You may not know it, here in northeastern NC we are STILL battling to save our future and way of life. The Navy is seeking to place an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) in Camden County that will remove up to 53,000 acres of valuable, productive farmland from the county’s tax rolls.
Please keep in mind that the OLF will not create any jobs for our community and will not be of economic benefit to our area. We have discovered that the current OLF at Fentress Field in Chesapeake, Virginia, employs only 38 military personnel (Section 126.96.36.199 of the 2003 FEIS) and has attracted virtually no economic development.
The additional OLF in Camden County is to serve the Master Jet Base at Oceana Naval Air Station located approximately 30 miles over the state line in Virginia Beach, VA. The Master Jet Base already has four runways that the Navy is not using to their full capability because Virginia Beach residents have sued the Navy in the past and are currently suing the Navy over property and noise damage *yet their community receives over $1 billion a year from the base’s squadrons.* This is simply an exportation of noise from a wealthier locality to a relatively poor and rural area.
Here is our proof that the Navy and the City of Virginia Beach have entered into an agreement that restricts the use of the Navy’s existing runways at Oceana Naval Air Station for Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLP). FCLPs are simply touch and go landing operations that occur primarily at night whereby Navy jet aircraft simulate landing and taking off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. http://www.vbgov.com/file_source/dept/planning/Document/JLUS_Ch4.pdf
I am simply a mother who is in fear of losing everything we have. We formed our group, Concerned Citizens Against the OLF in Camden, Inc., approximately one year ago to stop the unfair burden of an OLF from falling on northeastern North Carolina due to decades of uncontrolled development around the Master Jet Base in Virginia Beach. We have the support of our local commissioners in both Camden and Currituck Counties. We like to think we have also have the support of our federal and state representatives. We have yet to hear from Senator Burr. We even went to visit his office in DC.
We are a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the cultural heritage, the environment, and the economic vitality of Northeastern North Carolina.
It is important to remember, the Navy already has 4 high performance runways they are not using, why spend hundreds of millions of dollars on something they don't need?
Your support is greatly appreciated.
Please visit our website at www.noolfcurrituck.org
You'll find support here, Kiera.
No OLF - anywhere in NC. I don't think they need one, and I think that they're going to try and get it through when people are more focused on the economy. Our job will be to show them what a bad economic move this would be - as well as the environmental disaster it is sure to be.
Just keep sounding off, and let us know what we can do.
I definitely want to get more involved and put a stop to this.
A Smut-Filled Tome
A difficult question
As a former Navy officer, I am torn between the needs of the services for adequate facilities for training, and residents of Eastern NC who do not want such a facility in their backyard. As progressives, we need to acknowledge the necessity of such training facilities.
I can't speak to the specific conditions at NAS Oceana. But from military standpoint, the idea of a facility remote from the NAS for emergency use and for variation in training conditions does make sense. I wasn't a pilot, but I was a sailor, and underway operations on a destroyer are much different in the North Atlantic in February than from the Persian Gulf in July, and our sailors need to know how to operate in all those conditions. Similarly, pilots of military jets need to train in varying conditions. Furthermore, the remote landing facility provides a measure of force protection in the case of an attack. Being able to disperse people and equipment is essential.
Please don't take my comments as opposing the efforts of those in Camden County. But those who oppose the OLF location should put forward reasonable alternatives, and "unused" runways at NAS Oceana don't meet the Navy's requirements.
The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR
The Navy's "strategy"
for the long range viability of NAS Oceana is non-existent. Encroachment around Oceana has made the facility untenable, both politically and for a host of safety reasons. The idea of an OLF in NE North Carolina (not a new base, just a touch-and-go airstrip) does nothing to meet the real challenges they say they're facing.
MCAS Cherry Point is already available and could be used for the interim needs until a longer range plan is developed ... which would likely include moving out of Virginia Beach altogether to Texas, SC, Georgia, or elsewhere.
Close reading of the case for the OLF reveals that there is no case. It's not really a NIMBY problem as I see it, it's a strategy problem: There is no strategy that anyone who has studied the issue can understand.
PS It's my understanding that the Cherry Point option is off the table because Navy pilots and Navy brass like living in Norfolk and don't want to have to hunker down with a bunch of grunts in the flatlands of NC.
James..it seems to me MCAS Cherry Point is too far away from NAS Oceana to be considered a viable OLF for the Oceana-based squadrons -- about 80 NM based on my rusty navigation skills. The round trip itself would require in-flight refueling.
I don't know if that's a deal breaker...
The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR
Two of the proposed OLF sites are almost as far from Oceana ... so it may not be a big issue. The larger point is that the Navy is going to have to move a bunch of planes out of Oceana anyway ... and when they do that, they won't need the OLF anymore. Moving those planes to MCAS would kill several birds with one stone (no pun intended).
Plus, a lot of the most vocal people in the Havelock area want the squadrons located there. Of course, lots more in who focus on tourism dollars (Morehead City and along the coast) want the whole mess to move to Texas.
"One bomb will get 'em all"
Concentration of more military in eastern NC would be bad from a force protection standpoint, although the BRAC people seem to love massing everything together. Consolidation is good for the taxpayers, you know.
Many in NC don't realize that Ft. Bragg will soon have a 4-star command, and something like 30 total general officers by 2012 or so. With the growing of the Corps, Camp Lejeune will grow by 10,000+ Marines. Moving Oceana's operations to Cherry Point would overwhelm an already stretched transportation and pubic utilities infrastructure.
The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR
Looks like Gov. Mike
agrees with the Cherry Point option.
The OLF is not to give variations in training
Ideally, the pattern is flown the exact same every time all the time. Dark, rain, light, does not matter. Later in the day after the jet went down near Miramar, the executive(?)officer for Oceana came on the TV and stated that if it was a bad thing, the pilot would be directed to stay over water vice try to fly over the population centers to land. Ditch the plane. Fentress for many years had a disabled F-14 that had a problem with one its wheels that decomissioned the jet. The plane was divereted to Fentress instead of landing at Oceana. So Fentress had that capacity at one time. Development may have taken that option away from the Navy and is now forcing them to ditch? unknown.
Force dispersal was never mentioned by the Navy as a rational. The facility does not have hangers to house a large contingency of planes, no ordnance to fight with no maintenance and a limited amount of fuel.
This OLF primary purpose is a place for the pilots to practice touching down on th deck of a carrier. The field actually has a flight deck painted on it. It has the same meatball light system the pilot will use on the carrier. The only thing not duplicated is the waves. The pilots does between 6 and 10 (now) orbits touching down and then flies home. They do not stop at the field. Up to 5 planes can be in the pattern actually bouncing.
If you ever been chasing a carrier doing plane guard, and on the bridge you saw the jets doing their landings that they practice at the OLF. Thats all the field is for. Those race track orbits.
