County lobbies for Cherry Point during trip to Washington

Published: Monday, May 13, 2013 at 09:54 AM.

Craven County’s actions to support and protect Cherry Point have been noticed at the Pentagon, leaders of the county’s lobbying efforts say.

After two days of Washington meetings last week, Scott Dacey, Craven County Board of Commissioners chairman, and James Norment, a local attorney hired by the county to coordinate lobbying with federal military and civilian leaders, said their meetings with Washington lobbyists Cassidy and Associates and high level Defense Department officials were very productive.

“We have had a federal lobbying effort going on for some time and had been looking for the right time to go to the Pentagon to make sure they understand everything we’re doing from an encroachment standpoint and so forth to protect the base,” Dacey said.

Dacey said talks were held with high-ranking officers about the proposed Base Realignment and Closure process scheduled for 2015 but added that he sensed no one in Congress would go forward with a BRAC.

However, Norment stressed that a BRAC wasn’t necessary for cuts to be made.

“There is always an opportunity for realignment, for downsizing outside of a BRAC,” he said. “And, we were consistent in conveying the message that where there is opportunity. Cherry Point is happy to take on new missions, whether that is additional jets from jets being relocated or new jets from the assembly line, and the community fully supports that.”

He said the same holds true for the Fleet Readiness Center East aircraft repair and maintenance facility at Cherry Point.

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