Letter: Navy should consider more on Growler increase

Editor,

In response to the proposed increased number of Growler planes and training flights, residents of Whidbey Island have proposed scaling back their numbers, or relocating them, for many important reasons: unhealthy levels of noise, reduction of available housing, safety issues near populated area with schools and hospitals, decreased property values and invasion of the quiet, natural experience of Deception Pass, public beaches and historic areas of Island County.

There are two other important issues I believe should be considered by the U.S. Navy decision makers in advancing their mission to defend our nation. The first issue concerns the unique infrastructure challenges of an island in the event of a natural disaster. Our recent power outage experience should be a wake-up call highlighting this concern. Imagine if we and the Naval base experience a prolonged lack of water, electricity, and the loss of Deception Pass Bridge due to an extreme windstorm, earthquake or tsunami.

Scientists have warned that we are overdue for a large scale natural disaster. A subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate up against the North American plate would cause a tsunami-driven wall of water likely to be tens or even hundreds of feet higher than any structure at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

A second issue for this island-located base is vulnerability to a terrorist attack. The Deception Pass Bridge, our only road exit on or off Whidbey, is old and vulnerable to those bent on destruction. Much of the island water supply comes from a pipe under the bridge. In addition, the Navy base is located near heavily traveled public roads, impossible to monitor for bad actors, and it is bordered by accessible navigable waters.

One of the Navy’s first considerations in locating facilities or expanding an operation should be its vulnerability to events that could curtail or eliminate its operations. It seems logical to me that a more sparsely populated area less vulnerable to natural disasters and easier to guard against attack would be a high priority in siting new or expanded training facilities.

Dave Anderson

Freeland

More in Opinion

In Our Opinion: Island County’s pandemic bonuses are a smart idea, if legal

The latest federal stimulus plan, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Welcome back, Whidbey Island Fair, how we missed ya

After a year marked by fear, divisiveness and distancing, attending the Whidbey… Continue reading

My garden.
On the Rock, we walk, wander and garden while the sun shines

During sunshine, we are outdoors walking our trails, wandering our beaches and tending our gardens.

In Our Opinion: Ships should follow same environmental rules as everyone else

Over the last year, giant hulking figures emitting low, intrusive rumbles have… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: It’s time for governor to put social distancing behind us

It’s time for the days of mandatory social distancing to come to… Continue reading

Sound Off: Coverage of clear-cutting on island doesn’t tell complete story

Your recent article, “Despite how it may seem, clear-cutting not increasing,” lacks… Continue reading

From the Editor: Press releases always welcome, but they are just the first step

People are a lot more savvy about how newspapers work than they… Continue reading

Manke
Sound Off: This is a time to renew our pledge to remember the fallen

For many, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. The end of… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Illegal or not, Coupeville school board actions troubling

As role models for students, school boards should strive to follow the… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: With candidate filing week at hand, it’s time to run for office

The outcome of this year’s election could have a significant impact on… Continue reading

Sound Off: Rethinking proposed bans on natural gas

By Don Brunell Sometimes being first isn’t good. Such is the case… Continue reading

In Our Opinion: Disputes unmask extent of misinformation, confusion about face coverings

Together with social distancing, donning a face covering is proven to be… Continue reading