You stated that your torn between the Navy's need for adequate facilities to perform the training...The Navy told NE NC that they do not require an OLF if all the planes are stationed at Oceana. Well, most of the planes will be stationed there. The two going to Cherry Point do not require an special OLF. Cherry Point can support all the bouncing those pilots and planes need. So the Navy has the capacity at Oceana.
Now the Navy is claiming they do not have enough darkness to perform the mission. But they are also saying they do not have an encroachment problem. Folks like me say the Navy has an encroachment problem which is forcing the Navy not to fly the racetrack in the same way they would at the ship. Another part of that encroachment is if the surrounding area is so bright that the pilots are not getting the "night landing" training they require. Again, that light is encroachment. something the Navy stated 18 Sept is managable. Which indicates to me that if the lights are managable, then turn them off. May sound simple, but really, that is what the Navy is doing at the 2nd OLF site. They will condemn or have you sign an restrictive use easement saying you will not complain about jet noise and you will not do anything that effectively screws with our practices. On the survice, that sounds good, but when the Navy fails to impose those same constraints around Oceana and Fentress, it begs the question is the Navy being fair and is the Navy doing what is proper.
If the Navy gets rid of the encroachment that is causing no FCLP flights after 11pm and the light that is degrading the training, the Navy will find they have plenty of darkness capacity to perform the FCLP and touch and goes they need to perform. The pilots will be adiquetly trained. NO 2nd OLF required.
What many of the problems with the Navy's proposals is they intend to hammer a NC community with condemnation and exclusive use easements because of the encroachment problems that occurred around Oceana facilities. The Navy is not imposing any of those restrictions around Oceana to the scale envisioned at the 2nd OLF site. First off, the Navy's intended actions should only be done to a community that has documented proof that they will not support the military mission. Many if not all the thinks the Navy is intending to do to the 2nd OLF host community, should be being done right now at the Oceana facilities. The Navy will not and has stated that it is the local governments responsibility to fix any problems. Around Oceana, the Navy is saying what ever encroachment is around the base is manageable and no further heavyhanded tactics are needed. At the 2nd OLF site, the Navy will not even tell the community leaders what the requirements are, but the Navy is already coming in and usurping the local governments authority. The Navy is out of hand condemning, threating to condemn and requiring restrictive use easements on many acres of land. Some of their documentation shows them either condemning for the convience of the government or property owner out to the 60 dB DNL contour line. The Navy will not entertain doing that around Oceana Fentress or the space between the two bases. If the right property is offered up, the Navy might buy it. At the 2nd OLF site, the Navy intends to use easements to minimize the amount of land under their direct control. They intend to let folks live, farm, etc the land but only under their direction. The Navy does not have close to what they are planning on controlling at Oceana.
Read the Navy's handouts provided at the scoping meetings. this what the Navy used as their hello community, we would like to partner with you on a joint community venture...
read the language of the noise zones (scroll down) The envisioned footprint for that grey area is 30,000 acres. Thats huge. For Fentress and Oceana the land and the restrictive use easements is right at 20,000. So for one field to protect the military mission of landing on the back of a carrier, the Navy will control that much land. Oceana has 4 runways, and Fentress has one. Is the Navy condemning and controlling properties fairly? is the Navy establishing the same first rate training facilities at all their facilities?
Dont'f forget that that Navy is also looking at Gates County as a site for the OLF.
Yes, please we do not need to make that
opps again. The two sites need to be viewed as one. You mention Gates and Camden should roll off your tongue. The first fight everyone targeted on Washington County. A lot had to do with the Navy zeroing in on that site. But still, we of the other sites had to fight hard to be heard. I think if we did not get in with the Washington County folks our politicians at the state level would not have understood why we where even in the fight. The Washington County folks where extremely pleased with our representation and welcomed us. We worked with them, mostly behind the scenes, but we where standing side by side with each other as equals in that fight.
I still appreciate the hard work folks did at all the sites.
We should not forget Gates County in this fight. The issue is one and the same whether it is Gates or Camden. No NC community should be forced to literally surrender itself for the sake of Va. Beach and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Question Is
What is Bev Perdue going to do about it? She can stop this now. Will she? This OLF is not needed. The Oceana/Fentress complex has more than enough runway capacity to meet its needs. The Navy's assertion in the Notice of Intent that Fentress is "over capacity" is both insulting and demeaning to NC residents. Did they not think we could read and figure out that FCLP operations at Oceana are RESTRICTED? The Navy has agreed with Virginia Beach and acted as a partner in developing the Hampton Roads Joint Land Use Policy that restricts FCLP operations at Oceana. Are you kidding me??? FCLP operations are RESTRICTED at the East Coast Master Jet Base? There's your capacity problem right there. It is SELF IMPOSED by the Navy and Virginia Beach.
Clearly, Oceana cannot perform the mission. It needs to be closed. If FCLP operations are restricted there, what good is it as a Master Jet Base? By partnering with Va. Beach on this Hampton Roads Joint Land Use Policy, the Navy is admitting that Oceana cannot perform its mission. Knowing this, they still want to come and destroy a community in NC.
There is no "capacity" problem at Fentress. The problem is that the Navy does not WANT to use the available capacity they have at Oceana because of noise complaints and encroachment and have thus created an artificial "capacity" problem at Fentress.
Beverly Perdue, are you listening? The Navy has at least two high performance runways at Oceana/Fentress. That's the same number of runways that the West Coast Master Jet Base at Lemoore CA uses with a similar aircraft loading. They don't seem to be in dire need of an OLF out there. Why? The answer to that question is the reason we know that an OLF is not needed here.
Ms. Perdue, a community in your state is about to be destroyed to protect the economic viability and the quality of life in Virginia Beach. As the newly elected leader of this state, what are you going to do to protect your citizens? I certainly hope you will do more than your predecessor did.
Ms. Perdue, did you know that Virginia Beach is still not complying fully with BRAC? That new residential construction is STILL going up within the APZ-1 zones within 1 mile of the runways at Oceana? I thought BRAC ordered Va. Beach to both halt and roll back existing encroachment. You know what the officials in Va. Beach told me when I asked about all the new development? It is grandfathered. That's right. In Virginia it is called "by-right" development, meaning that if the property was zoned residential prior to BRAC, the developer can still build brand new homes within the APZ areas!
Further, BRAC ordered Va. Beach to expend no less than $15 million a year to purchase AND condemn all incompatible development around Oceana. Well, Va. Beach has decided that the money is better spent buying up UNDEVELOPED properties around Oceana while rendering existing encroachment as part of a "voluntary" buy back program. So Va. Beach is spending millions buying undeveloped properties that can be controlled through zoning anyway. It is clear, they have no intention of condemning any existing encroachment around Oceana.
