At a time when our nation is preparing for the
possibility of war in Iraq, one would imagine that the Navy would be fully
engaged in preparation and support for that effort.
It turns out that there were other matters on the minds of NAS Oceana personnel
this part Saturday.....
The matters in question are described in the
following message to senior Navy officials at NAS Oceana, written by a former
Navy pilot and CCAJN member......
"This morning, Saturday March 1st, during the 10 a.m. hour, there was another
airshow practice session at Oceana Naval Air Station. It was a hazy
morning with low clouds scattered about the area making this kind of session
particularly hazardous. Nevertheless, it was flown very aggressively,
subjecting the heavily populated communities around Oceana to a prolonged period
of intense noise bombardment and the very real danger of a fiery crash into a
business district or residential neighborhood.
"Why would the Navy's operational commanders allow our community to be subjected
to this dangerous and unnecessary exhibition? Are they unaware of the fact
that they are intentionally and needlessly endangering literally hundreds of
thousands of the very people that they exist to protect?
"Puzzling as it is, I think that latter thought must somehow be the key.
John Steinbeck, in his essay "The Short Short Story of Mankind," noted that
warriors often seem to feel that protecting something is very much like owning
it. And of course when you own something, you are generally free to do
with it whatever you wish. It's not that they wish us harm - only that
they are either heedless, or unconscious, of the impact of their actions on the
rest of us.
"Why did they do the practice here at Oceana instead of a more usual and
reasonable rural location -- such as the bombing target areas south of here?
I can only speculate, of course, but probably the weather wasn't very good and
they didn't want to take the risks involved in practicing there with marginal
weather. So, they chose to take the risks here instead! Astonishing