By Lt. Grant Parks
NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Washington – The “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139 helped commemorate the opening of the Anacortes Veterans Memorial with a flyover on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.
Two EA-18G Growlers, call signs “Warcat 11” and “Warcat 12”, were flown by Cmdr. David Skarosi, VAQ-139’s commanding officer, Lt. Justin Brown, Lt. j.g. Ronnie Novak and Lt. j.g. Brandon Hill-Rogers. The five pillars and 18 doves of the Anacortes Veterans Memorial represent the five armed services and honor the 18 Anacortes High School graduates who lost their lives during World War II.
All of the aircrew involved were proud to represent the Navy in the opening ceremony.
Novak, who coordinated the flyover, said, “Having an opportunity to participate in a flyover for such an important memorial was a once in a lifetime experience.”
“Civic engagement is of the utmost importance to the Cougars and everyone at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Not only are we proud to serve our country, but we are also proud members of the local community,” added Skarosi.
Flyovers represent a unique training opportunity for Navy aircrew with exacting requirements for timing and formation flying seldom encountered in routine training missions.
Oak Harbor High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps parade the Colors during the dedication of the Anacortes Veterans Memorial in early October. (Photo courtesy of Steve Berenston, Anacortes, WA.)