In Craven County
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT
Havelock, North Carolina, on the Neuse River, is the home of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, which celebrated its 75th anniversary Aug. 18, 2016. The air station is just 20 miles from Atlantic beaches and about 34 miles west of Cape Lookout National Seashore. In driving terms, it’s 134 miles southeast of Raleigh, the state capital, on U.S. 70; 521 miles northeast of Atlanta by way of Interstate 20, I-95 and U.S. 70; 885 miles north of Miami via I-95 and U.S. 70; 945 miles southeast of Chicago on U.S. 35, I-64/77, I-40 and U.S. 70; 1,302 miles northeast of Dallas along I-20, I-85 and U.S. 70; and 574 miles south of New York City via I-95 and U.S. 70.
The base had more than 14,000 active-duty military and civilian members, approximately 17,700 family members lived and worked on and around the base and an estimated 21,500 retirees lived in the area in Fiscal Year 2015.
The air station and its associated support locations encompass more than 29,000 acres. Cherry Point’s four-point runway system is designed to provide multiple approach and departure options to aviators.
About Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
In August 1941, workers began clearing North Carolina forests and draining swamps to build air facilities at Cherry Point, North Carolina, the name of an early 19th century settlement of fishermen, hunters and then a post office, though by the time the bulldozers arrived, the post office had been closed for six years. The military chose the site from a “sunshine map” as one of three in the country with reliable sunshine, a benefit that outweighed its wetlands humming with malaria-bearing mosquitoes, and its hurricanes.
By September, the installation’s name had been changed to Cunningham Field to honor the first Marine Corps aviator, Lt. Col. Alfred A. Cunningham, but it was redesignated as U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point on Dec. 1 and was commissioned under that name on May 20, 1942.
Construction began on Nov. 21, 17 days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. During World War II, Cherry Point air station trained individual Marines and units for battle in the Pacific theater, though it was also an anti-submarine base; in 1943, a U.S. Army Air Corps and a U.S. Navy unit each sank a German U-boat prowling just off the North Carolina coast.
Today, MCAS Cherry Point is the corps’ largest air station. It is home to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing; Marine Transport Squadron 1; Combat Logistics Company 21; the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training; and Fleet Readiness Center (East), with all their subordinate entities, as well as Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron and Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point.
The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, an ever-ready and integral part of the Marine Corps air-ground team, is headquartered at Cherry Point, though with elements at MCAS New River, North Carolina, and MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. Its missions include offensive air support, anti-air warfare, assault support, aerial reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and control of aircraft and missiles.
Marine Transport Squadron 1’s C-9B Skytrains and UC-35D Cessna Encores transport military and civilian dignitaries and are used to support missions requiring cargo and troop movement. For many years, though, the squadron and its H-46 helicopters, “Pedro,” built a sterling reputation for search and rescue, not just for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing but also for regional authorities by finding lost people and providing emergency medical transport. Since 1959, they had supplemented the U.S. Coast Guard’s own over-water search and rescues, and from 2005 to 2015, the year the Marines ended the program, Pedro crews were averaging more than 50 lifesaving missions each year.
Logistics Company 21 manages freight and passenger transportation to ensure that things the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and MCAAS Cherry Point need, get where they’re needed when they’re needed. In addition, the company operates the base’s Aerial Port of Embarkation/Debarkation under supervision from II Marine Expeditionary Force, and helps the Fleet Assistance Program carry out its legal, postal, exchange, security, personnel administration, freight and passenger transportation duties, and bulk fuel deliveries for the base.
With 76 courses of instruction, the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Cherry Point trains approximately 1,400 Marine, Navy, foreign national and civilian students every year to care for and maintain the AV-6B Harrier 2, the KC-130J aerial refueling tanker and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter. Center training also covers avionics, or aviation electrical systems; cryogenics, the study of what happens to materials at very low temperatures; and intermediate-level aviation ordnance, or handling guns, bombs, torpedoes, rockets and missiles.
For more than 70 years and under different names, the present-day Fleet Readiness Center East, the Vertical Lift Center of Excellence, has repaired, reworked and rebuilt aircraft, engines and components for all branches of the U.S. armed forces. Its modern industrial complex is North Carolina’s largest industrial employer east of Interstate 95 and has an annual payroll of more than $275 million.
At 850 active-duty service members, Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron is the Marine Corps’ largest such squadron. “The Rams” responsibilities center on providing and managing living and training facilities, and range from administration to logistics, law enforcement, air traffic control, aircraft rescue and firefighting, legal advice, food and religious services.
Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point is an outpatient medical facility with Navy Medicine’s sole stand-along Ambulatory Procedures Unit, providing general surgery, gynecology, orthopedic, oral/maxillofacial and podiatry surgical services to 33,000 active-duty members and DOD beneficiaries. It is the only health clinic in Navy Medicine to offer same-day surgical services and also houses the 12th Dental Company and 2nd Marine Air Wing Medical.
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point’s total impact on the local economy in fiscal year 2015 totaled approximately $2.01 billion. Salaries paid to active duty, retired military, current and retired civilians exceeded $1.21 billion, and contracts surpassed $72.5 million. With more than 3,000 employees, MCAS Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center (East) were the area’s top employers in 2016. On an even more positive economic note, the Department of Defense has chosen MCAS Cherry Point as a base for the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. As many as 128 F-35Bs may be stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, and additional F-35Bs will be repaired and upgraded at Fleet Readiness Center East, according to fighter manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The fighters’ presence is expected to produce 1,220 direct and indirect jobs, $103 million in new salaries, contracting charges and materials, $1.3 billion through 2027 for new construction and infrastructure improvements at MCAS Cherry Point, $300 million through 2024 in facility upgrades and new construction at Fleet Readiness Center (East), and an additional 1,194 military personnel and 2,323 dependents.
