Local News

Cherry Point gains new joint strike fighter jets

Posted December 10, 2010 4:29 p.m. EST
Updated December 10, 2010 5:19 p.m. EST

— The Pentagon announced Friday that aging aircraft at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point will be replaced by 128 new joint strike fighter jets over the next ten years.

In a news release, Gov. Bev Perdue said she spent two years lobbying to bring the F-35B planes to North Carolina.

"I will always work to bring smart investments of money, people or equipment to the military installations we are so proud of here in North Carolina,” Perdue said. “Growth for the Marine Base means more jobs for the people of Cherry Point."

The Department of Defense developed the F-35 fighter jets in 2001 as part of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, a new generation of aircraft weapon systems for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, and U.S. Marine Corps.

The planes coming to North Carolina have not yet been built, a spokesperson for the governor said Friday. The squadron is expected to be completed by 2020.