By Spc. M. Benjamin Gable, 2nd CAB Public Affairs OfficeAugust 27, 2008
The commander of the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade hosted a town hall meeting to discuss issues concerning the community of Pyongtaek July 11.
Col. Joseph A. Bassani addressed ways the U.S. military plans to control noise caused by low-flying aircraft and night time training exercises in and around Camp Humphreys.
The town hall meeting was an opportunity for concerned locals to voice their opinions and offer advice on ways to keep the noise to a minimum. Approximately 75 members of the Pyongteak community attended the open meeting.
Bassani began by acknowledging the importance of military training in Korea, but also recognized that locals have the right to quality of life. He said the military's presence here should provide as few disruptions as possible.
During a slide show illustrating current flight paths for 2nd CAB, Bassani clarified arrival and departure routes and why these specific routes are vital to mission success.
"All pilots have their maps marked with these routes and these no-fly areas," said Bassani, asserting his dedication to noise control and safety. "We take every effort to avoid schools and built-up areas to operate friendly."
In addition to avoiding these locales, all pilots have also been instructed to avoid any needless hovering over residential areas and livestock. Bassani also informed those in attendance that he has a policy letter that is briefed to the crews and is designed to minimize the impact of operations on the lives of the citizens of the community.
Bassani summed up his presentation by saying it is important to keep an open dialogue with the community so they know the military is trying very hard to fly in a neighborly manner and have minimum impact on the lives of those living in and around Camp Humphreys.
The floor was then opened for questions or comments regarding noise control within the community.
According to In-Jae Lee, a member of the Pyongtaek community and moderator for the town hall meeting, the citizens were pleased with both the answers given by Bassani and the actions 2nd CAB has already taken to relieve noise in the area.
"We have supported and will continue to support the American military here because we know they keep the best interests of the community," said Lee.
This town hall meeting was the first of many to come for Bassani as commander of the 2nd CAB.
Bassani added that any issues should be addressed, so the military can do its best to balance the need to train and fight with the need to protect the citizens' quality of life.