The United States Navy is encouraged to public comment on an environmental assessment study. The assessment will be open until August 13th to determine whether or not to bring the VAQ-209 also know as the “Star Warriors” squadron from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to the Washington State’s Naval Air station on Whidbey Island.
“The Navy’s decision to bring the Star Warriors to Whidbey Island is one more sign of the importance of Whidbey Island to the nation’s national security strategy,” U.S Representative Rick Larsen said in a press release. “I welcome the new Prowler squadron, whose pilots, support crew and their families will find a good and friendly home in Oak Harbor. The Star Warriors have a long and distinguished history, most recently serving our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan. They will join a professional aviation community that works hard every day to provide security to our nation.”
The ‘Star Warriors” is a squadron made up of the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler radar jamming aircraft, 80 officers and 190 enlisted ground personnel. If all goes good on the assessment then the newer Boeing built EA-18 G Growler will replace the current Prowlers. The Growler will continue the mission of the Prowler radar and other electronic signals that can be used against our forces during time of military conflicts. One such mission was recently in both Iraq and Afghanistan when the Prowlers were used to block garage door opener and cellular phone signals that were being used to detonate IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
U.S. Representative Rick Larson is also remaining hard at work to get the Navy to bring the P-8 Poseidon squadron to the Whidbey Island based. The P-8 is a version of Boeing’s 737-800 modified to be used as an anti-submarine aircraft.
“With its location making Whidbey an ideal base for Asia-Pacific and Arctic operations, and with the community’s strong support, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island will remain an important asset both locally and for our nation long into the future,” he said.
Anyone wishing to make a comment on environmental assessment may email them to Whdb_naswi_pao@navy.mil or mail them to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Public Works Department Environmental Division, 1115 W. Lexington St., Oak Harbor, WA 98278.
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