Study aims to protect military and civilian interests

By: Denise Bradberry Email
By: Denise Bradberry Email

Residents of communities around Fort Rucker hear the results from a Joint Land Use Study designed to accommodate the military's need to train and the communities' growth.

News 4 heard resident's concerns... And has more

"The military and civilians have to co-exist," says resident Lorenzo Harrison.

A recent Joint Land Use Study offers suggestions to protect Fort Rocker from urban encroachment and guards civilians from danger and noise levels.

“To try to minimize from here some of these issues from occurring from now on,” says Scott Farmer from the Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development Committee.

Residents voiced individual concerns.

The biggest topic was noise.

"I come in at night, try to relax a little bit, what happens? A 30 mm cannon cuts loose and then a 2.75 rocket. Before that I hear the noise of the apache gunships as he makes his turn,” says Joe McDaniel, a resident.

"In all that has been investigated and done and talked about with different people, what has changed?" asked Brenda Byrd, a resident.

"There have been a number of things changed,” says Jack Holmes with Fort Rucker Airspace Control, “Now if you live within I think 3,000 feet of shell field when you buy a home you'll sign a document that say I’m aware of where I’m living.”

"There’s some things that we just cannot fix and that's just a fact of life,” says Holmes.

"When the pilots leave here and head into the war zone, you want them to have all the possible scenarios they can go through with all the proper training. We know that everybody isn't going to be satisfied, or convenience but what you have to look at is the majority of the people," says Harrison.

The study recommends trying to rework flight schedules to minimize disturbance and offers the possibility of an organization like Forever Wild purchasing land surrounding these military facilities as a wildlife buffer zone.

Now that the study has been completed, it's up to city and county leaders to consider the recommendations and take action.

You can find a link to the entire study at the link below.

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