Navy’s top air station is right here on Whidbey

Whidbey Island Naval Air Station earned the 2010 Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award this year from the Chief of Naval Operations. The 67-year-old base earned the title "best air station in the Navy."

NAS Whidbey Commanding Officer Capt. Gerral David announced the honor Monday.

“I’m proud of all of you,” David said. “Winning an award of this caliber reflects your hard work, professionalism and willingness to go that extra mile to get it right. Delivery of high-quality services to our military personnel and families takes a strong partnership between base department, tenant commands, regional programs and community leaders. This award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of every member of Team Whidbey.”

The award is based on the station's ability to use available resources, demonstrate imaginative and innovative management actions, and enhance the quality of life for personnel. Several stand-out factors included the addition of a playground, games, batting cages and library to the bowling facility; development of an Airfield Infrastructure and Recap Plan; environmental partnership with Skagit tribes and 10 other groups to create a 300-acre saltwater marsh at Crescent Harbor to improve salmon populations; and 50,000 volunteer hours within the community and schools.

NAS Whidbey also earned second-best Naval Base, San Diego took first, and NAS Jacksonville, Fla. earned third.

The title carries a $250,000 prize for NAS Whidbey. The award money will be used to improve the Skywarrior Theatre.

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