Steve Ford, editorial page editor at the News and Observer, comes through loud and clear today on the Outlying Landing Field controversy. He's the first person I've read who gets right down to the real nitty-gritty behind this fiasco. His column discusses the relative merits of different proposed sites, including one in Craven County. But in passing, he hits on the Big Unspoken Truth about the Navy and the Navy pilots that are driving the OLF train off the cliff.
Not to slide too far down the conspiratorial slope, but is there also a worry that picking Craven County for the OLF would create pressure to move the whole Super Hornet operation to Cherry Point? Do Norfolk-area Navy folks not want to get stuck down in Marine Corps country?
This is what it all comes down to. The "right" place for the whole Super Hornet operation is indeed Cherry Point. Always has been, always will be. And what's the problem with Cherry Point? Just this: Navy pilots don't want to have to live with a bunch of high-and-tight Marines out in the boondocks.
Despite the fact that the Marines are part of the Navy, and despite the fact that hundreds of millions, if not billions, would be saved over the long term by consolidating the Super Hornets at Cherry Point, it offends the genteel sensibilities of Navy pilots to even consider being stationed in Marineland. And because of the Navy's arrogance, people all over North Carolina are having to fight for their lives and their livelihoods against a Navy run amok.