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Final Reminder: August 8 2017 - Comments to Department of ecology

FINAL REMINDER: Comments are due to the Department of Ecology by August 8th. Email them to: ecyrefedpermits@ecy.wa.gov.

Public comments are most useful if they address issues of air quality, water quality and integrity of the coast/shoreline (this includes wildlife and recreation).

The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) is conducing a federal permit consistency review on the Navy’s proposal to expand E/A-18G Growler operations at the NAS Whidbey Island (NASWI) Complex, which as you know, involves a 6-fold increase in operations at Outlying Field (OLF) Coupeville. (continue reading…)


Send your comments on the proposed Navy plan to bring more jets to Whidbey Island BY AUGUST 8.

Below is an article from the Skagit Valley Herald that has more details.


(continue reading…)

Oxygen Deprivation Risk Rising in Growler Jets

An article by CNN describes the dangerous defects inherent in several jets, including the Growler. Do we really want increased flights over our heads with “a growing number of incidents” of oxygen deprivation amongst Growler pilots? While there has always been a risk of accidents with all aircraft training over Whidbey Island, it seems the likelihood is actually increasing.

(continue reading…)


Here are a few discussions about the future of Carrier Aviation, some just recently released. Definitely some interesting food for thought no matter what your opinion on military aircraft might be.

1. Retreat from Range: The Rise and Fall of Carrier Aviation

by Jerry Hendrix, October 19, 2015

Defense Strategies and Assessments Program Director Dr. Jerry Hendrix argues that aircraft carriers, at a cost over $13 billion a piece, risk becoming obsolete without a major shift in strategy. In particular, he argues carriers must switch to a mixed manned/unmanned airwing or risk becoming too vulnerable to counterattacks to put into battle.

Download the report (PDF)


“…Today the combination of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter represents the immediate future of the carrier air wing, which will be comprised of two squadrons (24 aircraft) of Super Hornets and two squadrons (20 aircraft) of Joint Strike Fighters, along with accompanying E-2D Hawkeyes, EA-18G Growlers, CV-22 carrier onboard delivery air-craft, and helicopters for a 62 aircraft air wing.

Such an air wing is not capable of upholding the nation’s interests in the face of rising competitors. However, options exist that include truncating or canceling the acquisition of the Joint Strike Fighter, extending the production of the venerable and effective Super Hornet, and accelerating the development and introduction of a viableunmanned combat aerial vehicle capable of spanning the vast distances imposed by anti-access/area-denial systems. The nation should aggressively investigate these options and select a viable path forward. Today’s carriers and their accompanying air wings, with their shrinking ability to project mass and power at great distance, represent 25 years of actively forgetting critical historical lessons. History, like the enemy, does not forgive.”




2. Retired US Navy captain: The centerpiece of the Navy’s future doubles down on a 20-year-old strategic mistake

By Jeremy Bender, Oct 20, 2015, 11:13pm EDT

Jeremy Bender discusses the previous work by Jerry Hendrix and its ramifications.

Original:  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/retired-us-navy-captain-centerpieces-194800446.html

“Retired Navy Capt. Jerry Hendrix, writing in the Center for a New American Security, makes the case that aircraft carriers have steadily lost their utility over the past two decades.

At fault for this are twin mistakes of the US Navy: a steady introduction of aircraft with decreasing flight ranges in addition to a failure to foresee rising military capabilities from countries like China that could target carriers.

“American power and permissive environments were assumed following the end of the Cold War, but the rise of new powers, including China and its pursuit of anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) strategies and capabilities to include the carrier-killing 1,000 nautical mile (nm) range Dong Feng-21 anti-ship ballistic missile, now threatens to push the Navy back beyond the range of its carrier air wings,” Hendrix notes.

Essentially, any carrier that operates within 1,000 nautical miles of Chinese military placements could be open to a strike from an antiship ballistic missile. This would not be a problem, except that the average unrefueled combat range of US carrier air wings operates at half that distance.


But in actuality, the F-35C’s combat range is expected to be 550 nautical miles, only 50 nautical miles longer than the Navy’s current complement of F/A-18E and F Super Hornets.

This lack of range, unless the Navy changes course, will continue to mean that the Navy will have little choice but to continue to operate in waters off potential enemy coasts.”




3. The Illusion of Power: Aircraft Carriers and U.S. Military Strategy

by David Isenberg, June 8, 1990

David Isenberg is a research analyst at the Center for Defense Information.

Original:  http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa134.html


…Is the Enthusiasm for Carriers Misplaced?

“Notwithstanding that argument, the scenarios in which the use of carriers is considered critical–such as attacks against the Soviet Union–may be unrealistic. Further, carrier-based aircraft may not always be the most cost- effective way to deliver weapons.

