Navy may add up to 49 737-based P-8As to Whidbey

OAK HARBOR — The Navy is considering an increase in the number of P-8A Poseidon aircraft squadrons planned for Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

The P-8As, which are modified 737s assembled in Renton, are scheduled to replace the older Orion P-3s, as the propeller planes are phased out of service. The Navy is studying three alternatives for the assignment of Poseidon squadrons, all of which would mean additional aircraft at Whidbey Island.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, said he is pleased with the news because it shows a commitment to keeping the naval air station open.

“I have been a determined advocate to bring the P-8As to Whidbey Island. It is the right decision to serve our national security and it protects the future of the base on Whidbey Island,” Larsen said in a statement from his office.

“This is clearly great news for Whidbey Island.”

Originally, the Navy had planned to base four fleet squadrons at Whidbey for a total of 24 P-8As. Alternative plans, being considered as part of a supplemental environmental impact statement, could bring as many as seven squadrons and a total of 49 more aircraft to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

Additional aircraft at Whidbey would require an expanded airport facility, Navy officials said.

The Navy plans to schedule public hearings during the 45-day public comment and agency review period that will follow the summer 2013 release of the draft supplemental environmental impact statement.

The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

Correction: An earlier headline misidentified the aircraft potentially being added at Whidbey NAS. The jets are P-8As. The headline is now correct.

More in Local News

Local police join thousands honoring slain Canadian officer

Abbotsford Const. John Davidson was killed Nov. 6 in a shootout with a suspected car thief.

Hard work is paying off for Mariner High senior

Mey Ly has excelled in school since moving here from Cambodia; she also serves as an intrepreter.

One arrested in Marysville in connection with robbery

The suspect was caught in the 5800 block of 60th Drive NE.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

No easy exit from Smokey Point shopping complex

There’s just no easy exit on this one. A reader called in… Continue reading

Lynnwood, Marysville, Sultan consider ban on safe injection sites

If approved, they would join Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, which have temporary bans.

City Council OKs initial funding for Smith Avenue parking lot

The site of the former Smith Street Mill is being developed in anticipation of light rail.

Single fingerprint on robbery note leads to arrest

The holdup occurred at a U.S. Bank branch in Lynnwood in June.

Most Read