Updates | Cherry Point

FRC East Achieves Another F-35 Milestone

June 19, 2018


MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — The first Air Force F-35A Lightning II, AF-10, inducted at Fleet Readiness Center East for modifications departed for the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on June 7, 2018.

The departure of the jet represents another successful milestone, demonstrating FRC East depot capability to perform heavy maintenance at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.  The Depot has now received, modified and returned all variants of the fifth generation aircraft.

FRC East is the primary depot source of repair for both F-35B and F-35C variant workloads, while serving as a backup depot repair facility for the F-35A variant.

The first Air Force F-35A Lightning II, AF-10, inducted at Fleet Readiness Center East for modifications departed Florida in June.

The command inducted the first A- and C-variants in August and November 2017, respectively. The aircraft underwent structural, mechanical and software modifications to standardize these aircraft to the current production configurations.  The modifications improve capability and increase lethality of the F-35 variants.

The F-35C, Navy variant, is one of the 10 aircraft designated by the Navy to meet its goal of initial operating capability by August 2018.

“FRC East has successfully demonstrated capability on all F-35 variants,” said Donald Jeter, F-35 Program manager.


Pentagon And Lockheed Martin Deliver 300th F-35 Aircraft

June 12, 2018


FORT WORTH, Texas, June 11, 2018 – The F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] delivered the 300th production F-35 aircraft, demonstrating the program’s continued progress and momentum. The 300th aircraft is a U.S. Air Force F-35A, to be delivered to Hill Air Force Base, Utah.


“The F-35 weapons system is a key enabler of our National Defense Strategy and is providing our warfighters the combat proven, advanced capabilities they need to meet mission requirements,” said Vice Admiral Mat Winter, program executive officer for the F-35 Joint Program Office. “The 300th production aircraft delivery is a significant milestone that highlights the effective F-35 Enterprise collaboration across the JPO, U.S. services, partners and industry. Moving forward, our F-35 team remains committed to driving costs down, quality up and faster delivery timelines across our development, production and sustainment lines of effort.”

The first 300 F-35s include 197 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variants, 75 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variants, and 28F-35C carrier variants (CV) and have been delivered to U.S. and international customers. More than 620 pilots and 5,600 maintainers have been trained, and the F-35 fleet has surpassed more than 140,000 cumulative flight hours.



Senators Burr and Tillis support F-35B Growth for Cherry Point

May 22, 2018


For Immediate Release: May 22, 2018
For More Information Contact: Marc Finlayson (252) 617-0757

Washington, DC: North Carolina’s US Senators Richard M. Burr and Thom Tillis urged the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate Armed Services and Defense Appropriations Committees to purchase 93 F-35 fighter aircraft during the 2018-2019 federal fiscal year. This request, made in an April 11 letter to the Senate appropriators, would add 16 Joint Strike Fighters to next year’s budget. Senator Tillis is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Personnel Subcommittee. Senator Burr is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The President’s Budget included 77 F-35s for $10.7 billion.

Senators Burr and Tillis joined with 23 of their fellow Senators to urge that funding be increased as part of a cost savings and production effort to ensure that an optimal production rate of 80 F-35As, 24 F-35Bs and 24 F-35Cs is achieved as quickly as possible.  Individual unit costs have come down 60% over the past 11 years, with the goal of a $79 million aircraft by 2020.

“We are pleased to work in close concert with Senators Burr and Tillis and their very capable staffs on this important funding effort,” said ACT President Will Lewis.  “Both Senators have a completely open door policy with ACT and our community leaders on all things Cherry Point.  It is also important to remind ourselves that cutting costs by increasing production is a means to an end to ensure that Cherry Point and FRC-East will remain a national military asset.”

Cherry Point is the largest Marine Corps Air Station in the world, and the planned assignment of 94 F-35B fighters to the station by the mid-2020s will mean that Cherry Point will be home to the largest deployment of Joint Strike Fighters in the Marine Corps.

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The Importance of Our Military Communities

April 24, 2018


by: NCLM President and Jacksonville Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lazzara

Anyone who has been around me for any length of time soon will know that I am from a military community. I take great pride in that fact, and that the working relationship between Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune is one of many examples in North Carolina of a municipality and a military base that work together to try to make life good for military families, the vast numbers of military contractors and the wider civilian community.

Inevitably, the challenges that arise when integrating the needs of our national defense and those of municipal operations and civilian populations adjacent to military bases can be complex and daunting. But through groups like the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission and our own NCLM affiliate group, the Military Host Cities Coalition (headed by Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips), this state has long been able to claim the title of “Most Military-Friendly State in the Country.”

The claim to that title is something that we should all cherish. After all, our military bases are huge contributors to local economies and the larger state economy.

In all we have major military bases: Fort Bragg, outside of Fayetteville and Spring Lake; Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base here in Jacksonville; New River Marine Corps Air Station, also near Jacksonville; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro; and Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station and Naval Air Depot adjacent to Havelock. In addition, Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal lies near South Port, and U.S. Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City is a major facility for that branch of the military.

According to figures from 2015, North Carolina had the fourth largest military population in the United States. The military here is believed to support roughly 10 percent of overall employment in state, with 578,000 jobs – a figure that includes about 102,000 active duty military and another 386,000 military-supported jobs in the private sector. The North Carolina National Guard also has about 11,700 military personnel across the state.

That employment represents nearly $34 billion in state personal income and $66 billion in gross state product, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce. In the 2014 scal year, U.S. Department of Defense contracting in the state totaled $2.5 billion.

The economic impact does not end with just active duty military, civilian contractors and the private business supported by their patronage. Military veterans in North Carolina – approximately 775,000 of them – represent the eighth largest veteran population in the nation, and their pension and other benefits – around $8 billion annual – ripple through the state economy as well.

The obvious point here is that our military bases and personnel are hugely important to North Carolina’s economic and social well-being. But I think, increasingly, North Carolina military communities are seeing another, less obvious benefit from their presence: the brainpower of our men and women in uniform as they leave those military careers behind.

Our modern military, of all branches, is the most professional, prepared and technically-savvy in the history of civilization. We see more and more of these folks, as they leave the military, use that expertise gained there to create new, innovative businesses helping to grow our economy further. It’s a trend we need to continue to encourage.

And while we are doing that, let’s also be thankful that they are here and for the job that they do keeping our country safe.


Approved plan is great news for City of Havelock

April 16, 2018


There is now a green light for a plan that shortens your drive to the beach and keeps you from all the stop-and-go traffic in Havelock. >>READ MORE