For OLF or Against OLF? Are those my only options?

I find myself compelled to different degrees by both sides of the argument on this issue. Generally I support something that offers economic development, particularly if it doesn’t do so by just giving tax-breaks to corporations which is just bad long-term policy. It’s also ironic that a year after fighting to keep all of North Carolina’s bases we are now saying we don’t want expansions of some of said bases and new facilities. All that said I’m also a conservationist and would never advocate something that had a major negative impact on fragile wetland environments or agricultural jobs which are the foundation of our State (that’s the State as an entity not just the economy). But this all leaves me wondering, ‘Are these really the only options?’

As for my hair-brained scheme, for some reason when thinking about the OLF I recalled my trip through Scotland last year. While driving through Inverness I saw loads of offshore platforms in their harbor. I was lucky enough to be traveling with a friend who was not only Scottish but had previously worked on oil rigs in the North Sea. From what he told me and what I saw I learned that offshore platforms are mobile (I had previously thought they were fixed) and that they’re brought into Inverness for maintenance/overhaul and storage when not in use. Also I learned that I saw so many because many are being stored or decommissioned as there are less active sites on the North Sea.

Somehow this connected to the OLF issue, especially the need for a field on which to practice carrier landings. Most people think that means they want a safer place for training pilots to practice and therefore what to do it on land. However, the need for a place to practice is because more carriers are in higher states of readiness due to our current “War on Terror” so as more carriers must be ready for action, less of them can be used for training/practice. Also, having spoken to friends in Military Aviation I learned that most of the challenge of a carrier landing is not just that it’s a shorter runway but the fact that you’re hitting a moving target. The fact that they want a land based alternative for safety is not the issue here, it’s just the only alternative if they can’t use actual carriers. So what I thought was why not use some of these unused offshore-platforms (its also one less platform that will be used to drill for oil which are their main negative impact on the environment) to build an offshore landing platform? Well there are probably a million reasons why not to, I don’t really have the resources for a feasibility study, but that’s not my point, my point is that with some creativity and some leadership there has to be some alternatives.

I guess what I'm saying is that if those are my only options, yeah I'm against. What I really would like is someone with the leadership to come up with alternatives to two bad choices.


Well said and recommended.

Marc Basnight also brought up this idea once upon a time . . . as have several others. As far as I know, it's never been taken to heart.

Your comment about the lack of creativity and leadership is right on the money.

By the way

The economic benefit of an OLF in North Carolina is zilch. Zero. Nada. Nothing. As you've observed, it's a strip of concrete with nothing else around it. A problem with zero benefits.


My understanding

was that the proposal included expansions of Cherry point. Also I thought that the landing site included air traffic control facilities to guide and monitor pilots as they practice their landings (or else what's the point?). If I was mistaken on that I withdraw that part of the argument.

If it does include permanent facilities and troops stationed in the state there will be an economic benefit if placed correctly (I understand the, they'll just go to VA arguement).

For Alternative 6

regardless of an OLF being built, Cherry Point will recieve the following (from table 2-19 FEIS):
+24 F/A-18 EF Super Hornets with support personnel (part of the +798 noted below)
$14.6 million in onetime costs upgrades ( a new medical/dental clinic, training facility, ordance magizine)
+798 personnel to the base
+10% increase in aircraft operations without an OLF built (+6% increase with OLF built)
65dB DNL contour increases by 1,931 acres and 228 additional people fall within the contour line.
+2,342 people to the area
+338 school aged children
+$27.3 million net change indirect payroll expenditures
+$1.3 million in tax revenues for Craven and carterete counties

All of the above will happen regardless of an OLF being built or not. Alternative 6 was stated at every public hearing as the Alternative of choice and the Navy is not changing that part of the record of decision.

The OLF will have a control tower to control aircraft in the vacinity and to take direct control of all aircraft within a certian radius around this airfield. An ability to guide the planes simulating carrier aircraft landings. So that part of your question is valid.

The OLF will not have anyone stationed at it. Only a security force 24 hours a day, a fire department, and control tower personnel during flight operations, other facility personnel to maintain facility (janitor, electrician, plumber, facility supervisor, etc.) total 50 - 60 full and part-time civilian employees.

