Photo Information

This marquee stands near the intersection of Slocum Road and Roosevelt Boulevard welcoming people aboard MCAS Cherry Point May 27. The marquees are one method the Joint Public Affairs uses to inform the public about emergencies, weather and flag conditions. The new marquees are more effective at sending messages to people aboard the air station and are more energy efficient at the same time.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

New marquees foster effective communication at Cherry Point

2 Jun 2011 | Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

As a way to inform the Cherry Point community of specific events, destructive weather conditions and flag conditions, new marquees have been exchanged throughout the air station during the month of April to increase communication among residents.

“The primary purpose of the marquees is to alert personnel of events that are happening on board the air station and act as a secondary emergency communication tool,” said Mike Barton, deputy director of the Joint Public Affairs Office. “The bulbs of the new signs are far smaller, which increases pixels used to create a message. The greater pixilation combined with colors and animation allows us to present much more detailed information to our customers.”

The new abilities of the signs are much more eye catching, leading to more people reading them and getting the information they need, according to Mary B. Hill, webmaster of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and MCAS Cherry Point. It is one of the quickest ways to get information out to the public.

“The software that we’re using is greatly improved,” Hill said. “People will notice that now there’s color, photos, and graphics now on there. I think the graphics catch the eye so people are more likely to read what the message is. Once you catch their attention, they’re more likely to read it. The greater options with the color and the text allow for increased readability.”

According to Hill, there are a number of common messages displayed on the marquees. Most commonly displayed messages welcome aboard troops returning from deployment, visiting VIPs, change of commands, notify the public of security, flag and weather conditions, and other messages as well. However, there are a number of regulations regarding the use of the marquees. In addition, the marquees will not be rented out, or used for personal messages, such as birthdays, engagements or marriages.

Four marquees were replaced as the culmination of a project started in late 2009 with the aim of improving on-station communications and energy efficiency of the signs.

Not only do the marquees increase efficient communications with the public, they also save money. According to Barton, the new system will save approximately $40,000 per year, eventually paying for itself through savings over a number of years. The light bulbs of the new signs use less electricity and have a much longer life span than the old incandescent bulbs, leading to large savings.

For questions regarding the marquees or to request a message to be posted, call the Joint Public Affairs Office at 466-4241, or email

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point