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The Base Next Door Transcript

View each video speaker's biography here.

Time and again, America’s armed services have proven themselves to be the best in the world. Their success relies on training in realistic scenarios which means full weaponry and live ordinance day and night. (Narrator)

There is no substitute for real world, finger on the pickle button, bombs coming off, missiles coming off kind of training. You cannot simulate that in a simulator. (Narrator 2)

Unfortunately, what is crucial to obtain military readiness can be unnerving to communities located near military bases and training areas. (Narrator)

If we can’t train our troops, if our soldiers cannot do maneuvers, if they cannot fire their weapons, if we can’t fly our helicopters, if we can’t get our soldiers off of Fort Bragg and deploy them around the world, then we don’t need to be here. (Narrator 2)

People call and say that at 2:30 this morning, I was sound asleep and my children jumped up crying and running in because I’m having to listen to this helicopter hovering over my property. (Doug Key)

People call and say that at 2:30 this morning, I was sound asleep and my children jumped up crying and running in because I’m having to listen to this helicopter hovering over my property. (Mary Ann Just)

The problem is not due simply to increased training. It is also the result of heavier concentrations of civilian development near and around military installations. Most of the 500 active military bases in the United States and its territories were originally located in relatively remote areas, both for security reasons and to provide ample buffers between their operations and civilian populations. Zones that were once kept clear to protect civilians from high noise levels and potential accidents are now the sites of homes, businesses, even schools and places of worship, all of which must be considered when local governments design land use plans and policies and make daily decisions regarding development. (Narrator)

With the amount of missions that we have to do, you have to get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time and anything that detracts from that such as civilian encroachment of our range air spaces, overly restrictive procedures to get us in and out of here is going to have an impact as far as that’s concerned. (Major Dan Hampton)

There is some very unique training that we must do here, that causes us to fly over the communities in Kentucky and in Tennessee. And many times if you’ve heard the helicopters fly over its very loud. We’ve got to fire artillery pieces in the impact area which all basically creates a noise issue with the surrounding communities. (Narrator 2)

We are seeing the development of communities which are trying to locate along corridors and one of those being the Interstate 8 corridor, which just happens to be the northern border of the Goldwater Range. Our concern is that, first and foremost, as a training range is that we retain the ability to have unfettered access to the Goldwater Range. (Jim Uken)

Davis-Monthan has a tale of two runways. The northwest end has encroachment, where the city has grown up right to the boundaries of the base with open desert area. (Michael Toriello)

Base commanders and their planners are aware of the area training on their residents and work to mitigate it. However they can do only so much and still maintain the quality of their training missions. (Narrator)

We have to be very proactive in how we handle everything we do with the community, and ensure that we go out in advance to build those relationships so that when problems arise, or when they are in the midst of planning we are kept involved and informed of everything that’s going on, and vice-versa, so they understand what things we’re working on, because many times they have ways to help us that we didn’t think about, and we certainly have input for them that they may not have planned for. (Colonel Frank Bottorff)

I see the base commander as the point of contact for the interface with the community and the success or failure of that base commander with that interface with the community boils down to how much he or she is willing to work outside the fence line. (Colonel Michael Spencer)

Communities realize the economic and cultural advantages of having military neighbors. They support the important jobs their bases do and take steps to protect the base through smart community planning and development. (Narrator)

Early on the Board of County Commissioners realized that encroachment could be a major problem if we didn’t take a leadership role and take some action to prevent encroachment and we knew that if it became a problem that it could impact the aviation training here to the point where the Navy may decide to move aviation training out of Pensacola. (Bill Dixon)

The economic revenue that is generated for the state is critical to us and to our sustainability and the economy. The military industry brings in an annual revenue generation of 5.7 billion dollars. (Deb Sydenham)

In 1973 the Navy and the Air Force instituted AICUZ, the Air Installation Compatible Use Zones program. The Army began what it now calls its Operational Noise Management Program. The studies produced by these programs include detailed maps of the noise footprints and accident potential zones around military installations and suggest compatible land use activities that can protect and support community economic development. In 1985, authority was enacted for the Department of Defense to provide assistance to state and local governments to plan and carry out strategies where encroachment by a civilian community is likely to impair the operations of a military installation. The Compatible Use program incorporates the Joint Land Use Study, or JLUS, as the means for delivering this assistance and helping states and communities to understand and apply ACUZ, an operation noise management program data to local planning and development efforts. (Narrator)

We went through a year, year and a half of meeting and public hearing and so forth on the JLUS study. Our major concern is to protect our military bases, to protect our ranges and so forth because our major issue is training these pilots and the men and women of the armed forces. (Lynn Farmer)

