Tags: Fort | Belvoir | speakers | system | bugle

Army Base's Loud Speaker System Under Fire

Thursday, 27 Jan 2011 04:21 PM

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A new speaker system at Fort Belvoir is upsetting on- and off-base residents for blasting out Reveille and Taps on 18 speakers pumping out 90 decibels each. The Giant Voice is designed as a warning system but the Army base near Mount Vernon, Va., has been using it to send out five bugle calls daily, the Washington Post reports.

One person wrote on the base’s Facebook page that “You have got to be Freaking kidding me! First they play TAPS at 11pm last night, late I might add, then REVEILLE at 630 in the morning like they are supposed to, but now all 3 of my kids are up! . . . [O]ur kids need our sleep... Mommy and Daddy need their sanity." One off-base resident complained of being woken up by the calls even though they live a mile from the base, the Post said.

The speakers are not adjustable, and after complaints the base limited the bugle calls to six of the speakers and then four and finally two. Not all on the base were happy about dialing back.

One person asked, "Are we on a Military Installation or a College Campus? There is supposed to be Bugle calls heard on post. We kick Tradition, Pride and History out for a few crying individuals, who are more than likely on this installation for the money (JOB) and not pride. What are we coming to as a military???,” the Post said.

The Giant Voice system is in use at other Washington-area bases. Its use in broadcasting bugle calls at Fort Myer, near Arlington National Cemetery, also drew complaints. However, the Marine Corps Base Quantico limits the system’s use to emergencies and uses a public address system for its bugle calls, the Post said.

Lt. Agustine Solivan said, "Our residents are sleeping during those hours and we don't want to disturb them,” the Post reported.

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