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Whidbey Island Naval Air Station welcomes public
Nearly every building has a story.
And more than 1,600 civilian visitors were given a rare glimpse of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Saturday.
The base held an open house and 5K race for the public on Saturday.
“It’s important for us to hold events like this to show the public the full gamut of what we do at NAS Whidbey Island,” said Public Affairs Officer Mike Welding.
Hangar 5, known as “Haviland Hangar,” is named in memory of Cmdr. William Haviland, the second commanding officer of the air station, according to Tony Popp, community relations assistant for the base.
“The hanger was built in the early 1950s and underwent a multi-million dollar, three-year renovation recently for the new EA-18G Growler and is the new home to the commander of the electronic attack wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, who oversees all 14 Growler squadrons,” Popp said.
Tours of the base were offered via Whidbey Seatac Shuttle throughout the day Saturday, featuring the naval base’s many barracks, storage areas, training buildings and recreational facilities.
The Lt. Tom Costen and Lt. Charlie Turner Memorial Park is a sports field comprising baseball, soccer and football fields.
The park was named in the flyers’ honor after they were killed in January 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. They flew the A-6 Intruder, Popp said.
Those touring the base passed the Admiral Nimitz Hall, an accredited five-star dining facility that provides three square meals to the base’s active duty personnel.
Sailors may also venture next door to one of the base’s three fast-food options: McDonalds, Rice King or Subway.
The western edge of the base is also home to Cliffside RV park, a place where visiting active-duty personnel, veterans, retirees and Department of Defense employees can stay short term while on the island.
The event itself featured live music, food, displays and a K-9 Working Dog demonstration.
Aircraft displays at the event included the EA-18G Growler, EA-6B Prowler, P-3C Orion and MH-60 Knighthawk helicopter.
Two unmanned aerial vehicles, the Scan Eagle and an Integrator, were also on display.