State commerce secretary tours Cherry Point

Published: Friday, June 14, 2013 at 02:59 PM.

State Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker vowed support for Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center East after a tour of the base last week.

"I had never been on the base," Decker said. "It was terrific to have the chance to visit both the base and the Fleet Readiness Center and understand more about what goes on there. It’s such an important part of North Carolina’s economy, military in general but Cherry Point specifically.

"Fleet Readiness Center is one of the largest employers in Eastern North Carolina, so we’re very thankful for that. I enjoyed the chance to learn more and gain a better understanding of what the possibilities are to help commerce in North Carolina grow."

Decker said she was fascinated with the level of expertise of FRC East workers.

"I had really just not comprehended the magnitude of that and the complexity of it," she said. "They are dealing with a number of different types of aircraft and have developed some specialties there that are important in really growing the base and the Fleet Readiness Center, so I was impressed by the people and impressed by the complexity of that operation and all that’s going on. It was a great education for me."

At one point, Decker was able to view where the first F-35B Joint Strike Fighters will be maintained and modified in July.

"I asked the guys in the back if I needed to put a blessing on it or anything," Decker said.

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