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Friday, October 24, 2014

Mountain Home named preferred site for Saudi squadron

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Idaho congressional delegation received notification Friday that Mountain Home Air Force Base has been chosen as the preferred site to host a training mission for the Royal Saudi Air Force.

Placing a training base in the United States is part of a $60 billion arms package the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is purchasing from the U.S., which includes 84 new F-15SA fighter jets and upgrades to the Saudi's current inventory of F-15C fighters.

"This is a process that has been in place for quite some time," said Mountain Home Mayor Tom Rist.

(Photo)
"As city officials we will work closely with Air Force" to address all the concerns that would be associated with any beddown of the Saudi Squadron, he said.

"This is something that is extremely important to the United States government and Mountain Home has always been fiercely loyal to the Air Force and the U.S. government."

"We plan on working closely with everyone to bring this to fruition," he said.

Col. Pete Lee, vice commander of the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base described the announcement as "a great opportunity," for the base, the local community and the region.

Although the details of the mission will be finalized in the Memorandum of Agreement between the two nations, under the U.S.' Strategic Basing process, the RSAF training squadron will likely be composed of 12 aircraft with 50 pilots and 100-200 maintenance personnel, some of whom will bring their families.

Holloman AFB in New Mexico, Hill AFB in Utah and Nellis AFB in Nevada are the other U.S. bases that have been under consideration for the Saudi squadron, but the Air Force has selected Mountain Home as its preferred alternative. Public meetings will be held by the Air Force on the mission and to receive feedback, but the dates for the meetings have not yet been scheduled.

Although the final deal may not be finalized for several months, the Air Force is proceeding with its formal basing process now to identify the best site and Lee said a final decision could be made within 6-12 months.

The Saudis are expected to arrive at Mountain Home in late-2013, with the bulk arriving in 2014, when the actual training mission will begin. The initial deal is expected to be for five years, but a commitment beyond that point is possible, the Air Force has indicated.

Initially, the RSAF would rely on contracted maintenance personnel until their own crews are adequately trained to support the unit's aircraft, but how many contract personnel that would involve is not immediately known. The kingdom current relies on contract personnel within its own nation and part of the proposal to base a unit in the United States is an effort to be self-sufficient with its own maintenance needs. As a result, Col. Lee said, there may be more maintenance personnel with the Saudi arrangement that there are with the Singapore crews.

Construction on needed facilities, which have been preliminarily estimated at $30-50 million on base, could begin as early as some time next year. The exact economic impact would be determined as part of the Environmental Impact Statement that would be prepared prior to the final basing decision and beddown of any units. The Saudi government would bear all costs for basing the squadron. There will be not U.S. taxpayer dollars spent.

For 12-24 months beforehand, RSAF aircrews and maintenance personnel will undergo English language training and professional military training at other U.S. Air Force installations. For the last 25 years, the Air Force has trained over 1,000 pilots, maintainers and support personnel at U.S. bases, but this is the first time the Saudis would stand up a training squadron inside the United States.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia screens those sent for training to the United States "to make sure the nation is well represented," and the U.S. Department of States also conducts screenings before issuing any visas to pilots or crews.

State and local leaders embraced the announcement.

"I think it would be great for our economy and great training for both Saudi Arabia and the U.S. partners," said Billy Richey, Idaho Special Assistant for Military Affairs.

"We've found over the last couple years that Singapore has been a great addition to our community. We're looking forward to something simailar with Saudi Arabia," he said.

Col. Lee noted that when the Republic of Singapore placed a training squadron on the base, the direct economic impact on the region totaled over $30 million, with multipliers boosting that to $55 million in just their first year of operation.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said the decision reflected the "great asset" Idaho enjoys with the base and its associated training ranges, adding "we're proud of Mountain Home and Idaho communities that support the military.

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch echoed those thoughts. "With this decision, the Air Force recognizes the unparalleled assets that make Mountain Home Air Force Base second to none," he said.

"Mountain Home already hosts a similar training mission for Singapore's Air Force, and the base's abundant ramp space, desert location, and premiere training ranges make it the ideal location to host another international partner and ensure interoperability between U.S. forces and our allies."

