Local leaders joined current and retired Navy officials to hold a disestablishment ceremony Wednesday for Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, located outside of Philadelphia.
A final flight of seven aircraft, including a P-3C Orion and an A-10 Thunderbolt, marked the occasion. The runway will be closed later this month; the installation formally will be shuttered on Sept. 15 as a result of the 2005 round of base closures.
William Whiteside, chairman of the Horsham LRA that is preparing a reuse plan for the base’s 892 acres and a former Navy reservist at Willow Grove, told phillyBurbs.com he had mixed emotions: “It really brought back memories of the past and the weekends I spent here, as well as the other times I visited over the years. They were great neighbors … but I am also excited about what will happen next.”