But NC residents are going to be forced to bear the burden of an OLF that the Navy does not need. Ms. Perdue, your state is about to be dumped on (yet again) by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Remember Lake Gaston? You can stop this!
How about a series of posts
covering the OLF ... where things stand, who's on first, etc., etc. There was a lot of energy around NO OLF here at BlueNC last year. It can be rekindled.
From all I can see, the Navy is flying blind right now. A comprehensible master plan for handling their needs does not exist. Or if it does, it is being kept secret.
James, I Agree
The Navy does seem to be flying blind. What is the long range plan? All they will say publicly is that they intend to stay at Oceana and I believe them. Adm Anderson has directly linked the future viability of Oceana with this OLF. Our fear here in Camden/Currituck is that once this new OLF is constructed, the Navy will close Fentress and ALL of the FCLP operations will be shifted to this new OLF.
This is about noise in Virginia pure and simple. Noise. In looking at the old FEIS from 2003, the noise contours really don't change considerably around Oceana and Fentress even with a new OLF. What will change in Virginia is the PERCEPTION of the residents up there. Folks up there don't much care about jet noise during the daytime when they are at work. It is at night when they are trying to have dinner or sleep or do homework with their kids that it upsets them. By shifting all of the nighttime FCLPS out to a new OLF in NC, the Navy appeases those residents in Virginia who have already sued and received a settlement from the Navy and those who are suing now to the tune of $500 million.
Of course, appeasing Virginians will do little to improve pilot safety, safety of the residents on the ground, and the fidelity of Oceana. The Navy and Virginia Beach seem willing to take that risk. The Navy wants to stay in Virginia Beach. And Virginia Beach wants to continue reaping the huge economic benefits.
I think a series of posts covering the OLF is a great idea. This issue has NOT gone away. The Navy seems intent on railroading some community in NC into taking this OLF whether we want it or not. Sadly, the Navy doesn't seem to have learned anything about dealing with the local population from the Washington County fiasco. They are still communicating very little with the residents here. In fact, they STILL haven't even told us how we got back on the list even though we were removed in preliminary screening in 2002. I guess we'll find out along with everyone else when the DEIS comes out.
The Navy will not close Fentress
the Navy will let or a senator or congressman from VA will push a BRAC with the requirement not to look at Oceana for closure to see if their is excess capacity on the east coast and where can assets be merged. Oceana might be looked at again for closure, but again, the Navy will not have a solution to the problem. Closure will not be a viable option. So people will continue to live in incompatible locations, our pilots will continue to have to practice not as they will see at the ship and the Navy will still allow encroachment to dictate how to train our pilots. Oceana was identified as having to much capacity by the 1995 BRAC and to take advantage of it, jets slated for Cherry Point where redirected to Oceana. This stopped additional capacity growth from happening around Cherry Point. When the Navy talks, they also have to address those issues. They also have to explain what has changed in FCLP requirements in that time. The 2003 FEIS and follow on review in the DSEIS shows me that these documents were looked at by the Navy a bunch of times but also by outside entities. WYLE Laboratories seems an up front group and same with ATAC corporation. They did the studies that the Navy used in the FEIS and DSEIS. NO modifications to their supplementary data for Oceana or Fentress was released meaning to me that data was accepted by the Navy, again. It passed the litmus test of accuracy. That data concluded an OLF was not required. Now the Navy has to explain why those studies passed for so long and then all of a sudden failed.
So the Navy is not going to close Oceana, they are going to let the next BRAC force them to close an OLF. Which will be Fentress. The existing agreement of no FCLP will stayin force around Oceana and the 2nd OLF gets all the NOISE and safety problems of night flights so the people of VA BCH can sleep at night and the politicians can count the revenue the Navy hands them.
I like to say facility complex at Oceana as the Oceana skipper or commander is in charge of Oceana, Fentress and NS Norfolk. Any of these fields can interchange missions as he sees fit. If one field cannot do a mission, all he has to do is tell his operations boss to manupulate the schedule and problem solved. Very nice set up. No one has to try to figure out what each field is doing. One guy is responsible for that. And these fields have been doing that for some time. Again, not a new thing, regardless of what the Navy is going to tell is in their DEIS.
I also agree that the Navy is going to ram this down a site. To fly to the VA sites requires cutting through Norfolk international airspace. They are in-charge of that air space. So either they fly south into NC, which they can do, or request clearance and cut across all those people, which they are not going to do. The "smart" bet is NC gets the shaft.
Yes Felix, copy the documents on the Navy's historical documentation page so you have that stuff on ur puter. While the Navy may claim its historical now, it was good enough to condemn a community out of 30,000 acres. What ever changes comes along now should be compared to what was said before and everything questioned. So learn that stuff. You sound extremely knowledgeable. The Navy aint gonna like you. The Navy probably was not please with me.
Get your communities to write questions at the public hearings. Make the Navy look foolish with saying the same 7 or 8 canned answers to the publics questions. Watch that E&E group doing some of the studies for the Navy. Look at their studies from a scientific point of view.
Everything the Navy does should be reviewed from
How is it being done around Oceana/Fentress now?
How is it proposed around Oceana/Fentress?
How is it being proposed at the 2nd OLF site?
How was it proposed in the old study?
How was it done in the old study?
What is the diffrence and why the diffrence from the old study to the new study?
How is it actually being done?
Was their any other way the Navy claimed in the past that is not being demonstrated now?
why I say how is it actually being done? because the Navy said for day to day operations for impact you on paper, they took the total number of operations and divided by 365 and said thats how many you can expect. But then would say ooo we do not fly that way, we fly cyclic. Well then show the cyclic numbers. show the highest and lowest impacts to me. as well as the avg. Then I can see the true impact to me. What you can think of at 6:45am...bla...
Another thing.....I have looked and I have never found anything in a BRAC recommendation that says Oceana needs a 2nd OLF. By the ommission of the requirement for and OLF and for the inclussion of things already in place like the JLUS and spelling out pamphlets to use vice Navy studies I have made the leap of faith that 2005 BRAC reviewed and found that an OLF was indeed not required, but because the Navy was not breaking any laws, did not say do not build this OLF.
I just want a different set of eyes looking at the BRAC decision and discussion and did the BRAC either bless, require or imply the Navy should/could have this OLF in addition to the 6 things enumerated in the findings. I know BRAC knew about the Navy building it. I just do not know if the Navy convinced BRAC that this was actually required. Why I am saying this is this would be a nice ace for the Navy. For so long folks like me have been saying BRAC did not say the OLF is required. and for the Navy to drop that bomb, if it is out there.
I mention this as another community out there, I want you to be thinking of any possibliity outthere. Leave no stone unturned so your not blindsided by something crazy from the Navy.
I have not had much to say about the OLF
and shucks Felix took all my thunder!
Felix, I agree with everything you said. Keep at em.
Not sure if you have, but read the OPNAVINST 11010.36B soon to be C version.
