Zimmerman to turn over command to Pappas today

zimmerman

Col. Philip Zimmerman is leaving as commanding officer of Cherry Point for a new assignement in Guam. He stands in front of the map of the base at the Cherry Point Fire and Rescue Department.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 16:32 PM.

Cherry Point’s departing commander said the Marine air station plays a vital role, has room to grow and will be around for a long time.

Col. Philip J. Zimmerman, who has commanded the base since Nov. 15, 2010, will hand over command to Col. Chris Pappas III at a ceremony today at Cherry Point.

Zimmerman, 48, has spent five tours and 13 years based at Cherry Point.

"I think Cherry Point is in a very good position," Zimmerman said. "We’ve completed the master plan for the base that will take us out to 2050."

Zimmerman said the base has room for growth.

"We are in a position where if the Marine Corps wanted to put more forces, more squadrons here, we could accommodate them," he said. "Our water and electricity sustainment, everything is solid right now. It’s all good. We are well within our permits and well within our operational capacity of what we advertise the air station will be conducting operations flight-wise. We have room for more.

"With the FRC East here and the fact that we’re the aerial point of embarkation for the fleet on the East Coast, it serves a very vital mission, and I think it’s going to be around here for quite a long time."



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