Mayor Dave Bieter told the Daily Paper the plan was “puzzling”and made no sense.
It makes sense to the GUARDIAN. What doesn’t make sense is to have two military air bases less than 40 miles apart. If the Obama administration can combine the facilities at Mountain Home and segregate high speed military jets from commercial aircraft, so much the better for air safety and efficiency.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter has pushed to have the skies over Boise filled with noisy jets for several years, spending taxpayer money campaigning in an unsuccessful effort to get the F-35 based at Gowen Field. Now the pentagon is talking about moving the entire mission to Mountain Home and mothballing the A-10 tank killer air-to-ground attack planes.
Between pilots, ground crews, maintenance crews, purchasers, payroll experts and other support staff, the group that operates the fleet accounts for about 1,000 jobs, according to Col. Tim Marsano, Idaho Air National Guard spokesman. The majority of those people are part-time reservists who work one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Only a third are full timers. All this raises the question: Is the Air Guard a “job mill” or for the defense of the nation?
Combat jets aren’t designed to do much more than kill people and destroy objects. Some Army helicopters on the other hand can be used for rescue, fire fighting, and disaster assistance — a logical role for National Guard.
The Idaho Air National Guard worries that moving its operations an hour’s drive from the Treasure Valley will hurt its ability to recruit and retain reservists.
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