Natural resources brought settlers and prosperity to what became Craven County, North Carolina, more than a century before the American Revolution; the Marines who underwrite the region today came seeking sunshine.
By 1705, plantations were using the Neuse River on the north side of Havelock, home of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, as a trade corridor, and pine resin from the dense pine forests was being turned into turpentine and the natural tar used to waterproof wooden ships (why North Carolinians are “Tar Heels”). At its production peak, 25 percent of the world’s pine tar and turpentine was being drawn from around Havelock, but technology killed the pine products market in the 1860s as steam replaced sails and iron supplanted planks for building vessels. Craven County’s economy abruptly cratered until, on the brink of World War II, Congress appropriated just under $15 million to clear 8,000 acres of malarial swamps, timber and farms for a new Marine air station there. The site’s humming mosquitoes and hurricane risks were more than outweighed by its reliable sunshine, perfect for aviators.
Within the first five months of its August 1941 establishment, the site’s name changed three times: from the original, Air Facilities Under Development at Cherry Point, North Carolina, to Cunningham Field, Cherry Point, to honor the first marine aviator, Lt. Col. Alfred A. Cunningham, then on Dec. 1, to its final name, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. Lore attributes “Cherry Point” to a minuscule settlement of fishermen, hunters and trappers on a nearby creek bank thick with cherry trees; the Cherry Point post office operated there from 1890 to 1935, and though both the settlement and post office are long gone, the name remains.
Building began on Nov. 21, 1941, 17 days before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor kicked base construction into high gear. It was commissioned within six months, on May 20, 1942, with its primary mission the training of units and individual Marines to fight in the Pacific theater, though it was also a base for airborne antisubmarine forays to protect the Atlantic coast from German U-boats.
The Korean War brought a steady stream of trained aviators and crews from MCAS Cherry Point, and maintenance and support personnel to cycle in and out of front-line aviation units.
The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, split between San Diego and Hawaii since its 1941 commissioning, moved in April 1946 to MCAS Cherry Point. From there it supplied trained aviators and air crew, maintenance and support personnel as replacements to forward-deployed aviation units throughout the Korean War and later, deployed three A-6 Intruder attack squadrons to the Far East during the Vietnam War as well as regular replacements for air crews and enlisted aviation personnel.
Personnel from Cherry Point also were big contributors to Operation Desert Storm. The air station’s Marines supported the deployment of three AV-8B Harrier Jump Jet attack squadrons, two A-6E Intruder squadrons, a KC-130 Hercules extended range tanker squadron, an EA-6B Prowler tactical electronic jamming squadron, and headquarters detachments from Marine Aircraft Groups 14 and 32, under the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
Cherry Point Marines sprang to defend the U.S. after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Starting in 2001 the air station backed combat units involved in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Units from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing trained at Cherry Point’s bombing ranges and expeditionary landing fields between their rotations into Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and aboard ship with deployed Marine Expeditionary Units, as well as traveling to the Far East under the Unit Deployment Program. Harrier, Prowler and KC-130 air crews and ground maintenance Marines trained at Cherry Point, while thousands of East Coast-based ground combat Marines came and went through the air station’s Aerial Port of Embarkation.
In addition to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point’s other major entities include Marine Transport Squadron One, refocused now on personnel transport worldwide after termination of its famed helicopter search and rescue missions in 2015; the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training; Fleet Readiness Center East; and Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point.
Today, Cherry Point’s position as one of the best all-weather jet bases in the world remains as secure as its sunshine. Its four-point runway system gives pilots multiple approach and departure options, and the runways themselves are so long that NASA tabbed them as alternate emergency landing sites during the nation’s space shuttle program. The air station and its associated support sites occupy about 29,000 acres, plus training ranges and auxiliary landing fields. Aviation and naval fighters from all U.S. and some foreign military services have benefitted from Cherry Point facilities and its topography, which includes miles of seashore. In 2015, Cherry Point expanded its air traffic control to more than 9,000 miles of airspace for military, civilian and commercial air traffic.
2ND MARINE AIRCRAFT WING (2ND MAW)
Since its commissioning in 1941 and move to Cherry Point in 1946, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s mission has been to support the Fleet Marine Force with air operations, among them offensive air and assault support, anti-air warfare, aerial reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and control of aircraft and missiles. Its global deployments mean that somewhere in the world, the sun is always shining on the wing.
Its subordinate units have many different responsibilities:
- 2nd MAW Band Command ensembles — including the Brass Band, the Jazz Combo and the Show Band — travel more than 30,000 miles every year to perform at more than 200 events, among them military and civilian ceremonies, formal concerts, community celebrations, parades, festivals and public relations tours. Music has been a part of the Marines since Nov. 10, 1775, when the newly formed Continental Marines stepped out to fifes and drums, and today’s 51 Marine musicians carry on that legacy.
- Marine Aircraft Group 14 is tasked with conducting offensive air and assault support, anti-air warfare, electronic warfare and air reconnaissance on behalf of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force or joint and coalition forces. It also conducts fleet replacement training to provide combat-capable aircrews to operational squadrons.
- Marine Wing Support Squadron 271, the “Workhorses of the Wing,” furnishes aviation ground support to rotary and fixed-wing aircraft both at Cherry Point and during worldwide deployments.
- Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14 provides aviation logistics direction, guidance and support to Marine Aircraft Group 14 squadrons. This includes maintenance for aircraft and aeronautical components, repairs on J-52 and F402 aircraft engines, ensuring that needed supplies reach aircraft and Navy-funded equipment, and ammunition logistics support.
- Marine Attack Squadron 223, one of three AV-8B Harrier squadrons assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 14, provides offensive air support, armed reconnaissance and air defense for Marine expeditionary forces.
- Marine Attack Squadron 231, known as the “Ace of Spades” and the Marine Corps’ oldest air squadron (1919), is a fixed-wing attack squadron made up of AV-8B Harrier jets. In recent years its air operations have included providing battlefield air interdiction, deep and close air support, helicopter escort, rescue combat air patrols and reconnaissance missions.
- Marine Attack Squadron 542, “The Tigers,” was commissioned in 1944 as a night fighter squadron flying F6F03N Hellcats. Today, the Tigers and their present-day Harrier attack jets have consistently been in the forefront of U.S. action in the Middle East and South Asia.
- Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2, the original composite squadron in Marine Corps aviation, conducts airborne electronic warfare, day or night, whatever the weather, during expeditionary, joint or combined operations to support Marine air-ground task forces.
- Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3’s Prowlers provide an umbrella of protection for strike aircraft, ground troops and ships by jamming enemy radar, electronic data links and communications. The Moon Dogs’ missions are mainly for Fleet Marine Force operations but also for other units as directed.
- Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4’s “Seahawks” support expeditionary, joint or combined military operations for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force commander with airborne electronic warfare.
- Marine Attack Training Squadron 203’s main mission is to instruct AV-8B Harrier II pilots, aircrews and maintenance personnel; the squadron has deployed several times in recent years for instructor and student training.
- Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 provides assault transport for personnel, equipment and supplies, battlefield illumination, aerial medevac, and refueling services to fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, 24/7, in all weathers. The Marine Corps’ oldest continually active squadron, it usually includes about 240 enlisted Marines, 50 officers and a dozen aircraft, though its strength fluctuates.
- Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2, formed in 1984, was the first Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) unit in the U.S. Armed Forces. The unit conducts reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition missions.
- One of Marine Aircraft Group 29’s nine squadrons operates out of MCAS Cherry Point, though MAG-29 itself and its other eight squadrons are at MCAS New River, 50 miles to the southwest.
- Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 furnishes aviation ground support so that Marine Aircraft Group 29 and any supporting or attached elements of the Marine Air Control Group can carry out their missions. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, for instance, in 2006, the squadron’s aviation ground support and combat service support included fueling, flight line repair, vertical and horizontal construction, heavy equipment, convoy and civil affairs operations, supply route repair, facilities and vehicle maintenance, communications, base security, and countering improvised explosive devices.
- Marine Air Control Group 28’s main tasks are to provide air command and control of complex air space, wing communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Though its focus is global battlegrounds, the group also has responded to tragedies such as the 2010 Haitian earthquake, helping to bring humanitarian aid and disaster relief to that stricken nation.
- 2d Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion specializes in shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles; the battalion’s motto is “Death From Below,” and its principal task is to provide security in dangerous situations, such as for military convoys traveling through hostile territory.
- Marine Air Control Squadron 2’s mission is basically air traffic control at home and abroad: to detect, identify and control the interception of hostile aircraft and missiles; and for friendly aircraft, to provide navigational assistance and continuous all-weather radar and non-radar approach, departure, en route and tower air traffic control services.
- Marine Air Support Squadron 1 plans, receives, coordinates and processes military requests for direct or close air support, usually through Direct Air Support Centers deployed with expeditionary operations but sometimes by providing Air Support Elements or Air Support Liaison Teams.
- Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28, a component of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, equips, staffs and maintains the Current Operations Section of the Tactical Air Command Center of the Aviation Combat Element. A command and control unit, it also provides and maintains a facility for the TACC Future Operations Section, and installs and maintains associated automated systems.
- Marine Wing Communications Squad-ron 28’s “Spartans” have been setting up, repairing and maintaining vital and secure communications among various elements of U.S. expeditionary forces, especially aviation combat units, since 1967.
- Combat Logistics Company 21 is among Cherry Point’s combat-ready, multimission companies. Its activities help keep the air station and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing operational; its personnel transport freight and passengers, handle disbursing, postal and exchange services, and coordinate the loading and offloading of Marine Expeditionary Forces equipment and personnel from arriving and departing aircraft at the station’s Aerial Port of Embarkation.
- Two other aircraft groups come under the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing but are at MCAS New River, North Carolina, and MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, respectively. They are Marine Aircraft Group 26 (Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26, Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadrons 162, 261, 263, 264, 266 and 365, and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204) at MCAS New River; and Marine Aircraft Group 31 (Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, Marine Wing Support Detachment 31, Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons 115, 122, 251 and 312, Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadrons 224 and 533, and Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501) at MCAS Beaufort.
MARINE TRANSPORT SQUADRON ONE
Marine Transport Squadron One delivers key personnel and cargo wherever the Department of Defense needs them to go, both over short and medium distances that require quick responses at high speed, and over longer distances with time, place or mission-sensitive requirements during wartime. Until September 2015, the squadron also undertook search and rescue operations with their three Sea Knight helicopters, called “Pedro,” for regional authorities as well as the military. In the 10 years before the program’s termination, Pedro crews were averaging more than 50 lifesaving missions per year; in 1999 alone, Pedro rescued 399 people from Hurricane Floyd flooding, and made emergency water and food deliveries to volunteer workers and isolated communities throughout Eastern North Carolina.
