Residents sound off on GRASI war games

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM.

Mark Nobles, manager of Carrabelle’s Thompson field, said due to a lack of radar coverage and limitations on communications, he did not believe existing civilian air traffic could safely share the air space over Tate’s Hell with the proposed military air traffic flying at speeds of 250 to 600 mph.

 “Our objection to your planned usage is not in any measure a reflection of our patriotism,” he said. “I proudly served in the US Marine Corps and have the utmost respect for our young men and women who serve our country today. It is also in concern for their safety during these training exercises that I point out major deficiencies in your plan. “

Nobles also worried about the economic impact on the county. “Tate’s Hell State Forest is one of the largest employers in the county, providing income for families that would otherwise be suffering,” he said.

A surprise speaker in Carrabelle was Sue Early, who said she lives on the Wakulla side of the Ochlocknee River . She said Wakulla residents adjacent to the state forest were not notified of the meeting.

“I respectfully request that a workshop be held in Wakulla County ,” Early said.

One of the last speakers in Apalachicola was Commissioner Cheryl Sanders who has staunchly opposed the military exercises since they were first proposed.

 “If Franklin County and its residents had been contacted (when the use of Tate’s Hell was first discussed), we would have told you how we felt and you could have saved a lot of time and money,” she said. “We supported the sale of that land to the state knowing that it took it off the tax rolls. We have something we value very much here. God has made us stewards.



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