AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AIR FORCE
Air Force Chief of Staff, General Ron Fogleman
The Pentagon, Washington, D C
Subject: Ill-Advised Fighter-Bomber Operations at Reno's Civilian Airport
22 March, 1997
Dear General Fogleman,
Reno citizens continue to thank you for the role you played in helping them in their efforts to correct the Nevada Air Guard mission in 1995... I have personally found Renoites to be a very patriotic group of citizens. But the ongoing unjustified and ill-advised visits to Reno by various fighter-bomber units might possibly be testing their loyalty.
It was just weeks ago that Air Force F-16 pilots embarrassed, and had to be chastised by, the Air Force for their poor lack of judgment. That time, the F-16s were terrorizing civilians in the sky by chasing after airliners. Today, 22 March, 1997, they have outdone themselves...
General Fogleman, for some bizarre reason, 8 fighter-bombers (four F-16s and four F-15s) saw fit to "visit" the civilian city of Reno, Nevada. With some 40 to 60 expensive military bases in the USA to choose from, it is beyond bizarre to see them parked over by Reno's civilian golf course.
Why would Air Force pilots come to Reno? With no military functions justifying their presence, what could they be doing in this land of Gambling Palaces and Mustang Ranch?
In addition to the obvious fact that these fighter-bombers are, by their very nature, far too dangerous and noisy to be operating at a noise-sensitive civilian airport, there are a plethora of questions that any patriotic tax-paying citizen would want answered:
a. Why are F-16s allowed to stage operations out of a civilian city with Sidewinder missiles and Smart bombs plainly visible on their wings?
b. Why are expensive and secret fighter-bombers allowed to park by a civilian golf course with basically no official or effective security and protection against sabotage?
c. Why are fighter-bombers operating out of an airport that has no proper emergency equipment... especially no arresting barrier to keep the jets from crashing into the street after a loss of brakes during landing or aborted takeoff?
d. With no military operations in Reno this weekend, how can you justify the terrible waste of taxes and abuse of privilege and authority by these men sworn to protect America?
"What are they doing here?"
If one of these fighter-bombers was to crash into a civilian populace on takeoff, the repercussions would be disastrous for the reputation of the Air Force...
Sir, we highly recommend that you take all actions and disseminate all directives to preclude further cases of questionable judgment by officers under your command.
By the way, these pilots are not the only culpable entity. Reno citizens are also critical of the Reno City Council and its appointed Airport staff. They should also be pro-active and discourage military boondoggles in Reno.
This letter and accompanying fighter-bomber photographs, and many other articles on the subjects, can be found in
The Reno Citizen Internet Magazine at: http://www.renocitizen.com
and at: http:webitor.com
Sam Dehne, Citizens Advocate
PS We are informed that there is a secret study, sponsored by the Reno Airport and the Nevada Air Guard, that is conjuring up excuses to build a huge military complex in the middle of Reno. Sir, citizens do not want USA Defense taxes wasted on such an inappropriate project... not the study and not the $$multi-million dollar military complex, itself.
It would behoove your office to take a pro-active stance against this project.
In case you do not access the photos on the internet, the F-16 tailnumbers are:
AF 93 551
AF 91 370
AF 92 890
AF 92 899
When they took off from Reno at 1030 AM, 24 Mar - they performed stunt maneuvers, with vertical rolls over downtown Reno! With bombs and rockets under their wings!!
Cowboys should not be doing this with dozens of thousands of citizens directly below.
It may be pretty... but not smart.
The Reno Hilton can be plainly seen in the background... to the right.
Sidewinder Missiles and Smart Bombs on wings... security?
F-16 Fighter Bombers with weapons under wings and Mt Rose in the background...