Sen. Mike Crapo added that "Mountain Home Air Force Base is well-positioned to support this important agreement with Saudi Arabia and the training mission with the Royal Saudi Air Force. Idaho's and Mountain Home's support for our national defense and global interest is second to none.

"As we move forward, I will work together with the rest of the delegation to ensure that the local community and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes are thoroughly briefed and have input to ensure a smooth transition for the base and the local community."

"Mountain Home Air Force Base is a strong national asset and is proud to play a role in securing our nation's defense and protecting U.S. interests at home and abroad," added Congressman Mike Simpson. "I look forward to learning more about this proposal from the Air Force and how it will impact the base, the local community and the state."

"This decision is good news for Mountain Home Air Force Base, which plays a significant role in keeping our country's defense capabilities strong. The community, as well as the nearby Treasure Valley, would also feel an economic benefit from the workers attached to this project," said Congressman Walt Minnick.

"As the Air Force negotiates the Memorandum of Agreement with Saudi Arabia, the delegation will ensure this mission improves U.S. national security and is a benefit for the people of Idaho, the United States, and allies," the state's delegation said in a prepared joint release in advance of the official Air Force announcement.

"The Air Force has stated they will work with the Mountain Home community on any and all cultural awareness issues as both the Saudis and the residents of Idaho prepare for this important mission."

The Air Force has stressed that "Saudi Arabia is a valuable long-term U.S. partner in the (Persian) Gulf. Facilitating the modernization of aircraft as well as enhanced training of the Royal Saudi Air Force would contribute to stability in the region." By training in the United States it would greatly enhance its ability to operate alongside the U.S. Air Force in any coalition actions, and well as improving cultural understanding between the two nations.

Lee said the deal would allow both nations to learn about each other in a more comprehensive manner, adding that such understanding and cross training would help "enhance the stability in the region."

"I look forward to this. There is so much about their culture we don't know," Lee said, and being able to learn from each other would be beneficial to both nations.

Lee said he anticipated the Saudi's would follow similar rules for housing as those used by the Republic of Singapore training squadron on base, which means they will have the ability to live either on base, or in town, but he admitted that more housing facilities could be needed on base.

Maj. Crispin Kretzmann, assigned to the 366th Operations Group and who flies with the bases 389th Fighter Squadron, spent a year in Saudi Arabia flying with their air force, including when they deployed to a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB, where he said "they did quite well."

Kretzman said he had met many Saudi military personnel who had trained in the United States "and every one I spoke with said they had enjoyed the experience," along with their families.

He said his year there "was definitely a cultural experience, and one I appreciated.

"One of the things I noticed is they place a high value on respecting their elders, and you can see that in their workforce."

Because of significant cultural differences, it is anticipated that the RSAF unit "would establish the means to continue its cultural and religious practices, to include a place of worship and a school," depending on the number of dependents that come with the RSAF crews, the Air Force has indicated.

There is a large Muslim population in Boise, many refugees from countries such as Bosnia, with at least two mosques in the city, one included as part of the Islamic Cultural Center there. There also are mosques in Twin Falls and Pocatello, in Idaho.

Mountain Home Air Force has always had some American Muslims in its ranks, and more members of the Islamic faith were added with the arrival of the Republic of Singapore training squadron last year, but the base does not keep track of the numbers of personnel acknowledging any particular religious affiliation.


Comments
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MH Resident,

The military isn't bringing the Saudis here, the chief executive is ordering the military to use MHAFB as a training site for people who want to pay big bucks for our machines.

Don't cast blame on the USAF for doing what they are ordered to do...the military is apolitical. Like a junkyard dog, the base will be fed well, if it does what its master wants it to do.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Tue, Dec 21, 2010, at 5:40 PM

Amazing, what an exceptional oppourtuninty to witness for Christ and show the Saudi nation the truth about God by word and deed and all ya'll can do is spit on each other and trash the best thing about MH Idaho.... or rather used to be the best thing. God teaches us to pray for our enemies , so what does that tell you about our friends and aquaintences ?

-- Posted by paperkite on Sun, Dec 19, 2010, at 9:10 AM

Once the Saudi training is complete, why don't we all go for a weekend camping trip and eat home made s'mores? We need to reconcile and be good friends.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Fri, Dec 17, 2010, at 9:50 AM

@bazookaman--I agree!

