The NAS Whidbey Open House combined with the Prowler Sunset event June 27, 2015 in Oak Harbor. Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

NAS Whidbey to hold open house in June

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island will celebrate its 75th anniversary with an open house on Saturday, June 24, at Ault Field.

The open house is a chance for the public to learn more about the base’s present, past and future operations.

The open house is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. It’s providing educational opportunities for adults and a chance for kids to have fun.

The event will feature static aircraft displays that will include the EA-18G Growler, P-3C Orion, MH-60 Knighthawk helicopter, the new C-40 Clipper and a visiting P-8A Poseidon, which will soon replace the P-3 Orions on Whidbey.

Planned aerial demonstrations include the Growler, P-3C Orion and a Search and Rescue helicopter.

There are rumblings that a PBY seaplane, the first operational aircraft at the Whidbey installation, dating back to 1942, could be part of the festivities.

“We don’t have confirmation yet,” said Mike Welding, public affairs officer at NAS Whidbey.

NAS Whidbey, named the Navy’s installation of the year in 2016, is the only air station in the Pacific Northwest. It was commissioned Sept. 21, 1942, at the Seaplane Base.

The 75-year anniversary will be recognized at the open house, though another event honoring the occasion will take place in September, Welding said.

The open house also will include visual displays, guided bus tours, K-9 working dog demonstrations, bouncy toys and a climbing wall.

Aviation memorabilia also will be available for purchase as will be food and beverages.

Visitors over age 18 will be required to have state or government-issued identification for access to the base.

The public is not allowed to enter with large bags, backpacks, coolers, pets or any weapons including pocket knives. Strollers, diaper bags, small women’s purses, wheelchairs, service dogs, bottled water, cameras and video recorders will be permitted.