Hidden Gems is dangerous

Dear Editor:

The Hidden Gems campaign is dangerous to our national security and endangers the lives of our nation’s finest men and women in uniform.

One of the impacts of the Hidden Gems will be closing the doors to the U.S. Army’s High Altitude Aviation Training Site (HAATS) in Eagle, since their training areas are targeted by Hidden Gems. This training center is where our nation’s finest helicopter pilots learn how to fly in the mountains prior to deploying to treacherous countries like Afghanistan.

More than two-thirds of our helicopter losses are due to pilot error in the mountains. Passing the Hidden Gems agenda will result in more American soldier deaths! Also, the loss of the HAATS facility will put lives at risk right here in Colorado, since most of the helicopter rescues in the mountains are performed by HAATS helicopters.

Passing the Hidden Gems initiative is going to cost the lives of our soldiers and mountaineers. I find the Hidden Gems to be shortsighted and dangerous. This campaign has been dishonest and disingenuous in its supposed outreach to the community. I encourage the community NOT to support the Hidden Gems campaign.

Jim Henderson