-- Posted by Nomad4 on Fri, Dec 17, 2010, at 7:43 AM

@DS, No I don't think their country will verse them on proper behavior in our country! Because they know that America has gone so idiotically politically correct that we will sacrifice our national morals and people to keep to them happy.

I'm amazed how those that are against this idea are against it based on principle, BUT those that are for it, are sold out to money and political correctness for a foreign country that does not fall under our Constitution but yet you want to give them all the benefits of our Constitution(from the way it sounds in your posts). Seems backwards to me that there are ANY Americans that would be for this. Why are those that are for this, bashing those against as though we are some hateful mongers? We aren't! At least I know I'm not! There was a time when America stood by her Principles and Morals. I don't want to see my gov't selling out to Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea or any other nation that has plans or could have plans to attack us all based on money. I don't want to see concessions made for a foreign national that aren't even afforded to American citizens on our own soil! This is what I would expect if I went to theirs. Don't you guys that are for it, get it? It's Saudi Arabia!!!

-- Posted by Nomad4 on Fri, Dec 17, 2010, at 6:08 AM

WOW! I think this is the first time I have seen a news article catch this much attention for this period of time. That's good. I agree with Ds_Seester. Have a nice weekend everyone.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Thu, Dec 16, 2010, at 7:15 PM

In the immortal words of Jeff Dunham's "Achmed: "Silence, I kill you"! I cannot believe you people are so ignorant that you have to fight over how ID pictures will be taken or how they will conduct their worship services...GROW UP!!! We, as Americans, are serving OUR country in numerous other countries, we by that token have to conduct ourselves with proper behavior befitting an American who has been given the privledge of representing our country in a host country. Do you not think the Saudi government will handle making sure their military members who come over here will be well versed on proper behavior.......I can only hope that those of you with the bad attitudes and big mouths can treat them better in person that the attack you are projecting here.

If you dont have anything nice or productive to say, then do yourself a favor and shut up!

-- Posted by Ds_Seester on Thu, Dec 16, 2010, at 11:31 AM

I agree with mhresident. They could even build a wal-mart out there and there would be absolutely no reason for them to come in to OUR town.

-- Posted by crtrnhrafan on Thu, Dec 16, 2010, at 11:21 AM

Amen Workingbee! All of us that post on here are concerned citizens, just because you don't agree with someone's opinions does not make anyone less than. @ZOMBIE, no meeting for us taxpayers, just a community briefing about all the details of what's to come is what I read. AMAZING, isn't it? How a town and base can make all these decisions about our town without any of our input is beyond me!

-- Posted by Moanah on Wed, Dec 15, 2010, at 8:41 PM

mhgirl ~ WOW. Just thought I would mention you are one of those regulars and as long as we all live in this community we do represent Mountain Home.

-- Posted by workingbee on Wed, Dec 15, 2010, at 8:06 PM

The "Saudi's" didn't crash into the WTC. Saying that a group of crazies is representative of an entire country is not accurate at all.

Add me to the positive column.

-- Posted by lilmissmelmo on Wed, Dec 15, 2010, at 6:30 PM

don't forget it was saudies that crashed into the world center in new york killing a few thousands of innocent men,women and kids.... have a good day so you get a lot of money for this move....

-- Posted by goodllama2 on Wed, Dec 15, 2010, at 2:20 PM

@ Bazookaman

Neither you nor the rest of the "regular" bloggers on this forum are taken seriously in this community, so don't count yourselves as "the majority." You all certainly don't represent Mountain Home, thank goodness!

Albert Clement, however, does and he is right. This is great news for our community and all new comers are very welcome.

-- Posted by mhgirl on Wed, Dec 15, 2010, at 1:30 PM

Fairplay,

Numbers don't count when you are counting rats. One is too much.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Tue, Dec 14, 2010, at 5:33 PM

Thank you, apology accepted.

-- Posted by just1 on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 7:24 PM

To Just1, I sincerely apologise. I misunderstood your original comment.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 6:38 PM

Fairplay, I resent you deeming my comment negative, if anything it was a simple observation that this issue could get interesting. Indeed it has. You have every right to your opinion but don't read something into my statement that isn't there.

