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.
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. 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.
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.
For more information about the Lt. Gen. Davis and the special event on May 17th, please visit the ACT website at AlliesforCherryPoint.com.
Submitted by: Shannon LuQuire, Trade Ideas Inc