Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) (IATA: NUW, ICAO: KNUW, FAA LID: NUW) is a naval air station of the United States Navy located on two pieces of land near Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island, in Island County, Washington.
The main portion of the base, Ault Field, is about three miles north of Oak Harbor. The other section, called the Seaplane Base for the PBY Catalina flying boats once based there, holds most of the island's Navy housing as well as the air station's main Navy Exchange and DeCA Commissary. The NASWI commanding officer also has command of a lightly used satellite airfield, Naval Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Coupeville, on central Whidbey Island at 48°11′24″N 122°37′48″W, roughly nine miles south of Ault Field. Primarily used for Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) by carrier-based jets, this field has no permanently assigned personnel.
NASWI supports the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter and the EA-18G Growler, P-3C Orion, P-8 Poseidon, EP-3E ARIES II and C-40 Clipper fixed-wing aircraft. In all, there are 17 active duty squadrons and 3 Ready Reserve squadrons based at NAS Whidbey Island.
The air station also maintains a Search and Rescue Unit that flies two Sikorsky MH-60S Nighthawks. With the addition of the MH-60S, Navy Search and Rescue provides 24-hour day and night maritime, inland and mountainous rescue support for Department of Defense personnel and the greater Pacific Northwest community. The SAR Unit provides 15-minute alert coverage Monday through Thursday from 0800-0200 or last plane on deck, Friday 0800-2200 or last plane on deck and 30-minute alert coverage at all other times of the year. Additionally, SAR has organic SAR Medical Technicians on all missions it performs. NASWI SAR primarily serves military aircrews, but missions to help civilians in distress are often approved and executed.
Over 50 tenant commands are at NAS Whidbey Island to provide training, medical and dental, and other support services, including a Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG) for Whidbey’s staff and student Marine Corps personnel. The base also continues its longstanding role as a center of activity for Naval Air Reserve operations and training in the region.