-- Posted by just1 on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 5:40 PM

I reckon that for the most part, we won't see the Saudi people, maybe not at all. It sure is disappointing that you folks don't have a more open mind on the matter. Have a nice day.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 1:47 PM

bazookman, you are awesome!

-- Posted by pursuitofhappy on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 12:16 PM

Hey reserveID: BRAC. If that's our choice of having Singapore, Saudi, and anyone else to destroy the desert, I choose BRAC. Come on Pauite tribe, let's protest!

-- Posted by pursuitofhappy on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 12:15 PM

Fairplay: Add me also to the negative column list..and at least 5 others that I can speak for who live in Mountain Home. The almighty dollar wins again. Keep praying for us, as I'm doing the same thing for our country.

Oh! BTW - Merry Christmas to all.

-- Posted by mtnhomemama on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 12:14 PM

and on another note, did they even have like a town hall meeting and let we the people that live here have to say about it, or was it just a meeting for the military commanders and the politicians?

-- Posted by shockwave on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 10:02 AM

i guess the only thing we can hope for now is when the Saudi's are flying right above us, that our boys are right behind them loaded up and ready to shoot down. Cause at this point there is really nothing else to do.

-- Posted by shockwave on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 9:59 AM

No need to be angry.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 7:13 AM

FAIRPLAY, you can add me to the NEGATIVE column, putting it mildly! I also am sick to my stomach reading this, what is wrong with this picture? HELLO??? Anybody pay attention to what is happening to OUR Country? I'm too upset to write anymore without getting censored.

-- Posted by Moanah on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 1:39 AM

I have to agree with ReserveID bazookaman. The negativity is on fire.

There are a total of 37 entries regarding this matter, including this one.

In the positive column those who contributed more than once include me 4 times and Army Princess 2 times. One time entries in the positive column include fireftr4fun, oldguy, reserveID, and Albert Clement.

One from Ms Marilyn appears to be neutral.

The negative column includes yourself and you've got to be kidding and you have contributed 6 times each. There are 3 inputs from Nomad4, 2 from OpinionMissy, 2 from BlackMagic in the negative column. Single entries from negative submitters are: Mtn Home Raised, Just1, Westwindsraider, NativeMHHomie, Idahogrinder, Dukeofearl, and Northside.

So, in this not so scientific commentary, 6 are for and 12 are against. A very small and not statistically sound sampling of the communities overall desires.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 6:23 PM

False premise, reserve. BRACC closure is not the only alternative to accepting the presence of a corrupt and murderous government training to further it's causes on American soil. And even if it was, I'd take BRACC over harboring a regime which more closely resembles Iran. How about training the Iraqi air force here? Last I checked, the purpose of that whole debacle was to create a stable westernized and reliable democracy to secure the region. Maybe we ought to focus our resources on someone who actually needs the help rather than further the aims of a brutal theocracy that could turn on us in an instant. BRACC looks better no matter how you slice it. Or chop it.

-- Posted by You've Got To Be Kidding on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 1:12 PM

Wow, so many negative comments. I have 1 thing to ask everyone, you choose: Saudi's or BRAC? Your choice!

-- Posted by Reserve ID on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 12:43 PM

bazookaman, could have not said it any better myself!! I promise if they were to come to Mountain Home I assure everybody there would be young men going to jail. I know for sure just by listening to high school guys, and just out of high school that has had fathers, brothers ect. over there of the harassment that they would get by being on American soil. By keeping them from the family. By hurting and or killing family and friends. I will be one of them on the picket lines and not ashamed to show for what I believe in!! Stand up for the land of the free and RESPECT the RED, WHITE, and BLUE!!!!!!!

-- Posted by BlackMagic on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 9:38 AM

Nice try, Army princess, but it didn't work Condemning the savage and immoral practice of public beheading is not bigotry. Take a look at the judicial system in place which leads to those executions. Are you telling me that condemning a child to death for witchcraft and then beheading them in public is simply a cultural difference? Are you? Go visit chop-chop square, watch it happen, the tell me it's bigotry to call such barbarity immoral. You are in Aghanistan fighting against people who commit such atrocities, indeed because they commit such atrocities. Yet you call the condemnation of those atrocities bigotry?

