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Don’t military families get enough services? | Letter
According to Mike Welding, Public Affairs Officer at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, the base is assigning pilots and military aircraft to an aerial demonstration in the Strait of Juan de Fuca as part of a family day aboard the aircraft carrier the Nimitz on Friday, June 13.
Although the types of aircraft are not mentioned, this seems an extravagant use of public military funding to provide entertainment for a picnicking crowd of invited guests barbecuing on the flight deck.
Military funding today accounts for well over 50 percent of the federal budget.
Fuel consumption rate of the EA-18G Growler is 1,304 gallons per hour, according to the Department of Defense: Selective Acquisition Report, and the pilots make about $120,000 per year and performing for their families is not a part of their regular service.
There are groups inside the military that provide exhibitions for the public, including the Blue Angels, who were temporarily grounded during the recent sequester as a non-essential activity.
During a time of fiscal constraints on all civilian activities and lack of funding for even our most deserving veterans, Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve believe this a poor use of our public money.
COER’s Cate Andrews asked, “Don’t the families already get enough services provided for them from public funds, such as use of the Navy commissary for all of their shopping needs, and the use of our local hospital and mental health resources?”
And member Ken Pickard said, “Puget Sound is not a playground for the Navy and its personnel, and using military equipment for pleasure seems counter-intuitive.”
The Navy and its Growler noise expansion is an increasingly destructive and divisive problem on the Islands in Puget Sound, pitting Island communities against each other.
COER’s goal is to close the OLF in Coupeville and relocate flight Carrier Landing Practices to locations better suited to the Growler noise with less encroachment.