Comments delay Navy expansion of electronic-warfare training on Olympic Peninsula
PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says a flood of public comments is delaying its decision on whether to grant the Navy a permit for expanded electronic-warfare training on the Olympic Peninsula.
The Peninsula Daily News reports that the Forest Service had planned to make a decision on the Navy’s special-use permit application by September. But now the agency is hiring a third-party contractor to handle the more than 3,300 comments it received — most of them expressing opposition over concerns about jet noise or electromagnetic radiation.
The Forest Service says no decision is expected before early next year.
The Navy is planning for an $11.5 million expansion of its electronic-warfare range activities, including the deployment of three mobile, camper-sized electromagnetic transmitters on 12 Olympic National Forest logging roads in Clallam, Jefferson and Grays Harbor counties.
The transmitters would interact with EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft that are stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.