This letter, by a former Navy jet fighter pilot,
was a response to a recent commentary in the Monterey
Herald. It is by Phillip Butler of Monterey.

I'm a former NAS Lemoore Navy light-attack pilot. Sound levels directly behind military aircraft's afterburners have been registered in excess of 200 decibels. Bombing, and rocket, delivery includes miles of run-ins to the target at altitudes as low as 500 feet. After weapon delivery on target, the pullout is normally done with afterburner, and this process is repeated eight to 12 times by each aircraft. The Navy proposes almost 3,000 flights a year from Lemore and simulated strikes from carriers will add many more. These operations are completely incompatible with the wildlife sanctuaries and recreational facilities there and certainly not worth the putative saving of $3 million in fuel costs. Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with the Navy's current bombing ranges at China Lake and Fallon, Nev. -- both located in remote areas where destructive disturbances can be kept to a minimum.

My Navy service includes combat and eight years as a POW. I know well the price for freedom, and it need not be the destruction of our nation's ecological, environmental and recreational treasures.

Phillip Butler

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