Do a google search on OPNAVINST 11010.36C and read slide 32. its kinda funny. The Navy is quoting Spock of the Starship Enterprise, NCC-1701. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one." The only problem is Spock is a fictional character and the Navy is for real. No one really died when Spock got radiated...Only those who live at the 2nd OLF will be condemned.
That is the Navy's philosophy. You are so few in folks. It will be cheaper to condemn you then do what is right for our pilots, the removal of the people living near and under our pilots as they practice to land aboard a carrier at sea around Oceana fields. bye bye you few.....Why does my Navy make we write like this?
The Navy stated "If there was not a house within 100 miles of Oceana and there was not a house within 100 miles of Fentress, I would still have the requirement today for an additional outlying field. The fact we have an encroachment issues that has been managed now, due largely because of the BRAC process, …[the encroachment] has not stopped us from doing the operational training we needed to be able to safely deploy carrier strike groups. That is a misconception that’s been out there and I owe you that up front." Audio portion of the Governors OLF study panel where the 6 new sites were introduced to NC Sept 18, 2008. Translated by me with all my falabilities. sorry. I may have put the commas in the wrong spot, so you have license to move the commas....
So lets see if this holds water.....He will never get Oceana without a house 100 miles from it. He will be lucky if he can claim no house 200 feet from Oceana (PSSST, I think this fails as there is a house on the other side of the road (Potters and Airline rd) near Oceana's fence line, north side middle way, cant miss it, if your interested)
There is still a requirement for an additional OLF.
This statement was made when the old FEIS and DSEIS were valid. The Navy did not change any operational numbers or requirements at Oceana for the DSEIS. In fact, the Navy utilized the FEIS numbers in the DSEIS which indicates Oceana and Fentress were reviewed as late as Jan 2007 and that information was valid. OOOO wait, did I mention my most favoritist page in the FEIS? pg12-1 were it states that if most or all of the super hornets was placed at Oceana, an OLF is not required? Yea, the Navy actually said that. Us silly farmers found it. They said it a bunch of times. They even said it to concerned North Carolinian's when answering our questions in the FEIS. The Navy has never ever proven they require this OLF nor have they ever tried to show us this information. Because they say so, is all we have. See the link below for all the Navy's official documentation on this process. But I digress. sorry.
So the Navy recognized officially 18 Sept 2008 (not really, they implied it) that their old study was no longer valid. When did they tell us this study did not meet their needs? 22 Jan or 9 apr 2008 depending on what you desire to consider official notification. 22 Jan, the Navy said we where going to stop doing the study on the 5 original and thanks to NC and VA, we will look somewhere else.
Back to the quote....
The fact we have an encroachment issues that has been managed now, due largely because of the BRAC process..
I did not make up that. So the Navy claims encroachment is now managed. OK, that means that house on Potters and Airline does not exist. My eyes are getting old, someone wanna google map the area and tell me if they see any houses near Oceana, north side? All them houses and a bunch more are encroaching causing the Navy to state no FCLP after 11pm. This agreement the Navy and VA BCH came up with is artificially creating this capacity shortfall. Dang sure aint NENC problem to solve. If there is no encroachment at Oceana then that means your using your fields as Felix hinted at to their capacity. O wait, your not flying after 11pm. Im confused. The Navy claims they do not have the capacity to perform all the night flights needed for the mission of training our pilots to land safely on the back of a carrier, but the Navy will not fly at their master jet base 24 hours a day. Their logic is to make ANOTHER OLF in a rural community so they can do this training. They also want according to the Record of Decision found in the Federal Registry to condemn if needed, 30,000+ acres of land for this OLF. Now in all fairness to the Navy, they are now claiming they only want to condemn 2000 acres for the core and then as little as required. So in less then 5 years we went from must have and decided to condemn 30,000+ to somewhere near 2k. Navy, what is the story? Do you know? Does anyone know what your requirements are? Wait, do YOU know what your requirements are? And do you know what your capacities are? I would have to say no you do not as one study says no OLF because we have the capacity and now your claiming you do not have the capacity, but your not validating your statements.
I still think the Washington County Record of Decision is out there else why is the Navy leaving all that historical data that no longer meets their requirements out there. I pray I am wrong with this.
So my arguement of all them people who live unsafely under the flight paths at Oceana and between Oceana and Fentress inside the 75 dB DNL contour line should be moved is now moot. The Navy said those people and the safety for those people is now manageable. Navy, what happened in Miramar the other day? Was that an example of encroachment being managed? How close where you to a high school? That was less then 2 miles down the axle of the flight line from the end of a runway.
Navy, Im sorry, but I do not accept your assertion that the risk assessment is acceptable at Oceana and the encroachment is not degrading the training for our pilots to an unsafe level or that the people are safe. Mirimar just proved how unsafe Oceana is. When a jet does crash at Oceana who in the Navy is going to accept responsibility for the results? Right now, their is a pilot who for the rest of his life has to live with the what ifs of that day. No pilot should have to endure that. No pilot should have to make the decision, do I ride this in to miss them houses, or let it go on a ballistic course and hope no one gets hurt. You where willing to do that at Washington County with the BIRD VS PLANE risk. You did it around Mirimar and your claiming encroachment is managable at Oceana. For our pilots, remove the encroachment and you will then be able to fly anytime you desire. Or do as your instructions indicate and 2005 BRAC concluded, which is to abandon Oceana because the mission is degraded to the point where rolling back the encroachment is not feasible. When an airfield gets to this point, the Navy is suppose to abandon the mission, not make more runways. Because you claim the encroachment is manageable, you cannot claim for safety reasons we need to build this OLF. You will still be flying out of Oceana and are still endangering people both in the air and on the ground. Enough is enough. If you claim encroachment is bad, then either first fix the encroachment or abandon the mission at Oceana. The rural communities of NC and VA did not impose this decision on you. VA BCH and your predecessors did not protect the military mission entrusted to them, they caused this decision to be made. All the people at the 2nd OLF site are doing is asking the Navy why wont you follow your own guidelines? It seems when it is convenient the Navy will go against their policies. Most of the time it seems the convenience is when it requires the rural community to do something in accordance with Navy policies. Still waiting for the Navy to impose the full force of these Navy policies on the communities around the Oceana complex of bases. No where does the solution for this problem require a rural community especially in North Carolina to be part of the solution.
VA politicians are looking at the dollars of Oceana and do not want that to go away. So those folks may fall under the Navy's axiom of the needs of the many..... for money 33,000+ peoples lives and livelihoods are placed in jeopardy around Oceana. The Navy knows these people living here is unsafe and the Navy must do something about it. Miramar took away any choices of it cant happen. It did.
