2009: The final nail in the OLF coffin?

The US Navy's "divide and conquer" strategy has tried to pit down east North Carolina communities against one another, but judging from the strength of local opposition across the board, it seems unlikely to work. Ham-handed from the get-go, the Navy still has not made a case (convincing or otherwise) that a North Carolina based Outlying Landing Field is important to its strategic readiness. That said, do there appear to be some cracks in the opposition?

The people in our community don’t understand how this (airfield) will disrupt their lives,” he said during a joint meeting of the Currituck and Camden boards of commissioners Monday at the Currituck Cooperative Extension Service office in Barco.

Currituck Commissioner Vance Aydlett agreed. He said residents of the northern end of Currituck — the area closest to the Hale’s Lake site that the Navy is currently studying for the OLF — seem more concerned about the OLF than those in the southern end.

“We need to do a better job of informing residents countywide,” Aydlett said. “This is not a Moyock issue, it’s a county issue.

Camden Commissioner Garry Meiggs said he was surprised to learn that Currituck residents aren’t more concerned about the possible siting of an OLF in northeastern North Carolina. During the recent fall elections in Camden, the Navy’s study of sites in Hale’s Lake and neighboring Gates County for an OLF was the most important issue, he said.

I have a feeling Currituck County is counting on Marc Basnight to use his legendary super powers to stop the Navy in its delusional tracks. But you never know.

One interesting tidbit from the news story:

Currituck and Camden hired French West Vaughn to spearhead lobbying efforts against the OLF being located in Camden. Greer Beaty said her firm has been successful getting out the anti-OLF message to residents and government officials statewide. The firm has been able to generate some buzz about the counties’ opposition to the OLF in major media markets as well, she said.

“We’ve gotten coverage in major newspapers and online Web sites such as MSNBC.com,” Beaty said.

Guess that makes BlueNC chopped liver?

Comments

The NOOLF crowd did a better job than the hired lobbyists

I haven't heard anything locally and I haven't seen anything on MSNBC. The grassroots effort of the Washington County No OLF'ers was far more effective.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

On MSNBC

Chris Matthews, on the Flight 1549 story, said he had never heard the term "bird strike" before. When I heard him say that, I remarked that he was obviously not paying attention to the fight against putting an OLF in a bird sanctuary.

The Washington County folks

did make a stronger case for a variety of reasons.

The amount of documentation the Navy provided for that fight was staggering. It made comments toward farming, economics, local government controls, eminent domain, wildlife, wildlife impacts, etc.

The scope of the Navy's arrogance for that process was way over the top. What ever you felt strong about, the Navy was impacting it. That process enabled a whole variety of interests to come together for one purpose.

The Navy has not provided any information for this new process. As of 15 Jan, 2008, the only official documentation supporting this OLF is the Notice of Intent.

http://www.olfeis.com/documents.aspx

This document has 2 sentences demonstrating a need based statement. From those two sentences, 5 communities are under the same hell the original 5 counties went through.

The sentences:
"While NALF Fentress will continue providing necessary support for FCLP and other training requirements, this landing field alone cannot fully support training requirements of home-based and transient aircraft from NAS Oceana and NS Norfolk Chambers Field."

AND

"Training requirements for aircraft based at these airfields can exceed NALF Fentress capacity up to 63% of the time during summertime when hours of darkness are limited."

There is more to the paragraph, but to me, those are amplifying the above sentences or support the surge arguement. The above statements are being used for the day to day failures of capacity for the Navy's east coast carrier airwing training for Oceana and Norfolk based pilots. This is the rational for having to build this OLF. This NOI does not address the inconsistencies with this new vs old NEPA process.

I can bias the readers by giving my spin on these two sentences, but I was wondering if someone else could look at these two sentences from the conditional clause aspects stated and see if these are true need based statements or are there so many caveats that these are glorified want statements?

Because their is no amplifying data, it is difficult for organizations to support the NO OLF folks this time. To be fair, how can you agree to fight 2 sentences? There is no information to fight.

Currituck County is long and the southern portion of the county may not have gotten the attention from the NO OLF group that was being presented in the northern part. The Currituck NO OLF movement folks are pressing hard to get the word out. Like everyone else in Camden and Currituck Counties, they have to first learn about this OLF and what it means. Troy and Juanita are learning fast. They are learning both sides of the story so when they do speak, it is from the strength knowledge provides, vice emotion. That knowledge has taken some time to develop.

I expect some outreaching to the South to happen shortly.

Another condition Currituck County has is the southern portion as well as the outer banks has a high frequency of military flights. Many of these flights are headed toward the Dare County bombing range. They may be acclimated to jets and may not understand what all the fuse up north is about. What I saw from this was southern Currituck County is asking for information. I do not believe they have made up their minds either way on this subject.