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/BI_...

-- Posted by You've Got To Be Kidding on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 8:16 AM

Why is it that we ALWAYS say...look at the money and jobs it will bring?

They plan to train THEIR OWN PEOPLE!!!! The economic impact is TEMPORARY! Why do we always sell out for money? Some of you are whores for the not so mighty dollar.

Army Princess, thank you for your service none the less. However, it is the same people we are training who kill our soldiers. We also trained many of the famed 911 crew. When will we learn? When is enough going to be enough? Saudi has enough money to bring people to their own country to train their people. This "deal" is all about oil. Nothing more and nothing less. It all boils down to greed and how much we are willing to "whore" ourselves out for the not so mighty dollar. At least see it for what it is and be honest.

I am Jewish. I am not a bigot or a racist but I have run into plenty of people who are in my 39 years. I do not need to live high atop a mountain so that I am with "like-minded" individuals. This is nothing more than common sense. Why have Homeland Security, TSA, etc. if we are going to do things like this? Answer the question please with facts. We have plenty of terrorists with top security clearance who have gone off the radar.

At least see this for what it is.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 7:37 AM

Army Princess, don't talk to me about bigotry when I've spent almost 40 yrs. with the military way of life. I know what the military stands for and what defending freedom means. Thank you for your service to this country. I'm not concerned so much with the muslim way of life as I am with the "terrorist" part that Saudi has played. My burqua question came about after someone I know was asked to remove their glasses to have a military ID issued. There is such a thing in America called freedom of religion and I am all for that!! I was just wondering if concessions would be made for those who aren't citizens of this country, compared to those who are? I pray that you and your comrades will return safely.

-- Posted by Nomad4 on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 7:03 AM

Nomad4, first of all I am over in Afghanistan fighting for your freedom to be a biggot. We have been over in Saudi for many years. There and back. Obviously they aren't that bad. Second of all it will bring in a few more jobs to Mountain Home. Mountain Home needs those jobs.

It sounds to me you just don't want to deal with the Muslim community just by your question, " Question: Will their wives be allowed to get their base ID with their burquas on?" Could be a valid question, however, it also is a biggot question. I am not giving up the principal or I wouldn't be over here fighting for our rights and our freedoms that we have. Neither would any of my comrades...take a minute and think about that.

-- Posted by ArmyPrincess on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 6:37 AM

I guess the "old timers" are a bit more skeptical when it comes to placing a country known for "supporting" terrorism so close to an operational wing or allowing them to train in the US.--Oh I guess that isn't skepticism it's COMMON SENSE!!!! Sounds like their won't be that many jobs for Mtn. Homies once the majority of their people arrive. Question: Will their wives be allowed to get their base ID with their burquas on? Since Americans have to take off their glasses to get their base ID's--just sayin! It's the Principal of the thing, not the money! Obviously, the younger generation is willing to give up principal for money.

-- Posted by Nomad4 on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 6:24 AM

Wow...I agree with Firefitr4fun...all of you old timers who are against this need to find a high mountain to live on or a town that is willing to put up with all of your complaints. This means more jobs, more money in our economy, growing Mountain Home. You all must be against that. Doesn't matter what country they come from, this is good for our town. Bazookaman, OpinionMissy, and You've Got To Be Kidding... you guys are what is wrong with this town people like you.

-- Posted by Native_Mountain_Homie on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 5:04 AM

I was born and raised in Mountain Home and I never realized how many biggots actually live there until now. I am glad that I have moved out of that town and I am showing my children what diversity really is.

I do believe that this will be a good thing for Mountain Home. Will there have to be a mosque built? Most likely...BUT GET OVER IT!!!

Remember that we have OUR own military living in several countries other than our own. Training over in other countries and fighting in others. To show other countries that we don't have a problem with them coming to us for help with their systems is a good thing. The military doesn't show them all of our strengths just some of them to help that country out when we train them.

-- Posted by ArmyPrincess on Sun, Dec 12, 2010, at 12:15 AM

Ms. M,

I am not sure why ch2 reported that. Here is the official announcement from the AF.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=1232...

