EXPOSING LEAHY’S LEGACY OF LIES — Part 2
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
Quotations from the Air Force’s official records of the F-35 Burlington Basing Selection Process
“We are here to read to you a quotation from the Air Force official administrative record of the F-35 Burlington basing selection process and to get your response to it.”
“We request that Senator Leahy initiate an independent investigation into the political corruption of the F-35 Burlington basing selection process.”
Day 29: Monday, December 2, 2019
On November 18, 2010, Mr Penland, the Chief of Operational Basing at Headquarters Air Force, wrote to Mr Bush, an official at Headquarters Air Force Installations office expressing frustration about using two different methods to assess the F-35 noise. Air Force officials are concerned that being forced to abandon their past noise measurement tool and use a new, and as yet unproven, noise model for Burlington will result in the Air Force being sued. Karnes 2 and 3 are computer-generated methods of calculating noise.
“I don’t know how you use Karnes 3 for one place and Karnes 2 for all others?!? Seems like we would be setting ourselves up for a legal challenge.” (Admin Record #45943)
Then on January 24, 2011, Ms Engelman, an official with Headquarters Air Force Noise/Encroachment Management office, wrote to Mr Downing, a defense contractor on the same issue. She expressed frustration that their year-long efforts to get a scientific noise assessment tool, called Karnes 2, were destroyed by political interference by the Vermont Air National Guard working with Lockheed Martin to come up with a new way of assessing F-35 noise. She expresses the confusion this caused, and that the process was muddled by the new tool (Karnes 3) that Lockheed Martin created. This is the tool that Senator Leahy forced the Air Force to use.
”What started as a fairly simple effort to re-fly approaches to get better power settings got partially hijacked by the effort to validate Karnes 2 by a recently created Lockheed Martin tool. With the mixing of the effort I had been trying to get executed since last January, and the Vermont Guard-Lockheed Martin exercise, there is no longer a clear sense of what we were trying to do and what the inputs should have been. I think this is a good example of what happens when we get too many cooks in the kitchen.” (Admin Records #46651 and 46667)
Day 30: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
On April 7, 2011, Ms Kathleen Ferguson, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics & Environment wrote to to Colonel Nelson, the Director of Planning and Programs in the Secretary of the Air Force office expressing doubt about using the new noise modeling tool devised by
Lockheed Martin in concert with the Vermont Air National Guard and forced upon them by Senator Leahy. “…makes me wonder whether there is value in going to Karnes 3???”
On the same day, the Chief of Operational Basing at Headquarters Air Force explained to Secretary Ferguson that regardless of how the noise measurement tool is manipulated, or how pilots try to alter the way they fly the aircraft, the F-35 will produce the noise it does because of its design. Trying to alter the way the aircraft flies will not affect the noise it produces. “Karnes 3 and its lower power settings are only magnifying the issue. The issue exists no matter what profiles you use, since it is resident in the noise source data itself…” (Admin Record #47384)
Day 31: Wednesday, December 4, 2019
On April 18, 2011, Mr Penland, the Chief of Operational Basing at Headquarters Air Force, wrote to Col Dutkus, an officer at Headquarters Air Force Operations explaining (and complaining) that Senator Leahy was the reason for the complications the Air Force was experiencing by using a new computer- generated noise model (Karnes 3) before the tool was ready to be used. As a result, the Air Force was unsure whether this unproven tool would produce accurate F-35 noise levels. Penland implies that Leahy only wanted this new tool used because it appeared to show that the F-35 was less loud than the established noise measurement tool, called Karnes 2, that the Air Force had been using for previous basing decisions and Environmental Impact Statements. Penland also expresses concern that the Air Force may again be sued by the city of Valparaiso, FL. This was because the Air Force used Karnes 2 for the F-35s EIS for Eglin Air Force Base near Valparaiso Fl.
He also raises concerns that the F-35 noise levels resulting from real world flight testing done at Edwards Air Force Base, don’t match the projected noise levels from Karnes 3. He states that this conflicting noise information may have long-term consequences for all F-35 EISs. The Air Force officials are also concerned that if Leahy is successful in getting the Air Force to change noise models, the Air Force may be accused of manipulating the noise data and “cooking the books.”
“A letter from Sen Leahy from Vermont pushing for use of Karnes 3 is what started us down this road. At the time Karnes 3 was still in development and was showing lower power settings and potentially lower noise. Reduced noise contours may or may not come to fruition as the speeds changed as well and increased exposure time, so it may be a wash. Karnes 3 was not originally planned to be used in the current/ongoing EIS for F35, but as a refinement later on down the road. Sen Leahy somehow found out about it and pushed to include it into OPS EIS that is ongoing.
The other part of the politics is the issue with the city of Valparaiso outside of Eglin. They have sued us once and dropped the lawsuit while we looked at other options….That is why we must be able to explain the big difference between the Mineral Wells and Edwards data, as it will come up and we could be accused of cooking the books.
This has far reaching implications as a legal challenge to the Eglin SEIS [Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement] could put all F35 EISs at risk.” (Admin Record #47410)
Day 32: Thursday, December 5, 2019
On December 10, 2010, an unidentified Air Force pilot wrote to Mr Penland, the Headquarters Air Force chief of Operational Basing. The pilot seems to imply that the truth about the actual noise of the F-35 was being suppressed, and that telling the truth was dangerous.
“HAHA! But the toughest part of this exercise is for anyone with integrity is that it IS a freakin’ loud aircraft! The only aircraft I have ever flown formation with that I can hear from route position.
(Now…forget I said that, and delete this email, and empty your trash. And the double-secret network trash cache, too!)”
That same day, Mr Penland commented on this pilot’s remarks to Col Spacy in the Headquarters Air Force Legislative Liaison office:
“Just so you know I’m not the only one who thinks this is an issue!! This is from someone who had flown with them.” (Admin Record #46447)
Day 33: Friday, December 6, 2019
On September 11, 2013, Mr Dryden, an official at Headquarters Air Force Installation office wrote to Mr Germanos, the F-35 Burlington Basing EIS Project Manager exclaiming that the F-35 noise cannot be blocked or lessened, and that Burlington was the worst of all of the bases being considered for the F-35 basing.
“Why would you think that the noise at Burlington can be addressed with mitigation? Outside purchase and relocation of those affected, I don’t know what could be done. The results of the EIS indicates Burlington is the wrong answer of all the alternatives.” (Admin Record #62486)