Larsen: Navy to Consider Increasing P-8A Presence on Whidbey Island

Nov 13, 2012 Issues: Jobs Labor and the Economy,

WASHINGTON—The Navy is considering increasing the number of squadrons of P-8A Poseidon aircraft at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, said today. The Navy will study three alternatives to its 2008 Record of Decision, all of which would result in the basing of more aircraft at Whidbey Island.

“This news shows the Navy’s steadfast commitment to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and provides further assurance that the future of the base is secure,” Larsen said.  “I have been a determined advocate to bring the P-8As to Whidbey Island. It is the right decision to serve our national security and it protects the future of the base on Whidbey Island.”

“I have long called on the Navy to maintain its commitment to Whidbey Island in the Record of Decision, and might have been skeptical of revisions,” Larsen added. “But this is clearly great news for Whidbey Island. The worst case scenario is we keep the four squadrons planned for Whidbey Island. In the best case, we might bring more than twice the number of aircraft to our base.”

Larsen accompanied Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Greenert to Whidbey Island in August. During that visit Greenert reaffirmed the Navy’s plan to bring P-8As to the base.

The 2008 Record of Decision calls for the basing of four fleet squadrons, a total of 24 aircraft, on Whidbey Island. The alternative plans being considered as part of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement could bring as many as seven squadrons and a total of 49 aircraft to Whidbey Island. The P-8As are slated to replace the P-3s as they are phased out of service.

The alternatives being considered are as follows:

Alternatives

Basing Locations

NAS Whidbey Island

NAS Jacksonville

MCB Hawaii Kaneohe Bay

2008 Record of Decision

4 Fleet Squadrons
(24 aircraft)

5 Fleet Squadrons
(42 aircraft)

3 Fleet Squadrons
(18 aircraft)

Alternative A

7 Fleet Squadrons
(49 aircraft)

5 Fleet Squadrons
(47 aircraft)

Permanent Squadron Detachment
(2 aircraft)

Alternative B

4 Fleet Squadrons
(28 aircraft)

5 Fleet Squadrons
(47 aircraft)

3 Fleet Squadrons
(18 aircraft)

Alternative C

6 Fleet Squadrons
(42 aircraft)

6 Fleet Squadrons
(54 aircraft)

Permanent Squadron Detachment
(2 aircraft)