Governor, legislators giving it a try

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 18:36 PM.

Gov. Pat McCrory told us he would continue to fight for Cherry Point and all military bases in the state.

N.C. Sen. Norman Sanderson and N.C. Rep. George Graham promised to support the use of state money in the protection of Cherry Point and other military bases in the state.

I’m not saying that they are all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, but what I am saying is that this Humpty Dumpty may be very difficult to put back together again.

The truth is that Cherry Point — and indeed all the state’s military bases — are not going to be able to escape Department of Defense cuts. Heck, they are already happening. McCrory, Sanderson, Graham and others are just hoping to lessen the impact of those pending cuts.

The Pentagon simply can’t pay for everything, with mandated cuts through sequestration. Defense officials have said to expect reductions in personnel — total Marine Corps personnel is expected to be cut by about 20,000 in the next four years — as well as in other areas.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, as an example, grounded a fighter squadron. Pope Air Force Base, as it stands now, would lose the 440th Airlift Wing.

At Cherry Point, EA-6B Prowler squadrons will be going away by the end of the decade. Though that move is not directly related to budget cuts, there’s likely no hope of recouping those losses with the current budget climate.



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