The Navy Growler crews already train over the Olympic Peninsula. The addition of the mobile transmitters will enable the Navy to expand that training to include exercises now done at a more distant location in Idaho.

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The U.S. Forest Service, in a draft decision released Tuesday, will grant the Navy a permit to conduct electronic warfare training with ground-based transmitters in the Olympic National Forest.

The training involves Whidbey Island-based EA-18G Growler aircraft crews who would be tasked with detecting signals from ground-based mobile transmitters. The Navy could place these transmitters at any of 11 Forest Service sites under the proposed five-year permit.

The Navy Growler crews already train over the Olympic Peninsula. The addition of the mobile transmitters will enable the Navy to expand that training to include exercises now done at a more distant location in Idaho.

This would save time and fuel for crews whose overseas missions take them to the front lines of the military campaigns in Syria and elsewhere.

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But the mobile-transmitter proposal has been a flashpoint in a broader backlash to an expanded military training footprint in Western Washington.

The Forest Service received some 3,500 public comments. “The comments were pretty negative overall,” said Stephen Baker, a regional spokesman for the Forest Service.

Based on a review of Navy studies, the Forest Service concluded the training would not have significant environmental, health or safety impacts, according to Baker.

Many critics have attacked the noise that the Growlers make as they fly over remote public lands that include both the national forest and portions of Olympic National Park.

“We hear those Growlers going overhead, and they are very well named,” said Tim McNulty, vice president of Olympic Park Associates, a conservation group that focuses on the park. “They have a very, very deep growl.”

Some also have raised health concerns about the mobile transmitters.

The ground emitters would broadcast signals — at low power — that fall between radio and microwave frequencies, similar to civilian communication systems, Navy officials have said. And, the emitters would be shut down if visitors to the forest lingered within a 100-foot posted perimeter.

The training could take place up to 250 days per year, with mobile trucks in place for an average 12 hours a day, according to the Forest Service.

Following release of the draft decision, the Forest Service will have a 45-day period for objections, and then a 45-day review.