Federal Government

Air Force Aborts Scoping Meetings

With only a few hours notice, command staff at Mountain Home Air Force Base aborted a public scoping meeting to be held Today (3/12/18) at the Boise Public Library from 3-6 p.m.

The GUARDIAN sought an explanation from Sheri Robertson, environmental chief at the base and she said, “There is no further explanation. It was a command decision.” Meetings in Meridian, Eagle, and several other towns were also canceled until further notice.

She said meetings in Twin Falls and Glenns Ferry were attended only by the respective mayors of those cities and a meeting at Grandview drew only a single citizen. Opponents of the F-35 bed down led by the Citizens For a Livable Boise group were eager to attend the meeting, judging from their social media bombing run.

The “scoping meetings” set for a total of nine Idaho cities, including Boise, were reportedly to “clear up misconceptions” about the use of lasers and war games to simulate “close air support (CAS)” over urban areas.

Here is an official USAF letter sent to an interested citizen prior to the aborted mission:

The GUARDIAN first reported on the plans last week. Legacy media had previously ignored all attempts to inform citizens of the Air Force plans, but KBOI-2 quoted an Air Force spokesman Monday who said, they to provide a full panel of representatives to answer all questions. “We needed to reschedule these meetings to ensure we had all parties available,” the Air Force said.

We certainly hope the USAF is better at bombing true enemies than it is at community relations. THEY scheduled the meeting and then cancelled to ensure they had all parties available?

Comments & Discussion

17 comments for “Air Force Aborts Scoping Meetings”

  1. It still puzzles me as to why the media didn’t give this the attention it needed for results. Why keep it secret?

    That said, I was told that KBOI/Ch2 did put something out, but it is still unclear if they did it only on their website or if it was part of their TV broadcast.

  2. For all of these cities, MH AFB sent the public notice only to their mayors. No surprise then that only the mayors of Twin Falls and Glens Ferry were in attendance. I wish someone reported what the mayors said in the meeting.

  3. Gurdian-2 Air Force-0
    Mar 12, 2018, 2:22 pm

    Gurdian-2 Air Force-0

    Radars and Lasers. Canceled because someone was going to ask em if the radars we will be illuminated with are harmful or interfering. Also target designating lasers can harm the eyes depending on strength, frequency, and duration of exposure. All the grunts wear special glasses. Do we the people need those glasses too?

    I totally agree our military needs to train. However, I’m concerned because these are the same PR people who told citizens not to be concerned about nuclear fallout in the 40s-50s-60s. Half of Idaho has cancer because of these folks rationalizing the danger away. Numerous other misleading examples are easy to find.

    My biggest concern is the training may not be limited to US forces. Many, perhaps most, non-NATO militaries have zero respect for civilians. I don’t want some Iraqi jackass learning to fly over my neighborhood for example. The difference between eye-safe laser and stronger is the flip of a switch.

  4. Dan.. It was part of a news cast over the weekend. As usual for TV, it didn’t give a good presentation of the proposal.

  5. It is interesting that Sec Def Mad Dog Mattis showed up at MHAFB in January, Then this unprecedented Urban War Game proposal suddenly and very quietly appears.

    Now that it is out in the open, the AF is running for cover, because it seems they wanted to very quietly put it into place -like MHAFB did just last year with a proposal that allowed them to close off Highway 51 between Bruneau and Grasmere, and the Bruneau Desert road, for “convoy training”, and who knows what all. Hardly anyone knew about that proposal, there was no media, and it was finalized under the radar.

    Now I bet we will see News articels appearing in local media “softening” the public for this unprecedented air and ground Grab impacting several hundred thousand to a million people.

    The Air Force has existing Fake City sites for Urban CAS training (like at Nellis where they just built a great big new fake Urban site) where they can train, train, train.They have fake building sites on and around their Owyhee Bombing Ranges.

    The Guardian reports that part of the reason, apparently, for the very last minute meeting cancellation, was that only a couple mayors and 1 person showed up at the meetings to date. WELL – the AF only informed an extremely small group of the Scoping meetings (it appears the few folks they had e-mail addresses for). if no one knows about the meetings, no one will show up. It is highly irregular for a federal agency to schedule a public meeting with less than a weeks notice – as they did with Twin Falls. NO media, no one knows about it, no one shows up.

    HOWEVER, they very likely knew when they canceled the Boise meeting, that a LOT of people would show up here. Because of the Guardian articles, Citizens for a Livable Boise e-mail alerts, notices on Next Door, and a news piece over the weekend.

    This is a shameful, corrupted process. It certainly indicates that whatever promises the AF makes in any NEPA Process for this Urban Warfare proposal will very likely not be upheld, and they can’t be trusted.

  6. USAF CAS Training over Live Cities in Idaho
    Mar 13, 2018, 1:36 pm

    Reminds me another current “made in Idaho” story. A popular middle school science teacher in Preston fed a live puppy to a snap turtle. Some said since it was after hours, and the turtle needs to eat something, it was no big deal.
    Parallels some comments that since USAF has to train somewhere, and over Live Cities is best, then it must be OK.

  7. Dave Kangas
    Mar 13, 2018, 4:45 pm

    The Air Force is struggling in dealing citizen involvment in the age of social media, websites and NextDoor. In the past a public notice in a local news publication would be read by who? With the corresponding attendance and feedback. The same thing happened with the airport noise study and that time period almnost passed before it was noticed. Citizen input and involvment does matter and make a difference. The Air Force, Air National Guard just isn’t used to answering to an informed public. Instead they are used to responses like those reported in the rural areas.

  8. Dave Kangas,
    “They are used to responses like those reported in the rural areas”….

    What do you mean that by statement?

    EDITOR NOTE–Not to speak on behalf of Kangas, but it would appear he meant the turnout like that reported on the GUARDIAN in Glenns Ferry and Grandview as well add Twin Falls…just a single person. We have had more people contact us saying they went to the meeting that was canceled in Boise than was attended by all the others combined.

  9. Oh. If that is the case for the comment, let’s try to have some perspective.

    Grand View has a population of about 441 people.
    ONE of 441 people is a HIGHER percentage than the percentage of people in Boise who would have turned out for the same meeting- that would have to be more than 500 people from Boise to get a similar “turnout”. Doubtful for a Monday afternoon meaningless meeting– at THE LIBRARY which it seems half of the Guardian readers claim never to use.

    Citizens for a Livable Boise has ONLY 338 people followers on Facebook…
    338 people in all of Boise’s FB presence? ???
    CLB has 23 followers on Twitter… 23 people on a prime social media platform for a city of 200,000+. Whooopee!

    “In the age of social media”?
    23! LOL.

    Yeah right, the Air Force is used to only those “uninformed” ‘rural areas’.
    “Struggling” against 23 “informed” Boiseans— LOL.
    That is about par for the “anti-jet crowd”.

    For comparison, Mayor Bieter has 3,078 followers on FB and 2,646 on Twitter.

    Gowen Strong has 7,158 on FB and 92 Twit followers.

    Thumbs down for dumb meetings.

  10. This might be why they canceled the meetings. It’s an interesting news article.

    Air Force carpet bombs public affairs
    https://federalnewsradio.com/tom-temin-commentary/2018/03/air-force-carpet-bombs-public-affairs/

  11. The Air force has been running into considerable public resistance to Range expansion plans these days. In Catron County/Silver City New Mexico, it sounds like they tried the same thing they did later in Boise – proposing a significant new Range/Airspace expansion without informing more than a tiny hand full of people. They are also proposing to cut 300,000 acres out of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada for a huge expansion of Nellis. 30,000 people commented on that.

    Then, they screwed up in Boise in their initially secretive Scoping, then after they were caught, scheduled scoping meetings as public concern mounted. Then they chickened out the day of the Boise meetings. I wonder if we were the straw that broke the camel’s back/”grounded” their public outreach?

  12. Take the money away
    Mar 18, 2018, 4:25 pm

    The only way to stop it is to take the money away and change to be mostly a defensive force.

    This will not happen soon of course because 70% of the population is more concerned about a new Doritos flavor, and the most important topic in media is sports. Long term it will auto-defund when the debt-bomb finally overwhelms.

  13. Take the money away!
    Mar 19, 2018, 10:54 am

    Exactly, the only thing to do is to reduce funds going to DoD. And besides, there was supposed to be a civilian at the helm of DoD, not a recently retired 40-year career general. Congress gave Mattis a waiver to serve, and then confirmed him, too. So Congress is to blame. The congressman are financed by the weapons manufacturers and will never reduce funding to DoD. The training ranges have to expand, because the trainings have to expand, because the DoD budget has to expand.

  14. Skye Master
    Apr 10, 2018, 3:56 pm

    It’s a little known event, but back in the 90’s, just before the War in Iraq, on a beautiful summer night/morning while most of the population was asleep, the City of Boise was destroyed by several waves of B52’s and B1’s dropping SIMULATED bombs.
    I known this because I was the sole Air Traffic Controller on Duty at the Boise Airport that morning about 3am.
    I found out later that Boise is very similar to Bagdad.
    FYI: Boise is the most isolated City in the USA. Further from any other City in the US.

    EDITOR NOTE–That would put us “in the middle of NOWHERE.”

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