EDITOR’S NOTE: Last year the US Navy decided to expand its NAS Key West training program which will execute an estimated 52,000 flight operations a year out of Boca Chica Field. This makes NAS Key West one of the busiest training facilities on the east coast, but many believe it has also turned surrrounding neighborhoods into a living hell. Politicians and local activists pushed back hard but despite their efforts were unable to get the Navy to reconsider the program or to bring mitigation measures. But the residents of Stock Island and Key Haven may have found an unlikely hero: Twenty-five year Navy veteran, John Hammerstrom. Hammertrom retired as a Navy aviator with the rank of Commander and is the most lethal type of government Whistleblower: He loves the Navy. But he has come across what he believes is a pattern of repeated misrepresentations and even outright fraud in the impact assessment of the flight program. He wants it straightened out and he’s not taking no for an answer. Last Tuesday Hammerstrom took his accusations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Below is his formal complaint to the regional FBI unit in Miami.
Commander John Hammerstrom, USN (Ret)
P.O. Box 860
Tavernier, FL 33070
January 21, 2014
Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge
Federal Bureau of Investigation,
16320 NW 2nd Avenue
North Miami Beach, FL 33169
Dear Agent Steinbach,
I request a meeting with you, or one of your staff to detail the following:
In violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1001 and other laws, officials of the U.S. Navy knowingly and willfully made a materially false statement in their October 31, 2013 Record of Decision (ROD) for the Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The fraud invalidates key findings of the parent document – the FEIS itself.
The false statement is “The 2003 Environmental Assessment (EA) for Fleet Support and Infrastructure Improvements at NAS Key West analyzed potential impacts to the human environment, including noise and flight paths resulting from all transient aircraft operations, including the F/A18E/F operations. As a result of that analysis, the DoN reached a Finding of No Significant Impact on April 14, 2003, which completed and satisfied the NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] requirements associated with the introduction of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet at NAS Key West.”
In fact, the 2003 EA pertains to modernizing “…ship and aircraft support functions and facilities at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West including Boca Chica and Truman Harbor.” The 2003 EA does not evaluate the potential “…impacts to the human environment…from all transient aircraft operations, including the F/A-18E/F operations …” as claimed.
The evidence: Continue reading