Camden and Currituck County commissioners are opposed to this OLF. What I see is the Currituck Commissioners asking the NO OLF folks to work on the southern portion as well. To bring them up to speed on what is happening to the county. Peer to peer is better then Government to citizen when expressing a view.

Unlike other news sources

the Daily Advance is not your New York Times or even close to a News and Observer.

Reading some of the DA stories shows many sentence structure problems. Mistakes acceptable for me to make, but not in a paper. The intention of the paper is good, but how they put it on paper sometimes misses the point. Being closer to the story but not at that meeting, I had to read between the lines to figure out what was really being said. My conclusions were supported by talking with someone who was there.

Typically, papers have "the top 10" yearly stories. The DA did this also. The OLF was not a top 10. Even though for the first half of the year, there was an OLF story on going. Many running for office had a "NO OLF" position because it was important to the people.

Not sure if the DA felt that because the story was still "in progress" and not completed that it was not a full story and worthy of consideration to be looked at for top 10 honors. Still, very confusing and difficult to garnish regional support when the regional paper does not include the story as a top 10.

I look at papers as the voice of the community. The DA unintentionally squashed my voice and many others.

Still, the NO OLF is moving forward.

From another regional paper....
http://www.tidewaternews.com/news/2009/jan/14/olf-not-needed-here-or-north-carolina/

Maybe I should continue to write here. Been using the local papers recently to garnish local support and to provide insight to this new group of impacted people. Been working at the grass roots vice state level. With all the election coverage, new administration, etc, working state level would have just disappeared into the background.

This OLF fight is very similar on a state level as it is at the Currituck County level. During the last half of the year, most people were interested in the elections then following this new OLF fight. To be honest, folks where engaged in fighting for the next pres, senator and governor that needed to be addressed NOW, vice continuing an ongoing 9 year trench warfare style fight with the Navy. I know folks at BlueNC have not dropped the fight. Rather, priorities necessitated reshuffling of energies.

My knives are sharp and polished

and ready, willing and able to jump back into the fight.

The regional battlers don't realize they can strengthen their hands by making the issue a state or even national fight. I'm surprised they haven't reached out to us to help spread the word ... but then again, everybody always has more on their to-do list than they have time to do them.

With the switch

by the Navy and the removal of my county as a proposed site, to take on a "lead" role without knowing what the local communities wanted was inappropriate. Folks might actually wanted this. So I have been trying to help by being their for the organizations that ask for it.

I do not wish to impose myself on any group. It is there fight and they have to have a direction. Once the direction is decided, my information can assist them.

I do have questions out to Hagen, Perdue and my state senator on this subject. Im not as vocal, but really, with the lack of information provided by the Navy, kinda hard to fight.

Kinda like going to a boxing match, and one side does not come out of the dressing room until the 15th round and then claims victory because his gloves where "skewed" with lead. The punch looked good to the camera, but was it legitimate? If no one questions the gloves, he wins! Ahhhh, I love thinking like the Navy does. Now to find some lead for my gloves.

I think the fight is one for all of NC.

When it comes down to it, we have to do what's best for the state as a whole, as well as consider the counties' needs.

Love how the Navy works

The Marine Corps, which is a part of the Navy is working on their EIS for the home basing of their F-35 JSF aircraft. Yet the Navy is still figuring out where they will put theirs. The Air Force is working on their West Coast location for their JSF. The Navy???? hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, wonder where their EIS for this project is.

I bet they will be claiming because the carrier version is not "ready" yet, we cannot do an EIS. So we will continue this current NEPA process and cram this OLF down someones throat, and then will do an amendment for when the JSF arrives. Navy, the only place you can put the JSF is a one for one replacement of your CD aircraft. There are two CD Marine Corp squadrons at Beaufort that fly as a carrier air wing and the rest are found at Oceana. Your JSF will be at Oceana. So you might want to start telling us about that noisy little critter.

http://www.newbernsj.com/news/strike_43514___article.html/cherry_fighters.html

and

http://www.newbernsj.com/news/squadrons_43535___article.html/cherry_point.html

The

EIS is here http://www.usmcjsfeast.com/

Cherry Point may get up to 11 of these squadrons. They should be swaps, but I did not read into the full thing.

Not sure if it is a coinsidence or on purpose, but of the links found at this USMC JSF East site, only the Navy's JSF link does not work.

I did send in a question about how will this move and the various alternatives impact the current NEPA process happening around Oceana.

What the heck??

Ya know you're gettin' old when you haven't got a clue what half of the things said in a post mean.

What with the JSF and CD and NEPA and EIS...

I'm betting James knows, though.

Not sure why I posted this...somthin' to do, I guess.

:

The best thinking is independent thinking.

A glossary would help!

EIS is Environmental Impact Study. I don't know what the other ones are!

