Wednesday, August 24, 2005

BRAC MAKES THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS

I'm back! Surgery went well and I'm recovering nicely. Anyway, I wanted to make a comment about the BRAC commission, which is the Base Realignment and Closure commission. Basically, they are the ones who decide which military bases stay open or need to close. Well, I live in Virginia Beach, home of the east coast Master Jet Base at Oceana Naval Air Station. We just lost Fort Monroe in Hampton, which is an historic landmark and has been here for 180 years. Anyway, I live in a big military town! We also have Norfolk Naval Air Station, Fort Story, Fort Eustis and of course we have a large contingency of military ships. Virginia Beach is not only a touristy destination!
Where my neighborhood is located, we get to hear F18 fighter jets practice flying over us all day long. It's what they call "the sound of Freedom" around here! While I don't mind the noise, we do have some that do, of course.
Anyway, N.A.S. Oceana was targeted for closure by the BRAC commission which of course caused quite a fuss around here. The reason for the recommendation for closure was encroachment. Virginia Beach City Council and our Mayor let contractors and builders build closer and closer to the base's crash zones. They knew that this was a problem yet the money kept coming and the builders kept building. Now we have the people who live closest to the base complaining about jet noise!! For Goddess sakes, they knew they where they were living and now they complain about noise. Move away!! Anyway, Florida's Cecil Field decided they wanted our fighter jets to come there...no thanks to campaigning by good ole Jeb Bush! So now VB was competing w/Bush for our naval air station! When all was said and done, the commission decided to keep Oceana open under certain stipulations. The main one being to control encroachment and for the City of VB to buy up all the properties in the crash zones thus displacing 1800 homes, businesses and much more all for the sake of keeping Oceana alive. And we have 6 months to do this or N.A.S. Oceana will move to Cecil Field in Jacksonville Florida! My girlfriend, her family and myself know people in those areas. They are losing their homes to assessment values only! The majority of the people in this town want Oceana to stay here, but now look at the price some have to pay!

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