Whidbey Island Naval Air Station said goodbye to its leader of more than three years this week and welcomed a replacement.
Capt. Jay Johnston turned over leadership of the Navy base to Capt. Michael K. Nortier Friday.
The change of command ceremony was covered by a Whidbey News-Times reporter, but due to press deadlines, a story won’t appear in the print edition until Wednesday.
Johnston sat down with a News-Times reporter this week to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments he faced during his time here.
Among them was the fight to secure the arrival of four squadrons of P-8A Poseidons beginning in 2015.
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is an integral part of the island community.
The newspaper is working closely with the base to get important information to the public as effectively and efficiently as possible.
A recent example of this is the return of flight operation schedules for Outlying Field in Coupeville. After public concern about noise resulted in an online petition to shut down the field, the base is working with other community leaders to address the problem.
Johnston said he understands the complaints, and that finding a solution is challenging.
Initial solutions include releasing schedules and changing flight patterns.
Each week the newspaper receives a flight schedule for the following week. It is printed online for The Whidbey Examiner readers due to deadline conflicts and appears as a brief in the Saturday edition of Whidbey News-Times. This week it can be found on page A7.
Bringing back flight operation schedules is just one step toward an evolving partnership that benefits the community.
As Capt. Nortier takes the helm, we look forward to working with him and continuing this relationship.
NAS Whidbey brings much to the community and improving communication is invaluable.
And to departing Capt. Johnston, we bid you fair winds and calm seas, and say thank you for your work and time here on Whidbey Island.