Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

NC General Assembly takes action in support of MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East

July 10, 2017


Raleigh, NC: The North Carolina General Assembly recently adjourned its regular legislative session for 2017 and among its accomplishments were several items of particular benefit to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) East. Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) made these issues key priorities in its state legislative advocacy. ACT commends the Senate, House and Governor for supporting these important initiatives. The MCAS Cherry Point region’s delegation of Senators Harry Brown and Norman Sanderson, as well as Representatives John Bell, George Graham, Pat McElraft and Michael Speciale were especially instrumental in working to support ACT’s priorities.

Of special importance is a state appropriation in the amount of $3 million to build additional facilities to supplement the Lift Fan Maintenance and Testing Facility planned for FRC East. These facilities will improve the industrial base required for the Lift Fan testing component for the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. This benefits both FRC East and the region because it brings more high-wage jobs and anchors FRC East as a primary repair facility for the F-35. The Lift Fan testing facility will be built with a $15.671 million federal military construction (MilCon) appropriation. “The state appropriation in support of this critical FRC East program is important for two reasons,” says ACT President Will Lewis. “This funding is the first time the state of North Carolina has ever made an investment in a federal military installation. It is both a real and symbolic show of support for our North Carolina military bases in anticipation of a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.” Lewis adds that the investment also expands the capability of FRC East to support the F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. “MCAS Cherry Point will eventually be home to more F-35B’s than any air station in the world and FRC East is the designated depot for F-35B maintenance and repair,” Lewis says.

The legislature included two other state appropriations of direct benefit to Cherry Point in the final state budget. $1.2 million is allocated for purchase of land in proximity to Bogue Field in Carteret County. This will help mitigate encroachment on Outlying Field Bogue where Cherry Point aviators train. Also, $1 million has been appropriated to help clean-up a brownfield site in Havelock adjacent to the air station and near a military family neighborhood. These funds will assist Havelock in cleaning up the site and removing a potential danger to neighbors.

ACT Government Affairs Director Jamie Norment also points to a policy provision enacted late in the legislative session that will help North Carolina better understand the impact of wind turbines on military training. “The Assembly has imposed an 18-month moratorium on any new wind farms in North Carolina. During this time the state can determine definitively where wind farms can be safely sited and those places where they should be prohibited because they pose a hazard to military flight training,” says Norment. “ACT’s official position is that we do not oppose wind energy,” adds Norment, “but that we support clear and appropriate siting requirements that fully take into account the needs and concerns of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps that use eastern North Carolina airspace for critical training.”

ACT maintains a constant presence in Raleigh to ensure that state policy supports Cherry Point, Marine Corps aviation and FRC East. The North Carolina effort is part of a broader government affairs presence that ACT maintains in Washington, DC with the Congress and the Department of Defense. “ACT believes that a strong advocacy effort with our federal and state policy makers is absolutely crucial to sustaining and growing Cherry Point,” says ACT President Will Lewis. “We are proud of our accomplishments this legislative session and look forward to continuing to work with our General Assembly members and state agencies, including the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission.”

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ACT Welcomes New Secretary of NC DMVA

January 17, 2017



January 17, 2017

Contact: James W. Norment | (252) 672-5453 or (252) 259-2451

Cherry Point, NC: Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT), a group that advocates for the growth and continued success of MCAS Cherry Point, Fleet Readiness Center East and their civilian enterprises, welcomes Larry D. Hall of Durham as the new Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The appointment was made January 13 by Governor Roy Cooper at the executive mansion in Raleigh. Secretary Hall was sworn into office on January 16. Until then, he served in the North Carolina House of Representatives. He replaces Cornell Wilson, who stepped down from office on December 31, as the Department’s Secretary.

ACT President and Mayor of the City of Havelock, Will Lewis, stated, “ACT looks forward to working with the new Secretary on Cherry Point priorities. I am confident that our local delegation to the Military Affairs Commission also welcomes Secretary Hall.”

Lewis was grateful for Cornell Wilson’s service, stating, “General Wilson was a tremendous ally in our effort to protect and grow MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East. We appreciate his dedication to the State and commitment to the military and veterans.”

“Based on my experience, I am confident that the Cherry Point community and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will work hard to ensure a smooth transition as Secretary Hall takes the helm,” said Marc Finlayson, ACT’s managing consultant.

Lewis added, “We invite Secretary Hall to meet with ACT and tour Cherry Point as soon as he can. We will be working with his staff to build our relationship and commitment to Cherry Point.”

Rep. Hall has served in the North Carolina House of Representatives as the member from North Carolina’s 29th House district, Durham, North Carolina, since 2006. He was first appointed to the position in 2006 by then-Governor Mike Easley. In the legislature, Hall was a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and served as the Democratic leader in the House from 2009-2016. He will resign from the House before assuming his new post.

Rep. Hall is no stranger to issues important to military families and former service members. He grew up at Fort Bragg while his father served in the Army. After graduating with a B.S. with Honors in Political Science and Business from Johnson C. Smith University and a J.D. from the School of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served 16 years in the United States Marines and the Marine Corps Reserves and also served in the support of the Operations in the Middle East in Lebanon and Iran.

Rep. Hall has been awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, the Marine Corps Reserve Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and a Meritorious Unit Citation from the United States Marine Corps.


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