Imagine losing the patronage of so many.
There’s another irony to consider here. Undoubtedly a high percentage of COER members are anti-military types who complain bitterly about military spending. Yet they have no problem with demanding that the Navy, the U.S., the taxpayer, you, pay the billions it would take to relocate the Growlers and devastate the lives of thousands.
The gall and arrogance of the COER amaze me.