Front-page articles and photos (Skagit Valley Herald, July 10 and 12) draw attention to state Attorney General Bob Ferguson entering the fray regarding jet noise complaints and expansion at NAS Whidbey Island by filing a lawsuit against the Navy.

This is simply another "grandstanding" event that Ferguson is noted for in an effort to keep his name before the public, earning him the moniker "Sideshow Bob." It is predictable that nothing of substance will be gained by the lawsuit other than to make a few NIMBYs and malcontents happy, at least temporarily.

NAS Whidbey Island is the major — and only — Electronic Warfare and Anti-Submarine Warfare Naval Air Station on the West Coast. Its mission and purpose are essential to the defense of the nation. It occupies a strategic location, represents many billions of taxpayer dollars in capital investment and is a huge economic "engine" to the region.

Anyone who acquires property or moves into the area has to be — with any due diligence — fully aware of the presence of a major military jet airbase on Whidbey Island and all that goes with it. Unless objectors were physically residing there or nearby in 1942 when the base became operational during WWII, they have no basis to complain.

The Navy is not planning to "add 36 EA-18G Growler jets at Outlying Field Coupeville" as was stated in the July 12 article. All aircraft are based at Ault Field near Oak Harbor, and a number of them are often away at other training sites or on extended deployments.

Also, the Navy's primary ASW patrol aircraft for decades (the turboprop Lockheed P-3) is being replaced by the turbofan Boeing P-8 (a variant of the commercial B737) that is noticeably quieter than the P-3.

Objectors must either accept reality, take local measures to insulate themselves, or move elsewhere.

Bruce Elliot

La Conner

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