County lobbies for Cherry Point during trip to Washington

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

Norment said talk of proposed furloughs of civilian workers at the base also came up. He said he hoped furlough days, which had already been cut from 22 to 14, could be further reduced.

Dacey said meetings were set up with representatives of the state’s congressional delegation, and Norment said the group met with high-ranking civilians engaged in readiness at the Pentagon.

“Everyone pointed out that Cherry Point and its training ranges cannot be duplicated anywhere in the country and they think that maintaining them is very important,” Norment said.

He said the officials were also pleased with the county’s recently approved regulations on tall structures. The rules are designed to prevent tall structures, such as windmills, from impacting military training and air traffic.

Norment and Dacey said the meetings included a particularly informative session with Lt. Gen. Robert E. Schmidle Jr., deputy commandant for Navy aviation, which made them feel Cherry Point is considered an asset to grow with new construction dollars already in the pipeline for Joint Strike Fighter facilities.

“The meeting with Gen. Schmidle was exceptional in that it gave me as a county commissioner a great deal of confidence that the military is continuing to fulfill a commitment to that base,” Dacey said. “He shared long-term plans for construction to bring that facility to the next stage of being able to support the Joint Strike Fighter. He showed us plans and paperwork that gives me a great deal of confidence that the Defense Department is committed to the longevity of that base.” 

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