Senator Patty Murray
154 Russell Senate Office building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Murray:
As you are aware, the citizens of Whidbey Island have an issue with noise generated by aircraft operations at the Whidbey NAS, and OLF. The noise at OLF has become so intolerable that a group of citizens banded together and filed a lawsuit against the US Department of the Navy. In response to the lawsuit the Navy has put a moratorium on operations at OLF and has committed to issuing an Environmental Impact Statement. This issue will probably be settled in the courts.
With this controversy underway I was astonished to read a press release, dated November 8, 2013, from NAS Whidbey indicating that the Royal Australian Air Force is going to start training at NAS Whidbey. It appears that they have purchased 12 EA-18G (Growler) airplanes from Boeing and the crews will be trained by US Navy personnel at NAS Whidbey. This will be a three-year training program.
The base Commander, Captain Michael Nortier, has been complaining that, due to the moratorium, flight operations at Ault Field were being compromised. Apparently, there is not adequate infrastructure to accommodate existing aircraft at the field. Why should we compromise combat readiness in order to facilitate Boeing aircraft sales?
I support Boeing. After all, as a Washington taxpayer, I just contributed another $10 billion to enhance their bottom line. Why should I have to endure additional jet noise from a foreign country to relieve Boeing of the responsibility to provide training facilities for its aircraft sales program? Why should a US taxpayer have to eat the cost of training pilots of a foreign country?
We hear a great deal about governmental intrusion. Why don’t we hear more about the government subsidizing private industry?
John R. Thompson