This rally takes place every year in Nampa, Idaho. This is the first time in 42 years and in the history of the State of Idaho, the Pentagon has taken such a stance. Just think about that one, and the approved requests of administrations that at the very least left a whole lot to be desired such as Lyndon B. Johnson (I won't even get started there, because this one would take an entire blog entry. I'll suffice it to say Johnson was one of the major reasons we did not win the Vietnam war), Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. As far to the left as these administrations were, this rally was still granted their annual flyover request. It wasn't until this year, with Obama in office, that suddenly there's a problem.
Here is a copy of the Pentagon's response to the application:
Thank you for your request for Air Force aviation support during God and Country Festival on 01 Jul 2009 in Nampa , ID.
We have carefully reviewed this particular event. As you may recall from the request form's instructions, the Department of Defense (DoD) authorizes the Air Force to participate in flyovers for those recognition events held in direct support of the five patriotic holidays (Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, POW-MIA Day and Veterans Day) and for aviation-related events, such as airshows and airport dedications. Sporting events that fall on one of the five patriotic holidays mentioned above are not considered to be events held in direct support of a holiday commemoration and will require a waiver.
Your Air Force aviation support request doesn't fall into either approved category, as such, we are unable to approve it. Air Force and DoD policy prohibit support for events which appear to endorse, selectively benefit, or favor any special interest group, religious or ideological movement.
With an increasingly high operations tempo and limited resources to meet our training and operational commitments, we are required to take a hard look at all of our requests and carefully follow our policies and guidelines. In denying your request, we are not questioning the worthiness of the event, but rather enforcing DoD and Air Force policy to preserve the operational and training requirements of our aviation units and to practice the prudent stewardship of taxpayer-financed resources.
We hope that you can appreciate and understand our position. We believe that your event will,
nevertheless, be a success. Any further questions can be referred to me at (telephone number omitted*)
(telephone number omitted*) Phone
(telephone number omitted*) Fax
*I intentionally deleted contact telephone numbers and the responding staffmember's name. This staffmember is a Sergeant who is serving his country. He is following orders and this statement does not reflect his position on the matter. I deleted contact information because I did not want the possibility of anyone calling him and being rude, hateful, or disrespectful for something over which he has no control. My regular readers and followers would not do so, but there are many more who read my blog unbeknownst to me, some of whom might unjustly express their displeasure to this serviceman. Objections to this action should be sent to the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.
I can't imagine how this made the 60 new recruits feel. And the idea that the government has to "practice the prudent stewardship of taxpayer-financed resources" is ludicrous. We can drop trillions of dollars into a supposed economic stimulus package that has done absolutely nothing for economic recovery, but we don't have the money for this flyover? Air Force pilots have to have a certain amount of flying time each month anyway, and things like this count, so the expense will be there regardless.
I guess the Pentagon has granted a lot of waivers to a lot of events, because I've seen flyovers at more than what the Pentagon stated. We've all seen them at the Super Bowl, the World Series, and other non-aviation events in the past on plenty of occasions.
It sure is easy to see the Defense Secretary Gates' fingerprint all over this one.