When you add in NS Norfolk, Fentress and Oceana, according to HRJLUS, its around 52,000 inside the 75dB DNL contour and that number will increase in the future. HOW can that happen? At the 2nd OLF, the Navy is making it so no growth happens because they are condemning lands, but around these three facilities, growth may happen? Either you do for all or none. For safety, all should be removed, or remove the planes. Those 50,000 people are the real NIMBYs as their presence is forcing the Navy to look for a 2nd OLF site because the Navy cannot manage the encroachment and cannot afford to remove that many people. But they feel they CAN toss out a few farmers.
The 2005 BRAC process confirmed what the Navy was saying about encroachment impacting the training at Oceana. The Navy went so far as to try to come up with solutions to the Oceana problem but failed to find a suitable alternative base to house the jets. So the Navy said we cannot find a solution, so we will just stay here. The Navy made that statement before the start of deliberations.
Back to the quote.....the encroachment has not stopped us from safely deploying....
In one set of sentences, the Navy contradicts itself. We need an OLF, but we have been doing the training safely.
Now to some serious stuff. Last week a jet crashed at Miramar. This could have easily happened around Oceana. Last year (Oct timeframe) a smoke bomb fell off a plane and landed near Lynnhaven Mall. The reason the Navy says living near and under flight paths is incompatible with flight operations is its dangerous. No matter what the Navy may say, planes sometimes land where they are not suppose to. Minimizing the risk is suppose to be the profession of the Navy. Outside the danger aspect, living under a flight path esp an FCLP flight path ruins your quality of life. Either its a purely safety issue to not have people living inside the 75 dB DNL contour line (most of the time this contour line and flight paths are extremely close) or its for quality of life for the people on the ground.
Its a safety issue for the pilots as they have to fly higher then desired in their training simulations to minimize impacts to the people on the ground. This training the Navy claims translates out to the ship. The pilots have to relearn their profiles down to the carrier deck after they leave Oceana. They have been doing it for years. Our pilots are good and can adapt.
The Navy claims the darkness is bad around Oceana/Fentress. Guess what, that badness is due strictly to ENCROACHMENT the Navy says is manageable. If its manageable, make it dark for our pilots around Oceana and around Fentress. You can manage it. Their, darkness problems solved. TA DA. Dang IM good. What Navy? you cannot turn the lights off? YOOOUUUU cannot make it dark for our pilots? Does that mean you do NOT have control of people and lights under your flight paths? Are you saying encroachment is not manageable? Which is it?
What story are we to believe? 30,000 acres or 2,000 Acres? Birds are manageable at Washington County site or they were not causing a serious SERIOUS safety to flight/pilot risk? Encroachment is manageable/not manageable? You do have the capacity/you dont have the capacity? These are all stories you have told us so far...But wait, its gonna get better! we get a DEIS to read soon. Thats gonna have another story in it. This story will say Oceana has needed 2 OLFs since Gads, I have no clue what date the Navy is going to pick. They cannot pick pre 2003 as there study will call em. They cannot claim near 2005 BRAC (really they cannot claim out to 2011 as 2005 BRAC looked out that far and would have said build one if required (which it is not!)), they cannot claim 2007 as the DSEIS came out and that showed no change to flight operations at Oceana/Fentress/NS Norfolk and accepted the FEIS numbers (infact, the DSEIS reduced the total number of 10pm-7am flights at the 2nd OLF from the FEIS indicating a swing away from overall darkness flights (I guess to reduce the noise impacts at the 2nd OLF site as that was a concern then)), they cannot claim 18 Sept 2007 as the Navy tied these sites to the old NEPA study. So something happened between Nov 2007 and Apr 9 2008 that justifies, in the Navy's mind, the need for this 2nd OLF.
The only significant think I can think of was Sec of the Navy was reviewing this process and did he just poke a flag in map and said this is my new OLF site, make it happen? I do not know, but the Navy admitted to us that they sometimes give off that preception (18 Sept, 2008).
Regardless of the fact that multiple studies have looked at the Navy's requirements for years and none of them have said Oceana has a requirement to have 2 OLFs in addition to the dual parrallel runways and NS Norfolks runway.
On Sept 16, 2008 the Navy offered up to the Gov study panel a "deep dive" of their requirements. This statement indicated to me me that as far back as a year ago the Navy had their requirements, but the Navy is not going to tell us them. The Navy claimed they wanted to do robost and timely conversations with us. Maybe DENR, but NE NC cannot get the Navy to disuss with us anything in an open forum. I would love to have an open meeting doing a deep dive with the Navy. They make available their data, give us a chance to digest it, then come in and discuss it with us. Will they? doubtful.
For the readers sanity, i will close.....This is by no means all.....
Parmea! There you are.....
Glad you are still about and stirring things up. Hope you are well.
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.
me doing fine
Im not as heavy into politics as some of you are and well, your conversations blew me away sometimes. So I let you guys tear up the place and giving the appropriate and judicious smack downs on the political agenda. Seems like you did well. The GOP had better figure out blogging or they are history in 2 years.
Glad to chat with you again....yes im still out here letting the Navy know big bro is still watching. No they still have not convinced me that they require this OLF... With all the stories they have but out, it is going to be next to impossible to convince anyone they require this. My gut is they are just going to do the motions and then cram this at someone. I hope Jones, butterfield and Hagen are up to the task. Burr welll, maybe James can find that nice OLF elf of burr from last year. GAD that thing is funny and fits him soooo well. Maybe add a wish list like who to call for tough choices like wheat or white. Black or brown shoes with a black suit. He does not have Liddy to look to no more.
Anyone have Sen-elect Hagans ear and can ask her where she stands on the OLF?
Notice, I still write novelettes?
Yes...I noticed the novelettes
Hopefully the site doesn't time out on you when you are writing anymore.
We will make sure Senator-elect Hagan gets the question. It would be nice if they would come out against it early.
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.
I wrote em in about an hour or three
last night and no problems. Much kudos to you and all the wonderful folks that make the trons behave so we can talk smart and stuff!
Im still amazed at what you do with this site. Awesome awesome awesome! So glad I found this site.
Getting Sen Hagan on this early
would be awesome.
Sen Elect Hagan
We have been in contact with her folks...both the Camden/Currituck and Gates groups have been in contact and we are in the early stages of planning a joint meeting with Hagan and/or her staff in January. We met with Kay Hagan briefly at a democratic fundraiser in Hatteras back in April of 2008 and she seemed very much opposed to an OLF in northeastern NC.
Makes that easy!
Love not having to guess where they stand. This meeting hopefully ends with a resolve of yes, the Navy is not cooperating with the communities and yes, the Navy has never demonstrated or proven a justifiable need that NC needs to pick up an OLF banner.
As so many are saying, this is a want for the Navy and for the cities around the various air facilities of Oceana. This is a true statement.