HEADQUARTERS & HEADQUARTERS SQUADRON
Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, with about 850 active-duty service members, is the largest such squadron in the Marine Corps. Duties for “The Rams” include administration, logistics, law enforcement, air traffic control, aircraft rescue and firefighting, and legal, food and religious services, among others, but basically focus on managing the air station’s living and training facilities.
CENTER FOR NAVAL AVIATION TECHNICAL TRAINING
The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training instructs about 1,400 Marine, Navy, Italian foreign national and civilian students every year in 76 different courses that support the AV-8B Harrier II attack aircraft, the KC-130J Super Hercules extended-range tanker, the FA-18E/F Super Hornet multirole fighter, and maintenance specialties in avionics, cryogenics and I-level ordnance, vital to aviation logistics squadrons because it ensures that equipment will work as expected when it’s needed.
FLEET READINESS CENTER EAST
One of eight U.S. Navy fleet readiness centers and the only one commanded by Marines, Fleet Readiness Center East is also the Department of Defense Vertical Lift Center of Excellence. For more than 70 years the center has maintained, repaired and overhauled almost every sort of aircraft the Marines have flown, from World War II’s F4U Corsair, the “Whistling Death,” to the forward-edge F-35B Lightning II now in delivery. The center is one of the most advanced aviation rework facilities in the country, and its clients include the Navy and Marine Corps, the U.S. Air Force and Army, federal agencies and more than 30 foreign nations.
NAVAL HEALTH CLINIC CHERRY POINT
An outpatient medical facility with Navy Medicine’s sole stand-alone ambulatory procedures unit, Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point provides general surgery, gynecology, orthopedic, radiology, oral/maxillofacial and podiatry surgical services, as well as immunizations, a lab, a pharmacy, an optometry office, and dental care from the 12th Dental Company. The clinic also houses the 2nd Marine Air Wing Medical. During a typical month, the command handles 8,381 outpatient medical appointments, 60 ambulatory surgical procedures and 18,000 laboratory and 2,622 radiological studies, and fills 22,000 prescriptions.
See the Getting To & Around in Craven County chapter on Page 27 for information about local airports, train service and public transportation. The closest commercial flights (American and Delta Airlines) land at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern, North Carolina, about 20 miles from MCAS Cherry Point. Rental car agencies and taxi service are available at the airport. Go to www.newbernairport.com for more information.
OAJ-Ellis Airport, near Jacksonville, North Carolina, and about 65 miles from MCAS Cherry Point, also is served by Delta and American Airlines. Go to www.flyoaj.com for more.
For those who prefer riding the rails, Amtrak’s north-south Palmetto and Carolinian trains offer Thruway Bus Service from the Amtrak station in Wilson, North Carolina, to Havelock, home of MCAS Cherry Point, about a hundred miles to the southeast. Go to www.ncbytrain.org/destinations/connect.html.
The closest Greyhound Bus Station is about 20 miles to the northwest in New Bern, North Carolina, at 4010 Martin Luther King Blvd. Call 252-633-3100 for directions or go to http://locations.greyhound.com/us/north-carolina/new-bern.
Cellphone use by the driver of a moving motor vehicle is prohibited on all Department of Defense installations, unless the cellphone is used with a hands-free device.
From Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, New Bern, North Carolina
From the airport, take U.S. 70 south past the community of Riverdale and through the Croatan National Forest for about 20 miles to Havelock, then follow the signs to MCAS Cherry Point.
From OAJ-Ellis Airport, Jacksonville, North Carolina
From the airport, turn right onto NC-111, then bear right onto U.S. 258 South to its intersection with NC-24. Follow NC-24 southeast to 9 Mile Road in Morehead, then head north on 9 Mile Road through Newport and pick up U.S. 70 north into Havelock. Follow the signs to MCAS Cherry Point. Total distance is about 65 miles.
During working hours (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Station Marines and permanent personnel assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Combat Logistics Company or the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training should go to the main gate at the intersection of Fontana and Roosevelt boulevards for direction to the Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC), Building 298, for their endorsement and join audit.
After working hours (4:31 p.m. to 7:29 a.m. and on weekends and holidays), Station Marines and permanent personnel assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Combat Logistics Company or the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training are to report to the Station Command Duty Officer in Building 1 for an after-hours reporting endorsement. The next business day, they must report to the Installation Personnel Administration Center, Building 298, for an official reporting endorsement and new join audit.
If they require lodging, Marines will receive an endorsement from the Station Command Duty Officer and be directed to Temporary Lodging in Building 3673.
Marines who stay at the Devil Dog Inn and need transportation to the Installation Personnel Administration Center in the morning must be checked out of the inn and have their gear ready by 7:15 a.m. to be picked up by the IPAC duty driver in front of the check-in window. Those who have not been picked up by 7:45 a.m. should call 252-466-6756.
Signs are placed in numerous locations across MCAS Cherry Point to help all new join personnel checking in.
Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training students will check in at Barracks 3742; call 252-466-2722 or 252-466-2672.
Fleet Readiness Center East personnel will check in directly to FRC-East.
Cherry Point Inn
Building 487, Madison Drive
At Cherry Point Inn, all rooms have queen-size beds, and Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and in common areas. Amenities include refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, hair dryers, free internet access, cable TV, washer and dryer facilities and complimentary breakfast. No pets.
Check the website for room rates.
Devil Dog Inn
Building 3673, F Street
The Devil Dog Inn offers single rooms and two-room suite motel-style accommodations for Marines, Sailors and their families. Complimentary Wi-Fi and a business center are available. No pets.
