Glendening a star in 'Jaws' remake?I read with interest...


September 30, 1997

Glendening a star in 'Jaws' remake?

I read with interest the article Sept. 21 on Gov. Parris N. Glendening hosting other governors in connection with the recent fish kills on the Eastern Shore.

The constant assurances that all was well with the Chesapeake Bay reminded me of the mayor in the movie ''Jaws,'' who refused to close the beaches because his fear of losing tourist dollars outweighed his concern for public safety.

John F. Capossela

Sherwood Forest

Don't like the fees? Stop using ATMs!

To those who are complaining about the charges imposed on users of ATM machines, I have a simple solution: Stop using the machines.

What did all these people do before there were ATMs? My wife and I have had bank accounts since long before there were ATMs, and we have never yet used an ATM.

We use credit cards on as many bills as possible, using cards that have no fee, and we pay them off each month. They also have a small rebate.

We have a good idea how much cash we will need for a month and take out that much, keep it at home and carry in our wallets a small amount. The monthly amount is our own home ATM, from which we make our withdrawals, with zero transaction fee. The monthly amount is obtained by a personal visit to our bank.

Try it, it works.

Andy Gardner


Comparing apples to oranges in gulf war

Will Englund's article ''$43 million jet flew out of secrecy'' (Sept. 15) on the F-117 fell short of providing accurate information, since it was based on the General Accounting Office's report on the gulf war.

The GAO report questioned the effectiveness of stealth technology and compared the F-117 to the ''older and much lower-priced A-10 Thunderbolt'' aircraft.

The official Department of Defense response criticized the GAO's findings for not using ''valid and consistent'' measures to compare the two aircraft. The F-117's design optimizes the blend of stealth technology with precision weapons to engage high-threat, strategic targets at long range, leveraging technology to gain a decisive advantage. The A-10 could not accomplish the F-117's mission because the A-10 was designed to support ground forces engaging the enemy at the front lines of battle -- not deep behind enemy lines.

Further, to say the A-10 suffered no losses and no battle damage is wrong and does a grave disservice to the airmen who flew the A-10 during the gulf war. Two pilots lost their lives and three became prisoners of war when their A-10s were shot down. A total of six A-10s were lost in combat. Additionally, 51 incidents of battle damage were reported, of which 14 incidents required extensive repair. In contrast, the F-117s did not suffer a single incident of battle damage, nor were any aircraft lost.

The GAO contended that the F-117's success ''was due more to the jamming of enemy radar and flying at high altitude and at night'' than the use of stealth technology, contending that some ''stealth aircraft were fired upon before they released their weapons.''

There is absolutely no evidence of aimed fire, either surface-to-air missile or anti-aircraft artillery, directed against the F-117s during the gulf war. There are, however, many incidents of Iraqi air defense units' firing ''blindly'' into the sky following the initial detonations of allied bombs or at the sound of an aircraft overhead.

Without a doubt, the support of electronic jamming and the use of sound tactics enhances overall combat effectiveness. The addition of stealth technology provides a decisive advantage. As the Air Force fields the F-22 and B-2, stealth technology will continue to provide a decisive advantage for our combat airmen.

Lt. Gen. John P. Jumper


The writer is deputy chief of staff for air and space operations of the U.S. Air Force.

Pub Date: 9/30/97

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