Murphy's Law: Keep The Noise Down And Stop Complaining


February 25, 2010:  The British Ministry of Defense is being criticized for imposing noise restrictions on a training range where army specialists learn, and practice, how to handle roadside bombs, mines and enemy munitions in general. This training involves blowing stuff up. But the last three classes (of about two dozen NCOs each) undergoing training were not allowed to blow up munitions, because of noise rules. No sound louder than 125 db (the peak sound of a symphony orchestra or rock concert, or exploding munitions) is allowed, as it might disturb the 200 civilians living near the Shoeburyness Ranges. This army installation is located on Foulness Island, off the east coast of England. Actually, the "island" is only separated from the mainland by some creeks, but it is a restricted area.

The Ministry of Defense believes the troops can go through the motions, and learn what they have to learn, without setting off extremely loud noises. Such noise is bad for the hearing, as well as disturbing for the civilians. The U.S. Army has similar restrictions. For example, M-1 Tank simulators (a mock up of the fighting compartment of the tank) cannot use realistic sound effects (of the same intensity as an actual tank) because that amount of noise exceed government noise standards outside of combat. There is pressure on the army to make their equipment, especially jet engines, less noisy. Troops can have their hearing permanently damaged, and nearby civilians suffer from having their calm disturbed. Civilians living near American military bases are increasingly aggressive in demanding that the military keep the noise down.



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