Business leaders push Havelock, Cherry Point in trip to D.C.

havelock chamber

From left, Stephanie Duncan, Amanda Ohlensehlen, U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, Barb Whiteman, Brenda Wilson and Maria Ness pose for a photo in Jones’ Washington office. The Havelock business leaders were part of a group from North Carolina that attended two days of meetings and met with representatives and officials.

Submitted photo
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 05:26 PM.

Havelock business leaders spent two days in the nation’s capital last week, meeting with legislators and federal officials.

Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, said a presention from Gen. James F. Amos, Marine Corps commandant, spelled out the impact personnel drawdowns and cuts could have on the area.

She said Amos expected total Marine Corps personnel to fall to around 174,000, meaning North Carolina would lose about 11,000 Marines and 13,500 in military families and dependents. Duncan said that would cost the state about $494 million in salaries alone.

Duncan said she asked about the impact sequestration and defense budget cuts were having on force readiness.

“They said the Marines would do what it takes to get the job done,” she said.

She said the message she heard from legislators was that Havelock was doing what it needed to support Cherry Point and keep the base and the Fleet Readiness Center East aircraft repair facility on the minds of congressional leaders.

“I asked them what we needed to do, and they said we were doing it,” Duncan said. “We need to stay positive and get the message out.”

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