Room rates are posted on the website.
Naval Health Clinic
Building 4389, 4389 Beaufort Road 252-466-0266
Prescription refills 252-466-0570
12th Dental Clinic 252-466-0400
24/7 Nurse Advice Line 252-466-0921
7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point treats patients on an outpatient basis in the areas of orthopedics, podiatry, gynecology, internal medicine, military medicine, radiology, physical therapy, mental health, preventive medicine, aviation medicine and same-day surgery and through a Medical Home Port that includes family care and pediatrics.
Patients can get immunizations, visit a dentist with the 12th Dental Company or an optometrist, or have their prescriptions filled at the pharmacy. Obstetrics, emergency services and hospital care are handled by local community partners.
Prescription refills must be called in to the pharmacy at 252-466-0570 and can be picked up after three business days between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Pharmacy hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Dental care is available to active-duty military only. Family members of active-duty personnel are encouraged to use the TRICARE Dental Program. Information about the TRICARE Dental Program can be obtained by calling 855-638-8371 or visiting www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/Dental/TDP.aspx.
TRICARE is the health care program for active duty and retirees of the uniformed services, their families and survivors. TRICARE’s primary objectives are to optimize the delivery of health care services in the military’s direct care system for all military health system beneficiaries and attain the highest level of patient satisfaction by delivering a world-class health care benefit.
TRICARE coverage is completely portable so it moves with you when you relocate. TRICARE Prime options include TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Prime Remote in the United States, and TRICARE Prime Overseas and TRICARE Global Remote Overseas in regions outside the United States.
Follow these simple steps to ensure you have no break in coverage when you move:
- Do not cancel your TRICARE Prime enrollment option before you move.
- Update your personal information in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) immediately when you arrive at your new location.
- Select a new primary care manager (PCM) when moving within the same region, or submit a new Prime enrollment form within 30 days if you’re moving to a new region.
Where you are moving will determine which Prime option you will enroll in. If you move to a new Prime service area, transfer your enrollment by submitting a TRICARE Prime Enrollment and PCM Change Form to your regional contractor. Be sure to include all family members who wish to use Prime on the form.
TRICARE Standard and Extra are available to family members only. Active-duty service members are required to enroll in one of the Prime options. TRICARE Standard and Extra are available throughout the United States, and enrollment is not required. Any active-duty family member who is registered in DEERS may use these programs by seeing any network or non-network provider that is authorized by TRICARE.
If you’re already using TRICARE Standard and Extra, moving is easy. When you arrive at your new location, update your personal information in DEERS immediately. Then find TRICARE-authorized providers in your new area.
Here are a few things to remember about using TRICARE Standard and Extra in a new region:
- In the U.S., visit your new regional contractor’s website for a list of providers. Remember, if you see network providers, you’ll be using the Extra option and pay lower copayments.
- If you move to a new region, you’ll have a new claims address for submitting your TRICARE claims.
- Learn your new region’s prior authorization requirements as these requirements may differ by region.
For a complete description of the different types of coverage programs and regions, please visit www.tricare.mil.
Military Housing Office
Building 298, E Street 252-466-2107
7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday
The Military Housing Office and the Housing Referral Office at MCAS Cherry Point are ready to support you in the transition to your new home and community. Use the resources provided to become familiar with the housing options and support services available. When you arrive at MCAS Cherry Point, visit the MHO to receive valuable information, counseling and guidance prior to entering into a written lease or rental/sales contract for housing. Other than Havelock, the most popular areas to rent homes off-base are New Bern and Morehead City, each about a 20- to 30-minute commute from the air station.
Building 3673, F Street 252-466-2699
7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
The Bachelor Housing Department provides billeting for permanent party single Marines, and service members not entitled to Bachelor Allowance for Housing, in 18 barracks buildings. Individual barracks are managed by unit barracks managers under the supervision and guidance of the bachelor housing office.
Building 298, E Street 844-754-5707
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
At MCAS Cherry Point, all military family housing is privatized. In addition to your option to purchase or rent housing in the local community, you may now choose to live in privatized housing by signing a tenant lease agreement with Atlantic Marine Corps Communities, which owns the family housing and is responsible for constructing, maintaining, repairing and managing the community. Five of the six communities are inside the air station’s gates; the sixth is outside.
For comprehensive information about homes and amenities available in the MCAS Cherry Point privatized housing community, go to the Atlantic Marine Corps Communities website, www.atlanticmcc.com, and click on “Havelock, NC.”
153 E St.
Havelock, NC 28532
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday
Most MCAS Cherry Point Base postal needs of military personnel, civilian employees and their families are handled by the Main Base Office. The general delivery address for newcomers is:
Your full name
MCAS Cherry Point Base Post Office
153 E St.
Havelock, NC 28532
Postal Service Center
Second Avenue 252-466-2496
A Consolidated U.S. Post Office on MCAS Cherry Point is available for shipping, supplies and other basic USPS services. Go to the website for service hours.
Building 293, Fourth Avenue 252-466-2166/2409
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
Pets belonging to personnel residing on Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point must be licensed by the Veterinary Treatment Facility upon arrival, and current rabies tags must be visible on the pets at all times. Pets must also be registered with Animal Control on base and be microchipped. Only two domestic pets (cats/dogs) are allowed per home in base housing. The base bans full or mixed breeds of pit bulls, Rottweilers, wolf hybrids, or any canine breed with dominant traits of aggression that present unreasonable risks to those aboard the base.
