Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: Re: Bombing the Boy Scouts? No! (... Philmont overflights)
Re: Bombing the Boy Scouts? No! (... Philmont overflights)
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 13:39:10 -0700
TO: Scouts-L and BSA-CentralCal DL's
Here's an email letter that Rick Tavan, one of our Troop/Post leaders (and
who's heading up a Philmont Trek this summer) wrote to our representatives:
Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Bingaman, and Donenici (Senate), and Tom
Campbell (our rep in the House). Any of you would be welcome to use this is
the basis for a quick email or letter to your OWN congressional delegation!
Paul Wesling Scoutmaster, Troop 566 of Saratoga, CA
From: Rick Tavan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 1999 12:19 PM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Bombing the Boy Scouts? No!
(Postmaster - Senator Boxer's Web site does not indicate an email address
for public opinion messages. I would appreciate it if you would please
forward this to the senator or appropriate staff member.)
Dear Senators and Congressmen:
It has come to my attention that the Air Force is planning a training
program known as RBTI (Realistic Bomber Training Initiative). Evidently,
the program involves low altitude training for bomber pilots. The training
is to be conducted 365 days a year with about 7 flights per day at
altitudes of 300 to 1000 feet. 20% of the flights are expected to take
place between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM. The aircraft are B-52s and B-1s, very
large, very loud aircraft. At issue is the location for these training
flights. One airspace being considered is the Mt. Dora Military Operations
Area (MOA) in New Mexico which happens to overlie the Philmont Scout Ranch.
This is a terribly inappropriate location for this mission. I urge you to
take any and all measures at your disposal to eliminate this location from
consideration. Hearings are planned for April 13 in Angel Fire, NM, so time
is of the essence.
Philmont is a national treasure, the largest and most popular camping
reservation operated by the Boy Scouts of America. Over one million Scouts
apply annually to attend camping programs in this magnificent wilderness
area. There they learn practical skills of outdoorsmanship, teamwork and
leadership and develop attitudes of self-confidence and respect for nature.
A trip to Philmont is the high point of a Scouting career, a vital part of
a program that has produced more leaders of industry, more Presidents, more
scientists, astronauts and members of Congress than any other youth
movement in history. The Philmont experience is physically challenging and
sleep at its high elevations can be difficult. A nightly bomber run over
the terrain would dramatically degrade the experience. Imagine waking up to
hundred-decibel nightmares every night! Six more runs during daylight hours
would not help much, either. I fear that such a program would threaten the
viability of Philmont as a camping venue.
Note also that low-altitude training is a particularly dangerous mission.
Please recall the tragedy last year in the Italian alps that took the lives
of twenty innocent skiers. That mission was planned for significantly
higher altitudes than those anticipated for RBTI. Although the Scouts at
Philmont do not ride cable cars, accidents do happen in military aviation
training. We must not place thousands of our Boy Scouts in similar risk
Thank you for your attention and your help.
Richard M. Tavan
20297 Hickory Hill Way
Saratoga, CA 95070