Cherry Point, Havelock leaders vow continued cooperation

pappas meeting

Col. Chris Pappas III, left, commanding officer at Cherry Point, tours the proposed waterfront park on Slocum Creek after a meeting with Havelock officials. Pictured with Pappas are, from left, Commissioner Will Lewis, Cherry Point Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Pangborn, consultant Scott Chase, Commissioners Danny Walsh and George Liner and Public Services Director Bill Ebron.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Monday, November 11, 2013 at 07:32 PM.

Cherry Point’s new commanding officer said Friday that the base is entering “challenging times” but that the relationship between Havelock, its citizens and base personnel will “get us through.”

Col. Chris Pappas III took a step toward strengthening those bonds in a meeting with city officials on Friday.

“The relationship that the city and the air station has goes a long, long ways back and I’m looking forward to continuing the relationship that we’ve had,” Pappas said. “These are going to be challenging times coming up with our decreasing resources, and relationships are going to get us through this time together.”

City Manager Jim Freeman, with newly hired city manager Frank Bottorff at his side, gave the base officials a “quick snapshot” of Havelock.

Pappas assumed command of the base on Aug. 22 and said he’s had a busy first couple of months.

“Our resources are going down, pointing south rapidly, and we’re making hard choices today about what’s going to happen this year and next year,” Pappas said. “As you know, Havelock and the air station are not just neighbors. We have been good friends for quite a long time. I want to continue that. I want to be open and honest and do everything I can do to make decisions that help that relationship.”

Rick Zaccardelli, chief of the Havelock Fire and Rescue Department, told Pappas of the importance base rescue helicopter Pedro has been to the city and surrounding areas. He pointed to a Sept. 27 crash in which the helicopter landed on Fontana Boulevard to transport two injured victims to the hospital.

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