Letters to the Editor

Miller letter: F-35 mission

I’m a retired Air Guard operations officer, and publisher of Idaho military history.

Boise Bomber Base trained B-17 and B-24 bomber crews for European combat in World War II. Then in 1946 Boise businesses and citizens welcomed the newly organized 190th Fighter Squadron. Flying P-51s, Idaho Guardsmen became our nation’s premier fighter unit. Our excellent airfield, open airspace, nearby ranges and Boise’s enthusiasm fostered this excellence.

By 1958 Boise recognized that housing was developing near the airport, and established “avigation easements.” Resembling property liens, these easements recognized the properties’ nearness to the airport, and established overflight rights. Easements later restricted properties to the east. But such development continues today.

Military flight operations can be restricted to minimize noise. As an operations supervisor, I enforced noise abatement procedures. Restricting our RF-4’s afterburner use, and requiring steep climbout angles reduced the disturbance. This can be done with F-35 operations.

We’re all concerned about domestic comforts, often assuming a NIMBY mindset — not in my back yard. But remember, the U.S. is a beacon to the world — our values emulated, our system of government celebrated, and our military has benefited and saved other nations. F-35 sound will be part of America’s greatness — so Boise, let’s pay our patriotic dues.

Col. Bill Miller, Idaho ANG ret., Boise