Association of Defense Communities

ACT Joins Effort to Pass DOD Off-Base Infrastructure Grant Program

April 13, 2018


HAVELOCK, NC, April 13, 2018 — Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) is excited to announce the organization will join other defense community representatives in a newly-formed group: The Federal Outreach & Advisory Committee (FOAC). This committee, created by the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) will monitor federal policies and opportunities and how they could impact the military. Through this relationship, MCAS Cherry Point and the surrounding area could see enhancements in schools, roads, and infrastructure. 

The ADC is currently recommending that Congress create a new authority within the Department of Defense (DoD) to aid in the funding of off-base infrastructure projects with the goal of enhancing installations’ military value while also improving the quality of life for service members and their families and civilian employees.

“This committee is comprised of 12 defense community representatives from across the nation nominated by the President of the ADC Board,” said Marc Finlayson, Managing Consultant of ACT. “We were hand-picked to offer our ideas and assistance in this effort and truly consider it an honor. We’re looking forward to our first meeting in June.”

The ADC believes that with ACT’s previous advocacy efforts, strong relationships with North Carolina’s Congressional delegation, and work backed by the Cherry Point community, the proposal will find favor in Congress.

The FOAC is proposing the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment implement a grant program open to states, counties, municipalities, and regional entities who submit proposals for off-base improvements that will boost productivity, quality of life, and military value.

Proposed projects would be evaluated on multiple criteria with a primary focus on military value, including priority of the mission, and the project’s impact on installation resiliency, including electricity, drinking water, or access by military and civilian personnel. Other evaluation criteria would include: Impact on families’ quality of life; overall value to the community; ratio of public and private funding; and a region’s needs relative to available resources.

Resources outside a base fence line can be hard to come by. While some federal programs provide aid for local infrastructure needs, none (including the Federal-Aid Highway Program) have a space dedicated to supporting military readiness. Currently, states and communities bear the burden of financing off-base infrastructure projects. If local funding is not available, vital projects are abandoned. This new authority would place an installations’ off-base infrastructure needs on par with on-base (military construction) requirements.

Our military relies on a complex network of roads, buildings, facilities, and utilities—both on and off-base—to provide critical training and power-projection platforms needed to protect our nation. ACT is proud to join ADC in bringing these DoD grants to life in an effort to maintain our nation’s competitive and preparedness edge.

About Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow

Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) advocates for the existence and success of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Fleet Readiness Center East and its civilian enterprises. Board members include leaders from Craven, Carteret, Pamlico, and Jones Counties who work closely with Congressional and legislative delegations to push for laws and budget appropriations that will help preserve and grow MCAS Cherry Point—a base crucial to the success of the U.S. military and the economy of the region. For more information, call (252) 631-5021 or visit   



Marines’ deadly fighter jet to make its first ship-based deployment next year

May 03, 2016


The Marine Corps’ version of the joint strike fighter’s maiden deployment is set for late 2017 and its bound for the Western Pacific, the Navy’s top officer in the Pacific said Tuesday.

The F-35B jump-jet stealth fighter will deploy aboard an amphibious flattop, enhancing its combat might, and the service is planning a more powerful escort force to support it, according to Adm. Scott Swift, head of Pacific Fleet. >> READ MORE


NC Announces New Strategic Plan for Military Preparedness

April 20, 2016


The North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission have unveiled the state’s new Strategic Plan for Supporting and Enhancing North Carolina Military Missions and Installations. The Strategic Plan builds on Governor Pat McCrory’s forward-leaning strategy to ensure North Carolina’s leadership in military preparedness for decades to come.  The full report is available on the department’s website at:

Governor McCrory has led numerous successful initiatives to enhance the state’s military value including the recently approved Connect NC bond package, which will allocate $70 million to update the aging infrastructure at National Guard armories and future regional readiness centers.  He has also established buffer zones around bases, and implemented initiatives for military families to improve the quality of life for veterans, service members and their families.

North Carolina’s military community makes an enormous contribution to our country’s national security,” said Governor McCrory. “It is a crucial priority for me and for my administration to protect and support the significant military presence in our state, including the interests of the servicemen and women who call North Carolina home.”



Havelock Chamber hosts Lunch ‘N Learn with Will Lewis

March 11, 2016

Will Lewis, Mayor of Havelock and President-Elect of Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) will have a Round Table Discussion with Havelock Chamber Members and their guests on the status of MCAS Cherry Point and FRC-East. Mayor Lewis has recently returned from a trip to Washington, DC for the City of Havelock and a trip to the Association of Defense Communities Conference in Charleston, SC for ACT. Mayor Lewis will provide insight to what can be expected in the community in the upcoming year from the federal government.
Lunch is $10 and will be in the conference room at the Havelock Tourist & Event Center.  Please RSVP to

ACT participates in Association of Defense Communities Conference

March 04, 2016


ACT leads way for installation and community communication and collaboration

Charleston, SC: This week representatives from Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) took part in a national conference examining the relationship between military installations and their host states, regions and communities. The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) hosted the conference in Charleston, SC in which over 350 defense and community leaders took part. Representing ACT were Havelock Mayor Will Lewis, Havelock City Manager Frank Bottorff, James Norment, attorney with Ward and Smith, P.A. and ACT’s government affairs coordinator, and Marc Finlayson, ACT’s managing consultant.

Over three days of presentations, forums and idea exchanges conference participants examined topics such as how communities can support their installations’ military missions; synchronizing military missions and infrastructure with economic development; and the importance of education to the military mission. Of particular interest to the ACT delegation were a forum and working lunch with Steve Iselin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and the Environment, and Tom Ruffini, Director of Government and External Affairs, Marine Corps Installations Command. The discussion covered Navy and Marine Corps facility maintenance and modernization, civilian and uniformed workforce needs and the viability of public-public partnerships between the installations and their host communities.

“I am very pleased that ACT was so well represented at the conference,” said ACT board member and Havelock Mayor Will Lewis. “It’s important for us to understand how our relationship with Cherry Point and its missions fits within the broader view of the Marine Corps and Navy.” Mayor Lewis added that it’s also important to engage and exchange ideas with counterparts from other installations and communities from across the country.

As part of the conference, Mr. Norment and Mr. Finlayson participated in a briefing and tour of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. The tour gave participants a first-hand view of how the Marine Corps is investing in infrastructure to support training squadrons of aviators flying the new vertical lift F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. Similar investment will have to take place at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to support the eventual deployment of F-35B operational squadrons there.

“ACT, in support of Cherry Point and our communities, should be a leading voice for installation and community communication and collaboration. ADC provides a great opportunity to lead and to learn,” said Mayor Lewis. “It was good to be with our partners from the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission and the state’s other military installations and communities. Together we can make Cherry Point and the entire military presence in North Carolina stronger.”

ACT has been a formal member of ADC since 2013 and helped host a southeastern US regional meeting last year in Fayetteville. More information about ADC can be found at and about ACT at



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