As far as training requirements are concerned for qualifing to land on a carrier, it is a valid requirement to have a certian amount of FCLP operations before a pilot attempts to land on a carrier. One of the problems with landing a plane on a carrier besides the fact the thing is tiny, moving, pitching up and down, is the fact that the pilot should not fly by looking at the flight deck, but at this electronic thing called the "ball". This ball, is a series of lights to the left hand side of the runway and the pilot needs to adjust the plane based on what the ball is telling him.

For a mild example of this, try driving your car by pacing next to another car in the left hand lane while you are in the right hand lane. You cannot look out your windshield until you are 40 feet from the stop sign doing 30 MPH. Something you would not normally try? Pilots are doing something similar.

This training needs to take place and the pilot needs to practice this before they try it on a ship at sea.

While this is a valid need of all pilots in a carrier airwing the current facilities under US Navy control now has plenty of capacity to perform this training. No additional OLF is needed. The Navy has stated that they will continue to use Fentress as well as Oceana to perform carrier practices whether this OLF is built or not.

They drew a line

Site C was chosen by drawing a line between VA and Cherry Point. Is it all that surprising that they have shown zero creativity?

For those that dont support any OLF though, the issue for them is that the Navy has yet to say why they want them. They used to say they didnt need one, now they are buying land. Its very odd.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

who made

this one:

i love it.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"


Very great.


PS Bet that milk is sour.

good idea

I can make an expiration real subtle up at the top where it currently says Feb.

I Didn't Make it

But I LOVE it!

Can you hear me laughing?


Man, you're gonna get hired as a professional planner by da Navy. You did in five minutes what cost them $20 million reverse engineered consulting!

Any outside the box

thinking such as the platforms you mentioned, building a man-made island someplace, utilizing simulators to reduce the actual number of real FCLP operations would all have to be reviewed and a paradigm shift by the Navy would have to occur.

The problem with that is many of the people of the Navy is they do not think outside the box. They are not prepaired to belief that the way we have done it for 70 years can be improved upon. We need a dry, flat, dark, 8000 foot runway to practice on. Something might go wrong and we need that 8000 feet for emergencies, we cannot fly out to a floating platform because it will be to small and narrow and will not be viable in storms and simulators do not simulate the actual feel of flying the BALL.

Remember how hard it was for the Navy to accept that the battleship was obsolete before WW2. Even when a plane sank an old German BB, the Navy admirals did not accept that an airplane could actually sink a ship.

The Navy admirals and their thinking has not evolved to much past that logic.

They firmly belief that if they want it, the people should give it to them.

Could the Navy build a platform like you mentioned, sure....however, this platform would have to be placed a few miles off the coast somewhere. A few miles for noise mitigation purposes as the first reason for this second OLF was to provide noise mitigation for Hampton Roads. To get out to that platform would require a way to get there, boat, would reguire some folks to be out there 24/7 to guard it (national asset training device, cant just let it float around unguarded, terrorist sink it, and we are back to current problem, OOOO wait, dont matter, still have enough assets to perform mission, but I digress), need generators etc, to power this thing for the electronics to support the ball as well as the control tower and other communications, food preperations, etc. It would also have to be in a place where if a plane did crash, the fuel and oils would not become a health hazard. Would this thing have to be draged 12+ miles out to satisfy that requirement? not sure.....


It would also have to be in a place where if a plane did crash, the fuel and oils would not become a health hazard.

Those fuels and oils would also be a health hazard if a plane crashed on an OLF built on Site C. Even if they had already gotten rid of all the birds and other wild life. The oils, etc. would still seep into the eco-system, unless they plan to totally concrete over the entire site. How ridiculous would that be?

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

while your question

has merit, you are assuming the people who you are asking this question about (US Navy) where rational people.

With that in mind, the Navy has stated that the F/A-18 EF is the safest aircraft ever built, so they firmly belief that no plane would ever crash thus the concern of fires due to crashes, planes plowing into pregnant women, planes having to be abandoned because of stress on the airframe due to an excessively hard landing would never happen. OOOOO wait, everyone of those things has already happened with other aircraft the Navy has stated is the safest ever built. Every aircraft is the safest ever built, else they could not sell it and fly it around populated centers.

