Camp Lejeune is Safe from BRAC, Official Says
The deputy commander for Camp Lejeune assured local officials attending a community breakfast Tuesday that the base on the coast of North Carolina is too vital to the Marine Corps’ mission to be closed in a future BRAC round.
“Camp Lejeune is [staying],” said Col. Darrell Thacker, deputy commander for Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “But as we transition from 202,000 Marines down to 182,000 Marines, there will be impacts on the base” as a result of budget constraints, he said, reported the Corps.
“It’s no mystery the Marine Corps, like all services, is watching the [budget] discussions very carefully,” Thacker said.
Lt. Col. Stephen Pierson, executive officer of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, told the audience that the arrival of two squadrons — Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 — from nearby MCAS Cherry Point by 2014 would boost growth in surrounding Onslow County. The return of deployed Marines would help as well.
The air station generates an economic impact of an estimated $500 million a year, including salaries, procurement, construction and health care.
“We are committed to working together with community leaders, businesses residents to ensure our relationship is one of mutual respect and support,” Pierson said.