Letter: Letter writer was spot-on about Growler concerns

Editor,

Kudos for Dave Anderson’s strong review of the many arguments for shifting the anticipated tripling of Growler practice to places off of Whidbey. He also pointed out the obvious: that placing all this essential Navy capability on a relatively flat island area, whose access is confined to an aging bridge on one end and a ferry on the other — both vulnerable to earthquake, tsunami and terrorism — is beneath the intelligence of a savvy war planner.

Let me add that there is even more folly, indeed deviancy, to this plan: The U.S. Navy relies on the Growler as its main asset for airborne electronic warfare. Growlers are considered a high-value unit and two fly with every U.S. military mission over enemy territory. Essentially all the electronic warfare-capable planes are home-ported in one geographic location, NAS Whidbey.

Only the Growler fleet, mind you, gets this treatment: all other Navy aircraft functions have at least two bases in the continental U.S. Single siting of any military function is a violation of the Technical Joint Cross Service Group (TJCSG) guidelines. A no-brainer major reason stated in the guidelines: “This will…provide continuity of operations in the event of unexpected disruption.” Hmmm, probably prompted by the Pearl Harbor experience. The Navy scrapped this strategy-101 tactic to continue a convenient use of Whidbey for its Noise of Freedom training despite the numerous burdens to Whidbeyites cited by Anderson and, yes, despite the clear lesson of Pearl Harbor.

To quote a president: “sad.”

Mark Wahl

Langley

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