Oak Harbor base opens doors to the public for Prowler sunset

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is inviting the public to its second annual open house this Saturday, June 27.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is inviting the public to its second annual open house this Saturday, June 27.

The public event punctuates a weekend dedicated to saying goodbye to the EA-6B Prowler and its 45-year history as the Navy’s first electronic attack aircraft.

“It just made sense to do the two events together,” said Mike Welding, public affairs officer for NAS Whidbey Island. “By opening the base to the public, it gives them an idea of what we do and why we do it. And they can see and understand the significance of the aircraft.”

The public will be able to enter the base through Charles Porter Gate off Ault Field Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

An invitation-only tribute will be held Friday for hundreds of current and former Prowler crew members, and will pay homage to aviators and maintainers who perished in defense of their nation.

During Saturday’s open house celebration, the last Navy Prowler will depart the airbase for the final time and join several U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B Prowlers for a final formation flyover, marking the end of the Prowler era in Navy aviation.

The Prowler fly away is scheduled between noon and 1 p.m.

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Fred Wilmot, the pilot who delivered the first EA-6B to the air station in January 1971, will be among the crew members participating in the final flyover.

The Navy has replaced the Prowler with the new EA-18G Growler.

The air station is the Navy’s home base for its electronic attack community including a forward deployed Growler squadron in Japan. As with the Growler, all Prowler squadrons with exception of four Marine Corps EA-6B squadrons, were based at NAS Whidbey. The Navy supports all Department of Defense airborne electronic attack with the Growler aircraft.

At the open house, the public can learn about past, current and future operations at the Navy’s only air station in the Pacific Northwest and  see static displays of all of its assigned aircraft.

Aircraft displays will include the Growler, Prowler, P-3C Orion, MH-60 Knighthawk helicopter, the new C-40 Clipper and a visiting P-8A Poseidon, which will soon replace the P-3.

There will also be other visual displays, guided bus tours, search and rescue and K-9 working dog demonstrations, a bouncy house for children and a climbing wall.

Aviation memorabilia will also be available for purchase as well as a variety of food and beverages.

The event will begin with an all-ages Flight Line 5K Run which will start at 8 a.m. Saturday. T-shirts will be on sale for $15 on day of the event.

Patrons with base access can register online at www.navylifepnw.com and sign up through myFFR, #610087. Civilians without base access can register on the day of the race starting at 7 a.m.

 

More in News

New education, training program for juvenile court

Island County Juvenile Court will soon start a pilot program aimed at… Continue reading

Paula Ludtke, SWHS teacher and choir director, sang a rendition of “Thanks for the Memories” to Chris Gibson to honor him for his five years of service as Foundation Board President. Photo provided. Photo by Laura Canby.
Schools foundation ends year with gala, awards

The South Whidbey Schools Foundation followed up its annual fundraising gala —… Continue reading

Expert says chief followed right protocol

David Marks’ arrest of suspect ‘exactly what we teach’

Photos by Whidbey Camano Land Trust
                                Taylor Schmuki, left, and Kyle Ostermick-Durkee, both part of the Whidbey Camano Land Trust’s stewardship team, study the plant life this spring in a newly protected forest on South Whidbey.
Conservation Buyer Saves a Whidbey Island Forest

By RON NEWBERRY Special to the Record Pat Powell has worked with… Continue reading

Sailor shoots man, himself

A Navy man shot another man and then himself in Oak Harbor… Continue reading

Trooper, ranger try to prevent man from jumping off bridge

A trooper with the Washington State Patrol and a ranger with State… Continue reading

Valetta Faye will perform at Ott & Murphy Wines in Langley.
Singing sensation comes to South Whidbey

Singing is her passion, music is her soul. That’s singer Valetta Faye’s… Continue reading

Shhh…it’s a surprise party for old-timer Bill Lanning

Friends, customers invited to celebrate former owner of Bill’s Feed Tack

Retail sales grew in Island County, Langley

New numbers released by the state Department of Revenue show that Island… Continue reading

Most Read