Most descriptions of a carrier landing is described as a "controlled crash" when the plan touches down. Navy planes do not glide in and gracefully flare and touch down, they attack the ground with the intent they are missing and must be prepared to fly off again in an extremely short amount of time.

Carrier based planes all have beefed up suspensions just for this philosophy. So how many crashes will happen at this OLF? hopefully only the controlled crashes intended.

At the Hyde Co. hearing...

Someone mentioned that annually approx. 300,000 tons of oil, jet fuel,
and Lord know what else is collected in troughs under the runway and is pumped directly into the ocean.

What happens to the fuel collected inland that is not located near the Ocean? Where does that collected pile of ---- go? Into our drinking water? No wonder Virginia Beach is stealing North Carolina's water from Lake Gaston.

Blue Angel Crashes at S.C. Air Show

The Blue Angels fly F/A-18 Hornets at high speeds in close formations, and their pilots are considered the Navy's elite. They don't wear the traditional G-suits that most jet pilots use to avoid blacking out during maneuvers. The suits inflate around the lower body to keep blood in the brain, but which could cause a pilot to bump the control stick _ a potentially deadly move when flying inches from other planes.

Instead, Blue Angels manage G-forces by tensing their abdominal muscles.


There aren't any 50-70 jobs. That was another lie the Navy has told.

They said in the 2004 GOv's study panel, the OLF will bring 5-7 low paying jobs to the area.

The panel asked the Navy this question, What happens if an aircraft is grounded due to operational problems, would the pilots at least stay in a hotel overnight?...
Answer: absolutely not, they would be flown back to VA that day.

The Navy said this is the first example in their history where a military installtion will not bring any monetary benfit to an area but create a deficit.

The No-OLFer's are not looking for military handouts/welfare.

The off shore platform was actually touted in one of the Navy's offical reports as a possiblity for a floating military base of the future. But their current marching orders (circa 2000)are not in that direction.

That 50 new full and part time lie

was stated in the FEIS 8 diffrent times. I like to try to use the Navy's own statements when I can just to show how ludicrious the Navy's assumptions and "facts" are.

To this date, the Navy has never published these jobs. But I would also have to question the 5 - 7 number of the Gov study. You would need 4 shifts of 40 hour workers just to guard the place, one to mow the lawns, one to clean the handfull of buildings, one technician to maintain and power on the BALL and other electronics needed to communicate and control the airspace, one technician to run the two arresting gear, one to paint the buildings, plus one guy to over see the entire thing.

So the real answer is between the 5-7 of the Gov and the 50 of the Navy. But looking at the above, it wont be 50 as you have corrected the Navy on.

Guess I will put that in as a question to the Navy at one of my favorite websites...

Just what are the true jobs about to be realized for operating this OLF?

Will be just that.
public comments web page good til may 9.


We have been trying to get a copy of the 2004 Gov. Study Panel transcript.

That transcript has the Navy referring to more squadrons for Cherry Point if the OLF is located near the base. NOT SITE E.

As par for the course, none of the officers who testified in those hearings are currently working on the OLF project. Therefore, we are left with little accountability regarding any of their statements.

I will check on the project manager to see if he attended any of the Gov's panel hearings, oh wait a minute he's also been replaced by Ms. Francine Bland.

There is no true need for the proposed "new" OLF

The Navy said so themselves.

We fight to keep NC bases open. Surely, as long as they are viable & serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things. The proposed Navy OLF (at any site, not just Site C) is, again, not needed. They have been taunting this "surge" need for some time now, yet we have had no pilots get killed during takeoffs or landings during our presence in Iraq. However, one went down yesterday during a show?? On flat ground???

Proposed Site C is less than one mile from a very large National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 100,000 migratory waterfowl for 6 months out of the year. As a matter of fact, the Navy has some of its proposed buyout land ADJACENT to the land from the WLR. They don't you tell this in the SEIS.

20 pound (minimum) birds + $50 million (minimum) jets = MAJOR (minimum) disaster.

