Navy base welcomes public Sept. 9

NAS Whidbey invites the public to learn about the Navy mission at its annual base open house.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island invites members of the public to learn about the Navy mission at its annual base open house next Saturday.

The Ault Field base will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 9. Base spokesperson Michael Welding said this yearly event is a chance for the Navy to showcase what it does to the general public.

Visitors will have the chance to see static displays of aircraft that operate out of NAS Whidbey, including the EA-18G Growler, P-8A Poseidon, EP-3 Aries and MH-60 Knighthawk helicopter. Aerial demonstrations of a Growler, a P-8 and a Search and Rescue helicopter are also planned.

There will also be other visual displays, K-9 Working Dog demonstrations, Explosive Ordnance Detachment displays and activities for children. Food, drinks and aviation memorabilia will be available for purchase.

A 5K will begin at 8 a.m. Gates will open to race participants at 7 a.m.

Welding said the open house is one of the most meaningful ways to educate Whidbey residents about what happens on base.

“The US Navy is their Navy, and it’s important for all Americans to know how important the Navy mission is to our nation and its citizens’ wellbeing,” he said.

Alcohol, bags larger than 12 by 6 by 12 inches, backpacks, weapons including pocket knives, coolers, cameras with lenses exceeding 200 millimeter zoom, camera tripods, cameras that can’t fit in a permitted bag while fully assembled and pets are not allowed on base. Drugs and drug paraphernalia, including marijuana, are likewise prohibited.

Strollers, diaper bags, small purses, wheelchairs, certified service dogs, bottled water and small cameras are permitted. All visitors over the age of 18, and visitors under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by an adult, will be required to have a state or government issued identification for access to the base.