Parm probably has more info, but

NEPA stands for the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the Federal Government to adhere to provisions in the statute dealing with man/nature impact, JSF (probably) stands for the the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter of which the Navy and USMC will have different versions, and I'm thinking the CD stands for "currently deployed", but I'm not sure.

Many of the acrynoms I used have been

answered except for the CD. It is the older varient F/A-18 CD. These are the oldest model of the F/A-18 in the Navy/Marine Corps inventory. These planes are old and are being replaced by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Sorry for the confusion. I like that there was so many folks fixing the acronyms! You guys are way ahead of most folks regarding this OLF issue! You learned well!

There is a difference in a carrier based squadron and a land based squadron. Both squadrons have to be versed in air to air, air to ground missions and a host of other missions to be an effective squadron. The carrier squadrons need additional training in how to land their aircraft on the back of a carrier in all conditions. This requires the Navy airfields that have carrier squadrons to either have a parallel runway or to have an outlying landing field (OLF). These additional runways enable the pilot to practice the unique way of approaching a carrier.

Because of the relative small size the pilot has to shoot at for landing, he has to come in at a steeper angle then a non carrier landing. This is to provide the pilot with the greatest chance of hitting the "wire". This wire is attached to a dampening engine underneath the flight deck and will bring a plane to a stop in about 350 feet. If the pilot misses the wires, he has to recover from the miss, and get enough airspeed to fly around and try again. For a carrier landing, when a pilot touches down, he is trained to go to full (non-after burner) power on the fair chance he misses the wires so he has the speed to become airborne. There is a guy standing near the end of landing area that will actually tell the pilot to throttle back. This same guy will direct the plane to others "spotters" to his spot on the flight deck where he is to park. 45 to 60 seconds later, another plane is doing the same thing. Very fast and efficient.

Around other military bases, on landings the plane is coming in slow and with minimal power. Their angle of attack (positioning of the plane, nose high, nose low, nose in glide) is such that the greatest lift is achieved for the power setting. This is part of the noise abatement all pilots attempt to do for the community they are flying over.

The Navy cannot do that on a carrier. They have to be at full power and their angle of attack is such that noise is generated. The Navy has a policy that almost every landing is practice for a carrier landing. That is how important this training is. Navy pilots do not gracefully glide to soft 2 or 3 point landing. They have to attack the ground (flight deck) as they have a very small area in which to hit. Navy carrier landings are considered controlled crashes. They have 4 wires that they have to catch. If they miss em, they are wet if they did their landing procedure wrong. The margin of error for a carrier pilot is small. The Nature of the Beast.

With all the above being said, I understand the importance this FCLP practice provides our pilots. Our pilots need to perform this practice. The Navy has set out certain criteria for a practice field to meet our pilots needs. Some, but not all criteria, the airfield must have darkness, the pattern for the racetrack pattern must be 600ft on the down wind leg (running parallel to the actual runway), must be usable 24/7 with minimal interruptions (church services and maintenance as examples), it must be able to duplicate as well as possible what our pilots will face at sea, it must not have to many visual clues that a pilot could use to "cheat" on these patterns, because of the repetitious nature, their cannot be a lot of people near the facility as their quality of life will be greatly diminished and it is not safe for people to live near these patterns. The local community must support the airfield and minimize the encroachment to the airfield so as not to degrade the training to our pilots.

Our pilots do not want to harm the people they have taken an oath to protect, that is counterproductive. They will modify their training to protect the people living under them if they can.

The Navy has a stronger understanding and a much better description of what I wrote for their need for proper training fields for our pilots to practice this critical evolution.

The best dog fighting or bomber pilot in the Navy is useless to a squadron if he cannot land his plane on the back of the carrier. He is only good for one mission.

The Navy has proven that Oceana and Fentress has the capacity to perform this critical training for the Oceana/NS Norfolk based planes. They did an exhaustive EIS study that proved those pilots did not require an additional OLF. The Navy is insisting that now, only Fentress is responsible for performing this mission for our pilots. The Navy has accepted that Oceana cannot or should not be responsible for providing this training along with Fentress. 2005 BRAC determined that Oceana was not the future of naval aviation because of the encroachment on the base by the local government. The Navy's acceptance that Fentress alone is now the only airfield responsible to perform this critical training and this field has a capacity problem is the new rational for this OLF. The Navy is conveniently leaving out the fact that Oceana's parallel runway is their to act as an OLF when Fentress has a capacity shortfall. The home base for any carrier squadron is responsible for providing FCLP practice in the event the OLF cannot complete the training requirements.

Parmea, how can you say that the home base is responsible for this? What facts do you have to justify this statement? Are you just pulling this out of your butt?