I gave both sides the benefit of the doubt

When crafting this post, as much as possible I tried to take the comments of both sides at face value. A lot of times you don't need to resort to accusing the other side of lying or grand conspiracies to show your arguement is the stronger. Objectively I find some of the claims made by those positing the no-OLF position to be dubious or extreme, there's no need to get that far into it though, as the arguement is won on a fairly basic level. I won't go so far as to say there's no need for name-calling though, I have no problem poking fun at the opposition when it's deserved, it's just that sometimes it can be detrimental to your point.

As to the lack of creativity of the Navy and the need for paradigm shift, I think they're smarter and more aware of it than some people commenting would have you believe, I think the Ford-class carriers give some evidence to that, as well as some of the changes in special ops. To a large extent I would think they're victims of the priorities of the people signing the checks (which until the past election was a congress uninterested in questioning the Administration). Sadly I think the priorities of the political leadership (the Administration) is mass and political expediency, percieved security rather than actual security. Furthermore, I think this proposal was probably fairly low on the Navy's priorities and may not exactly be representative of their best minds. What's disappointing though is that once it was clear there was fairly broad opposition to the proposal they couldn't get some of their brighter minds on the project to come up with some sort of compromise, assuming this was something important, it apparently was not. Perhaps that's the best indication that this wasn't ever something they needed as some have said.

That is why I am always hitting this

What's disappointing though is that once it was clear there was fairly broad opposition to the proposal they couldn't get some of their brighter minds on the project to come up with some sort of compromise, assuming this was something important, it apparently was not. Perhaps that's the best indication that this wasn't ever something they needed as some have said.

I was in Virginia Beach for the 1993 and 1995 BRAC and heard how the Navy worked and convinced the people there that it was a good idea to single site the squadrons etc etc etc. Then I was questioning the smarts of single siting as well as the noise that was going to come with all those planes.

When the Navy moved the birds and a second OLF was not recognized then as a requirement all I was able to do was note that. At the time, I knew I would not live in VA, was not registered in VA and was just a fly on the wall.

Once I moved to North Carolina, I found out that a proposed OLF was potentially coming to my back yard. I KNOW the implications of what an OLF does as far as quality of life would be.

What I started to notice was alot of people did not truely know what was about to be placed in NE NC. I started this process by trying to figure out what noise was and what kind of noise was going to befall us. From there, I was forced to read many of the documents regarding this OLF. I have not read every page and every word, but I doubt if anyone has, even in the Navy.

So most of my posts have been educational in nature. Why I post so often is the Navy has made comments that contridict their own documentation or instructions. I will not let them do that and not call them on it. Sometimes I have to get into the weeds to get my point across, but along the way, I have given more insight into what is happening to us.

Failing to continually bring this up will allow apathy and complasincy to creep into the people of NE NC and the next thing they know is a plane will be touching down 3 miles from a refuge. If not for people being on them Washington/Beaufort County site would have broken ground 3 years ago, and pilots would be training at that site today. This winter, those pilots would be more worried about what bird they are going to ingest then performing the training they need. Something that just about every elected official has come to realize.

Most of these officials were not prepaired to make any kind of oposition in 2003 and the Navy was banking on that. Look at the fact that the 2008 contruction bill has Washington County in it for $10 million. This request was presented to the congress in February even before the DSEIS was released.

Yes the Navy has a lot of very smart folks. But the Navy also has an agenda that these folks are duty bound to strive to attain. They are doing this to the best of their ability and will continue to do that until they are given diffrent marching orders. That is what I am striving for. Marching orders that will be in the best interest of Naval Aviation on a long range plan, not short term bandaid.

Yes the Navy is probably going to giveup on site C, but site A, B, D and E are just as equal in the eyes of the Navy and looking at the documentation presented by the elected officals, our officials do not realize this. Once I start seeing folks stating any site in NE NC is bad if the people do not wish it, then I will feel safer. Lt. Gov. Perdue is of this accord. Others need to be working on that.

This is what we need to be sure that our officials get

Once I start seeing folks stating any site in NE NC is bad if the people do not wish it, then I will feel safer. Lt. Gov. Perdue is of this accord. Others need to be working on that.

No OLF. Not in NC. Not Site C. Not Anywhere in NC. That's what they all need to understand.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi