The U.S. Navy has submitted a request to expand its Special Operations Training to 29 state parks.
This includes 4 parks in Grays Harbor and 3 in Pacific County.
Twin Harbors, Westport Light, Westhaven, Grayland Beach, Leadbetter Point, Cape Disappointment, and Pacific Pines State Parks are all being proposed as training sites.
The Washington State Parks Department has created a resource for information on the proposal, providing information on how to comment on the possible use.
They say that the Navy currently has a Right of Entry permit allowing it to conduct training in five state parks: Blake Island, Fort Flagler, Illahee, Mystery Bay and Scenic Beach.
That five-year permit expires May 1.
They say that while the Navy has been using these facilities, there have been no conflicts between the Navy and the public during trainings.
This training would not include simulated munitions or unmanned aircraft as part of the training.
In their application, training is being described as “Insertion/Extraction”, “Over-The-Beach”, and “Surveillance and Reconnaissance”
Each park appears to have the same base application for uses.
The Navy says that training would be conducted over a 2-8 week period where trainees and support personnel would participate in “cold-water maritime and land-based training”
The training is described as having the main objective of “avoidance of detection” so they say there will likely be minimal interaction with the public.
If the Navy were not permitted to train in the parks, they would relegate their operations to a restricted number of other sites within the state.
The Washington State Parks Commission is expected to make a decision on the Navy’s application at a regularly scheduled meeting this spring or summer.