Langley joins opposition to training increases

Langley has officially added its voice to the growing opposition of a Navy plan to expand Growler military jet training at a rural field south of downtown Coupeville.

Tuesday, the city council voted to send a letter of support to Coupeville Mayor Molly Hughes after reviewing pros and cons of additional training practices for Navy EA-18G Growler jet pilots at Outlying Field Coupeville.

The jets are equipped to jam electronic communications to deflect radar and ground-to-air missiles. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is the only location where Growler pilots receive training of “touch-and-go” passes that simulate landing on aircraft carriers.

Under the Navy’s identified “preferred alternative” proposal, which came out of an Environmental Impact Statement process and is awaiting final approval, the amount of practice necessary for Growler pilots to remain prepared means a four-fold increase of operations at OLF Coupeville and an additional 36 more Growlers would be added to the Whidbey Island base.

While the Navy says the plans are in the best interest of pilot safety and training, many residents of Central Whidbey and beyond — as well as officials in the federal, state and local government — have protested the plan, largely because of the noise of the aircraft.

The letter, which Langley Mayor Tim Callison also signed, notes that the expansion could negatively affect Langley’s “interests directly and indirectly.” It states that South Whidbey and Langley’s tourism economy could be negatively affected and that property values and county property tax collection could also diminish.

Earlier this month, the Langley city council was approached by members of the Sound Defense Alliance and individuals who cited negative effects of the Growler expansion and requested Langley write a resolution stating its opposition.

The city council voted to submit a letter to the Coupeville Town Council and Hughes instead because passing a formal resolution is more time consuming and requires a legal review and a public hearing.

More in News

Island County cuts off its funding for Spin Cafe

An Oak Harbor day shelter for homeless people is hoping to repair… Continue reading

Oak Harbor Motors saying ‘thanks’ for 40 years and counting

The Horrobins rolled into town back when someone could purchase a new… Continue reading

Residents seek class-action lawsuit against Navy over Growlers

Attorneys representing 24 individuals and couples in Central Whidbey filed a lawsuit… Continue reading

County ban on outdoor burning lifted Tuesday

Due to the increase in “fuel moisture levels,” the Island County Sheriff’s… Continue reading

Field carrier landing practice scheduled Monday, Sept. 16

One aircraft carrier-based flight training operation is scheduled between Monday Sept. 16… Continue reading

Main Street petitions to reverse city’s approval of LIHI project

Oak Harbor Main Street Association is asking a superior court judge to… Continue reading

Ear assault, poisoning, wobbly dancer reported | Island Scanner

The following items were selected from reports made to the Oak Harbor… Continue reading

Client Jackie Milligan, left, and driver Millie Leengran, right, participate in the Medical Transportation program at Island Senior Resources. Photo courtesy of Island Senior Services
Senior Resources seeking volunteer drivers

Finding a ride to the doctor can be an ordeal for senior… Continue reading

Hearts Open to Real Lives: The Science of Gender presentations Sept. 14 and 15

Two workshops/community conversations entitled, “Hearts Open to Real Lives: The Science of… Continue reading

Most Read