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Whidbey Island gets green light for Poseidons

A P-8A with Maritime Patrol Squadron Five recently visited NAS Whidbey.  - Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy
A P-8A with Maritime Patrol Squadron Five recently visited NAS Whidbey.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy

Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is tentatively approved for six P-8A Poseidon squadrons.

The six squadrons are slated to replace the base’s three existing P-3C squadrons.

The Navy will now undergo a 30-day waiting period, after which the assistant secretary of the Navy is expected to sign a record of decision.

The Navy has been conducting a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement since 2008 to consider alternative bases for Poseidons.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, who has been a proponent of base expansion, released a statement Friday.

“Completion of the Supplemental EIS is another important step in the process of bringing the P-8As to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and an additional indicator of the Navy’s commitment to the base,” Larsen said.

“I am pleased the community was able to provide input to the Navy as it considers the potential environmental effects of the transition.”

The SEIS addresses potential environmental issues that may result from basing the six P-8A squadrons at Whidbey Island. The navy has stated its preference to base six squadrons at NAS Whidbey and six squadrons NAS Jacksonville.

“I have long advocated bringing the P-8As to Whidbey Island because of the advantages for national security and the stability for the base,” Larsen said. “While the decision is not yet final, the Navy’s preference to house six squadrons at Whidbey Island furthers the base’s role as a preeminent maritime, patrol, electronic warfare and surveillance site in the Pacific.”

A copy of the Supplemental EIS is available online and at the Oak Harbor and Coupeville libraries.

 

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