Letters to the Editor

Letter inaccurate and filled with mistruths | Letter

Editor,

Maryon Attwood’s letter on June 14 is rife with untruths and misconceptions.

The U.S. Department of Defense budget is not “well over 50 percent of the federal budget.” It is 18 percent, while both Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are larger, together comprising more than 50 percent of the federal budget.

Most Naval aviators and flight officers do not make $120,000 a year.

A four-year lieutenant — about the median for Aviators/NFOs — base pay is just shy of $60,000 a year. Add in flight pay and other allowances and you have in the neighborhood of $80,000 a year. Not bad, but not near the $120,000 I got 15 years ago as a Boeing 737 captain.

All Navy flying is done within an existing budget. All flying is valuable training. Demonstration flying is particularly useful, as it requires considerable planning and discipline.

If naval aviators have one overarching gripe since time immemorial, it Is that they don’t get to fly as much as is desirable to stay at top proficiency.

Yes, flying Navy jets is fun much of the time, but mostly it is hard, demanding and often dangerous work.

As for being overcompensated, you couldn’t pay me enough for my 121 night carrier landings, especially those in the F-8 aboard modified War II vintage Essex class carriers, or for 200 combat missions.

Bob Harrison

Oak Harbor

 

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