Statement of the Problem



Statement of Problem 

Literature Review 

Rationale and  
Research Questions 




     There are approximately 272 million people living in the United States today (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999).  Of those, nearly 2.4 million people serve in the armed forces (active, guard and reserve).  As the population in America rises, many military installations will face the urban sprawl of the civilian communities pushing up against the borders of those installations. The major complaint that civilians outside military installations say they have is the noise pollution created by military vehicles and operations, such as aircraft training and bombing sorties, and tank maneuvers with live-fire demonstrations (Noisecamp Seminar, 1999).
     This paper intends to deal with the best possible solutions for creating a more harmonious relationship between the military and civilian communities.  All too often, public affairs offices are bombarded with telephone calls from angry or curious citizens complaining about the military presence in the area and the noise that disrupts their lives.  Typically, a caller can be made to understand the reason for the noise through a simple explanation of why the noise is occurring, and when they can expect it to stop.  Therefore, it is posited that the level of noise complaints can be kept static, even as the population around the installations grows simply by creating a heightened awareness of the military's necessity.
     To do so, support should be solicited through local news media outlets. The public affairs offices would create news releases regarding major exercises, deployments, or changes in flight patterns or times when the civilian populations could expect loud noises.  Installation commanders could host town hall meetings (during open houses) on the installations affected so the public could get a look at what their military does in their community. Media buy-in is not guaranteed, although they could be enticed to cover PA efforts through a variety of means, including inviting them to live with the troops during major exercises held during sweep periods.  PAOs could supplement the media approach with strengthened community relations programs.  To begin, PAOs would invite the local community members to tour the base and meet with military members. 
     This problem spans across every service within the Department of Defense, and impacts other government agencies, such at the United States Coast Guard.  It is the researchersí belief that every public affairs office from every service can benefit from this study, and that once completed they shall have a good template of community relations to follow to alleviate future complaints.