-- Posted by Old guy on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 5:31 PM

I think there are some people in this town that need to go find a high mountain to go live on... High up, away from the rest of the world.... that wont work either they would still find something to bitch about.

-- Posted by Auctionhunter on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 4:36 PM

I want to puke.....

-- Posted by MHRAISED on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 3:43 PM

By the way, Fairplay, what was 'awful' about the other comments? They were verbatim from the Saudi Constitution. Or was it the Saudi executioner, appointed by the King, who described his job, in his own words, that you found awful? Or was it the chilling first person account written by someone witnessing one of the weekly beheadings in infamous 'chop-chop' square that you found awful? Am I awful for exposing the reality of what the Saudi government really stands for?

-- Posted by You've Got To Be Kidding on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 3:36 PM

While you pray for me, I'll be writing my congressman to try to prevent the corrupt and barbaric Saudi government from opening up shop in your back yard to hone their infidel-killing skills. Note that there is a big difference between criticizing and condeming a government for its barbarity and criticizing it's individual citizens for their religions. I've no problem with those who practice the Muslim faith, nor with those who choose to visit or emigrate here and be US citizens. I will not tolerate a government operating on our soil, with armed fighter aircraft which engages in the most horrific and barbaric practices still left on the planet.

They can buy our planes, and we'll take their filthy money, but they can darn well train in their own country, which is where they will be fighting from, anyway.

Read these, if you care enough to be informed:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2010/nov/2...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...

And I thought long and hard about what I wrote, without having to resort to religious dogma to try to make my point.

-- Posted by You've Got To Be Kidding on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 3:22 PM

To: "You've Got To Be Kidding" Your comments are really awful, especially the one about your daughter. You really would benefit by thinking things through before posting a blog. Please reread my initial comments. I'll pray for you.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 2:17 PM

Albert Clement says we will derive great economic benefit from supporting and enabling this kind of government:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOIbgd5qc...

I'd rather derive economic benefit from having my daughter be a prostitute.

-- Posted by You've Got To Be Kidding on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 12:56 PM

The United States is going to train, on American soil, using fully armed advanced fighter aircraft, military personnel of a foreign government so that government can defend the following:

Article 1

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic state with Islam as its religion; God's Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet, God's prayers and peace be upon him, are its constitution, Arabic is its language and Riyadh is its capital.

The Authorities of the State

Islam as cornerstone of governance

Article 45 affirm that religious rulings must be in accordance with the " Holy Qur'an and the Prophet's Sunnah." To this end, a panel of Islamic clergy and research group shall be established.

According to Article 55, the king has to "rule according to the rulings of Islam and shall supervise the application of Shari'ah." Article 56 states that the king is the prime minister as well. Article 57 makes it clear that the king's cabinet and other lower-ranking officials must follow Islam. Those who deviate from this can be dismissed or punished.

Today apostasy is illegal in most Muslim countries, and subject in some to the death penalty. Executions for apostasy are rare, but allowed in many Muslim countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. Apostasy is legal in secular Muslim countries such as Turkey

Saudi Arabia

"An Apostate will be suppressed three days in prison in order that he may repent ..... otherwise, he should be killed, because he has changed his true religion, therefore, there is no use from his living, regardless of being a man or a woman, as Mohammed said: "Whoever changes his religion, kill him", narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2...

-- Posted by You've Got To Be Kidding on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 12:05 PM

Westwindsraider, I will pray for you as well.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 11:16 AM

I for one will be put picketing against this when they first arrive in Mountain Home. My sign will say...."Terrorist Pilots GO HOME!!!"

Nuff said.

-- Posted by westwindsraider on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 10:55 AM

Do we not for the majority of us proclaim to be a Christian community? Please contemplate: Matthew 5:43-48: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Saudi's are not our enemies, rather they are a people with a different point of view. Yes, they can be severe, but so can we. Welcome these visitors and be kind. Show them what American generosity and values are. When they go home they will share their experience with family, friens and co-workers. Show them an ugly side the same will happen. This is a great opportunity for all of us to be outstanding public relations ambassadors for our great way of life and to build trust and friendship. God bless us all.

