Lobbyists expect BRAC in 2017, but defense cuts already taking place

Published: Friday, February 21, 2014 at 03:30 PM.

Edwards said that a concerted effort has been under way to focus on three main opportunities, the funding of the F-35 lift fan test facility at Cherry Point, a new security perimeter fence for the base and other long-term investments like hangars and support facilities for the F-35.

“Our efforts are making sure that that building (the F-35 lift fan test facility) is included in the future year’s defense plan,” he said. “It’s not currently in there.”

Edwards said the base is also looking at about $700 million to build new hangars for the F-35, expected to arrive at the base in 2022.

“That aircraft has unique needs,” he said. “In some cases that might be a bad thing as far as base realignment goes because if we don’t build those hangars we get to avoid that cost. If they build the airplane, then they have got to build the hangars because no other hangars can do the job.”

Edwards said the community has taken the property steps on encroachment issues, but potential wind farm development remains a concern.

“A lot of work has been done by the folks in this room at the local and state level in getting some restrictive covenants in place and some restrictive regulations in place to at least slow down that development,” Edwards said. “This will support not only the base but the ranges.”

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