Press-Republican

Opinion

May 23, 2013

Letters to the Editor: May 23, 2013

Alert Facility

TO THE EDITOR: I journeyed over to the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base recently to attend a meeting of the ad hoc group (mostly Air Force veterans like myself) hoping to launch a Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum.

By chance, I learned that the base’s Alert Facility has been removed from both the physical and historical landscapes.

This structure, with unique tunnel-like appendages leading out to tarmac where aircraft stood armed, fueled and ready for takeoff, was home, for weeks at a time, to hundreds and hundreds of Strategic Air Command aircrews for three-plus decades.

I had the honor, as the base public affairs officer for three years in the late 1980s, of escorting local news-media representatives into the Alert Facility in 1988 after word came down from the secretary of defense in the waning days of the Cold War.

The Alert Facility, which was a short walk away from the airport passenger terminal now in use, would have made a perfect site for the planned museum, with the structure itself serving as part of the Cold War story.

Removing the alert facility was a wrong move. Generations of Americans to come will need historical artifacts like the Plattsburgh AFB Alert Facility to learn about the sacrifices paid by Americans before them. Too bad the building itself didn’t have a voice.

ALAN C. GREGORY

Retired lieutenant colonel

Williston, Vt.

+++++

Treehouse fundraiser

TO THE EDITOR: On Saturday, May 11, the City of Plattsburgh and the Saranac River Trail Committee hosted the inaugural Treehouse 10K/5K race along the Saranac River Trail in Plattsburgh.

This was the first race of its kind in Plattsburgh, along the River Trail. More than 150 runners came out and raised $2,300 for the Max Moore Memorial Treehouse, a universally accessible treehouse slated to be built along the trail.

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