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Tony Ferrence, deputy director of Facilities Directorate, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, presents ideas to installation stakeholders to develop the Installation Master Plan during the Visioning Workshop in the Cherry Point Inn at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, July 14, 2022. The workshop was the second step in the process to establish a new installation master plan that will chart the course for development of the air station community for the next two decades. The previous plan was accomplished in 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lauralle Walker)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Lauralle Walker

Setting vision for MCAS Cherry Point

9 Aug 2022 | Chrystal Smith Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

What will Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point become during the next two decades?
A fitting answer to such a question is what air station visionaries tooled during the Installation Master Plan: Visioning Workshop at the Cherry Point Inn, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, July 13-14, 2022.
Navy Facilities Command and joint venture installation planning professionals guided a diverse group of about 50 air station stakeholders — leaders, mission operators, directors, tenant organizations and key personnel — through the collaborative process of establishing the overall development vision for the installation and the basis for courses of action to meet mission requirements and maximize existing resources and capacity.
“Our focus is establishing that guiding principle for this installation’s development. That is the vision statement that we will use to create the vision plan,” said Don McClarin, project director with Cardno/Stantec. “It’s really setting out that whole framework so that for the next 20 years and beyond, base planning staff, can work toward that vision.”
The visioning workshop is a major step on the way to establishing the Installation Master Plan, the process which officially kicked off in January 2022.
The previous/then current MCAS Cherry Point Commanding Officer Col. Mikel Huber charged stakeholders and planners to think deeply about the long-term growth and development of the 80-year-old installation and its outlying properties. In remarks he reminded participants of the air station’s mission of supporting its tenant and guided them to consider those elements when providing ideas for future development.
Huber’s comments touched on topics that included making plans for new technology, installation resiliency, and development of a plan that has elements of adaptability. He said, the installation master plan will be a long-term plan. “If done correctly, it will be able to adapt to ever-changing standards, conditions and technologies supported at the installation.”
Stakeholders collaborated through a series of exercises that explored opportunities and constraints for future development, and established direction for maximizing the installation's long-term capabilities and resilience. A broad spectrum of topics were up for discussion and consideration, and included fitness and amenities, housing, infrastructure and construction, tenant organizations’ mission-specific needs, security, resiliency, and technology.
“It is critical that (Fleet Readiness Center East) is accommodated at MCAS Cherry Point,” said Robert Rice, Operations director, explaining that FRCE, is an integral contributor to Naval and Marine Corps aviation readiness, and a major air station tenant whose workforce employs the bulk of the installation’s civilian population. “FRCE, is why MCAS Cherry Point, is one of the largest employers in the area, and continues to grow as its mission continues to thrive and evolve.”
A visual preference survey was conducted during the first day and captured stakeholder preferences on various components of community design and architectural styles to help develop the planning standards for the Installation Master Plan. Participants reviewed and commented on some of the air station’s existing facilities, and structural elements to complete the feedback exercise.
Further analysis was made to flesh out the installation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Factors tied to the installation’s location, regional regulations, practices and weather, and mission encroachment concerns were presented as elements of fault and threats to realizing premium quality of life and optimal mission success. However, the group recognized significant strengths and opportunities related to the installation’s longstanding relations and blossoming partnerships, and current community transformation efforts that can be leveraged in master plan development.
The participants completed a multifaceted group activity to develop a vision statement for the IMP. Through collaboration the group envisioned: “MCAS Cherry Point is the premier air station for operational and fleet readiness and global force projection; cultivating high quality of life and a connected community, and investing in functional, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure.” The vision statement yielded four goals aimed at enhancement of operations and readiness, global force projection capability, quality of life and community connectedness, and infrastructural capacity and resilience.
While physical growth is not expected for the installation, it was noted that overarching agency design schemas or congressional actions, such as Marine Corps Force Design 2030, national defense authorization acts or base realignments, could impact some details of the local master plan. The progressing site activation efforts and requirements to base future F-35 Lightning II squadrons is a prime example of what is shaping the installation’s master plan.
The next steps in the Installation Master Plan development process entails the delineation and prioritization of area development plans and associated planning districts, giving stakeholders an additional opportunity to provide input for the master plan. The ADP phase is projected to occur in the fall. The IMP project is expected to be accomplished in December 2023.
The last master plan was accomplished in 2014.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point