Greg Lewis

Congress approves funding for Cherry Point Security Enhancements

February 18, 2016

 

ACT acknowledges crucial support from NC Congressional delegation

Havelock, NC: Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) announced that Congress included $23.3 million in the Omnibus Appropriations bill to construct security enhancements on the air field at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. These security improvements, including fencing and surveillance technology, are necessary before operational squadrons of F-35 B aircraft can be stationed at Cherry Point. Congress authorized the military construction last year, but it took a concerted, bi-partisan effort by the North Carolina Congressional delegation to secure the funding in the final FY 16 budget.

“ACT is very pleased that Congress included funds in the current budget, because the sooner these improvements are completed the sooner F-35B aircraft can deploy to Cherry Point,” said ACT President Greg Lewis. “Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr deserve a lot of credit for securing the funding in the Senate’s version of the budget.” Lewis added that Congressmen Walter B. Jones, G.K. Butterfield and George Holding persuaded their House colleagues to accept the Senate’s budget request in the final negotiation, which was crucial to the funding approval.

ACT and its government affairs team have made a concerted effort with Congress over the last 24 months to achieve authorization and appropriation of funds for the security enhancements, so final budget approval is extremely gratifying. “All of us in the Cherry Point community understand how important it is to prepare the air station to receive the maximum number of F-35Bs at the earliest possible time,” said Lewis. ACT continues to work with the delegation on many other military construction projects that will enhance the F-35 mission at MCAS Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) East, he added.

Among the projects ACT will continue to push for are: a new hangar at the Air Station to house the first two squadrons of F-35Bs; and the Lift Fan Repair and Test facility at FRC East to allow the Depot to maintain the lift fan component of the F-35B engine, which enables the Marine Corps version of the aircraft to take off and land vertically. FRC East has been designated by the F-35 Joint Program Office as the preferred site to build the Lift Fan facility.

 

Cherry Point JLUS conducts final “Road Show” meeting for 2015

October 06, 2015

 
Cherry Point Regional JLUS logo. Allies for Cherry Point's Tomorrow.

Help protect and manage Cherry Point’s natural resources

The Cherry Point JLUS will conduct their final “Road Show” meeting for 2015 at the White Oak Church of God on Tuesday, October 13 at 6:00pm. The study team has conducted 3 other meetings in Carteret and Craven Counties in the last couple of weeks to increase awareness about the incompatible uses of land, air, water and other resources that could have negative impacts on MCAS Cherry Point’s ability to carry out testing and training missions.

Gene Foxworth, Director of the Carteret County Planning and Development Department, recently reported the status of the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) to prevent encroachment on military operations associated with Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center East.

The purpose of the study is to identify potential “incompatible uses of land, air, water and other resources” that could have negative impacts on “the military’s ability to carry out its testing and training mission.” At the same time, the study will help local governments in “establishing compatible land use regulations” to guard against encroachment.

“We are invested,” Foxworth said, “and Carteret County wants to protect the airspace and encourage growth and development aboard MCAS Cherry Point.”

Local citizens are encouraged to provide input and keep track of the study team’s progress at http://poll.cityzenapp.us/Project/Index/6. This is your chance to get your opinion heard. Complete the survey and once you are done there is a link to “Like” and “Share” on Facebook.

The final report is expected to be released in January 2016.

Foxworth said the JLUS team will pay close attention to the three military training sites located within Carteret County.

Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, also known as Bogue Field, is an 875-acre landing field that serves as the Marine Corps’ only East Coast site for Field Carrier Landing Practice; pilots perform night-time simulated landings on an aircraft carrier of an amphibious assault ship.

BT-11 Piney Island is a 12,500-acre electronic practice range at the eastern tip of Carteret County and part of the Mid-Atlantic Electronic Warfare Range where aircraft pilots fly over the area to have bombing simulations recorded and scored electronically via computers to lessen the environmental impact.

Atlantic Outlying Field is a 1,514-acre facility in the community of Atlantic, which is utilized for air-to-ground exercises and contains numerous electronic warfare threat emitters and simulated targets.

 

 

Congress approves security enhancements for Cherry Point

October 02, 2015

 

Congress has approved funding for security improvements at Cherry Point, clearing the way for future basing of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter at the air station.

The $23.3 million project was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 after a committee reconciled differences between House and Senate versions of the bill before it was sent to President Obama for his signature. >>READ MORE

 

MCAS Cherry Point Security Included in National Defense Authorization Act

October 01, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HAVELOCK, NC (October 1, 2015): Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) and the City of Havelock announced the inclusion of $23.3M for Air Field Security Improvements at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in H.R. 114-270, the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report under Title XXII Navy Military Construction provisions.

Air Field Security Improvements funding is essential for the Marine Corps to base active operational F-35B tactical aircraft at Cherry Point in the future.

This funding was included in the Senate version of the FY16 NDAA and was included in the final House/Senate conference committee report which reconciles differences between the two bills prior to being sent to the President for his signature.

“This is tremendous news as it signals yet another strong commitment by Congress to helping to ensure Cherry Point will remain as the premier base for F-35B 5th generation stealth Marine Corps aircraft on the east coast” said Marc Finlayson, ACT’s Managing Consultant, “ACT took this message to our delegation in Congress in February of this critical security need and we are extremely grateful that our message was heard. Now we must continue work with our delegation and others to ensure that the necessary funds are appropriated as quickly as possible for this purpose.”

Havelock Mayor Will Lewis stated, “This represents a significant step forward for Cherry Point and is further testament that a unified voice between the City, ACT and our regional partners can have a positive impact for our national security, the air station and our region.” He continued: “We commend Senators Tillis and Burr for joining together to insert this language in the Senate bill and, are extremely grateful for the truly bi-partisan efforts of Reps. Jones, Butterfield and Holding to prevail upon their colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to ensure this critical funding remained in the final bill.”

ACT President Greg Lewis indicated that senior staff for House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) released this information to ACT’s lobbying team in Washington, D.C. yesterday.

H.R. 114-270 is scheduled for a vote and is expected to pass the full House later today.

 

Allies make pitch for base, FRC

May 22, 2015

 
ACT Makes pitch for FRC-East. Allies for Cherry Point't Tomorrow.

Mike Shutak, Carteret News-Times

MOREHEAD CITY — Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center East provide billions in economic impact and thousands of jobs, and Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow wants to make sure it continues to do so.

ACT, a grassroots advocacy group that supports Cherry Point and FRC, gave a public presentation on their organization and the base Thursday at the train depot. About 26 people, many of them officials from local towns and Carteret County government, came to hear about the role Cherry Point plays in the local economy and how ACT is working to ensure it keeps operating.

 

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