In response to outdoor advocacy groups’ objection to the proposal by the Army to use wilderness areas to train for high-altitude helicopter operations, Joint Base Lewis-McChord has frozen the proposal while it looks for sites where aviation crews can train without disrupting hikers and campers (TNT, 4-6).
I’m fairly certain that the countless number of climbers who have been rescued from Mount Rainier by Army helicopters were pretty grateful and not one bit concerned that their outdoor experience had been disturbed by the sound of an approaching helicopter.
Now, compare the sacrifices made by this country during World War II to the current unwillingness to even acknowledge the need to train to fight the ever-widening threat of terrorism.
Think that it can’t happen here? Remember New York? Or Paris? Or Brussels?
That JBLM has heard the objections to training in pristine areas is commendable. For the outdoor advocacy groups to ignore the real-world need to train is staggeringly selfish and shortsighted. We, as a country, owe them the opportunity to train as they will fight.