Monday, April 12, 2010

Basnight: Navy's "awful idea" for OLF is "WRONG"

Maybe it's just me, but I'm getting the idea that N.C. Senate President Marc Basnight doesn't like the Navy's handling of the search for an outlying landing field one little bit.

He's been opposing the Navy's plans to put an outlying landing field in Northeastern North Carolina for years. After the Navy abandoned its flawed plan to build the field in Washington and Beaufort counties near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge -- where its Super Hornet jets and their pilots would be subject to potential collisions with the large waterfowl that spend their winters in the area -- the Navy turned to other sites in Virginia and North Carolina. The list includes sites in Camden and Currituck counties -- and when Basnight, a Dare Democrat, longtime Senate leader and N.C. political power -- found out about a recent meeting between Navy brass and a few hand-picked guests in North Carolina, he and Rep. Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, let loose a broadside at the Navy. They called the OLF plan "awful" and said the Navy's proposal for a North Carolina landing field to practice aircraft carrier landings was plain wrong.

For those keeping track of this saga, here's the text of the Basnight/Owen volley:

April 12, 2010
Admiral John C. Harvey, Jr.
Commander, US Fleet Forces Command
Fleet Public Affairs (N02P)
1562 Mitscher Ave., Suite 250
Norfolk, VA 23551-2487

Dear Admiral Harvey:

For almost a decade, small, rural communities in northeastern North Carolina have been
in an epic battle with the United States Navy over the destruction and elimination of their way of
life. These are not wealthy with the monetary riches that the area in which you live is
accustomed to, but they are rich in family, heritage and tradition – all foundations of our great
nation and our United States Navy.
Over this past decade, the impassioned pleas of these rural residents have fallen on deaf
ears in the offices of this country’s Navy. Continuously, the Navy has refused to respect the
wishes of our state’s residents and has instead continued to steam forward to a goal that is neither
needed wanted or needed: the construction of an outlying landing field in northeastern North
Carolina.
Both of us have supplied several reasonable alternatives to this abhorrent idea of an OLF
in our area. Countless times we have written with suggestions ranging from an off-shore
platform to a parallel runway at Cherry Point Air Station. Again, these ideas have fallen on deaf
ears.
Now we received word that you visited our great state to discuss this awful idea of an
OLF in northeastern North Carolina in a closed meeting with local residents. We must say, it is
very rare for a four-star admiral to visit our great state, and we, as well as the local governments,
wish we had a little notice. Instead, it seems as though Virginia business groups were invited,
but that locally elected officials were not. In our humble opinion, that does not go very far in
creating feelings of trust.
We both welcome you to share with the Hampton Roads business community that
northeastern North Carolina does not want and will not accept an outlying landing field in our
communities. We thought that message was made clear last year when the North Carolina
General Assembly unanimously passed legislation not ceding jurisdiction to an OLF in our area.

North Carolina is the proudest military state in our great nation. Our citizens have
proudly served since before the formation of our country and have given tens of thousands in the
protection of it. We are not against the Navy, but what is right is right and what is wrong is
wrong – and Admiral, an OLF in northeastern North Carolina is WRONG.
Please do not let this plea fall on deaf ears and do whatever it takes to remove both sites
in northeastern North Carolina from the OLF study.
Sincerely,
Marc Basnight
Bill Owens

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does he understanding that his "alternatives" completely miss the point? The idea is to practice night carrier landings in an area that is dark like the middle of the ocean but is on land and therefore safer. Ergo, an "offshore platform" fails to accomplish the latter and would have to be quite a distance off shore to accomplish the former. (If they wanted to practice on actual aircraft carriers, then i am sure they woudl do it). Secondly, a parallel runway at Cherry Point obviously fails to address the darkness issue.

I am not attempting to argue one way or the other on the issue of whether one should be built in this area or not, but before Basnight gets his panties in a wad and dashes off an extremely disrespectful letter, he ought to at least attempt to familiarize himself with the other side's objectives.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of sad how Basnight is such a whore for state tax dollars for all of those superexpensive, overly wide roads up in his part of the state, but when it comes to someone else wanting to spend money on something he DOESN'T like, suddenly he has compunctions about it.

What's even sadder is that this pathetic excuse of a man pretty much runs the NC Senate with an iron fist and we here in Charlotte are victimized by his every move.

So I say: Screw him.

Ghoul said...

When the Navy shows up at the Waffle House bathroom with a brown paper bag full of unmarked twenties, then Basnight will be all for their proposal.

Anonymous said...

tolerate our noise...it is the sound of your FREEDOM!
signed the US NAVY

floydpink said...

Dear Basnight,

How many years do you intend to screw the school children of this state to satisfy all of your tourism cronies by having a state mandated school calendar?

How long will the pleas of educators who wish to be able to finish semesters and have exams before Christmas or have adequate time to prepare students for AP exams fall on your deaf ears because control the Senate with an iron fist.

I say get used to the Navy's hamfistedness, God only know you have done it to folks of western NC often enough.

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Anonymous said...

Hear that noise basnight ? it is called the sound of freedom.....or maybe it is the sound of the IRS cleaning out your offshore bank account....

Anonymous said...

"Now we received word that you visited our great state to discuss this awful idea of an
OLF in northeastern North Carolina in a closed meeting with local residents. We must say, it is
very rare for a four-star admiral to visit our great state, and we, as well as the local governments,
wish we had a little notice. Instead, it seems as though Virginia business groups were invited,
but that locally elected officials were not. In our humble opinion, that does not go very far in
creating feelings of trust."

So Basnight has gone on record against closed door meetings like he has conducted with no notice to citizens for years as he has steered budget goodies to his little corner of the state. Nice that he has grown a conscience so late in his career.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, the Navy is only doing what he has praticed so well for so long.

Anonymous said...

You can contact the "illustrious" Senator at:

Marc.Basnight@ncleg.net

Don't be shy, tell him how you really feel...

Anonymous said...

Where is all this money being spent in E. North Carolina. The big wide roads someone spoke of, where are they? 99.99% of all roads are 2 or 4 lane. Last time I checked people from the western part go to the beach.

Anonymous said...

The OLF is a study that has become outdated. It no longer represents the purpose and action. The US Navy has use "capacity" as their reason, now. as their need.

For folks who do not know, NAS Oceana has less aircraft based there the ever before. There will be another 100 aircraft phased out. There is not a capacity problem. The problem is noise lawsuits from VA residents.

If the Navy were serious they would close Oceana and move the entire Master Jet Base to a truly rural area.

Anonymous said...

I am a retired Navy veteran who has moved to NC from Virginia 20 years ago. I have followed the OLF saga since its inception in 2000. While I have always supported almost everything my Navy does, this OLF is wrong.

It’s about time a politician step up and represents the people. I am a stanch Republican however this action by Senator Basnight shows me he is not afraid of strong dialog. He will do what is right for his citizens.

THE OLF IS NOTHING BUT A NOISE MITIGATION TOOL FOR VIRGINIA BEACH. They chose to move around an airbase they need not complain. I chose to move away.

Its time the Navy stop catering to the developers and politicians of Virginia Beach! Shut off the lights and FLY.

Military service should not equate to surrendering rights of an opinion of a topic, however many of our service men and women stand to lose a quality of life when they return from a deployment. Many are not here to defend their property while they are deployed. We need a strong voice to protect all of our citizens.


Thank you Senator Basnight and Representative Owens. You have my VOTE.