Bremerton-Olympic Peninsula Council Navy League of the US

Aug 12: Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Tour

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Our tour began with an in depth briefing by the XO of the base. He told us that they have now replaced all the EA-6B Prowlers with EA-18 Growlers and that the P-8, which has greater capability, will be arriving in the next few weeks to replace the 50 year old P-3, which has served the nation well. Modification is being done to a 1950’s era hangar to accommodate the larger P-8.

The base employs about 10,000 people and directly contributes over 1 billion a year to the local economy. Base personnel are very involved with the community & schools. The base was started in early WW2 as a seaplane facility and now has become essential to our nation’s defense. Everywhere on the planet where US air operations are taking place has some influence & involvement with planes or personnel from NASWI.

NAS Whidbey Island Aircraft

Besides the fixed wing planes, they also have helicopters for search & rescue. Each year they save between 25-35 lives. They do rescues over water & mountains, too. We visited squadron administration offices, an EA-18 squadron hanger and had a demonstration of the survival gear carried on missions.

After lunch at the CPO club, we finished the day with a fascinating tour of a P-3. We were told about the various stations aboard the aircraft and the important work of each person manning it. The highlight of the day, of course, was watching from the flight line as the EA-18 Growlers practiced. They did take offs, formation flying, formation breaks and landings, to our great enjoyment.

As we saw the high quality of these people and organizations, we were reminded of how proud we can be of our armed forces and the men & women who work so very hard for our country.

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