Northwest Navigator: News and Information from Navy Region Northwest in Washington State's Puget Sound, including Bremerton, Kitsap County, Oak Harbor, and Everett

Naval Air Station Whidbey

Asian-Pacific American heritage celebrated

NAS Whidbey Island celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in grand style with a special luncheon May 28 at Chapel on base. Coordinating the event, attended by Washington State Senator Paul Shin were Senior Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate Lyndon Bonganay, with assistance from Chief Logistics Specialist (AW/SW) Omar Fernandez, Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician (AW/SW) Dante Magolhado, Aviation Machinist’s Mate 1st Class(AW) Jackielou Backlund and others from Fleet Readiness Center Northwest. Senator Shin came to show his support for the diverse contributions, both past and present, which have been made by Americans of Asian-Pacific heritage. Shinn spoke to the crowd of the experiences in his own life. His words reinforced the fact that with effort and dedication, America is the land of opportunity for all.
June 10, 2010
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Cougars begin workups in Vegas

The Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron 139 (VAQ-139) spent two weeks participating in the Electronic Warfare Advanced Readiness Program (EWARP) as part of their pre-deployment work-up cycle. EWARP is a syllabus designed to tactically prepare Electronic Attack squadrons for the rigors of deployment. The Cougars operated out of Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nev., from May 17-27. The Cougars flew down four Improved Capability III (ICAP III) EA-6B Prowlers to take part in the EWARP exercises. The mission scenarios provided by the Electronic Attack Weapons School (EAWS) consisted of mission representative scenarios to test the capability of the EA-6B Prowler, the aircrew and the Cougar maintenance team. Aircrew analyzed the mission scenarios, came up with a mission plan and executed the missions with two aircraft into the NAS Fallon, Nev., electronic warfare range. Maintenance worked around the clock to ensure the aircraft were fully-mission-capable to meet all briefed mission objectives.
June 10, 2010
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VP-1 returns home from deployment

The Screaming Eagles of Patrol Squadron (VP) 1 returned to NAS Whidbey Island after successfully completing a six-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. Spread across four different locations in the Area of Responsibility (AOR), VP-1 Sailors raised the bar for Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aviation (MPRA) operations in the region. Upon leaving Whidbey Island last November, the squadron worked hard to quickly establish new maintenance spaces, following in the footsteps of the two previous squadrons. Early on VP-1 demonstrated the cohesiveness that would prove vital as the deployment progressed. Upon arrival to the AOR, the squadron’s parking ramp was being moved to a different location on the flight line resulting in the Maintenance Department building brand new spaces and literally laying a new foundation from scratch.
June 3, 2010
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City of Coupeville honors veterans

Hundreds of local residents from Coupeville and Whidbey Island paid their respects for all service members, past and present, during the Coupeville Memorial Day Parade, May 29. Memorial Day was established shortly after the Civil War as Decoration Day. It is now a day set aside to remember the service members who have given their lives in the service of their country. Despite a slight drizzle, the parade started at Coupeville’s middle and high school and proceeded down South Main Street with observers waving U.S. flags all along the way and ended at Coupeville Town Park.
June 3, 2010
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FRC is changing fitness climate

For those of you who use the track on NAS Whidbey Island for your workout, you will notice that you have a lot of company on Wednesdays. More than 200 Sailors from Fleet Readiness Center Northwest and the Assistant Command Fitness Leaders (ACFLs) turn out every Wednesday as participants in a command-wide fitness program. While it’s not unusual for local squadrons and tenant commands here to implement command-wide physical readiness training in order to comply with directives that originate with the Secretary of the Navy, it is unusual to see it implemented on such a large scale. “Overall, something like command PT can change the fitness culture of a command and get it headed in the right direction, where sometimes it seems that the direction can be steered off track,” said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class (AW) Jason Etheridge, the command lead ACFL/FEP coordinator for FRC. “We can use it to build camaraderie and esprit-de-corps throughout the command.”
June 3, 2010
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Maintenance management training key to mission success

Aviation Maintenance Administration Manage-ment and Training (AMAMT) is the newest maintenance training unit at Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Whidbey Island. The office is comprised of 12 highly skilled and diversified instructors and brings more than 250 years of combined subject matter expertise of the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program (NAMP) and Fleet policies through 29 courses of instruction. In order to gain perspective to the importance of proper aviation maintenance, you can pose the question, “Why should I send my Sailors to school?”
June 3, 2010
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Safety not a stand-alone program anymore

In days of old, the thinking was that workplace safety was the responsibility of the safety officer and the Safety Department. Our base safety department had 13 specialists. Today we have six. In our advanced, leaner, and more automated, yet still hazardous workplace, a new way of thinking has to take place. Safety is an “all hands” responsibility. Our goal is to make safety part of everything we do and not a “stand alone” program demonstrated during inspection or assessment.
June 3, 2010
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Sailors learn aircraft firefighting skills

Sailors assigned to tenant commands at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island participated in a Flight Deck Firefighting Course May 18. The one-day, Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNTTAU) Whidbey Island course provided 39 Sailors with the basic level of skill and knowledge required to handle fires on flight decks, aircraft crash incidents and conflagrations involving hazardous materials. Firefighting instructor, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class Justin Ocampo said the course starts with a brief introduction covering course safety and other important topics such as the chemistry of a fire, visual landing aids, the operation of carbon dioxide and potassium bicarbonate powder bottles and the fires for which they are most effective. Ocampo said after the morning lectures, Sailors are are briefed on additional safety precautions, basic firefighting techniques and recommendations for combating the fire. Upon completion, Sailors perform a brief wet-work exercise to demonstrate how to properly handle the hose.
May 27, 2010
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Hangar 5 recapitalization completed

A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the completion of a recapitalization for Hangar 5 on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, May 24. The $55.8 million renovation, dubbed military construction project 169, was a three-phase project which began in Jan. 2008 to facilitate the ongoing transition from the EA-6B Prowler to the EA-18G Growler. The completed hangar will accommodate five Growler squadrons, the Electronic Attack Weapons School and Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CVWP). There are currently three safe-for-flight EA-18G squadrons on the installation. “In the end, the entire project lasted only 1,036 days; back in the olden days when I was a young man, these things would take many, many years, probably half a decade, to execute. We’ve significantly shortened that,” said Capt. Pat Rios, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest (NAVFAC NW) commanding officer. According to Capt. Gerral David, NAS Whidbey Island commanding officer, this marks the second time the hangar’s configuration has changed to accommodate a different aircraft platform since being built in 1954. The hangar was originally built to facilitate the P-2V Neptune, then the Prowler and, now, it’s the home of the Growler.
May 27, 2010
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City business leaders hear state of station

One of the most anticipated speakers each year for the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce is the Commanding Officer of NAS Whidbey Island. As an advocate for the business community, the Chamber of Commerce featured Capt. Gerral David May 20 at their monthly luncheon program May 20 to the Chief Petty Officers’ Club. A crowd of 140 came to hear David give his last State of the Station before his change of command later this summer. Praising the unique, supportive relationship between the city, chamber and base, David spoke on the future growth in population and construction, aircraft transitions, environmental stewardship and economic impact. In recounting the recent news that NAS Whidbey Island was named second top naval installation of 77 and number one air station in the country, David said, “We’re not that number one naval air station just because of those people inside that fence line. We are that number one naval air station because we all are part of Team Whidbey; and you make us that number one air station…we are grateful for your part in that.”
May 27, 2010
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