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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 isn't it."