From 18 Sept, 2007 the Navy started with incentives packages in an attempt to convince these sites to let them build. If it was about NEED, the need based requirement would have been shown on that date. The need requirements would have been shown at the scoping meeting. The need based requirements would be enumerated on the Navy's web site showing the capacity for Fentress, Oceana, and NS Norfolk an dthe requirements generated by Oceana and Fentress. The Darkness information. Everything. For the last year, we would have that information. Proof that they need this. The need requirements would be tatooed on the foreheads of the various representatives of the Navy so every time the Navy talked to us, they could point to their requirements and say, end of story. We would not be able to start any no OLF discussion or plan without first figuring out how to get around their need based statement and facts. To this day, 14 Dec 2008, the Navy has not provided the communities with this need based data. The Navy has been looking at our communities since Mar/Apr 2007.
Is this robost and upfront dialogue? The Navy said they would do that with us.
If the Navy did need this OLF, the constraint of flying after 11pm would be removed, the city of VA BCH would not get warnings that the Navy has to fly deep into the night and Washington County would have Navy sponsored bulldozers plowing up the fields. None of those things are happening.
The need for this OLF is based on the premise that if you say something enough times long enough it will grow and will become fact. (yea I know, much of what I say could have the same thing said, ooo chicken little......)
The facts. The Navy performed a study with numerous reviews and concluded that Oceana does not require a 2nd OLF. BRACs have reviewed Oceana and found there is enough capacity for any mission at Oceana. The Navy is just hoping to find a community or politician that desires to host this OLF. As the Navy said earlier this year, toward the end of this fight communities will be fighting to HOST this OLF. Well, Gates and Camden are not fighting for it. So the Navy, NC will stay out of any contest for hosting this from a VA site. (PSSST, Navy, I do not hear any sites in VA begging to host this OLF, I might be wrong, but that would be one tough secret to keep underwraps!)
Now to make their case, the Navy is modifying their requirements and narrowing the capabilities of their facilities (without disclosing to the communities this narrowing) as the only way I can figure to validate their need based statement. That NOI statement sure does sound good. 63% in the summertime on any given night Fentress is over capacity. Golly, when did that start happening? If it is happening, I bet it started recently. (you guys need to start flying late at night or we are never gonna sell this OLF in NC and then your gonna have to continue doing your practices at Fentress. So start flying late and show a need). I will never get access to the actual flights at Fentress and Oceana. I can only read what the Navy has provided. Their documentation states no 2nd OLF required. I believe them.
This is something that I have been concerned about for a long time. The NEED for this 2nd OLF facility has never been clearly established by the Navy. We have asked our Congressmen to request that a thorough Needs Analysis be performed. This new OLF, when all is said and done, will cost the taxpayer upwards of $200 to $300 million. In these tough economic times, is this a prudent use of taxpayer dollars? For something the Navy has had ten years to show that they need but yet still hasn't done so?
Think about it. The Navy has had ten years to demonstrate a "need" for this project. And the best that they can come up with is a self-imposed, artificially inflated "capacity" argument for Fentress??
Parmea, you are right. The only official documentation that we have is the Notice of Intent. That NOI specified the Navy's "need" for a 2nd OLF...that Fentress is over capacity up to 63% of the time in the summer. Not only that, but the NOI does NOT mention the squadrons from Cherry Point, only those aircraft based at Oceana and Norfolk. Funny, in the 2003 FEIS, the scenario in which all ten squadrons were to be based at Oceana did not require a 2nd OLF. Yet now with only 8 squadrons projected for Oceana and no requirement for the Cherry Point-based squadrons to use an OLF in northeastern NC, all of a sudden a 2nd OLF is a requirement and Fentress is drastically over capacity? As mentioned elsewhere, this capacity argument does not wash when the Navy has placed self-imposed restrictions on FCLP operations at Oceana. Remove the restrictions on Oceana and let's see if the "capacity" issue remains. I would venture a guess that it would not.
The Navy's documentation for this new OLF study
For anyone that wishes to study up on this process now. I encourage you to go to the Navy's new website.
It only has one document. The Notice of Intent to start a search for an OLF. Shussssshhhh, when you read it, you will see that what they are proposing is performing the same study as the original EIS. This new study is to determine if the complex Oceana (which includes Oceana with her 4 runways, Fentress with her one runway and NS Norfolk, with her one runway) requires a 2nd OLF and if so, where should it be. The planes for this study are the C-2/E-2 and the training squadron found at NS Norfolk, and the F/A-18 (all varients) and the one training squadron found at Oceana that uses Fentress for FCLP operations plus some transit aircraft. This plane load out was modeled and studied in the original EIS. So the conclussions must be the same with regard to capacity. The planes of Oceana complex does not require a second OLF, but one might be looked at for the operational flexibility and noise mitigation provided. This statement supports the Oceana/VA BCH aggreement of not flying after 11pm. In fact, in summer of 2007, the Navy was trying to sell that to us at the 2nd OLF site, that the Navy has a goal to be done flying by 10pm 11pm at the latest. HUMMMMM, right in line with the HRJLUS. The conclusion for this study is already made that the OLF is required, now its who is the lucky community to host this predetermined decision?
According to the Navy, they have been working this NEPA process since Mar/Apr 2007 and this is all the documentation they have felt we need to know on this process. They have already done field studies, contacted the various county seats to determine who owns what land in the core as well as parts of the contour sectors (which means they have DNL contour maps available) and a bunch more things.
From that page....
Project documents developed and/or referenced during the Environmental Impact Statement process will be posted on the website concurrent with release of the Draft EIS. The Navy has begun the EIS process with publication of the Notice of Intent (NOI) on April 9, 2008.
Wait a sec, Parmea, you just said the Navy has been working on this since mar/apr 2007...Parmea, are you daft? you gotten to close to the tailpipe of one of them jets? The Navy right here said they started this process in April, 2008.....Thats right. so how the heck the Navy have 5 sites as finalists for study that did not start? Talk about reverse engeneering. When the Navy was handed the 6 sites and the sites were introduced to NC, the Navy already had preliminary data on those sites. The communities at the sites did not know they were being looked at. Heck, no one from those 6 new sites were even invited to the site unveiling in 2007. That is how closed lipped the Navy was (they will say our Gov requested that, I say if the Navy was upfront and honest with us, they would have told our Gov that is inappropriate and we have to tell them early).
As of right now, this is all the information the Navy has seen fit to provide the communities that will be impacted. This is the partnership the Navy is fostering. Folks from all the sites have been asking to talk with the Navy but they refuse. They will not talk in open forums. If they talk or write, it is to single persons. Then the Navy can say, NO, that was taken out of context or we did not mean that. We did not know someone would take that document and misinterpret what was said.
When the Navy gets done with there DEIS, they are going to dump a ton of data on these 5 new sites. The first thing the 5 sites are going to have to figure out is did the Navy even prove a need? What is the capacity at the existing fields? What is going to be the impact to potential host site? Why was this site picked as the preferred. (not sure if the Navy is going to do a preferred at this time, would have to look at other EIS to determine there process).
