Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. --
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Mikel “Words” Huber relinquished command of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to Col. Brendan “Cletis” Burks during a change of command ceremony, officially presided over by Brig. Gen. Andrew Niebel, Marine Corps Installations East commanding general, Aug. 5, 2022.
Huber, who assumed command in 2019, guided the air station through unique and unprecedented circumstances, providing continuous support to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and other tenant commands throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. His leadership oversaw the initial construction for transformation of the installation for basing of the F-35 Lightning II, and the construction efforts for Hurricane Florence recovery and modernization of multiple air station facilities. A notable achievement for Huber was hosting the three-time, award-winning 2021 MCAS Cherry Point Air Show, which garnered acclaim for the successful facilitation of a large-scale Marine Corps community outreach event in Eastern North Carolina during the distinctive time.
In addition to the accomplishments while in command, Niebel gave credit to Huber for having foresight in being in on planning and design of projects with Force Design impacts, such as the “purpose-built hangar” to facilitate unmanned aerial systems, MQ-9 Reapers, operations at MCAS Cherry Point.
Burks returns to MCAS Cherry Point for a fourth assignment to fill the air station commanding officer role. His previous assignment was as the chief of Global Force Management, Plans Division, U.S. European Command.
“It’s a great time to be here at Cherry Point. Very exciting. Very special,” he said in brief remarks, in which he acknowledged the efforts of his predecessor and staff. “When you look around you see all the investment in the F-35, FRC East expansion, and 2030 Force Design … that is all a direct result of most of the individuals you see here today … you’re starting to see those efforts come to fruition.”
Additionally to Team Cherry Point, he said, “I’m joining a very proficient, high-functioning team, so I’m running twice as fast to catch up and get on board. I’m looking forward to being on this team.”
The event also served as retirement ceremony for Huber, culminating 29 years of military service.
MCAS Cherry Point provides quality facilities, ranges, aviation support, and services to promote readiness, sustainment, and quality of life for the operating forces and tenant commands. The air station is home to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Readiness Center East, and Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point, employing and supporting 26,000 active duty, reserve, civilian, and family members.
Established in 1941, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is the world’s largest Marine Corps air station. It currently occupies more than 29,000 acres of land in Eastern NC. Cherry Point provides air traffic control 24 hours a day, year-round in the support of more than 150,000 annual flight operations.