Category Archives: Havelock


General Jon M. Davis, Deputy Commandant
of the Marine Corps of
Aviation to speak
at Havelock Tourist & Event Center

For Immediate
Release For More Information Contact: May 13, 2016 Jamie
Norment (252) 259-2451
Marc Finlayson (252) 617-0757

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
. “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
“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

# #

Pilot found, in stable condition, after Harrier accident



A pilot with Marine Attack Squadron 542, Marine Aircraft Group 14, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing ejected from an AV-8B Harrier at approximately 5:05 p.m. off the coast of Wilmington, N.C.

The Pilot was rescued by an H-60 Seahawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 at approximately 5:28 p.m. The pilot was transported to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, N.C. and is listed as being in stable condition.

We would like to thank our U.S. Navy counterparts for their swift action in rescuing our pilot.

The H-60 is based out of NAS Norfolk, Va. Their missions include vertical replenishment, search and rescue, air-sea rescue and anti-surface warfare. They are currently operating off of the USS Wasp in support of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

VMA-542 provides offensive air support, armed reconnaissance, and air-defense for the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

The pilot departed Wilmington International Airport and was conducting flight training with the intention of returning to ILM.

The incident is under investigation, we will provide updates as the are available.

Presidential cutouts part of AARP’s ‘Take A Stand’ campaign

Leo Scarpati, AARP Associate State Director, poses with cardboard cutouts of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in preparation for the ‘Take A Stand’ marketing effort during the Cherry Point Air Show this weekend.

Leo Scarpati, AARP Associate State Director, poses with cardboard cutouts of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in preparation for the ‘Take A Stand’ marketing effort during the Cherry Point Air Show this weekend.

CHERRY POINT MARINE CORPS AIR STATION — AARP North Carolina, which represents 1.1 million North Carolinians ages 50 and above, is one of several sponsors for the Cherry Point Air Show, scheduled for this weekend in Havelock.

On hand near the AARP booth, cardboard cutouts of the various Presidential candidates are perfect for ‘selfie’ style photographs – a lure that AARP hopes will convince the likes of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and others to “Take a Stand” with regard to the viability of Social Security for future generations.

Robert Palombo, president of AARP North Carolina and a Southern Shores resident, offered his view of the campaign: “When Cherry Point Air Station was activated in 1940, Social Security was just five years old and many thought it wouldn’t last. In the past 80 years, it has become a vital part of retirement security and helped grow our local economies. Nearly 51 percent of North Carolinians ages 65 and above, or 448,000 people, would have incomes below the federal poverty level if it weren’t for Social Security. It also provides $23.2 billion to residents of the state, money that is being spent at local businesses.”

Palombo described one of the biggest concerns emanating from the AARP membership: “To keep that promise for future generations, Social Security needs to be updated for the 21st Century. If our leaders don’t act, future retirees could lose up $10,000 a year. Every year our leaders wait and do nothing, finding a solution grows more difficult,” he said.

The strictly non-partisan AARP does not support or endorse political parties or candidates and it has not taken a specific policy position on the program’s future. It is, however, providing information so people can learn more about the most commonly debated proposals being discussed in Washington, DC.

AARP volunteer Jack Hansel of Greenville said, “The only way to make progress is for our national leaders to make Social Security a priority and put serious proposals on the table. And it starts with Presidential leadership.
Anyone who thinks they’re ready to be President of the United States should be able to tell voters how they’ll keep Social Security strong.”

AARP is pressing every candidate to Take A Stand – and lay out their plan to update Social Security.

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing UAV crashes

Press Release


Joint Public Affairs Office

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

File Photo

File Photo

MCAS CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Jun. 24, 2015) – A 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ditched earlier today in the Neuse River near Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

There are no reports of injuries or property damage.

The aircraft, an RQ-7B Shadow, was conducting training operations at the time of the mishap. The Shadow is a small, piston-driven (non-jet) aircraft, approximately 11 feet in length, with a 14-foot wingspan – it weighs less than 400 pounds. The Shadow does not carry weapons.

Cherry Point personnel are currently searching for the aircraft.

The cause of the mishap is under investigation. Anyone who witnessed the mishap or sees indications of the aircraft wreckage, please contact the Cherry Point Public Affairs Office at (252) 626-9532.

Military active during June

One or more aircraft carriers may be operating off the North Carolina coast this week.

One or more aircraft carriers may be operating off the North Carolina coast this week.

Special to the County Compass

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT — Officials here have announced a significant increase in training activity during June.

A statement released by the Air Station’s Public Information Office states “Down East residents will see increased air, ground and sea-based activity.”

An aircraft carrier battle group will be off the coast of Eastern North Carolina. Expect to see naval ships operating off the coast on June 6, 7 & 8.

Navy Special Boat Teams will be operating in and around the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound while conducting live fire training at BT-9 and BT-11 from June 17 through June 28.

Additionally, throughout the month of June there will be multiple units conducting ground-training operations at Bogue Field and Outlying Field Atlantic.

Residents can expect an increase in military vehicular traffic and personnel in and around these two locations, and on the roadways between these locations, MCAS Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune.

