Whidbey Naval Air Station says goodbye to Prowlers

OAK HARBOR — A commemorative fly-over on March 14 marked the end of the EA-6B Prowler at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

The U.S. Navy has been transitioning the electronic-attack squadron, VAQ-129, from the Prowlers to the EA-18G Growler, a radar-jamming jet.

The naval air station had been home to the Prowlers since 1971. The Marine Corps will continue to use the Prowlers, with training based on the East Coast, according to a news release.

The arrival of the Growlers in recent years has incited debate on Camano and Whidbey islands about the noise level from the jets and whether it damages people’s hearing, trees and property values.

After a number of complaints, the Navy in 2013 announced plans to study the environmental and health impacts of its flight operations on neighbors and on the Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve, an area of central Whidbey Island overseen by the National Park Service.

The Growlers, made by Boeing, carry high-speed anti-radiation missiles. They’re based on Boeing’s two-seat, twin-engine F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jet, with electronic systems built by Northrop-Grumman.

Thirteen electronic-attack squadrons are based at the naval air station.

The Navy on Friday called last weekend’s commemorative Prowler flight over Whidbey “the end of an era.”

More in Local News

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

Add deputies and bump taxes a bit, executive proposes

Dave Somers’ Snohomish County budget proposal also would address traffic problems in neighborhoods.

County councilman proposes banning safe injection sites

Nate Nehring says county officials also should find “credible, long-term solutions to addiction.”

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

They chose the longshot candidate to fill a vacant seat

Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick will serve as representative for the 39th legislative district.

Alien brain? No, a colony of harmless freshwater creatures

Bryozoans are tiny invertebrates that live in jelly-like masses, and their presence is a good thing.

Definitely not Christmas in July for parched young trees

“I live in Washington. I should not have to water a Christmas tree,” says one grower. But they did.

Most Read