Much of the above data should already be in the hands of the 5 sites. Also they should already have the criteria that widdled them down to finalists. Of how they went from 2000ish being introduced, to a potential site (2001/2), to early removal(2002), to the five original sites(2003), to them getting relooked (2007) at and what changed to allow that criteria (2007), to what got them picked as finalists (2008).
An explanation from the Navy as to why they (in the case of NC sites) were never talked to about being a finalist or potential finalist. To why they were not included in some fashion in the decision making process. These 5 sites should already have the siting study in their hands. If the Navy process is the same as last. Which there should not be a reason to change unless it would show reverse engineering practices or the perception of reverse engineering. Seeings how these 5 sites have been being looked at for so long now without having that study, the perception of reverse engineering is strong espically on the methodology of final selection.
The Navy is sticking flags in the ground and daring folks to knock them down. Are they providing any information to the host community? Did the Navy decide who the finalists where without any kind of data other than priliminary data? This priliminary data was first tied to the old study. second was just a broad general area that might support the Navy's desires. That is how it was presented to us at the unveiling. No requirements of capacity was or darkness was mentioned. Now the NOI says darkness, 63% of the time in the summertime, normal operations, over capacity when an airwing and the training squadron is practicing.
The original siting study had 6 steps. The Navy went from step 0 (the cover page of the siting study) and jumped straight to the conclussion of step 6 by saying these 5 sites are the finalists and should move forward. Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and all but the last paragraph of 6 were omitted. Guess the Navy is filling those in now, to make the study meet their desired outcome.
The Navy does not feel obligated nor are they going to explain how they Navy flew 315 planes worth of practices in 1999/2000 when that plane was concluded the Oceana complex could do the mission. The Navy is slated to have 224 planes at Oceana according to latest data I can get my hands on.
My study of the old Navy requirements indicated that Oceana did not require a 2nd OLF as found on page 12-1 of the FEIS and numerous other places. All I did was convinced myself what the Navy has been telling us since July 2003. I read their documents and figured out through those doucment why they did not require a 2nd OLF. Oceana does not require a 2nd OLF. Now that the Navy has contradicted that, they should be honor bound to explain this perceived contradiction. So far, the Navy has done nothing of the kind. They intend to let us figure that out with the release of the DEIS and will give us 45 days, (they gave 60 days at the DSEIS but are not required too)
Technically, Oceana already has 2 OLFs. They have Fentress which is a bonafide Outlying Landing Field and Oceana has the parallel runway systems. Part of the original EIS was to determine if Cherry Point needed an OLF or if they could get away with a parallel runway. Parallel runways are used by the Navy and USMC for high-density touch and go operations in support of the carrier aviation mission training syllabus. In otherwords, the parallel runway is built for the express purpose of performing touch and go and FCLP operations. While the Navy will try to push as many flight to the actual OLF if they have one, the MJB is to augment the OLF if it needs assistance. With the Navy and VA BCH having that no FCLP after 11pm agreement, Fentress does not have that overflow. Thus the caveate of Fentress Alone cannot perform all the night missions. As others have stated, it is a self imposed restriction that cannot be part of this equation. Remove the alone stipulation and Oceana has the capacity to perform any mission they so desire. No, the problems at Oceana are for the Navy and VA BCH to solve, rural NC and even rural VA should not be a part of that problem solving team. None of the conditions that are causing the problem are under the direct control of the 2nd OLF host community. They should not be held responsible to find the solution.
Welcome back to the fold, old man. Very great to see you. We're a bigger tent than ever ... and I've been hoping you'd show up for this OLF discussion.
I think we should get you in front of Governor-elect Perdue and Senator-elect Hagan so you can give a 30 minute briefing on the OLF issue. I have yet to meet anyone who has your grasp of all the details, the history and the current state of affairs.
If we can arrange it and cover your costs of getting there, would you do it? I'm not promising anything, but we can sure as heck give it a try.
The problem with me now is
this is not directly impacting my community so I would have to be "invited" in from either the Camden or Gates group. Those groups would have to be working the issue and I came along. One rep from each camp I guess. Small groups better then big.
Before I was part of a group with the backing of my community. Now I am just Parmea, one guy who reads Navy stuff. I could easily have missed something over the year that could ruin all my conclusions. Again, that would be bad for Gates and Camden.
I would feel extremely uncomfortable talking for them or potentially saying something that might sway someone either against the group or accidentally make a recommendation that one or the other should get it. If they did something along the line of which would have a better shot at defeating or supporting it. some kind of comparison question.
Would also like to know what aspect of the OLF would they like to know about. Gov Perdue should know a lot about it and Sen Hagan may have to get a full blown ground up discussion. One would be bored as Im thinking both are not on the same page knowledge wise.
But that is an ASSUMPTION on my part and I know what those are......
I would want to brain storm with the groups to see what they have been saying. There is a lot of information out there subject to interpretation. Well, currently there is no information other then the NOI, but all the historical data is what is going to throw the new DEIS into a tail spin. Not sure how the new sites desire to work that into their fight, if they even want to address it up front.
As far as getting there, no problem getting there if its Raleigh or closer. Later in the afternoon so I can just drive up there, meet and greet, discuss, and depart. But I would also have to coordinate with Gates and Camden.....still very early.
Obviously you have a wealth of knowledge on this issue. Those of us on the Camden/Currituck side certainly would welcome any input you might have. I can't speak for Gates but I am quite certain that they too would welcome any input from you. As I have said before, Gates and Camden are really two sides of the same coin. The issue here is that the consequences of gross mismanagement in one sovereign state (Virginia) are about to be heaped upon another sovereign state (North Carolina).
The question is this: Is the sovereign state of North Carolina going to allow itself to be dumped on to benefit and cover up the shortcomings of the sovereign state of Virginia?
My most serious concern with all of this is how we were offered up like sacrificial lambs by Gov. Easley without so much as a hint this was coming. We were served up on a platter by Easley. Further, there is a Navy email that was found via a Freedom of Information Act request that states that an OLF in North Carolina is a "payoff" for the two squadrons to Cherry Point. Honestly, I feel like this is the crux of the matter.
All Navy documentation that I have read seems to indicate that split-siting of squadrons (such as the 8-2 Oceana-Cherry Point split for the Super Hornets) is generally not a good thing in the Navy's eyes. So why did they do it? According to the 2003 FEIS, the noise contours around Oceana and Fentress do not change appreciably by removing two of ten squadrons. So it couldn't have been done for noise purposes. So what was the reason?
We have been told differing stories from the Navy going back nearly ten years now about why they want this OLF. First, it was to mitigate noise impacts in Va. Beach as Adm Natter stated way back in 2000 (which is the true reason in my opinion). Then it was because it is not "dark enough" at Fentress any longer. Now it is because of a lack of "capacity".