Clinic services include wellness exams, annual physicals, minor appointments and vaccinations, heartworm testing, and all essential vaccinations and examinations for puppies and kittens beginning as early as 7 weeks old. Emergency cases should be handled by a full-service civilian veterinary hospital.
The clinic’s main concern is government-owned animals but it also is available to pets belonging to the air station’s active duty and retired service members and their dependent families.
MCAS Cherry Point Memorial Chapel
Building 100, E Street 252-466-4000
The MCAS Cherry Point military and civilian staff welcomes you to Memorial Chapel; our goal is to serve active-duty, family members and retired military personnel in close coordination with Second Marine Aircraft Wing chaplains. Worship opportunities, sacraments and programs include baptisms, child dedications, communion, religious education, marriage and confidential pastoral counseling.
- Liturgical Protestant Service, 9 a.m., Fellowship Chapel
- Contemporary General Protestant Worship Service, 11 a.m., Main Chapel
- Children’s Church, 11 a.m., Chapel Kitchen, for children ages 3 through 10
- There will be no Catholic Mass until further notice.
All motor vehicles on MCAS Cherry Point must be registered with the Vehicle Registration Section of the Provost Marshal’s Office; the Pass and ID Office, at the Main Gate in Building 251, is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except holidays. Temporary and one-day visitor passes are available 24/7.
To obtain a temporary pass, you must have:
- Valid state operator’s license.
- Valid state registration for the vehicle.
- Proof of insurance.
To obtain a permanent decal, you must have:
- Valid Armed Forces Identification Card.
- Valid state operator’s license.
- Valid state vehicle registration.
- Valid insurance, with drivers listed on the policy.
If the vehicle is registered out of state, you will need an insurance declaration page showing proof of the minimum motor vehicle liability insurance required by the state of North Carolina: a bodily injury minimum of $30,000/$60,000, and property damage minimum of $25,000.
Services members under the age of 26 must present evidence of having completed the Driver’s Improvement Course offered at MCAS Cherry Point, at another Marine Corps base or online on Navy Knowledge Online.
To operate a motor vehicle on base, you will need the following at all times:
- Valid Armed Forces Identification Card.
- Valid state operator’s license.
- Valid state vehicle registration.
- Valid insurance, with drivers listed on the policy.
- Driver’s Improvement Course Card for service members under 26.
Motorcycle operators must meet all automobile requirements, plus:
- Have in their possession an endorsed motorcycle license from their home state or from the state of North Carolina.
- Have in their possession an Attendance and Certificate of Completion/Motorcycle Safety Card from a Motorcycle Safety Foundation class, which is mandatory for all operators, regardless of age.
Aboard base, the maximum speed limit is 25 mph, and the maximum authorized speed in family housing is 20 mph, except where posted otherwise.
All vehicles entering or leaving the air station are subject to search. In general, North Carolina state traffic laws apply on base. See the Getting To & Around in Craven County chapter on Page 27 for more information.
For hours of operation, menus and special events, visit www.mccscherrypoint.com/dining and click on selections under the “Dining” tab.
Building 4389, Naval Health Clinic 252-466-9147
Five Guys Burgers & Fries
Building 4535 252-444-2500
Fleet Readiness Center East Complex 252-466-8255
Building 298, Station Library 252-466-9553
Fleet Readiness Center East Complex 252-466-8270
100 Woodside Drive 252-466-2269
New City Deli
Building 4535 252-466-9328
Building 4535 252-444-2505
Building 3542, E Street at First Street 252-466-5555
Fleet Readiness Center East Complex 252-466-8269
Building 3918 252-444-1864
Building 4843, Miller’s Landing 252-466-9132
MARINE & FAMILY PROGRAMS
Building 232 252-466-4401
7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
Cherry Point’s Marine & Family Programs aim to enhance the quality of life, education, resilience, behavioral health and overall family readiness for Marines, Sailors and families stationed here. Marine & Family Programs include Family Care, Behavioral Health, Career and Resource Services and Marine Corps Family Team Building.
Single or unaccompanied Marines can draw on the Single Marine Program to improve their quality of life through special events, recreation opportunities and community involvement.
Behavioral Health – Counseling and Prevention
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
Everybody can use a boost from time to time, and MCAS Cherry Point licensed social workers, counselors and other professionals are here to help individuals, couples and families deal with issues that range from basic parenting to sexual assault. Community counseling, treatment services, prevention programs, groups and classes are provided at no cost. Resources include the Community Counseling Program, the New Parent Support Program and Sexual Assault Prevention & Response. There are also treatment services such as the Family Advocacy Program, the Victim Advocacy Program and the Substance Abuse Counseling Center, and prevention programs, among them DSTRESS and Suicide Prevention.
MCAS Cherry Point’s family programs rise to meet the unique needs and challenges of growing children in every stage of their development with flexible child care, special needs resources, assistance with education transitions, and a safe, engaging environment.
Child Development Centers
Resource & Referral, Building 232 252-466-5605
CDC No. 1, Building 4298, Woodside Drive 252-466-3782
CDC No. 2, Building 4629, Franklin Road 252-466-3105
CDC No. 3, Building 4859, Jones Road 252-466-4176
Cherry Tree House, Building 4415 252-466-3861
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
Three Child Development Centers accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children offer full-time and hourly care for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old, using the Creative Curriculum for age-appropriate development of each child. All CDCs meet Department of Defense standards for staff qualifications, program quality, safety, sanitation and nutrition. Full-time care is available from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hourly care is offered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for children from 6 weeks to 12 years old.
