frc east

MCAS Cherry Point to break ground for first F-35 MILCON project

September 02, 2020


MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Sept. 2, 2020) — Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point will break ground to begin construction on the first of three F-35 Aircraft Maintenance Hangars.

Marine and Navy leaders will underscore the start of the $105 million military construction project with a groundbreaking ceremony at the air station at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 4.

The groundbreaking event is momentous as the air station begins to see tangible modernization of its facilities and infrastructure, and the transformation of the nearly 80-year-old installation into a key base for the future of Marine Aviation and its next generation fighter aircraft, the Joint Strike Fighter.

More than one billion dollars of MILCON projects are planned through 2027 to make way for six F-35 Lightning II squadrons.

Marine leaders of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, MCAS Cherry Point and Navy Facilities Engineering Command will be on hand to accent the historic occasion and to articulate its significance for the Department of Defense, Marine Corps and Eastern North Carolina.


Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the size of the audience at the event will be limited, but the community is encouraged to tune to stream the event live at


Congressman Murphy Supports Increasing FRC East Funding Levels

August 25, 2020


Greg Murphy's letter to Navy Secretary stressing importance of upgrades to FRCE.In July, ACT helped coordinate a tour of FRC East for Congressman Murphy and his senior staff. They met with the civilian and military leadership at FRC East and experienced a complete walk through of the depot.  As a result of the tour, Congressman Murphy sent the attached letter to the Secretary of the Navy.  ACT thanks Congressman Murphy and his staff for their support for increasing FRC East funding levels.


Congressman Focuses on Future During Visit to Fleet Readiness Center East

July 21, 2020

By Heather Wilburn

Fleet Readiness Center East Public Affairs

Congressman Greg Murphy visits FRC East

Fleet Readiness Center East Commanding Officer Capt. Mark E. Nieto, right, and Rep. Greg Murphy, second from right, discuss operations on FRCE’s H-53 heavy-lift helicopter line during Murphy’s visit to the facility Friday, July 17. Murphy, who represents North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, visited FRCE to receive updates on the future of naval aviation, the current status of operations and the economic opportunities FRCE brings to Eastern North Carolina.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (NNS) — During a visit to Fleet Readiness Center East Friday, July 17, Rep. GregMurphy, who represents North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, toured the facility with FRCE Commanding Officer Capt. Mark E. Nieto. The itinerary focused on the F-35 Lightning II and future plans for F-35 maintenance and capabilities at FRCE.

“I was pleased to introduce Congressman Murphy to our facility at Fleet Readiness Center East, and familiarize him with the vital work we’re doing to support naval aviation.” Nieto said. “This visit gave us an excellent opportunity to provide him with a firsthand look at how FRCE operations contribute to defense readiness, and what we need to be successful, now and in the future.”

Murphy, along with a group of his staff and local leaders, made additional stops at the H-53 heavy lift helicopter and V-22 Osprey lines. During the tour, he also had the opportunity to speak with FRCE’s aircraft maintenance professionals, learn about their workload, and discuss measures the command has implemented to keep the workforce safe while still meeting the needs of the nation’s warfighters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murphy made his first official visit to FRCE two days after he toured Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River with Charles Williams Jr., the assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment; Rear Adm. John Korka, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command; and Maj. Gen. Edward Banta, commander, Marine Corps Installation Command. The congressman is a member of the House Military Depot and Industrial Facilities Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members dedicated to policy issues that affect military industrial facilities, including aviation depots, arsenals, ammunition plants, shipyards and energetic material production facilities. Caucus members work to educate other members of Congress on matters of importance to the military depot and industrial facility community, and advocate for necessary changes in policy.

FRCE is North Carolina’s largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, with more than 4,000 civilian, military and contract workers. Its annual revenue exceeds $835 million. The facility generates combat air power for America’s Marines and naval forces while serving as an integral part of the greater U.S. Navy; Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.

For more news from Fleet Readiness Center East, visit


FRCE Steps Up to Keep F-18s in Flight

April 27, 2020

FRCE steps up to keep F-18s in the Fight

Donovan Guthrie, right, and Jason Hollister check an F-18 safety valve against the technical instruction to ensure it’s ready for issue, or RFI.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — When coronavirus-related workforce shortages impacted Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex at Tinker Air Force Base, Fleet Readiness Center East stepped up to take on a component workload and ensure continued readiness for the F-18 fleet.

