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May 14, 2004

Mr. James G. Roche
Secretary of the Air Force
Department of the Air Force
Pentagon, 1670 Air Force, RM4E871
Washington, DC 20330-1670

Proposed Relocation of the California Air National Guard 129th Rescue Wing

Dear Secretary Roche:

On behalf of the Mountain View City Council, I am writing to you to reiterate the City's opposition to the proposed relocation of the California Air National Guard 129th Rescue Wing (129th RQW) from Moffett Federal Airfield to Castle Airport in Atwater, California.

The City of Mountain View has long considered the 129th RQW's presence at Moffett Federal Airfield as beneficial to its residents, California and the nation because of the 129th RQW's vital role in California and national civil and military defense efforts.

Additionally, the City of Mountain View is opposed to the proposed relocation of the 129th RQW from Moffett Federal Airfield because of the following concerns:

The City of Mountain View has identified potentially significant errors in some of the data used in the cost comparison section of the Environmental Assessment (EA) conducted by the Guard for the proposed late relocation. These errors could seriously undermine, or perhaps even invalidate, the EA's conclusions regarding the potential cost benefits of relocating the 129th RQW.

Of particular concern was that the cost calculations included in the EA did not acknowledge or include the financial impact/ investment loss of the 129th RQW abandoning the $14 million investment that was made on the 129th RQW's behalf in recent years for a new maintenance hangar at Moffett Field.

The 129th RQW's continued presence at Moffett Federal Airfield has become more critical since the events of September 11. The City of Mountain View considers the 129th RQW's presence essential to the security of its residents and the greater Bay Area should an act of terrorism or a natural disaster occur in the heart of the Silicon Valley.

The City of Mountain View is concerned that the departure of the 129th RQW from Moffett could undermine Moffett's continued status as a secure airport facility and lead to proposals for other uses of the runways or other Moffett facilities used by the 129th RQW. These other uses may be much more intrusive and less compatible with the community and negatively impact the award-winning multi-year development plan NASA Ames Research Center (NASA) is currently pursuing at Moffett Field to bring together government entities, academia, industry and nonprofit organizations to advance research, facilitate science and technology education, and develop work force enhancement programs that will have long-lasting benefits to schools, universities, students, researchers and businesses throughout the Bay Area.

The reopening of the former Castle Air Force Base (which was closed as a result of the 1990 BRAC process) to accommodate the relocation of the 129th RQW appears to be not only contradictory to the 1990 BRAC decision to close Castle but also the military downsizing and cost containment goals of the next BRAC round scheduled to begin in March 2005.

The City of Mountain View requests that these concerns be carefully considered in your decision regarding the future of the 129th RQW at Moffett Federal Airfield.


Matt Pear

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