CHERRY POINT, N.C. (WNCT) – Thursday was a big day at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, as officials celebrated the expansion of the Historical Aircraft Park.
The construction on the additions began back in May.
The additions serve as a tribute to the aircraft capabilities, missions, and legacy connected to the base’s 80 years of naval aviation history.
Originally, the park featured the CH-46D Sea Knight “Pedro” and the EA-6B Prowler.
But with the recent upgrades, the park now features an EA-6A Intruder and AV-8B Harrier II as well.
Capt. Joshua Schubert, a spokesperson for MCAS Cherry Point said recognizing the base’s heritage will help pave the way for the future.
“We’re starting to transition into new platforms, the F-35 Lightning will be here next year. So it’s a time to celebrate history and all the platforms that have served here on Cherry Point,” said Schubert.
The $400,000 project also includes new benches and walking paths.
“With signs folks can come here, learn about the aircraft’s legacy, mission, capabilities,” said Schubert. “It also serves as a focal point for Marines, sailors and visitors to the Air Station coming through the main gate.”
Col. Mikel Huber said seeing the new additions brought back fond memories.
“I started flying the Harriers back here in 1996, and VMA-542 was my first operational squadron. So the airplane behind me is painted as a 542,” said Huber. “In fact, the bureau number, the number on the back of the airplane there. I looked at my logbooks, and I’ve flown this airplane. The last time I flew it was in 2004.”
He also said a gazebo will hopefully be in by the end of the year as well.
If you’re interested in seeing the Historical Aircraft Park, you can contact the Cherry Point Public Affairs Office.