Skip to comments.Marines defend their space - Military says Miramar won't fly as joint-use airport
Posted on 06/03/2006 5:15:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
In a public relations push punctuated by a continual stream of roaring jet aircraft, the Marine Corps opened Miramar Air Station yesterday to bolster its campaign against the notion of a civilian airfield.
Joint use is fundamentally incompatible with what we do, said Maj. Gen. Michael R. Lehnert, commander of Marine Corps Installations West. It's simply a function of physics, and you cannot repeal the laws of physics.
The air base conducted a guided tour for reporters three days before the expected vote by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority board on a future replacement for Lindbergh Field. Despite years of argument against joint use from local and Pentagon figures, a board majority has been leaning in favor of the Miramar option, hoping for an opportunity to work something out.
Marine Corps officials challenged stacks of Airport Authority documents, which attempt to map out a plan for joint use that would not impair military readiness, by offering a firsthand view of their operations.
As a string of F-18s practiced field carrier landings, Col. Paul C. Christian, Miramar commanding officer, described the natural boundary of state Route 52 that keeps the touch-and-go flights mainly over the base.
The airport authority's proposal for two new runways would require those operations along with the noise and the potential for an accident over populated areas south of the base.
At the Combat Aircraft Loading Area, where bombs and missiles are lifted into position, Lt. Col. Duane Pinney showed how forward-firing ordnance is pointed southwest toward a vast, open area as a safety precaution until the aircraft are ready to taxi to the main runway.
The area tentatively proposed as a new loading area, Pinney said, has no safety zone. Ordnance would be pointed toward the base's facilities, toward aircraft or Interstate 15.
Authority consultants say there are still issues to be worked out on ordnance storage, but Pinney said the operations raise concerns you can't get around.
David Boyer, director of natural resources at the base, said the authority's proposal would pave over vernal pools that provide habitats for six of the 10 endangered or threatened species at Miramar.
Lehnert said the Marines have been sharing information with the authority for months to try to document how joint use would harm the base's readiness. Five rounds of base realignment and closure studies by the Department of Defense, he said, have not just verified Miramar's role in national security, he said, they have enhanced it.
And yet, Lehnert said, The target from the beginning has been Miramar.
Meanwhile, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association yesterday criticized the proposed text of a November ballot measure adopted last week by an authority board committee.
The draft, approved 3-1, asks whether San Diego County elected officials should try to persuade Congress and the military to make a portion of Miramar available for a commercial airport provided there is no impact on military readiness.
Association president Lani Lutar said the current draft of the advisory measure, which is limited to 75 words, is unacceptable because it does not present voters with the facts needed to make an objective, informed decision. As written, it is vague and unclear as to what is actually being voted on.
Pfc. Stephen J. Compos (front to back), Cpl. Landon J. Wallace and Pfc. Bryan J. Craddock took down an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile after training at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station yesterday. Officials explained why they oppose joint use of the airport.
Chief Warrant Officer Robert Schmidt said the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team practices at the east side of Miramar, where terrain is similar to that in Iraq.
Hope it always stays military.
San Diego Lindbergh airport is fine where its at. We dont need a huge international airport contributing to even more conjestion in an area already badly conjested, both on the ground AND in the air. Leave it be. The quality of life here is already suffering enough with traffic.
San Diego is NOT Los Angeles or New York and never will be.
That's a negative ghostrider. The pattern is full
San Diego International Airport is fine where it is at
for the three million population who live here and for
the millions who come in and out during the year.
Marimar is a non starter. Thankfully the military won't
give an inch and they shouldn't.
(We hope you understand the message.)
Don't worry; ain't happening.
Dumb Me! Nas North Island for NAS Coronado. Sorry.
I live in a community which borders Miramar. I've never had a problem with the Navy or Marines but I do have a problem with the city obsessively wanting Miramar for an freaking airport.
I was based at DaNang AFB in 68-69-70. During that time it was the busiest airport in the world. Two runways, each two miles long, with an average of one take-off or landing every 30 seconds, 24 hours per day. Trying to work in a civilian timetable would just not cut it if a military airfield needed to go to a war footing.
And we may one day have "problems" with a certain country located not too far from S.D. ....
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