FRCE was initially scheduled to begin working with the F-18 cabin safety valve later this year while the Oklahoma City ALC’s test chamber underwent scheduled maintenance. That timeline moved forward when, as a result of the pandemic and associated risk mitigations, the facility at Tinker AFB saw a significant reduction in the number of available artisans. Because FRCE had already been making preparations to accept the workload, the handoff occurred with no interruption to the fleet.

“The original intent of bringing this workload to FRCE was to support Tinker Air Force Base through a major support equipment rework effort,” said Mary Linton, an aerospace engineer working with F-18 environmental control systems on the Gas Turbine Compressor-Pneumatics Fleet Support Team at FRCE. “All of the great effort that went into establishing this capability proved even more critical to maintaining the readiness of the F-18 fleet as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.”

The cabin safety valve is an integral part of the aircraft’s environmental control system, explained Linton. The valve, present on both Legacy Hornets and the newer Super Hornets, acts as a backup to maintain proper cabin air pressure above 23,000 feet in the case where the cabin air pressure regulator fails to function. It also serves as a supplement to the cabin air pressure regulator in regulating cabin air pressure when the aircraft is in a rapid dive, and it assists the cabin air pressure regulator in emergency relief dumping of cabin air pressure.

FRCE was set to begin repairing, checking and testing the valves in May, to shift the workload from Oklahoma City ALC, said John Miller, a planner and estimator with the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Logistics department at FRCE. Inductions would start at 20 per month and lead to the full induction rate of 40 per month by July, he explained.

“Originally the plan was for FRCE to slowly ramp up production to give the shop time to gain experience on the component and to ease into the additional workload,” Linton added. “FRCE was challenged to ramp straight up from no workload to 20-40 a month to support the F-18. The fact that they were able to do is a testament to the hard work and dedication all of the personnel at FRCE have to support the warfighter.”

The artisans in the engine driven compressor/gas turbine compressor shop at FRCE did require some additional training to prepare for the new component, but that didn’t delay the depot’s response to the fleet’s need, Miller said.

“We were still able to hit the ground running,” he added. “And now we are repairing or check-and-testing each valve that meets certain criteria by engineering, via temporary engineering instruction.”

To date, FRCE has turned around 18 of the 40 units inducted so far, with plans to induct 10 more soon. After that, more “F” condition valves, which are unserviceable but reparable, must arrive at the depot to keep the workload constant.

“The availability of components is still in flux due to COVID-19 and other factors, but the transition should move smoothly,” Miller said. ““FRCE can handle the workload, as long as the support elements are good.”

FRCE is North Carolina’s largest maintenance, repair, overhaul and technical services provider, with more than 4,000 civilian, military and contract workers. Its annual revenue exceeds $835 million. The depot generates combat air power for America’s Marines and naval forces while serving as an integral part of the greater U.S. Navy; Naval Air Systems Command; and Commander, Fleet Readiness Centers.



Governor Roy Cooper Urges Support for MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East

April 06, 2020

Photo of NC Gov Roy Cooper

In a March 31 letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Chief of Naval Operations, Governor Cooper urged the continued efforts to transform Cherry Point into a 21st century airstation. Specifically, the Governor urged action and cooperation:

“I know you appreciate how important it is to me that North Carolina does all it can to support and grow the
military. Therefore, I ask that you work with me to:

  • Seek Congressional authorization and appropriation of funding for critical infrastructure upgrades and
    new construction at FRC East. I will work closely with the North Carolina Congressional delegation to prioritize
    the construction of projects that support both the Department of Defense’s priorities and the State’s
  • Reaffirm the Navy’s commitment to use FRC East as primary source of depot work for F-35 JSF lift fans,
    components, and other related work. The people of our state are fortunate to have over seven hundred
    thousand dedicated and talented service members, veterans and their families call North Carolina home. As
    Governor, I am committed to maintaining the state’s status as the most military-friendly state in the Nation. I
    welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how the Navy, Marine Corps and the state can work
    together for the betterment of our installations, service members, their families, and veterans.”

Find a copy of Governor Cooper’s letter HERE.