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January 22, 2010

Posted by allthingshavelock in MCAS Cherry Point.
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Big mission, big bucks

January 21, 2010 9:23 AM
By Sue Book
Freedom ENC

Cherry Point local economic impact is at $2.18 billion a year and growing and appears secure, top base officials told local leaders Wednesday.

New economic impact numbers for the air station were presented by

Col. Doug A. Denn, Cherry Point’s commanding officer, presented the numbers to at a luncheon Wednesday at Craven Community College’s Institute of Aeronautical Technology in Havelock.

Salaries alone for base active and retired military and civilian population totaled $1.43 billion in fiscal year 2009, he said. The total number of military and civilian employees at the station is now more than 15,000 including more than 3,700 at Fleet Readiness Center East, the Navy aircraft maintenance and repair facility on base.

Denn said when he arrived in August the impact number was at $1.8 billion and he set a personal goal to see it top $2 billion before leaving command, but it has already happened on its own.

Work for civilian employees is also robust, said Col. L. Scott Loch, commanding officer of FRC East. He said that while the sun may be setting on work on older aircraft like the CH-46 helicopter, “here it is still sitting pretty high in the sky.”

Hearings for determining the site for the 13 Marine Corps squadrons of F-35B Joint Strike Fighters won’t be until April. But Loch said a decision has been made that Joint Strike Fighter work, when they are up and running, “will come fully to us” for the F-35B and F-35C models.

“We have a bright future,” he said. “That work would exceed the sum of current work here.”

But Loch pointed out that FRC East is more than just jobs.

“We exist to bring readiness to the fleet,” he told the gathering. “The Joint Strike Fighter is a very technologically advanced airframe, and we need to grow technology expertise. They can’t just bring it in and people know what has to be done.”

He said FRC needs to further grow the partnerships it has with the community, such as that with the community college as a training ground, to make sure it is ready for the task.

Jimmy Sanders, Havelock mayor and chairman of the Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow lobby group, moderated the event. He said that base wages help support 35,000 people in Craven County, more than 10,000 in Carteret and about 1,200 each from Pamlico and Jones counties.

“We stress the economic impact, but we know what you do is making a difference in the world,” he told the military leaders.

About 75 base and civilian leaders from area counties attended the luncheon hosted by ACT, the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, the Craven County Committee of 100, the city of Havelock and Craven Community College.

January 18, 2010

Posted by allthingshavelock in MCAS Cherry Point.
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Contract awarded for pilings around BT-11 target range

January 15, 2010 1:05 PM
Havelock News

Cherry Point has awarded a contract to place 10 navigational pilings with warning signs around restricted areas at the BT-11 bombing target at Piney Island.

The $78,716 contract went to the Tesoro Corporation, of Virginia Beach, Va.

BT-11 is located near the juncture of Neuse River and Pamlico Sound in Carteret County. The contract calls for the work to be completed by April 11.

According to a release from Cherry Point, the placement of the pilings does not modify or expand existing security areas or change the configuration of the scope of military training at the bombing ranges.

Restricted areas already appear on navigational charts for the area.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources approved the placement of the additional pilings on Dec. 8. The markers are designed to better inform boaters of the restricted area to prevent inadvertent entry of what can be dangerous areas where military aircraft sometimes train with live ammunition.

The prohibited area consists of a 1.8-mile radius area centered on a target in Rattan Bay. The water and land in this area is closed to the public at all times.

Another restricted area is at Newstump Point and a third is along the west coast of Piney Island between Marsh Point and North Bay. Each of those restricted areas has a radius of one half mile around a defined point. Both of these areas are open for public navigation at night, but there is no access in these areas during the day.

January 15, 2010

Posted by allthingshavelock in National Real Estate.
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Daily Real Estate News  |  January 11, 2010  |  

Fed: It’s Time the Market Stands on its Own
April 1 will be the first day that the Federal Reserve will end its debt purchase program and allow the struggling U.S. mortgage market to operate unassisted. As a result, the Fed believes mortgage rates will rise about three-quarters of a percent to about 6 percent, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said Saturday.

Fear of a worldwide perception that the U.S. government is simply printing money to use to purchase mortgage-related securities is a big reason the Fed has pulled back, analysts say. If that fear caused a sell-off of U.S. government bonds, it would push borrowing costs substantially higher and derail the economic recovery.

“We are still in uncharted waters,” Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said in an unrelated speech Saturday. “We will need to be flexible and adjust as we gain experience.”

Source: Reuters News, Pedro Nicolaci da Costa (01/08/2010)

January 13, 2010

Posted by allthingshavelock in Havelock Sports.
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Havelock board approves replacement of Little League field lighting

January 12, 2010 4:31 PM

Drew C. Wilson
Freedom ENC

HAVELOCK — Commissioners decided Monday night to replace some, but not all, of the lighting on the baseball, softball and soccer fields at the city’s recreation complex.

The cost to fix the all the lights would have been $475,000, which would have included a 25-year guarantee.

