NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is in Oak Harbor, Washington, on Whidbey Island. Whidbey Island is part of Island County, which is in the northwest corner of Washington state, about 90 miles north of Seattle. The air station is within close proximity to the San Juan Islands and the Cascade and Olympic mountains as well. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is composed of two bases 5 miles apart: the Seaplane Base and the air station (also known as Ault Field).
The air station has approximately 7,050 military personnel, 14,000 retirees, 350 reservists, 14,000 family members, 2,420 civilian and contract employees, and 50 Canadian forces and their families.
About Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
Located in the Puget Sound of Washington state, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is one of the Navy’s largest air stations and serves as the Navy’s sole center of excellence for electronic combat warfare training. The base manages two primary aircraft training fields: Ault Field in Oak Harbor and the naval outlying landing field (OLF) in Coupeville. The installation supports training activities for
21 home-based squadrons, as well as support to hundreds of transient military and civilian aircraft operations every year.
The majority of aircraft operations occur at Ault Field, a busy multi-mission air field. OLF Coupeville is primarily used for field carrier landing practice. Due to the density and diverse nature of aircraft operations at Whidbey Island, multiple runways are necessary to support shored-based readiness and total force readiness and to maintain operational access of Whidbey-based squadrons.
Whidbey Island is home to the Electronic Attack Wing and Electronic Attack Weapons School, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 61, and a search and rescue unit. Tenant commands at Whidbey Island include the Aviation Survival Training Center, Fleet Readiness Center Northwest, the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit, the Naval Ocean Processing Facility and the Navy Operational Support Center.
Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is the largest employer in Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties, according to an economic impact study by the Island County Economic Development Council. In 2011, the air station contributed $726 million dollars in salaries to Island County’s economy and $15 million to Skagit County’s. According to the report,
50 percent of wages in Island County were paid by the military.