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Navy forum on P-8A squadrons set for October

The Navy will hold a public forum in response to its announcement about the arrival of additional P-8A squadrons at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

The meeting will help the Navy determine how the squadrons will be divided between NAS Whidbey and NAS Jacksonville, Fla.

An open house is set for 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8 at Oak Harbor High School’s Student Union Building.

The meeting will be conducted in an open house format with informational displays and materials available for public review. There will be no formal presentations. Navy staff will be present to answer general questions on the proposed action and the EIS process.

The public will be allowed to review the supplemental EIS to be attached to the original 2008 document which had determined that the squadrons would be rotated between three bases. Now the Navy is considering two alternatives which will translate to six or seven squadrons home-basing at NAS Whidbey.

This EIS process is unrelated to the one the Navy said this month it will conduct to study the environmental impacts of the EA-18G Growlers and the EA-6B Prowlers at both Ault Field and Outlying Field Coupeville.

P-8A aircraft do not engage in touch-and-go operations.

The EIS dealing with the P-8A squadrons will consider two alternatives. The first considers the environmental effects of home basing six fleet squadrons and the Fleet Replacement Squadron at NAS Jacksonville and six fleet squadrons at NAS Whidbey.

The second option considers the environmental effects of home basing five fleet squadrons and the FRS at NAS Jacksonville and seven fleet squadrons at NAS Whidbey.

Copies of the draft supplemental EIS are available for public review at the following libraries: Oak Harbor City Library, 1000 S.E. Regatta Dr.; Anacortes Public Library, 1220 10th St.; La Conner Regional Library, 614 Morris St.; Coupeville Library, 788 N.W. Alexander St.

Comments may be submitted any time during the 45-day public comment period between Sept. 20 and Nov. 4. Comments will be collected at the public meeting or by mail at: P-8A EIS Project Manager, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, Attn: Code EV21/CZ, 6506 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23508.

For those who cannot attend an open house, all informational materials are available on the project website at www.mmaseis.com

 

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