The US Navy based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey has proposed a military expansion in the region of the Olympic Peninsula for the development of an Electronic Warfare Training Range.

Below you will find the Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA is a request for land use on the Olympic Peninsula and can only move forward if the United States Forest Services (USFS) permit the Navy access to use the land. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has already denied the use of DNR land for this proposal.

Below you will also find the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS is a request from NAS Whidbey to expand their jet fleet to include an additional 36 EA-18G Growler Jets to the region. The Boeing EA-18G is an American electronic warfare aircraft. If granted access the EA-18G Growler Jets would fly around 10,000 feet in altitude to locate signals being emitted from the USFS land. Annual flight time average is estimated at 4,640 hours per year.

 


This Environmental Assessment (EA) prepared by the US Navy at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey was to analyze potential environmental impacts relevant to the proposed installation and operation of an Electronic Warfare (EW) Range in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). They claim there is no environmental impact. The purpose of the Proposed Action is “to sustain and enhance the level and type of Electronic Warfare training and to accommodate growth in future training requirements, and to maximize the ability of local units to achieve their training requirements on local ranges” [in the ecologically critical Olympic National Forest and surrounding communities, including fly-overs in the Olympic National Park]. These regions house the last living rain forest in the United States as well as threatened and endangered species, including migratory birds who rely heavily on electromagnetic frequency for navigation. To read the EA which claims a Finding of No Significant (Environmental) Impact, download here.

The Department of the Navy’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for EA-18G Growler Airfield Operations at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Washington. The EIS is proposing an addition of up to 36 Growler Jet aircraft to NAS Whidbey Island. The Navy states its “purpose is to improve the Navy’s electronic attack capability and to provide force structure and tactical airborne electronic attack response.” The EA-18 Growler Jets are the newest and loudest jets. The additional 36 jets will significantly alter the sound-scape of the region. More on the EIS below. 

Public comment is now closed. However we encourage continued ACTION.

 

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