The Maritime Strategy, articulated by Adm. James Watkins, chief of naval operations, in 1986, emphasizes what can be called a crisis response–containing a crisis before it erupts into open warfare. Such a response requires that authority be predelegated to naval commanders so that they can carry a fight to the enemy. William W. Kaufmann of the Brookings Institution noted,

Senior officers should know from experience that in an era shadowed by the threat of nuclear exchanges, even secretaries of defense are more likely to want to test gingerly the cold waters of contemporary warfare than to plunge intrepidly into their depths. Yet the Maritime Strategy calls for precisely that kind of a plunge.”


Dear friends and neighbors,

Thank you for your contribution, large or small.  We could not be here 3 years later, without you, and your financial help makes it possible. 


P.O. Box 202

Coupeville, WA 98239

You can send checks to the above address, or choose the DONATE button on our main website to donate safely through Paypal.

The  ‘winds of change’ are blowing – and all of us are going to be impacted.

Whidbey Island and the Puget Sound region is witnessing the biggest military expansion of our history – bringing more jets, more noise, and increased threats to health and the environment. We are already seeing adverse impacts on our health, historic structures, tourism, and on the living creatures of the nation’s second largest estuary – Puget Sound.

Many of those who came to Whidbey in the 1800’s came for a peaceful and free way of life. Freeland’s name reminds us of that past. What brings and keeps most of us here is that same desire for freedom. We want a quality of life that includes beautiful landscapes, quiet ‘soundscapes,’ and a connection with nature and each other in a way that defines what a “community” should be.

Whidbey Islanders have a history of pushing back on military encroachment on those freedoms, in Coupeville, in Greenbank and even Oak Harbor. During the 80’s and 90’s Islanders, led by Coupeville, objected to noisy ‘Prowler’ jet training.  They took the Navy to court, won concessions and even compensation.  Then came the Growlers, the loudest jets yet to fly.

The Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER), today’s activists for a rural and peaceful Whidbey, have been working since late 2012 to protect what we hold dear.  We have raised and spent over $130,000 to do research, educate the public, and hire legal counsel.  This money has come from the pockets and savings accounts of COER members and supporters, all of who have volunteered their time.

If we hope to change the military’s plan for our region, we MUST ACT NOW as a larger and louder community.

Contributions to COER have allowed us to:

  • Challenge the Navy’s 2005 Environmental Assessment that allowed the Growlers on Whidbey Island;
  • Successfully advocate for a complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS);
  • Pay for an independent noise study of the EA-18 G Growlers using the Outlying Field in Coupeville;
  • Pay health experts to research and report on the health impacts of noise onchildren and adults;
  • Obtain the Navy’s internal documents and conduct other necessary research;
  • Pay for our own noise complaint HOTLINE to respond to people’s concerns;
  • Visit elected officials, Federal agencies, and Pentagon officials in Washington D.C.;
  • Conduct media interviews and presentations from the Olympic Peninsula to the San Juan Islands;
  • Help create a new regional organization, Pacific Northwest Coast Alliance, to bring other groups together to fight the militarization of Puget Sound.

Most recently, COER filed for an injunction in federal district court to stop the Growlers from using the Outlying Field in Coupeville until the harms to people and the environment are studied. The Federal District Judge, who was once in the Navy, ruled against us.  His ruling flies in the face of the facts and common sense. It allows the loudest jets ever built to fly low over homes, parks, and places of business before the Navy completes an Environmental Impact Study.

History proves judges can be wrong, which is why their decisions are sometimes overturned on appeal – or effectively changed with public opinion.  We think this Judge was wrong.

Appeals are expensive. If we are to do so, we need to raise $50,000 quickly.  We hope you’ll consider contributing to this amount. But even if we don’t raise enough for the appeal, your contribution will help us take our case to the court of public opinion through a renewed campaign of public education, organizing, and action. We must begin to prepare a stronger legal footing on health impacts and noise levels and a new economic study that refute the Navy’s arguments when it comes time to challenge the EIS. No matter what – the fight will continue and your support is needed.

Many of us have selected our homes with great intention. Whidbey Island, Lopez, the San Juan’s, Port Townsend, Coupeville, and the communities of the Olympic Peninsula are all vibrant, beautiful and historic  — we are ALL in jeopardy. Help us stop this from happening!

The Navy’s military mission is in stark contrast to our Island and rural values that allow us to freely engage in raising families, businesses and improving our communities in a healthy, safe  and peaceful ‘soundscape’ without restrictions caused by harmful and painful jet noise.

Help us relocate the Growlers! Give what you can today and protect what you love.  We have challenged the Navy before and won – we can do it again.

Stand with us NOW to protect our communities from the military’s ‘winds of change’ that now bring ALL of the Growler’s noise to Puget Sound.

Respectfully and with our thanks,

COER’s Board of Directors


P.S. Please join us for a POTLUCK on October 18th at the Pacific Rim Institute on Parker road in Coupeville from 3 to 5pm. You will hear the latest news and how you can volunteer your help. Protect what you love. Stand with us to protect our communities from the Growler noise.