For children enrolled in school, Cherry Tree House offers before- and after-school care with planned and supervised activities accredited by the Council on Accreditation in a safe, supervised, healthy, age-appropriate environment while parents are at work. Other options include intersession, single day and summer camp care. Transportation is provided to and from Havelock-area schools for the before- and after-school programs.
Children, Youth & Teen Program
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
These programs provide safe, nurturing and positive environments for your children, and you are encouraged to participate in the development of the programs and services. There are options to meet the needs of your children and to work with your schedule.
Exceptional Family Member Program
Staff with the Exceptional Family Member Program is trained to provide families with services, support and resources they need to care properly for exceptional family members, starting with making sure such families are assigned to locations where such support is available. In addition to setting up educational training, adult monthly social groups, sponsor assignment, accompaniment to school meetings and respite care, staff members can tap a vast network of local, state and national resources to benefit special needs families.
The MCAS Cherry Point school liaison is available to help with all K-12 education issues for public, private, Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) and home-schooled students, from finding schools in the area, deployments, moving tips and school advice. Tutoring, scholarships and SAT/ACT prep resources also are available.
Family Team Building
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
The twin goals of Marine Corps Family Team Building are to foster personal growth and enhance the readiness of service members and their families through education, interactive workshops and services. Among these are the Readiness & Deployment Support Program; the Family Readiness Program; LifeSkills training and education; Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills (L.I.N.K.S.); the Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO); the Prevention & Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP); Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS); and Volunteering.
Personal & Professional Development
Building 4335, Room 217
Personal & Professional Development strives to help service members and their families realize their full potential. Be it smoothly changing duty stations, reaching financial stability, finding employment, career and education advisement, or transitioning successfully back to civilian communities, they’re here to help.
Career and Resource Services
Building 4335, Room 217
Transition Assistance, Employment Assistance, Personal Finance and Retired Services programs provide services and support that will help you and your family.
Building 4335, Room 109
7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
Personal & Professional Development provides a broad range of educational opportunities and counseling services that focus on Marines assigned to MCAS Cherry Point and their family members at the Jerry Marvel Training & Education Building.
Three on-base universities and a local community college are represented — Park University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Boston University and Craven Community College — offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs both on base and online.
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
The Marine Warrior Library owns approximately 35,000 print volumes, 215,000 e-books, 6,000 audiobooks and music CDs, and 6,000 video recordings that include popular feature films, nonfiction, film classics and instructional videos. The library subscribes to more than 100 magazines and newspapers, both print and digital, and offers free digital services, among them Zinio (online digital magazines), Freegal (free music downloads), academic databases, e-book and audio book downloads, and language learning resources including Transparent Languages. Special collections, both digital and print, include the Commandant Marine Corps Reading List, the Sergeant Major Marine Corps Reading List, materials for Military Family and Exceptional Family Member Support, Test Preparation, and the United Through Reading program. There’s free Wi-Fi, fax and printing, e-reader checkout, the latest best sellers, Interlibrary Loan and circulating video game collections. The Children’s Area has some 9,000 print titles, six early learning stations, two DVD stations, and children’s DVDs for checkout, and every Wednesday there’s weekly story time for children from 3 to 7 years old. The Computer Room and Study Room get heavy use, and so do the video game stations and Program Room. Library cards are free for authorized users.
Single Marine Program
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday
All single and unaccompanied Marines and sailors stationed aboard MCAS Cherry Point can take advantage of the Single Marine Program to enhance their lives and improve their morale and well-being through recreational events like trips to the beach, poker and pool tournaments and becoming deeply involved in the community by volunteering, from helping build a Habitat for Humanity home to walking and playing with the dogs at the animal shelter.
First Flight Federal Credit Union
Building 3672, Second Avenue
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
First Citizens Bank & Trust
132 E. Main St.
Havelock, NC 28532
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday
Building 1699, First Deck, Second Floor 252-466-2311/2361
Civilian legal assistance notary public 252-466-6500/6458
Legal Assistance cannot help with criminal cases but can assist in matters of civil law such as estate planning, family law, leasing disputes and financial matters. The office’s first priority is active-duty personnel, followed in descending order, as resources permit, their dependents, reserve personnel on active duty of more than 30 days, dependents of activated reserve personnel, and retired personnel and their spouses. Legal assistance is provided on a walk-in basis from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. Those needing wills or advance directives must pick up a will worksheet between 7:30 and 11 a.m. or 1 and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; they will receive an appointment to execute the will after they turn in the worksheet. Powers of Attorney can be executed and Notary Public services are available from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For information about the recreational programs at MCAS Cherry Point, visit http://mccscherrypoint.com/recreation-entertainment.
Auto Skilz Center
Building 4652 252-466-2352
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
A state-of-the-art facility for do-it-yourself vehicle enthusiasts, Auto Skilz is a 64-bay automotive center with ASE certified technicians available to help guide you through mechanical repairs such as oil changes, tire balancing and rotations, brake replacements or even to rebuild an entire engine. New motorcycle lifts and specialty tools are specifics for street and off-road bike repairs.
Crystal Coast Travel & Leisure
Building 3918 252-466-2197/2172
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Get discounts and deals here for airline tickets and cruises, tickets to all major theme parks (Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, Kings Dominion, Six Flags Over Georgia and Universal Studios Parks, to name a few) and customized vacation packages to such getaways as the Biltmore Estate in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, or New Jersey’s Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Fitness & Sports Centers
Devil Dog Gym
Building 4322 252-466-2713
Open 24/7 daily
The gym has treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, step machines, upright and recumbent bikes, free weights, cardio theater, locker rooms, and checkout belts and straps. Each patron must bring a full-size towel to lay down on workout benches before using them to work out, as well as a lock to secure belongings.