-- Posted by Fairplay on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 8:54 AM

I heard on channel 2 ten o'clock news last night that Mountain Home didn't get it. They are in the number 2 slot and will only get it if first runner up doesn't work out. I wish reporters would get the facts right which is it??...... are we the preferred base or 2nd contender?

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 8:22 AM

I like how they talk about the cultural awareness issues that will have to be addressed with the community. Last I looked the RED, WHITE and BLUE is still flying, so the only cultural awareness issues that need to be addressed is on the Saudi part. Heard of the saying--When in Rome!

-- Posted by Nomad4 on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 8:12 AM

PUKE! Yep, train the enemy and provide them their weapons. It makes me wonder if ANY of our "elected" officials think. It is all about the money. Always has been and always will be. To heck with national security folks---these people already own us.

Then we ask. How could something like 9/11 ever hapen? Well, this is how.

Hope the money that they think will come is worth it. Greed once again wins out. Maybe they will open a shoe store and put in a nice place to eat now. These folks like the finer things in life...the things that MH does not offer. Oh wait, these folks will probably mostly reside in Boise.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sat, Dec 11, 2010, at 6:58 AM

This will surely be deleted, but the catholic church had a hard time getting zoning and permits etc, wonder if they'll have a hard time getting a mosque.....

-- Posted by Idahogrinder on Fri, Dec 10, 2010, at 10:27 PM

A quick observation before I start picking this apart. Isn't it interesting how quickly our elected officials are falling all over themselves spouting how terrific this deal is? Wouldn't you think that they might like a little input from the folks that elected them first? It appears the almighty dollar and their political marching orders have overwhelmed any input their constituency might have.

Now, on to some counter-points to the article:

The goal is for the Saudis to be able to do their own maintenance. So that would mean a larger number of jobs initially, but as the program progresses fewer jobs, but more Saudis. Doesn't sound like much of a deal to me. Of course, they've been proving for decades that they are unable to take care of their own aircraft without contractor help. A couple years at Mountain Home isn't going to change the baseline attitude and abilities that they've been demonstrating since they first got modern aircraft.

The article tells us about the number of folks that the US has trained, albeit somewhat piecemeal over the years. Remember, those were fairly select personnel, and only a few in any given place at any given time. The game changes considerably when you get a larger more concentrated group in one location. I doubt they'll be as well behaved.

All Saudi personnel are going to be screened. OK, here's how this one is going to go. You have to remember, this is their newest and most advanced aircraft, and with it goes a considerable amount of prestige within their culture. The screenings will consist of whoever is highest up in royalty, or best connected to royalty. Done.

Comparing the Singapore folks to the Saudis. This one is a complete non-starter. Singapore is a very inclusive society. They go to great lengths to incorporate many different nationalities and religions within their society. Saudi Arabia is a closed kingdom. As I recall the only way to get into the kingdom is to be invited by a Saudi national, or be considered a "guest of the king" (I believe our military presence there and the contractors fall under some portion of the latter category). They also only have one religion, all others are banned.

They have respect for their elders. Well, yes they do, but how much respect do they have for most infidels, I mean, Westerners?

-- Posted by Northside on Fri, Dec 10, 2010, at 9:07 PM

Why can't we keep in in the United States. Why do we bring the other country's into the United States to train? When at the turn of a key they could turn on us or any other country. Bad idea Just Sayin ... and here you have teenager's with brothers, dads, any relative and they get killed wounded what have you and want to rebel on them.... Again Just Sayin .... America the land of the free and my hat is off to all of our military members

-- Posted by BlackMagic on Fri, Dec 10, 2010, at 7:09 PM

Hmm this could get highly interesting.

-- Posted by just1 on Fri, Dec 10, 2010, at 4:44 PM

This is great news!!! I look forward to this new addition and wonderful opportunity for Mountain Home and Mountain Home AFB to continue to showing it is the very best of the best military installations. We may not have been able to attract the F-35 but we can still attract other key and important components. Congratulations to the many men and women who have spent countless hours planning, preparing and meeting with key individuals to help this happen.

Best wishes,

-- Posted by Albert Clement on Fri, Dec 10, 2010, at 2:33 PM


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