EVENT: Navy Scoping Meeting Regarding Whidbey Island Naval Base Expansion


THIS THURSDAY, DEC 4, 3-6pm at Fort Worden Commons. The Navy will  host Scoping Meeting for Port Townsend. Make sure you are there! Tell them what you think about the addition of more Growler Jets flying overhead. Presently based at Whidbey Island NAS are more than 80 of these unmuffled jets. The Navy has plans to expand their fleet to include 36 more jets. They intend to use these jets to fly training missions at low altitudes over the Strait of Juan De Fuca, the west side of the Olympic National Park, and off the coast near the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

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The Navy wants to run Electronic Warfare Training runs on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula, including over habitat for endangered Spotted Owls, towns such as Forks, areas very close to the Hoh River campgrounds, and generally all over the Peninsula’s west side.

To be clear, this is from the Navy’s EA to the Forest Service:

-11.152 events per day

-2900 events per year. Current number in the Olympic MOA is 1200.

-Run up to 12 hours a day

-In use 45 minutes of each hour

-The equipment will be in use up to 260 days a year The Navy’s own figures state that a jet flying at 1000 ft above ground level creates 113 decibels, which is far above the threshold for hearing damage. So, 113 @ 1000 for one aircraft = 123 for two, and 128 for three. In other words, permanent damage instantly. (Twice as loud for two and an additional 50% louder for three.)

These jets will be flying out and above Port Townsend, Fort Worden, the Strait, and beyond. Their noise is an issue for people living here, Clallam County, The San Juans and even Victoria, which has had tv shows complaining of the “mysterious sonic booms”. The Navy’s proposal for the development of an Electromagnetic Warfare Range on the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Forest is inextricably linked to the Navy’s plans for EA-18G Growler Jet Expansion. While the two proposals are often portrayed as independent issues, they are in fact connected. While the Navy does not want to talk about the Electronic Warfare at this storyboards-on-tables meeting, you can.. And your comments will be recorded. Speak up. Come out on Thursday afternoon, hear the Navy’s story and make up your own mind, and maybe give them a piece of it. JAN 9, 2015 is final comment deadline for the Navy.

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