Can we put two and two together? So the Navy decides to split-site ten Super Hornet squadrons...in opposition to their stated policy which prefers to keep them together, sending two of the ten to Cherry Point. Then Mr. Robusto's Navy email shows up stating that the two squadrons to Cherry Point is a "payoff" for NC accepting an OLF. Washington County falls through and, magically, five "new" sites show up for review...sites that the esteemed Governor of NC hand picked for the Navy without the courtesy of even telling the localities that they were about to be blindsided...sites that had already been eliminated in preliminary screening for the 2003 FEIS.
We have been sold out. This is why I firmly believe that the Virginia sites are dummy sites. It WILL be one of the NC sites, Gates or Camden, that is chosen. This is as serious a threat to our futures as there is. Folks don't realize how serious this situation is.
Parmea, any help you can give is most appreciated.
Micky did not see his actions
as selling out a region. He saw it as a region doing their part to keep the "good reputation North Carolina has as a military friendly state". As Gov, he felt to keep the potential good things rolling into NC, that sometimes you have to eat a sorry pill. That NE NC should take one for the team.
Micky never cared to determine was it ever required. I showed him numerous times both informally (BlueNC) and formally (the Governors OLF study group inputs, and personally talking with his staff) about the capacity issues and how the Navy has not generated a viable need based statement for this OLF. I showed him the comments the Navy made toward others about how they do not need this. (FEIS answers to concerned citezens) Micky apparently did not care. What was fortunate for us was a full blown decision by the Governor never had to be made on Micky's watch. When the Navy did make decisions, people were waiting in lines to question them. SELC and Kennedy-Covington to name two. So Micky was allowed to ride the fence again.
Mickey did start the hunt with the Navy via DENR in Mar 2007 time frame. At the 18 Sept, 2008 meeting, both the Navy and DENR discussed the initial meetings. Of how DENR with direction from Micky was directed to find alternative locations for this OLF. DENR found some preliminary sites (the 6 NC sites) and talked with the Navy asking about those sites. At this time, the Navy knew that the decision was 8&2 and that Cherry Point would not require this OLF. So why did the Navy mislead our State with the Hoffman Farms and Angola Bay sites? They should not have been looked at. But once the State started pressing those sites, because the folks near Havelock and Cherry Point saw the opportunity to strengthen their claim to future squadrons, when it comes to pass that Oceana is still not the future of naval aviation. Cherry Point could be looked to to take over that roll. So 18 Sept the Navy unequivocally denounced those two sites in favor of the 4 NC sites and the VA sites. At this time, the 5 original sites are still being considered.
So the Navy brought forward from Mar 2007 to early Jan 2008 and strung along our State representatives some story that the two southern sites were acceptable, just so some sites could be added. My gut says the southern two sites may have been acceptable to the State. The timberlands the Navy was eluding to was there (Hoffman and Sandbanks) and the State would have been happy with that choice (Hoffman for Havelock). I never really did look at those two sites.
If those two sites moved forward I knew our Gov and reps were after more of the jets in a power play. Because those sites died, our State is left in the roll of helping VA at the expense of one of our communities. The only way they can justify this is if they also bite on the SPOCK thought process of the needs of the many.... and for national defense. The Navy has removed national defense from the equation so that just leaves SPOCK. I aint seen a real live Vulcan so that logic is void.
Yes, CDR Robusto's email is damaging to the Navy with a lot of what is implied. This was challenged in court. A review of those findings both at the lower court level as well as the appeals level would need to be performed to find out if that stuff can be used against the Navy again.
Regardless, the perception that the Navy is not upfront and transparent is constantly being solidified by the Navy. Notice the Navy is not talking any more? They do a quick 2 para comment on their web page and that is it regarding information. Dec 4, Nov 21, Oct 15 were the last three updates Im aware of on there site. When the Navy does say something in the papers, they get questioned hard for information. They still have not released any information. My gut says the Navy is hoping people will forget about it until it is to late. They will release the DEIS, wait their required 45 days, do their data collections and public hearings and they will depart the area. Then the Navy is going to take the questions and comments folks generate and develop the FEIS and submit it. Their answers will be cursory at best. They will be able to say they did the step. Regardless that the steps had no meaning or believability nor the answers resolved the asker's question. Then they will wait the minimum required time and render a record of decision based on a thorough evaluation of all the collected data as well as the comments/questions from the minions (I mean people) and elected officials.
This record of decisions will conclude that Oceana and NS Norfolk do not have the darkness capacity to properly perform the military mission and for national security reason, a 2nd OLF must be built at site XXXXX. While the Navy stated they are out of the plant flags business, their actions indicates that is their only method of operating. The Navy is daring folks to come knock them out of NC. Sad our Navy does this.
The Navy intends to fight this in the court system and utilizing the NEPA process. So long as the Navy can show they did the proper steps in NEPA, they cannot be stalled. It will be up to the communities to determine if the studies properly reflected the current environment as well as properly demonstrated the impacts to the community for the intended action. If you cannot do that, the Navy is going to move forward with their decision making process. This NEPA process does not require that the Navy make a decision that is valid, right, smart or meets any kind of need based requirement. The fact they did the NEPA process properly will justify any decision made by the Secretary of the Navy. NEPA does not require a proper decision to be made, in fact, the NEPA process can show that the decision could be environmentally bad, but if the Navy indicates this, then the decision may and can be made to perform the action.
So the fight is not about the NEPA process, but about public opinion and will our representatives side with us or the Navy. You will need to be smart on the envoronment and the Duke study being done at Sandbanks will help there. The old study will also give you a flavor of what its suppose to look like and the things to look for.
In 2006, Rep Price (part of the house appropriations committee,) pulled funding for the line item for the Washington County site. That effectively killed the Navy at the Washington County site.
This is why it is so important for our elected officials to be on board and ready to derail the Navy train. I can see were their reluctance to act before the decision is made, but I do not like it. While they are waiting, folk's lives are on hold. So long as they can instill confidence that their word is their bond, you have to rely on them to be there when it is decision time. The "political game" as I like to call it does not allow for politicians to make a stand they might have to retract at a later date. With the Navy providing no data except to disqualify all their old data, our politicians almost cannot make a decision as they cannot base this on any empirical evidence.
But a decision based on perceived in-justice has enough data out there already. This entire process conducted by the Navy on NE NC since 2000 and earlier is enough information to sway the statement "sorry Navy, but you have hamstrung the people of NE NC long enough on a program you have never proven you need. Please leave the region alone regarding this OLF. If you have another project that for national security requires coming to NE NC, we will gladly listen. For now, please stop looking to NE NC as a potential host site for this OLF. Thank you, the representatives of and the people who live in NE NC."