Line-up looks good for April 27 ShockWave Wrestling card


COLOR3Special to the County Compass

HAVELOCK – Left, Kiyhago, born in an African Jungle, is a crowd favorite. He does not speak the local language, and attempts to communicate by patting and stroking his massive stomach. Center, Crazy Horse and many other ShockWave wrestlers are known for their elaborate costumes. Right, Fabulous Frankie Fontaine and his tag team partner always wear pink. Fontaine often pins opponents by launching himself from the ring’s top rope – a violent technique that is almost impossible for a foe to avoid.

Saturday night, April 27, promises to be a big night for ShockWave. The entertainment starts at 7 p.m. in the Havelock Recreation Center, on Highway 101 just a short distance from the main gate of Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. Tickets are $8 ($4 for children) with all proceeds donated to charitable causes. The event is also part of a big launch to promote a May 25 appearance by both Christian York and D.O.C. from Aces & Eights, representing TNA Wrestling Impact. The wrestling superstars will square off in a fundraiser for Xander Pond, age 9, who is suffering from a devastating form of cancer.

For more information about either event, call (252) 745-3155.

Big time talent commits for ShockWave Wrestling event


shooooooccckSpecial to the County Compass

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 25, when Christian York and D.O.C. from Aces & Eights – both superstars from TNA Wrestling Impact – square off during a huge fundraising event, hosted by Havelock-based ShockWave Wrestling. “We are delighted to announce that we have signed these two mega-stars for a special performance,” said Rick Garrett, a local wrestling promoter. “We are doing everything that we can to pay the medical expenses for one of our youngest fans, Xander Pond, age 9, who is suffering from a devastating form of cancer.” Tickets for the May 25 event will be sold during ShockWave’s next appearance, scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at the Havelock Recreation Center.

Oath of Office set for Sunday

Special to the County Compass

HAVELOCK – State Senator-elect Norman Sanderson (R-Pamlico) and State Representative-elect Michael Speciale (R-Craven) will be sworn in by North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice Paul Newby at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.

The event is open to the public.

Legislators normally take an oath of office in mid-January at the N.C. Legislature in Raleigh, but newly elected legislators were given the opportunity to be sworn in locally.

Norman Sanderson

Norman Sanderson

“Many people are not able to travel to Raleigh,” said Speciale, “so Norman and I would like nothing more than to be surrounded by our family and friends, faithful volunteers, and constituents as we take the oath of office in the districts we are honored to represent.”

Sanderson added “we are pleased to have Justice Newby administer the oath. It will be a special day, and we look forward to this community event.”

Michael Speciale

Michael Speciale

Please join Sanderson and Speciale for the ceremony at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center located at 201 Tourist Center Drive in Havelock at 3 p.m. this Sunday. The Tourist Center is located behind the Hampton Inn on Highway 70. There will be a reception immediately following the ceremony at the same location.

For more information, please call (252) 876-7189.

Ornate building planned for Cherry Branch terminal


Ferry insiders concede ‘bad timing for this thing’

This architectural drawing depicts a large structure intended to replace an existing building at the Cherry Branch ferry terminal.

This architectural drawing depicts a large structure intended to replace an existing building at the Cherry Branch ferry terminal.

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

NEUSE RIVER – Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

After state officials told a crowd of 600 angry Pamlico County residents last week that state law requires implementation of much-needed tolls across the Neuse River, snooping by County Commissioner Kenny Heath revealed Tuesday that the ferry system intends to spend almost a cool million on a palatial structure – mere yards from the location of a toll booth.

I’ve been calling just about everybody who might know something,” said Heath, in a brief telephone interview. “When somebody said the ferry was getting ready to spend $ 700,000 or more on a new building for the Cherry Branch side, my ears really perked up.”

Lucy Wallace, public information officer for the North Carolina Ferry System, confirmed Heath’s information. However, she stressed “this project has been in the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan for more than six years. It is part of our ongoing capital improvements. We hope people will understand that this is completely separate from operations and the proposed tolls.”

A committee of the General Assembly meets March 9 in Raleigh. Local activists opposed to any ferry tolls believe this would be an opportunity to garner attention for possible repeal of the law. To participate, please call Mitzi Schmidt at 249-1715. Tentative plans call for either a chartered bus or some type of organized transportation.

In response to written questions from The County Compass, Wallace e-mailed these responses:

1) Has the appropriation been approved? This money falls under the North Carolina Department of Transportation Capital Improvement Funds and is similar to a highway project in that it is a bid process. The money was appropriated under the biennium budget but is something the ferry division asked for many years ago when doing long term planning. The project was put in the State Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) a number of years ago. The project is paid for with NCDOT funds used to upgrade/replace facilities – not Ferry operational budget appropriations.

2) If so, when and in what amount? Amount has not been determined because the bid has not been let. It is a competitive bid process and hopefully we’ll get good bids. When the bid is let, it will be available to view on the Department of Transportation website.

3) Is it a refurbishment or a complete re-build? It is a re-build, the building is antiquated and it wouldn’t be cost effective to refurbish or renovate. It is 40 years old and structurally deteriorating and the current septic system is failing. In other words, the lifespan of the building and septic is exhausted.

4) Is it the entire complex on the Cherry Branch side, or just the offices; or just the large workshop? The building will be constructed on the same site as the exiting building and will incorporate many “green” elements to vastly increase our energy savings with the new building versus the old building. I’m not sure what you mean by workshop, but our maintenance facility (where we do field maintenance on the ferry vessels) will remain where it is.

5) When will construction begin? If all goes accordingly, construction should begin in late spring, early summer.