Growler protests continue

The Secretary of the Navy made a final decision regarding EA-18G Growler aircraft on Whidbey Island, but the protests over jet noise haven’t stopped.

The group Sound Defense Alliance has organized events throughout the region as part of the continued “No new jets. No new flights” campaign.

One of the events, called “Fight not Flight,” will be 5:30-7:30 p.m., in Central Whidbey at the Crockett Barn, 1056 S. Crockett Farm Road. The event is free and open to the public; beer, wine and light refreshments will be served.

“People can share their experiences with the Growler jet increases, learn about plans for community action and find ways to get involved,” event organizer Ann Harvey said.

Sound Defense Alliance is an umbrella group for other organizations in the Puget Sound region, including Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve.

The Navy will be bring 36 more Growlers to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Under the Secretary of the Navy’s decision, 80 percent of the aircraft carrier landing practice will take place at Outlying Field Coupeville; it will be nearly a quadrupling of the annual number of flights.

The Navy has said OLF Coupeville provides superior training for landing on aircraft carriers, which is a risky maneuver for pilots. Also, Ault Field is congested with other aircraft.

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