This past summer, the waterfront complex at Naval Weapons Station Earle, N.J., put in a new emergency broadcast system. Within weeks, the base was fielding calls from neighbors about the new and unwelcome noise.
The Asbury Park Press reported that neighbors have been asking the base to turn the volume down for the 8 a.m. “Call to Colors” and playing of the national anthem.
“Why should someone not in the service have to wake up to reveille?’” asked Bob Wille, a Belford, N.J., resident who has called to complain.
According to base spokesman Michael Brady, the new system went live a few months ago after at least three years with a broken system, during which the complex didn’t broadcast the ceremonies at all.
In the past few months, some residents have said they can hear the music playing over the sounds of traffic when they’re at home.
“We’re only asking them to drop the volume. We’re not against anything,” said Matt DiBenedetto, who has lived near the base for 29 years.
Others don’t mind at all. Korean War veteran Andrew Lucina has lived on 11th Street in Belford for 55 years, and said he looks forward to hearing the music each day and doesn’t feel sorry for those who might be sleeping at that time.
“Play it as loud as they want,” he said.
The base has been testing the system with sound meters in the Belford and Leonardo neighborhoods so they can adjust the volume to a more palatable level.
Funny enough, though, the big voice has been down since last Thursday. According to Brady, a radio transmitter failed and as of Tuesday morning, a contractor is working on repairs.
He told Navy Times they’re hopeful the system will be up and running by the end of the day.