Saturday, August 29, 2009

OLF site review delayed

Story by Sue Book, Newberry Sun Journal Staff

The Navy is delaying release of its draft environmental impact statement on locating an F/A-18 Super Hornet Outlying Landing Field in North Carolina or Virginia to coincide with a similar study for the Navy Joint Strike Fighter.

In a statement released Friday, the Navy confirmed rumors that have been circulating for about two weeks that there would be a change in course in the controversial and nearly decade-long process of finding a place for night practice for the noisy aircraft.

A northeastern Craven County site was among those considered and rejected in the first round of consideration by the Navy. The possibility of a different Craven County site recently resurfaced in comments by Sen. Kay Hagan on the U.S. Senate floor. The present EIS examines two North Carolina sites in Gates and Camden counties which have been rejected by state law unless there is economic gain for the region and acceptance by their residents.

Two Super Hornet squadrons are scheduled to be located at MCAS Cherry Point beginning in 2013, a date that has been moved forward on several occasions, and a $14 million contract was recently awarded for hanger renovation at Cherry Point. The locations for support training now in review are for aircraft at Naval Air Station Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk.

Read the rest of the story at click here.