A recent letter by an out-of-town consultant regarding wind farms was so faulty that I feel obliged to reply. He implied that military leadership is fully educated on a potential wind farm before development moves forward, and that the wind farm industry would never take any action that could harm a military base’s mission. In the case of recent developments near Sheppard Air Force Base, leases were being negotiated with landowners before our local military and business community were even aware that such a project was being planned.
In addition, the writer says that the negative effect on military radar can be mitigated and that the wind farm developers will pay for it. However, there’s been no effective process created to mitigate that effect. The technology just doesn’t exist. Saying you’re going to spend money to do something doesn’t mean it can actually be done.
Finally, Sheppard is a training base. Much like you’d take your teenager to a big empty parking lot to practice driving, Wichita Falls was chosen as the site for SAFB in large part due to the vast, wide expanse of flat land with few obstructions. You don’t want pilot trainees having to deal with towers hundreds of feet tall.
Sheppard Air Force Base provides the largest single economic impact to our community, over $5 billion a year. If a company that big were located here, we’d do everything we could to protect it against any possible threat. We need to do the same for our base.
– Henry Florsheim, President & CEO, Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce
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