Instead, the board favored replacement of lights on two Little League baseball fields that have inadequate lighting for night play. The cost is going to be $146,000, and commissioners will decide how to pay for it at their Jan. 25 meeting.

Commissioner George Liner was adamant that the cost for repairs not come from the city’s reserve fund but instead be paid out from next year’s budget.

“The Little League field lighting needs to be replaced,” said Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders, who is a Babe Ruth baseball official but not associated with Little League. “It’s a safety issue. God forbid some little kid gets hurt because he gets hit in the face with a ball.”

Liner disagreed.

“I don’t see it as a safety issue,” said Liner. “If they can’t see at night, schedule the games in the daytime.”

Commissioner Jim Stuart said that when the vote came in two weeks, if paying for the lights was going to mean affecting the city’s reserves, he intended to vote against it.

“It would be nice to have, but I want the people to know that there are other things, too,” he said. “We don’t want to run out of money. If taxes have to go up to start paying for it, then so be it.”

The board also decided to send a letter to Craven County commissioners asking for a subsidy and pointing out that 134 children who live outside Havelock city limits play ball on the city fields.

Sanders and the commissioners complained that they were not made aware of the lighting situation until June of last year, about a month after the city budget process had been completed.

In other business Monday night, the board:

♦  agreed to allow Fire Chief Rick Zaccardelli to reclassify a fire department position as “administrative captain.” The employee would be in charge of other department members and serve at the old fire station when the chief moves to the new West End Fire Station, and would be in charge in Zaccardelli’s absence.

♦  asked city planner Scott Chase to present a plan to commissioners with alternatives on how to better enforce the city’s building permit rules. The discussion was prompted by a stop-work order issued to the contractor of the AAR Building at 529 B U.S. 70 because the contractor allegedly misled the city and conducted work that wasn’t permitted.

“It went from a $5,000 job to a $150,000 job,” Chase said.

♦  awarded a $42,104 contract to Osprey Builders to construct a sidewalk along Manchester Road from Catawba Road to the back side of Arthur W. Edwards Elementary School.

♦  recognized police officer David King for 30 years of service at the Havelock Police Department by awarding him his badge and service sidearm.

♦  agreed to spend $42,000 to rehire Marlowe and Company to lobby for city interests in Washington.

January 13, 2010

Posted by allthingshavelock in MCAS Cherry Point.
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F-35B passes more flight tests

 Sue Book

Sun Journal Staff

Successful tests on the Marine version of the Joint Strike Fighter were performed last week, the Marine Corps Times reported Saturday, bringing the plane that could bring as many as 11 new aircraft squadrons to Cherry Point air station one step closer to its first short takeoff and vertical landing.

The test on the F-35B Lightning II was at the Patuxent River Navy air station on Thursday and a test pilot successfully engaged the lift propulsion system for 14 minutes, the Times reported. The pilot practiced slowing the aircraft from 288 mph, making ready to hover, and then accelerating.

The F-35B fifth-generation fighter jet is the first aircraft in history to combine STOVAL — or short takeoff/vertical landing capability and supersonic speed — with stealth.

The tests aim for full STOVAL flight in the spring after civilian partner contractors BAE Systems and Lockheed work to progressively slow the aircraft while in flight so it can hover and then land vertically.

Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager Dan Crowley said in a statement: “The joint F-35 industry and government team has already shown during extended ground tests that the STOVAL propulsion system performs well, and thousands of hours of component testing has validated its durability.”

“Now we are seeing early proof that the system operates in flight as our team predicted,” Crowley said.   

There have been several delays in the program, but Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway said in December that he is confident the first operational squadron will stand up in 2012 as first planned.

He said the Corps has “accepted risk now for a number of years by not buying fourth-generation airplanes, such as the Navy has done, to await the arrival of this aircraft.”

 The F-35B is expected to replace the AV-8B Harrier, EA-6B Prowler and the F/A-18 Hornet at East Coast Marine bases expecting a total of 176 planes.

The Golden Leaf Foundation allocated $115,000 in December to look at the economic impact of F-35B home base options being studied by the Navy in a report expected in April that include air stations at Cherry Point and Beaufort, S.C.

The options under consideration involve as many as 11 Joint Strike Fighter squadrons at Cherry Point, and Craven Community College is already optimistically preparing for them.

Those close to the process say the basing plan will probably split between two training squadrons with 40 F-35B’s likely coming to Beaufort, S.C., and most of the rest to Cherry Point.

The college plans to launch a new training program next fall on developing, using and testing the strong, lightweight carbon fiber-polymer composite materials used in F-36B and the V-22 Osprey’s construction and repair.

Scoping hearings on the environmental impact of the F-35B were held in Havelock and Pamlico County in February 2009. About 250 people attended those hearings, and the noise expected to be generated by planes was the only possible negative issue raised.

At that time, plans were for the Department of Defense to buy about 700 Joint Strike Fighters with the Air Force expected to get first delivery.