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