Navy leaders help preserve Fort Casey history

By Tony Popp

NAS Whidbey Island Public Affairs

 The U.S. Army built it 117 years ago and the U.S. Navy today pitched in to help preserve it. Fort Casey, a popular Washington State Park tourist landmark on Whidbey Island, is undergoing a facelift of sorts after a century of battling age and the harsh coastal elements.

 As part of the 8th Annual Ebey’s Reserve Preservation Field School with the National Park Service (NPS), the Reserve chose to work with Fort Casey State Park to restore the James Moore plotting room, which was once part of Battery Moore’s targeting system.

NAS Whidbey Island learned of the unique volunteer opportunity in July from NPS when Kendall Campbell, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest Cultural Resource Program Manager, approached the command.

 “The base decided to participate to foster continued improvement of our relationships with our community partners,” said Campbell. “This is our first official community relations event with the commanding officer and executive officer.”

 Last February, the air station environmental staff participated in a tour of Ebey’s Reserve by NPS staff, and in turn, the Reserve and NPS staff participated in the NAS Whidbey Island annual 2014 Earth Day event at the Can-Do Inn.

 Air station leaders Capt. Michael Nortier, Commanding Officer; Cmdr. Steven Richards, Executive Officer; Naval Facilities Engineering Command employees Allison Crain, Environmental Director; and John Phillips, wildlife biologist; along with Campbell volunteered Aug. 12, 2014 to repaint the exterior of one of the fort’s old electrical generator rooms that will become a future administrative office.

 Before getting to work on the project, volunteer Fort Casey historian Dave Kobylk gave them a tour of the fort including the inside ordnance loading platform.

 “This type of collaboration also signifies that the air station recognizes the community’s interest in our island’s history and past,” said Campbell, and provides NAS Whidbey Island the opportunity to build upon the historical military connection.

 ####

Before there was electricity at Fort Casey, Fort Casey historian Dave Kobylk explains that lanterns were used at the encampment. Seen on the tour are Capt. Michael Nortier, base wildlife biologist John Phillips and Cmdr. Richard Stevens, NAS Whidbey Island Executive Officer.

Before there was electricity at Fort Casey, Fort Casey historian Dave Kobylk explains that lanterns were used at the encampment. Seen on the tour are Capt. Michael Nortier, base wildlife biologist John Phillips and Cmdr. Richard Stevens, NAS Whidbey Island Executive Officer.

Fort Casey historian Dave Kobylk describes characteristics of the gun battery and its disappearing carriage to NAS Whidbey Island employees Allison Crain, John Phillips, Cmdr. Steven Richards and Capt. Michael Nortier before the Navy volunteers took on a restoration project.

Fort Casey historian Dave Kobylk describes characteristics of the gun battery and its disappearing carriage to NAS Whidbey Island employees Allison Crain, John Phillips, Cmdr. Steven Richards and Capt. Michael Nortier before the Navy volunteers took on a restoration project.

The exterior to an old electrical generator room at Fort Casey State Park is painted by Navy volunteer Capt. Michael Nortier, NAS Whidbey Island Commanding Officer, last month through an effort with the Ebey’s Reserve and National Park Service. (U.S. Navy photos by Tony Popp)

The exterior to an old electrical generator room at Fort Casey State Park is painted by Navy volunteer Capt. Michael Nortier, NAS Whidbey Island Commanding Officer, last month through an effort with the Ebey’s Reserve and National Park Service. (U.S. Navy photos by Tony Popp)

A historic picture of Fort Casey shows the generator room that over a 100 years later is being restored thanks in part to Navy volunteers.

A historic picture of Fort Casey shows the generator room that over a 100 years later is being restored thanks in part to Navy volunteers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s