A citizen’s group that sued the Navy in 2013 has filed an additional action to get the controversial EA-18G Growlers to stop flying in Coupeville.
The Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve, or COER, filed a motion Monday in federal court asking a judge to rule that the aircraft be forced to stop using a Coupeville landing strip until the Navy completes its Environmental Impact Statement in 2017.
“The EIS isn’t going to be done until 2017,” said COER board member and attorney Ken Pickard on Tuesday. “We’re being irreparably injured every time they fly. We’re not going to wait.”
The Motion for Preliminary Injunction was filed in the United States District Court, Western District in Seattle.
While Growlers fly at both the Navy’s main Ault Field and its Outlying Field Coupeville, or OLF, the citizens group’s main concern is with the Field Carrier Operations, or touch-and-gos, in Coupeville.
COER said they are concerned with the homes, businesses and organizations that lay in the flight path at OLF.
In recent years COER has expanded its original mission to close OLF and has stated its larger goal is to get the Growler removed from the Pacific Northwest.
Pickard said Monday’s motion was simply one of many fronts on which the group is fighting.
While the Navy is always looking to balance real-life training with simulation and other locations, ceasing use of OLF is “unrealistic,” said Butch Bailey, former Wing 10 commander and president of local Navy League.
“From a national security standpoint, right now that has to be done,” Bailey said. “OLF is uniquely set up in order to provide that kind of training.”