NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs grant will help Cherry Point region establish Military Influence Overlay Districts; assist in avoiding encroachment

August 01, 2016


Havelock, NC – The North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has awarded a $60,000 grant to Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) to assist planners and policy makers with the establishment and adoption of Military Influence Overlay Districts with local governments. These districts, abbreviated MIODs, will help counties and towns in the Cherry Point region identify land uses or development activities that could encroach on the air station or its outlying landing fields or bombing ranges.

“Any encroachment on the air station or its outlying fields or ranges impedes the ability of our Marine Corps aviators to train,” says ACT president Will Lewis. “That’s why this grant from the DMVA is so important to sustaining and growing the Cherry Point mission.”

Funds from the grant will allow regional planners to work with consultants to create a process by which Cherry Point is notified when any activities are proposed within five miles of the station or training ranges. Activities could include proposed changes to zoning maps, potential subdivision plats or proposed siting of tall structures like telecommunications towers or wind energy turbines.

Carteret County Planning Director Gene Foxworth says MIODs will enhance communication between the base and its neighboring communities. “This grant will enable our communities to make smart planning decisions that will benefit our citizens and the base. It’s a win-win situation,” Foxworth says. The DMVA grant supports one of the implementation goals of the recently completed Cherry Point Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), which was led by Carteret County and funded by a planning grant from the federal Office of Economic Adjustment.

The state grant program is a new initiative of the Military and Veterans Affairs Department to support projects in military host communities around North Carolina that will help the state protect and grow its military missions and assets. DMVA Secretary Cornell Wilson applauds ACT and the Cherry Point region for its work. “Our grant to ACT not only builds on the work done in the Cherry Point JLUS, it also supports the state’s goal to preserve North Carolina’s military training areas. These are national defense assets, serving not only the Marine Corps but the Navy and Air Force as well,” says Secretary Wilson.

The MIOD work is expected to be completed within a year of hiring a consulting firm. ACT and Carteret County, which will administer the grant funds, will provide the Department and the NC Military Affairs Commission with regular progress reports. ACT hopes this MIOD process can become a model for other military installations and their host communities across the state. For more information about the ACT grant or about the DMVA grant program you can access www.alliesforcherrypoint.com or www.milvets.nc.gov .

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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


JLUS recommendations to NCMAC

May 26, 2016

The purpose of the Regional Joint Land Use Study is twofold:
– to promote military mission via land coordination
– to provide a military mission de-confliction tool for planning
Recent recommendations to NCMAC include:
1. Provide sustainable ongoing communication between State and military
2. Establish State and military secure data and information exchange procedures
3. Adopt State compatible land use planning goals for local use
4. Establish alternative energy development de-confliction with military missions
5. Establish permanent funding sources for local military compatibility planning
6. Leverage Federal investment for education and awareness
7. Protect Dare County Range/Assets/Airspace
The JLUS has developed a Compatible Use Map, which is a tool to identify areas within NC where military op occur so they can be protected or monitored to reduce current and future development of incompatible uses. >>READ MORE

Deputy Commandant to discuss Cherry Point’s future

May 16, 2016


Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, the deputy commandant of Marine Corps aviation, is scheduled to speak about the future of Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center East during a presentation at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. >> READ MORE


LtGen Jon M. Davis to speak at Havelock Tourist & Event Center

May 13, 2016

Lt. Gen Jon Davis addresses community about F-35's at MCAS Cherry Point. Allies for Cherry Point's Tomorrow.

Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps of Aviation to speak at Havelock Tourist & Event Center

Havelock, NC — Lieutenant General Jon M. Davis, Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps of Aviation has accepted the invitation of ACT and regional leaders to the Havelock Tourist & Event Center on May 17, 2016 at 11:00am to speak to the future of MCAS Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center East (FRCE).

Lt. Gen. Davis will first tour MCAS Cherry Point and FRCE, both of which face tremendous growth opportunities as the future of Cherry Point relies on the success of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program. As head of Marine Corps Aviation, Lt. Gen. Davis will then shed light on the expectations and realities of what’s in store for Eastern North Carolina over the next several years. “As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am grateful to Lieutenant General Davis for visiting the Third District and for the USMC’s continued commitment to MCAS Cherry Point and FRCE,” said Congressman Walter B. Jones.

MCAS Cherry Point will host the largest fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in the country, as our efforts continue to ensure our base is fully equipped and ready for their arrival, beginning 2022.

ACT and its government affairs team have worked closely with the NC delegation and key members of Congress over the last 24 months to help secure the funds necessary for security enhancements and facility upgrades. “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 Will Lewis, President of ACT. “Our mission is to press ahead with facilities improvements for as we all learned from the movie Field of Dreams “if you build it they will come.”  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 FRC East, he added.

The major tenant command at Cherry Point is FRC East, the nation’s “Vertical Lift Center of Excellence.” FRC East provides maintenance for every fixed wing and rotor winged vertical lift aircraft flown by the USMC and the Navy, as well as provides limited support for other military services and federal agencies. “I greatly appreciated Gen. Davis’s response to my questioning in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee recently of how critical it is that the F-35B Lift Fan Maintenance and Repair facility is built as quickly as possible at FRCE,” said Senator Thom Tillis.

More than 3,500 civilian employees work at FRC East. The replacement value of this facility is at least $1.36 BILLION.

FRC East has access to approximately 100 acres of expansion property with significant room for additional structures and capabilities. This makes Cherry Point attractive for future industrial facility expansion to accommodate growing demands. As our area prepares for this growth, ACT has helped lead programs like the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) to protect military operational demands and mission changes with regional plans for land use, economic development, infrastructure needs, and environmental sustainability.  The community must understand the importance of these ongoing efforts so we can protect and grow MCAS Cherry Point, FRC East and its civilian enterprises.  This is ACT’s primary mission.

Over the next 20 years, unprecedented new construction is planned for MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East. $1.3 billion has been requested for new construction and infrastructure improvements at MCAS Cherry Point and $300 million for facility upgrades and new construction at FRC East over the next ten years alone. “I thank Lt. Gen. Davis for his visit on May 17th.  I am frequently reminded of what an important national asset MCAS Cherry Point is and the critical role that it plays in defending our nation,” said Senator Richard Burr.

ACT also continues to work closely with the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission, state legislators and Congressmen, as well as various military and local leaders. MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East generate over $2 billion in economic impact annually, so it is necessary to protect these assets not only for our national security, but for our local economic stability.

Attendance to hear Lt. Gen. Jon Davis’ remarks is encouraged to demonstrate our local and regional commitment to MCAS Cherry Point during this pivotal time.

As we celebrate 75 years, we must not forget the importance of this base to our history and look forward to future years of economic growth as a key component of our national security.

Lt. Gen. Davis will make remarks upon celebration of the 75th Anniversary of MCAS Cherry Point and its importance to the future of Marine Corps aviation. Prior to assuming his current position as the Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Headquarters Marine Corps, he commanded the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Cherry Point and served as the Deputy Commander, United States Cyber Command.

For more information about the Lt. Gen. Davis and the special event on May 17th, please visit the ACT website at www.alliesforcherrypoint.com.

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