Irony in Navy, civillian responses to security


Naval Air Station Whidbey Island just concluded a two-week drill which was an anti-terrorism exercise called Solid Curtain/Citadel Shield.

I bring this up as a year ago I sent a letter to Sheriff Mark Brown, the Island County Commissioners, and the head of WSDOT about Deception and Canoe Pass bridges. The letter highlighted the need to be more proactive in securing the bridges in the form of lighting, law enforcement presence or cameras to monitor the bridges from top and bottom, and restricting access to the undercarriage of the bridges. These bridges are the most important infrastructure for north Whidbey residents as they carry 16,000-plus vehicles across them daily. There is no alternate plan to move traffic off the north end of the bridge. The current emergency plan is to move traffic off with the existing ferries that are set up to carry 7,000 vehicles daily.

A year ago Sheriff Brown called me and seemed very agreeable in terms of needed security. I also received an email from WSDOT indicating their interest in the issue. Fast forward to 2019 when WSDOT is planning to completely repaint the bridges and repair some items on the bridges that need fixing. Unfortunately there is nothing about adding lights, cameras or additional security to the bridges.

I recently sent a follow up email to WSDOT, the commissioners, and Sheriff Brown, asking about this issue again. I have received ZERO response this time. The sheriff has an excuse as he is currently out of town.

So there’s the irony — NAS Whidbey being proactive in training and response to terrorism — yet our leaders on the civilian side are apparently not concerned enough to do something to help secure our only way off the north end of the island.

Thomas Kosloske

Oak Harbor

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