Thursday, July 12, 2007

OLF Site Search Shifts To Virginia

by Cal Bryant - July 11th, 2007 - Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald

Over the past five years, the U.S. Navy has searched for a prime spot in eastern North Carolina to construct an Outlying Landing Field (OLF).

The Navy’s search may now take a turn north of the border in Virginia.

On Tuesday, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine identified 10 spots in his state the Navy could consider for its fleet of new F/A 18 Super Hornet strike fighter jets to perform “touch-and-go” training.

Three of the Virginia sites are as close to the Inner Banks as the site in Washington County. Because of the huge scale of territory that modern fighter jets cover, it is unlikely that these three sites will matter to us any less than the site in Washington County that appears to have been defeated by political efforts.

It is interesting to me that the battle has always been over where to place the new OLF and not whether a new OLF is important. The problem has always been twofold. The most critical one is that our nation no longer is willing to say to people, deal with your own decisions. The current touch and go landing field has been surrounded by homes and development that came in long after the field was built and used for this purpose. These people built their homes and then demanded the Navy move someplace else because they didn't like the noise. That is the reason a new field is needed.

Since a field already exists, and the only purpose is to move to a less congested area, it is ironic that our nation will not allow the field to be built anywhere there is wildlife too. If you can't build in the country and you can't operate near cities, there is certainly an implication that many people simply don't want our pilots to be able to practice. Is there perhaps an ulterior motive?

The second reason this is important is that we are at war right now. World War IV against the Islamofascists is reality. There is no argument that fighter jets will not be an important part of this war. Already the success and tactical superiority we gained in early battles in Iraq and Afghanistan prove that. Since the war will be going on for at least another generation, it probably is important that this OLF be built somewhere.

An important question in this battle over where to build the OLF, do we have the will to do things that are in our national interest any longer?


Post a Comment

<< Home