Colonel Trey Pappas

Todd Ferry takes command at Cherry Point

July 28, 2016

 
Colonel Todd Ferry takes command at Cherry Point. Allies for Cherry Point's Tomorrow.

by Ken Buday, Sun Journal

CHERRY POINT | Col. Todd W. Ferry, Cherry Point’s new commanding officer, had more than one reason to celebrate on Thursday.

“My oldest son turns 14 today,” Ferry told those attending a change of command Thursday morning at Cherry Point. “We’ll have a party for him tonight.”

Ferry assumed command from Col. Chris Pappas III during the ceremony on a hot parade field in front of Cherry Point’s headquarters building. Ferry was most recently based in Stuttgart, Germany, as J-5 director of state at the United States Africa Command. >>READ MORE

 

ACT Board Members tour MCAS Cherry Point

July 01, 2016

 

Wednesday, June 29th the board members of Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow had a unique opportunity to tour MCAS Cherry Point with Colonel Trey Pappas. Colonel Pappas is finishing his responsibilities at Cherry Point before moving to Marine Corps Base Quantico in July. A change of command ceremony is scheduled for July 28th.

The tour, which began at 8:30am on Wednesday morning reinforced the importance of our mission, which is to advocate for the existence and success of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Fleet Readiness Center East and its civilian enterprises. We had a chance to go behind the scenes and learn about the valuable asset we have in our area. After a brief presentation by Colonel Pappas, groups were led to the control tower, radar room and weather station. Special presentations were given by several military personnel, so we got a much better understanding of the level of training each area endures to ensure the highest level of technology, expertise, security and safety.

Although many of us understand the economic importance of the base to our community, it is of equal importance to understand how keyed in our base is to national security. MCAS Cherry Point is expected to receive the largest number of F35 Joint Strike Fighters in the country, so it is critical that we prepare the infrastructure to accommodate this new state of the art equipment. While MCAS Cherry Point has some of the latest technology available, it also has many buildings dating back to the 1940’s. These buildings must be removed, utilities need to be updated and new buildings must be built in a timely manner as we prepare for the new fleet of F35’s. LtGen Jon M. Davis said at his last visit to Cherry Point in May 2016 that the F35 fleet can start coming as soon as the hangars and supporting infrastructure are completed. Construction is scheduled to start in 2019, with fleets coming in 2022.

We also learned about the importance of protecting outlying land to better support training missions. Expansion would be ideal if a budget would allow for that, but with limited funds, we have to do everything we can to protect what is already ours, both on land and in the water. We will continue to work closely with surrounding cities and counties, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders who are working on Joint Land Use Studies (JLUS). These partnerships are critical for the growth of the base and the safety of the community.

The tour finished with a look at the VMU-2 squadrons to see some of the latest UAVs that will be deployed overseas within the next few weeks. This is a fascinating operation to see as the “cockpit” for over 45 units is stationed on the ground. It was an honor to hear first-hand what these missions entail and the success they have already had. More information about this squadron can be found here.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to tour MCAS Cherry Point and look forward to working closely with the new Colonel later this month. We continue to work with local and state legislators, will work to educate our community about the importance of MCAS Cherry Point to not only our economy, but to our national defense. As citizens of Eastern North Carolina, it is truly a privilege to have these fine men and women leading the efforts in protecting our freedom and fighting for our safety.

IMG_4532 IMG_4538 IMG_4578 ACT Group UAV demo