Cherry Point is suppose to get 2 F/A-18 EF squadrons. The Navy claimed that the OLF for Cherry Point, MCALF Bogue Field is not set up for carrier FCLP practices (even though the Navy sends planes there to do carrier FCLP practices). These two squadrons will have to perform their FCLP patterns at the home base, Cherry Point. If more then 3 squadrons was to be sent to Cherry Point, an option was to provide Cherry Point with a parallel runway and no OLF. What was the purpose of this new runway? To take on the additional FCLP flight operations that would be generated by those squadrons.

Parallel runways are usable by the Navy for the purpose of performing these additional carrier touch and go operations that other military airfields do not have to do.

Where is Burr, Perdue & Hagan

I want to know where Senator Burr, Senator Hagan and Governor Perdue are?
Senator Burr knows Gates and Camden counties have been under the gun for almost two years and he has not yet met with the citizens. Where the hell is he?

Senator Hagan, not sure about her, she made campaign promises to help the people in northeastern NC fight this OLF ? Still no word from her.

Governor Perdue, it may as well be Gov. Easley sitting in his ivory tower. It didn't take her anytime to ask for campaign money or votes.

The elected leadership must do its job, and it has failed on all sides.

Congress has allowed this to go on for 9 years. Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted to accommodate Virginia Beach greed and encroachment problems. Oceana either needs to be shut down or they need to split the squadrons and use the available capacity along the east coast. This is crazy.

It’s only a matter of time when a serious accident happens at Oceana. Even with 10 new OLF’s, the Jets need to fly into and out of Oceana. Then and only then would the Navy and congress do something like splitting up the squadrons.
By the way no other master jet base has two OLF’s. So it would appear the problem here is the Master Jet Base Oceana.

Kira

In case you haven't noticed,

In case you haven't noticed, that's not exactly on the top of anyone's priority lists. There's this thing called a recession going on. That doesn't mean OLF isn't important, but right now it just has to be relegated to the back burner.

Not sure about that

The Navy LOVES for stuff to be on the back burner, so they can press ahead as they did in Washington County, buying land with strong-arm tactics, pushing people around like they owned the damn place. They'll do that again given the chance.

Vigilance is the order of the day and the commenter is right. Hagan should give Burr a lesson in what it looks like to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. She should hook up with Perdue and put the Navy on notice: No community support = No OLF. Doing so would save taxpayer the enormous costs of legal fees, consultants, surveys, etc., for a project that should just be stopped dead in its tracks right now.

I've got to agree with James, here.

Putting this issue on the back burner would be like finding a lump in your breast but waiting to treat it. The Navy hasn't ignored this issue, and they won't. All of NC needs to understand how significantly an OLF would impact our state. It would create only a few jobs, and increase the damage to wildlife and the agriculture industry of our eastern counties. That would negatively impact the economy.

It's just not right for NC. No OLF in NC.

Split the squadrons

Splitting the squadrons would remove the impetus for the pending $500 million lawsuit by the greedy Virginians.
• This would eliminate the need for an Outlying Landing Field.
• This would eliminate future litigation among the North Carolina counties whom do NOT wish to host this facility.
• The additional OLF will result in an excess of capacity which BRAC is designed to prevent.
• The additional outlying landing field creates additional adverse safety exposure to citizens surrounding the proposed facility, especially in the areas of Camden and Currituck Counties, NC where between 2000 and 2007,
Camden was the 2nd fastest growing county in NC while Currituck was the 5th fastest growing in terms of percentage growth. Moyock's population density is well over 120 people per square mile now based on the current population estimate of 10,000 residents. Moyock, NC is one mile from the proposed landing field.
I believe it would be advantageous of the Navy to consider a three split decision as follows:
Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia – 4 Squadrons
Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, Havelock, North Carolina - 3 Squadrons
MCAS Beaufort, Buaufort, South Carolina. – 3 squadrons plus FRS
No Outlying Landing Field (OLF) would be required with this siting option.
I believe this siting option would far outweigh the negative impacts of the current siting decision.
The benefits of this option will include utilizing the capacity which these facilities already have. Creating an economic stimulus in employment at these facilities. This will lessen the burden on Virginia Beach and Chesapeake residents by reducing noise in these areas.

Neither Gates nor Camden deserves this.

All the sites need to get on board with this answer to Virginia Beach and Chesapeake encroachment problems.
Call the congressional delegation in SC, NC and VA.
Hell, VA will here about this soon enough.
Don’t let them tell you when the squadrons are separated between two or more bases, the operational efficiency of the command is negatively affected. The Navy will consider both single-siting and split-siting Super Hornet squadrons at one or more of the air stations. IT CAN BE DONE , THEY CONSIDERED BEFORE THEY DID THE 8/2 SPLIT.
Each squadron has its own maintenance dept. that is with that squadron. Other work that needs to be completed goes to a depot. IT CAN BE DONE.

Kira