Building 3471 252-466-4018
3:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday
Hancock Gym offers a warm-up area, treadmills, cross-trainers, step machines, upright and recumbent bikes, free weights, checkout belts and straps, and the Nexersys NXS Interval Training System. It’s also adjacent to a pool and a running trail. Patrons must bring their own locks to secure their belongings, and full-size towels to lay on the benches prior to working out on them.
Building 287 252-466-2566
5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays
The Marine Dome hosts many sports and activities under one roof, from basketball to Zumba, including the High Intensity Tactical Training Program (HITT). Reserve an athletics field or indoor court, check out gear or meet the Semper Fit staff. There are three basketball courts, volleyball and racquetball courts, speed and heavy bags, martial arts and wrestling areas, locker rooms, a men’s steam room and sauna, a women’s sauna, personal training, a road race series, team and competitive events, health fairs and gear rental.
Athletics Sports Complex at Lanham Field
Lanham Field next to Lanham Housing 252-466-2566
Open 24/7 daily
This sports complex has an eight-lane running or walking track, a lighted football field, two soccer fields, three volleyball courts, a marked combat fitness test field and a covered pavilion. For reservations, call the Marine Dome Issue Room, 252-466-2566.
Building 287, Marine Dome, Room 8 252-466-4232
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
The Semper Fit Adult Sports Division coordinates leagues for basketball, flag football, softball and soccer. Go to http://mccscherrypoint.com/semper-fit/adult-sports for information on how to sign up and check out equipment.
Sound of Freedom Golf Course
Building 3570 252-466-3044
7 a.m. to dusk daily June through September; noon to dusk Monday, 7:30 a.m. to dusk Tuesday through Friday; and 7 a.m. to dusk Saturday, Sunday and holidays October through May
This 18-hole, Par 72, PGA-rated course delivers a distinctive golfing experience due to its regionally unrivaled character and undulations. It was the first course designed by George Cobb of Augusta National fame, measures 6,642 yards from the tees and is planted with dwarf hybrid Bermuda grass, so the greens are smooth and fast. Stretching along the banks of the Neuse River, the course has striking views, a 24-hour driving range, a chipping area, a practice putting green and a Pro Shop with club and golf cart rentals, as well as a certified PGA teaching pro on staff for beginner and advanced lessons.
Marina, Picnic and Camping
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
Spend a day in the sun with family and friends, catch some fish, enjoy time on your boat, camp out under the stars in your tent, or relax in our RV park. Tent camping is available at Bartlett Pond, Duck Pond, and Lonetree Point at no cost! Call to make RV Park and tent camping reservations.
If you don’t have the gear you need, you can rent camping gear, kayaks, canoes, sailboats, and more from Outdoor Connection Rentals.
Outdoor Connection Rentals
Building 162 252-466-4058
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday
Whether you’re planning a day on the water, an outdoor celebration, a camping trip or planting a garden, Outdoor Connection can rent you the equipment you need, from propane refills to kayaks, party canopies to campers, inflatables to climbing walls, new professional lawn equipment to an outdoor theater system.
Swimming Pools and Aquatics Centers
Outdoor pools are open only from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.
Building 289 252-466-2209
3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; lap swimming 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Hancock Pool (outdoors)
Building 3258 252-466-2168
1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; lap swimming 5 to 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday
Cedar Creek Pool (outdoors)
Building 3552 252-466-2277
Noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
The Aquatics Division works to provide a safe, healthy, all-inclusive and enjoyable swimming environment for swimmers of all ages and abilities, promote self-improvement and physical fitness, and offer Learn-to-Swim lessons and lifeguarding instruction.
Two Rivers Theater & Event Center
Building 194, Roosevelt Boulevard
Movie Line 252-466-3884
The largest single-screen movie theater in Eastern North Carolina, Two Rivers Theater screens movies for everyone, from action to family-friendly, comedies to heart-breakers. Two crying rooms are available for parents with babies.
MCAS Cherry Point Commissary
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday
Save an average of 30 percent of your hard-earned dollars when shopping for groceries at the Commissary. In-store services include a bakery, a deli, fresh lobster and fresh sandwiches to go, plants and sushi.
Marine Corps Exchange
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
The Marine Corps Exchange wants to be your first choice for shopping. It offers a price-match program on most items that guarantees the lowest prices in town. Hours of operation for services outside the MCX vary so call or visit the website for detailed information.
Building 3918 252-720-1628
Military Clothing Store 252-720-1608
Package Store 252-720-1638
Dry Cleaners 252-720-7308
Plaques and Trophies 252-444-1288
Sears Home Delivery 252-463-1628
Western Union 252-463-1628
7-Day Troop Store
Building 293 252-720-1693
Convenience Store, Building 4505 252-720-1626
Gas Station 252-720-1626
Engin-uity Tire & Auto Care Center
Building 4472 252-720-1640
Gas Station 252-720-1639
Dry Cleaners, Building 3452 252-447-2130
Marine Mart, Building 4472 252-463-1639
Massage Therapy, Concessionaire Center 252-444-0829
Resale Lot, Roosevelt Boulevard at F Street 252-466-4058
Safety Store, Building 150 252-466-9063
Concessionaire Center, Building 4535
Five Guys Burgers & Fries 252-444-2500
New City Deli 252-466-9328
Rice King 252-444-2505