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

State: Secret deal endangers Marysville Strawberry Festival

The “bizarre” agreement promises a former leader up to $175,000 if the group fails to meet his demands.

Former jail guards sentenced in dehydration death of inmate

During a mental health crisis in 2015, Keaton Farris, 25, wasted away in the Island County Jail.

County Council grills Sound Transit CEO about long timeline

West Seattle and Ballard light-rail extensions will be completed before the main spine to Everett.

‘We don’t know why he left’: Teen has been missing for 2 years

Interest in the case of Tyler Christensen, of the Edmonds area, has recently surged on the internet.

Talks to begin on emergency radio system contract

Motorola Solutions Inc. has been chosen to build a replacement for the current 911 radio system.

Mountlake Terrace woman in coma after random, vicious attack

The suspect allegedly confessed, saying he had no explanation for his actions.

Traffic circles going in on Second Street in Marysville

The work follows complaints from residents about people driving too fast down the street.

Front Porch

EARTH DAY Earth Day is Sunday. Some of the activities planned for… Continue reading

Swift Bus and van collide in Everett, injuring 2

Their injuries were described as minor.

Most Read