JLUS is managed by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, or OEA. When an affected local or state government undertakes a JLUS, or carries it out in cooperation with the military installation, OEA may facilitate communication between the base and the affected community, provide up to 90% of the efforts cost through a grant, and offer technical assistance for the effort. The effected community provides important leadership, including financial and political support, management of the JLUS, and carries out the JLUS recommendations. The objective is to support compatible use near our military installations wherein military and community needs are met through a balanced deliberative effort. (Narrator)

We went to the Chamber of Commerce, we went to the Board of Realtors, we went to the building industry, and we went to the citizens and we asked them to appoint people from their different associations to sit on those committees which they did. (Bill Dixon)

We had potential encroachments of a subdivision that was built very close to Saber Army Heliport, which if that had gone unchecked, it would cause a noise and light issue for our pilots that had to use the night vision devices to do their flying at night which they are going to do in war. So we had to work with the community of Clarksville, and basically we ended up acquiring one hundred and thirty acres of that land to stop that because that would have infringed on our training for wartime. (Ted Purdom)

We were concentrating on something that is kind of unique, trying to balance three competing and often incompatible leads. One was to sustain the training mission on Fort Bragg, where they could do the training that makes lots of noise that they need to do. The other thing was we needed to try to protect the natural environment, and thirdly then to make sure that the local governments are able to grow and have a healthy growth and development, but to do it in a way that doesn’t negatively impact on each other. I think that the Joint Land Use Study has helped to identify these issues and then I think it helped to identify positive recommendations and solutions to sustain this area for about 50 years. (Jim Dougherty)

The state or community funds and manages the development of the JLUS report with OEA financial and technical help, and adopts and implements the JLUS recommendations. Local installation commanders or their designees ensure the success of a JLUS through their active participation and sharing information about current and planned military operations and needs. (Narrator)

As a result of the Joint Land Use Study, agreements were made both by military and civilian leaders. The military were to restrict the times of flight and the altitudes of flight, the areas which they would be maneuvering in. The realtors were to disclose to those who were contemplating purchase or rentals that there are low flying aircraft that occasionally cause some loud noise when they are approaching over their touch and go maneuvers. (Derryl Garner)

UA Science and Tech park located about 30,000 feet southeast end of our runway belongs to the University of Arizona and it’s a technical science park where they do development and research. Also in there, there is a chartered school belonging to the Vale School District and we’ve been working very diligently with them to relocate that school which they are going to do within the next two years. (Michael Toriello)

The Department of Defense has programs to ensure the sustainability of bases and ranges, and relieve encroachment pressures. The Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative, REPI, allows military departments to partner with state and local government agencies and non-governmental organizations to establish buffer zones near training and testing areas. These programs, combined with the JLUS program add important tools to the compatible land use tool kit. (Narrator)

If we continue to plan, then we can help them bring in the right types of development around the base and help them plan where to do residential development. Then we can prevent incompatible land uses, and help plan for compatible use so that we can develop and grow together. (Colonel Frank Bottorff)

JLUS is an opportunity for states and communities to respond to the pressing issues of encroachment. Just as important, it also provides the catalyst for true partnerships between civilian and military neighbors. Partnerships that are invaluable for discussing other important issues. Along the way, the people involved are learning lessons that other communities near military installations can use. A JLUS can make recommendations that a state or community can implement to exist compatibility with active military installations helping to sustain the military presence. Implementation recommendations could include: Comprehensive planning, zoning regulations, modifications to local institutional controls, acquisition of property, conservation buffers, transfer of development rights, application of more restrictive subdivision and building codes, sound attenuation techniques and real estate disclosures. Those outcomes help to prevent local incompatible development from impairing our defense missions activities. (Narrator)

It has worked here so well that I have every feeling that it would be very helpful in any other military community. (Jim Dougherty)

We had some good recommendations come out of the study and the elected officials were able to act on that and as a result I think we’ve had a real success story here. I’m very happy for my community and I think we’ve seen some wonderful results. (Bill Dixon)

Biography

Colonel Frank Bottorff

Commanding Officer
MCAS Cherry Point, NC

Bill Dixon

County Commissioner
Escambia County, FL

Jim Dougherty

Executive Director, Regional Land Use Advisory Committee
Fort Bragg/Pope AFB, NC

Lynn Farmer

Town Manager
Gila Bend, AZ

Derryl Garner

Mayor
Newport, SC

Major Dan Hampton

F16 Pilot

Mary Ann Just

Local Resident
Fort Knox, KY

Doug Key

Media Relations Officer
Fort Knox, KY

Ted Purdom

Deputy Garrison Commander
Fort Campbell, KY

Colonel Michael Spencer

Former Commander, 355th Fighter Wing
Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Deb Sydenham

Assistant Deputy Director for Development
Department of Commerce, AZ

Michael Toriello

Deputy Engineer
Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Jim Uken

Director, 56th Range Management Office
Luke AFB, AZ