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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

The Encroachment Tour: What Virginia Beach is Doing to Protect NAS Oceana

  • June 9, 2011
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The threat presented by residential growth to an installation’s core missions is a widespread issue, one that is expected to worsen as development creeps closer and closer to bases that once were relatively isolated.

The problems caused by encroachment almost resulted in Naval Air Station Oceana being closed by the 2005 BRAC Commission before its host community, Virginia Beach, and the state of Virginia stepped in to address the issue and ensure the Navy’s east coast master jet base could continue to provide first-class training for the service’s pilots.

The ADC 2011 Annual Conference will provide an up-close look at how encroachment threatened the viability of Oceana and how the surrounding community responded. A mobile workshop on Monday, July 18 will take attendees first to the flightline at Oceana and then on a tour of the base’s perimeter to see the neighborhoods around its airfield that have been purchased or targeted for purchase.

The workshop will start with a series of briefings at Oceana, including presentations from the base commander, a planning official from the city of Virginia Beach and a citizens group that has helped the Navy and the community reduce the threat caused by encroachment. Afterward, the ADC tour will drive out to the flightline to see and hear the air station’s F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets, and talk to a pilot about how close-in neighborhoods restrict flight training.

Next, attendees will take a tour of the base’s perimeter to see several examples of parcels that have been purchased under a $15 million-a-year program buying land from willing sellers in an effort to reduce the density in and around the airfield’s accident potential zones.

If you represent a defense community supporting an installation, especially one with an active airfield, you will not want to miss this in-depth case study of how one installation and its host community came together to ensure that flight training could continue unhampered, and as a result, protect the base’s military value. It is very likely a similar approach could help your community.

The mobile workshop will be held Monday, July 18 at 1:30 p.m. There is a $40 fee to attend the event; be sure to sign up for it when you submit your conference registration. The Annual Conference runs from July 17-20 at the Marriott Waterside in Norfolk. For more information on the conference, visit our website.

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