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Posts Tagged ‘Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’

Part of the year we live in a small Sonoran Desert age-restricted (55+) community. There are no boom boxes masquerading as cars, no outdoor rock concerts, no jake-brake-using diesel trucks. Little happens after dark. Everybody goes home and goes to bed. Contrary to popular myth, older people don’t blast their TVs, stereos or electric organs. When the power went out last week it took us a while to notice what was missing…sounds like the refrigerator running and the a.c. blowing. It was lovely, in an eerie sort of way.

Still, even here, the world in all its naked noisiness, all too frequently jars the quiet.

A10s from the Davis/Monthan website

A10s from the Davis/Monthan website

We live within miles of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Their mission? “Deploy, employ, support, and sustain attack airpower in support of Combatant Commanders anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. Train the finest attack pilots for the Combat Air Forces. Provide every member of Team D-M with responsive, tailored, mission-focused base support.” (http://www.dm.af.mil/index.asp). That translates into a lot of overhead noise (sometimes exceptionally loud) as mysterious unseeable objects hurdle by overhead. I guess I’m supposed to feel safe.

152nd Fighter Squadron  Air National Guard Tucson

152nd Fighter Squadron
Air National Guard Tucson

Adjoining D-M is the 162d Fighter Wing (162 FW) of the Arizona Air National Guard, stationed at Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona. They’re a premier training facility where air force pilots from around the world have come to train including from mid-eastern countries like Israel, Jordan, the United Arab Emigrates and Turkey as well as Thailand, Denmark, Sweden, Chile, Italy, Taiwan, Portugal and others. And yes, when they practice It’s Loud.

Then there are assorted helicopters at all hours of the day and night. Tucson Metro Police as well as Pima County Sheriffs are out there scanning for drug smugglers, runaway convicts and other assorted other n’r-do-wells. Oh and to keep up on accidents and traffic we’ve got the local TV stations. OK so we live less than thirty miles south of Tucson, and only forty miles north of Nogales and Mexico. So I know I have to accept big city and border issues noise.

sound levels  courtesy of Wikipdian

sound levels
courtesy of Wikipdian

Still, it’s those blasted leaf blowers and lawn mowers that can truly lay me low. We live in a very well kept, greenly landscaped community which requires a veritable battalion of gardeners to keep it pristine. While I appreciate the almost compulsive striving for neatness, when they start blowing at my back door at 6:30 am, count me out. I’m not alone: “The World Health Organization recommends general daytime outdoor noise levels of 55 dBA* or less, but 45 dBA to meet sleep criteria (3). Thus, even a 65-decibel leaf blower would be 100 times too loud** to allow healthful sleep (which often takes place during daytime hours for night workers and others). Noise can impair sleep even when the sleeper is not awakened. Acoustics experts say blower noise is especially irritating because of its particular pitch, the changing amplitude, and the lack of control by the hearer. (my emphasis added). (http://www.nonoise.org/quietnet/cqs/leafblow.htm

Hear, Hear. I hope.

The Scream  courtesy of the Edvard Munch Gallery

The Scream
courtesy of the Edvard Munch Gallery

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