2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 12 Sep 2003 16:58:28 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Navy decision on jets a boon for Beach, region
Navy decision on jets a boon for Beach, region
September 11, 2003

Virginia Beach and regional leaders were overjoyed by the Navy's
decision Wednesday to base eight of its 10 East Coast Super Hornet
squadrons at Oceana Naval Air Station. But other localities -- as well
as many residents -- could find something positive in the decision, too.

As recommended by top Navy brass, Oceana has landed 120 of the new,
noisier Super Hornets. To split the economic difference and keep
political benefactors happy, the Navy chose to base 24 of the jets at
the Marine base in Cherry Point, N.C. The Pentagon was compelled to
throw North Carolinians a bone after getting permission to build a new
practice landing field in Washington County. Residents and politicos in
that county feel the most threatened by the Navy's choice, fearing it
will destroy the rural character of the area.

The ideal alternative, of course, would have been to base all 10 Super
Hornet squadrons at Oceana. But Hampton Roads emerged with the best
possible deal given the political realities involved.

The Navy will benefit greatly from its new Super Hornet arrangement.
Retention of pilots and air crews is a top priority for the service, and
Hampton Roads offers opportunities such as education, spousal
employment, medical services and shopping that keep Navy families happy.
Cherry Point has few such amenities. The decision should make it easier
to retain a greater number of naval personnel.

Even with the phase-out of the F-14 Tomcats currently flying from
Oceana, basing the lion's share of Super Hornets in Virginia Beach
cements our naval air station's place as the East Coast's pre-eminent
master jet base. It becomes less likely that any future rounds of base
closings would affect Oceana.

This article can be viewed at:

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