RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Beverly Perdue is introducing successor Pat McCrory to leaders at the state's military bases in a whirlwind one-day trip through eastern North Carolina.
The governor-elect and outgoing chief executive began a series of private meet-and-greets Friday morning by flying into Pope Army Air Field in Cumberland County. They participated in a briefing with commanders at Pope and adjoining Fort Bragg about base operations and the installations' importance to the North Carolina economy.
"North Carolina's military presence is critically important, not just to the general welfare and the economy of this state, but to global security," Perdue said in a statement. "I believe it's really important for the current and the future administrations to understand the value and the importance of the military enterprise. That's what (our visit) today all about."
McCrory said looks forward to the challenge and the opportunity of working with the military and continuing the growth troops and their families bring to North Carolina.
"This tour strengthens my resolve to make sure that we keep and expand the strong military presence here in North Carolina,” he said in a statement. “We have the resources, and it’s been extremely good for our economy and it’s important for national security. I have the responsibility to continue to work with Washington, especially during these difficult times, to ensure that investment remains in North Carolina.”
The pair later visited Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps air stations at Cherry Point and New River.
“Each installation has its own specific issues and concerns,” Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry, the commander of Camp Lejeune, said in a statement. “It’s important for the governors to have an appreciation for the specific military issues and get a site visit in order to better understand the varying dynamics.”
The joint visit was billed in part as a sign of unity between the incoming and outgoing governors for North Carolina's large military presence. McCrory takes office Jan. 5.