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U.S. Marine Corps Col. Mikel Huber, commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, gives the opening speech for the future P-199 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter maintenance hangar’s construction groundbreaking ceremony at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, Sept. 4, 2020. The groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of fully modernizing the installation, bringing MCAS Cherry Point squadrons and their support components from the World War II era into the modern day. Supporting the Marines and the extending their warfighting abilities to maintaining strategic deterrence and discouraging aggression from our enemies foreign and domestic by bringing the fifth generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the installation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Micha Pierce)

Photo by Cpl. Micha Pierce

P-199 F-35 Ground Breaking Ceremony

4 Sep 2020 | Cpl. Micha Pierce Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Today marks the beginning of the full-scale modernization of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina.

MCAS Cherry Point along with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (2D MAW) and Navy Facilities Engineering Command broke ground for the first of three F-35 aircraft maintenance hangars. The groundbreaking ceremony is just the start of monumental changes to come, bringing 2D MAW and MCAS Cherry Point squadrons from the World War II era into the modern day.

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Michael Cederholm, commanding general of 2D MAW, and Col. Mikel Huber, commanding officer of MCAS Cherry Point, both spoke about the multimillion dollar changes to a live and virtual audience, on how this will change and strengthen the way the installation supports warfighters, and all the exciting advancements it will bring to MCAS Cherry Point.

“I think it is an important, symbolic day for the transformation of this air station,” said Huber. “As we field the joint strike fighter and bring in a new era in Marine aviation to MCAS Cherry Point.”

“We will generate combat power out of Cherry Point, we will do it out of this very hangar,” said Cederholm. “It is unknown what conflicts we will face, but I do know that we will be ready, willing, and able to go do our nation’s bidding when the time comes.”

U.S. Navy Capt. James Brown, officer in charge of construction, was also present for the ceremony, and will be overseeing the construction of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter maintenance hangars. After years of developing plans, they have partnered with The Walsh Group to help convert their ideas into reality, and make this facility functional and ready for future warfighters.

“I am just humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to lead this effort,” said Brown. “To lead this effort and be a part of it is a piece of history. For all of us to be in a position like this, it is an honor, the opportunity is not lost on me and I am ready to get after it.”

Brown and the command will oversee projects supporting the deployment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter platform. They will also aid in both military construction and minor construction and repair projects enabling the recovery of facilities from the effects of Hurricane Florence at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River and MCAS Cherry Point. The command will deliver 33 military construction projects and 140 repair projects with a total value of $3.6 billion between fiscal year 20 and fiscal year 25.

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