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Background and Thesis Rafael Torres a former security guard at the US Navy base in Vieques said he still hears noises in his head A sound like the fighter jet that in 1995 hurled two cement-filled projectiles a few feet from where he was standing ROSS A10 The other day I was sleeping in my armchair and I dove on the floor when I heard airplanes buzzing in my ears said Torres qtd in ROSS A10 49 who has since retired with a disability pension because of psychological trauma from the accident He said one bomb struck the three-story observation post he was guarding crashing through the top two floors The second landed feet away from where he stood spewing chunks of cement Torres didnt realize this at the time but this narrow miss foreshadowed a much more serious accident ROSS A10 Months later on April 191999 one of Torress co-workers David Sanes Rodriguez was pulling duty at the same post when a Navy F-18 dumped two 5000-pound bombs about 19 miles off course Unlike the inert practice bombs Torres encountered these projectiles packed lives explosives Sanes was killed and four other base employees were injured This incident has stirred widespread political opposition to the Navys 60 year hegemony over this Puerto Rican island-municipality Now the pentagon is in danger of losing its premier naval training facility The Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility in Vieques which is judged by military analysts to be an irreplaceable national security asset and the only site where the military can stage integrated sea and air training The Pentagon A32 Puerto Rico has been a United States territory for 102 years and for 61 of those years the US navy has used the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a practice bombing range United States troops have trained on the island of Vieques Puerto Rico since World War II Seventy percent about 22000 of 33000 acres
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