Apr 20 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During today’s Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee hearing, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) questioned Lieutenant General Jon Davis, Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for Aviation, and Vice-Admiral Paul Grosklags, Commander of Naval Air Systems, on the urgency for the Marines Corps to prioritize infrastructure projects at Cherry Point. 

Tillis specifically requested a public commitment from the Marines Corps that the F-35 Lift Fan Repair Facility was on the top of the Commandant’s priority list.

In response, Admiral Grosklags said that the F-35 Lift Fan Repair Facility was “absolutely critical” for Cherry Point.

General Davis added that “the Lift Fan Facility is an important part of Cherry Point…I think right now we are just finding out how to pay for the facility. We have done the security improvements we need to with Cherry Point, and that’s going to be one of our major F-35 bases in the Marine Corps.”

The commitment from the Navy and Marines Corps comes after Senator Tillis secured funding last year for a new security fence at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to set the stage for major infrastructure improvements to the base. Cherry Point is the largest airfield in the Marine Corps and is slated to begin receiving the F-35 B Joint Strike Fighter, the replacement for the AV8-B Harrier, before the end of the decade.

Last year, Senator Tillis also received a commitment from the F-35 Joint Program Office that the F-35 Lift Fan Repair Facility, vital to the maintenance of the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of the F-35, will be housed at Cherry Point. Read the letter here. 

Watch the exchange between Senator Tillis and General Davis and Admiral Grosklags here: