Walter Jones Remembered as Veterans Advocate

February 12, 2019


During his more than 30 years of service to Eastern North Carolina, Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr. was known for his conviction and integrity, whether standing by his belief in an issue or as an advocate for his constituents. When asked about Congressman Jones, ACT’s Marc Finlayson said that when it came to Cherry Point, or any of the military installations, Jones saw their importance to more than just the national defense. “We did not have a better supporter than Walter Jones,” he said. “He was always concerned about not just Cherry Point, but all military assets in Eastern North Carolina, and not only because of their importance to our national defense or as their part as an economic engine in the area, but also because he loved the Marines and their families.>>READ MORE


Multi-Mission Capabilities for Emerging Global Threats

August 13, 2018

F-35 takes off. Allies for Cherry Point's Tomorrow.

The designation of fighter aircraft by “generations” began with the first subsonic jets toward the end of World War II, with each new generation reflecting a major advance in technology and capability. The F-35 Lightning II is referred to as a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth capabilities with fighter aircraft speed and agility, fully-fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced logistics and sustainment.  Read more


(source: www.f35.com)


Rep. Walter Jones commends FRC East in the Congressional Record

July 20, 2018


From his statement: “On this 75th anniversary year, I would like to thank the outstanding employees of FRC East for their continued outstanding service and support to our nation, our allies, and its Eastern North Carolina community. I wish FRC-East continued success for its next 75 years of support to our warfighters.”



The Importance of Our Military Communities

April 24, 2018


by: NCLM President and Jacksonville Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lazzara

Anyone who has been around me for any length of time soon will know that I am from a military community. I take great pride in that fact, and that the working relationship between Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune is one of many examples in North Carolina of a municipality and a military base that work together to try to make life good for military families, the vast numbers of military contractors and the wider civilian community.

Inevitably, the challenges that arise when integrating the needs of our national defense and those of municipal operations and civilian populations adjacent to military bases can be complex and daunting. But through groups like the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission and our own NCLM affiliate group, the Military Host Cities Coalition (headed by Jacksonville Mayor Sammy Phillips), this state has long been able to claim the title of “Most Military-Friendly State in the Country.”

The claim to that title is something that we should all cherish. After all, our military bases are huge contributors to local economies and the larger state economy.

In all we have major military bases: Fort Bragg, outside of Fayetteville and Spring Lake; Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base here in Jacksonville; New River Marine Corps Air Station, also near Jacksonville; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro; and Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station and Naval Air Depot adjacent to Havelock. In addition, Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal lies near South Port, and U.S. Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City is a major facility for that branch of the military.

According to figures from 2015, North Carolina had the fourth largest military population in the United States. The military here is believed to support roughly 10 percent of overall employment in state, with 578,000 jobs – a figure that includes about 102,000 active duty military and another 386,000 military-supported jobs in the private sector. The North Carolina National Guard also has about 11,700 military personnel across the state.

That employment represents nearly $34 billion in state personal income and $66 billion in gross state product, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce. In the 2014 scal year, U.S. Department of Defense contracting in the state totaled $2.5 billion.

The economic impact does not end with just active duty military, civilian contractors and the private business supported by their patronage. Military veterans in North Carolina – approximately 775,000 of them – represent the eighth largest veteran population in the nation, and their pension and other benefits – around $8 billion annual – ripple through the state economy as well.

The obvious point here is that our military bases and personnel are hugely important to North Carolina’s economic and social well-being. But I think, increasingly, North Carolina military communities are seeing another, less obvious benefit from their presence: the brainpower of our men and women in uniform as they leave those military careers behind.

Our modern military, of all branches, is the most professional, prepared and technically-savvy in the history of civilization. We see more and more of these folks, as they leave the military, use that expertise gained there to create new, innovative businesses helping to grow our economy further. It’s a trend we need to continue to encourage.

And while we are doing that, let’s also be thankful that they are here and for the job that they do keeping our country safe.


Watch: Lockheed Martin F-35B Tests Vertical Landing in North Carolina

January 29, 2018


The Lockheed Martin F-35B is taking to the skies at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field (MCALF) Bogue in North Carolina. According to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing fighter is scheduled to conduct sloped surface vertical-landing tests through late February.

The Marine Corp. hopes the tests, conducted by the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) team, will expand the expeditionary envelope for the F-35B, MCAS Cherry Point said.

“We hope to be able to relax the landing pad certification limits in terms of maximum slope/gradients in the context of expeditionary pads — existing and future,” said Bob Nantz, F-35 Pax River ITF Performance/Environmental Technical Specialist.

For the sloped surface vertical landings tests, Marines from 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Cherry Point and MCALF Bogue built four expeditionary landing pads of different slopes: left, right, forward and back. The pads were constructed out of material similar to the AM-2 matting, according to the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (Navair). Marines use the material to build expeditionary runways or landing pads while on deployment.

MCAS Cherry Point said the test team will assess how well the F-35B operates on varying slopes in different combinations of environmental and takeoff/landing conditions.

During the month of testing, the Pax River ITF is set to analyze nearly 200 data test points. Navair said this includes how well the F-35B operates on varying slopes, impacts of head and tailwinds, and the effect of aft center of gravity in conjunction with ground slopes. MCAS Cherry Point said testing is done on a graduated basis, which means that the program starts by conducting less risk tests and increases from there.

According to Maj. Michael Lippert, F-35 Pax River ITF test pilot and detachment officer-in-charge, some test results will be instantaneous, as real-time lessons learned are capture. Other results will require more attention, as much of the data needs to undergo significant analysis before any actions are taken.

“These updates will eventually make it to our fleet aircraft while the capabilities of the F-35 will continue to transform the way we fight and win,” Lippert said.

If conditions are ideal and the schedule goes as written, however, the testing could wrap up sooner. When the tests are complete, the aircraft and test team are to depart MCALF Bogue and head back to Pax River in Maryland.

“Bogue is a unique testing location because the expeditionary landing field and the landing pads were constructed entirely by Marines. Conducting the testing at Bogue Field provides the Marine Corps with an opportunity to continue the test and development of the F-35 in the STOVL mode, while simultaneously exercising components of the MAGTF’s Air Combat Element, specifically the Marine Wing Support Squadrons resident aboard Bogue and MCAS Cherry Point,” MCAS Cherry Point told R&WI. “This is significant because it demonstrates the ability for our Marines and their equipment to precisely build expeditionary sites suitable for the conduct of F-35 operations and showcases the unique skillsets these organizations have.”