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February 16th, 2011
Stormclouds over NAS Whidbey’s P-3 community
U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen made official this week rumors that the Navy has decided to send new P8-A “Poseidon” aircraft to Hawaii and Florida rather than Whidbey Island. Larsen said in a press release that he “is not happy” with the Navy’s decision, and Oak Harbor Mayor Jim Slowik suggested it is “too soon to panic” about the decision. NAS Whidbey currently serves as home base for several P-3 (pictured above) squadrons, but this aircraft is scheduled for retirement. One estimate is that the P-3 squadrons represent about one-third of naval aviation activities at the air base. Many active duty Navy personnel live on Fidalgo Island, and the air base definitely provides a “ripple effect” on the local economy. See the link above for an article in the Whidbey News-Times. Click on the photo to link to Congressman Larsen’s website.
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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