The following is a letter from a local citizen to Mayor Nancy Conard of Coupeville WA regarding the Navy EA18G Growlers based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
Thank you very much Nancy. I just heard important information regarding the jets. My husband and I had an RV breakdown on our way back north in Ridgecrest, CA by the Mojave Desert. This is the location of th China Lake Navy Air. While waiting for repairs we stayed at the Ridgecrest Elks lodge Rv park. Our neighbors there were retired military from Ridgecrest. They told us that Ridgecrest had been promised all of the squadrons and some had already arrived. The Navy had bought up all the land in the desert that the planes would be flying over. The town has new upscale motels including Hampton Suites and Marriott Suites. The main reason to visit Ridgecrest is military related. We were also told that some of the influential people in the military did not want to be stationed at Ridgecrest, Last year funds to the base for expansion were suddenly cut and the squadrons were moved out to Whidbey Island. Ridgecrest is the perfect place for all of the squadrons to be based and the infrastructure is already here. The desert surrounding Ridgecrest is empty space. The jets would be welcomed back with open arms.