MCAS Cherry PointCommunity
Story by Cpl Andrew King on 09/09/2019
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. Service members from here, near and far flock to Bombing Target (BT) 11 and BT-9 to conduct various types of training by air, land and sea. Whether it’s dropping bombs on boats or putting rounds on target, our ranges offer almost everything a hard-charging warfighter needs to prepare for their mission.
The Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina, Range Management Department is responsible for scheduling short and long term range events, overseeing units while they conduct training, maintaining and repairing the equipment on the bombing targets, and ensuring range safety.
“The best part of my job is getting out of my office and going to see all of my staff in their remote locations,” said Kenn Cobb, the range management officer . “The Range Management Department covers three counties and I don’t get to see all of our personnel on a daily basis so when I get to go out and see them, it’s always a good day.”
The Sailors and civilians who work at the MCAS Cherry Point Navy Boat Docks play a critical role in assisting the Range Management Department to complete their mission. BT-9 and BT-11 are only accessible by boat so the Navy Boat Docks transports passengers, supplies and equipment to and from the ranges.
When speaking of the Sailors assigned to the Navy Boat Docks, Cobb praised their professionalism, “They are consummate professionals. I couldn’t ask for a better group to support the mission.”
While the bulk of the units that utilize both bombing targets are from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, other Department of Defense units, federal law enforcement agencies and even foreign allied militaries travel to our ranges to train.
“It’s a major facility with a lot of maintenance and conducts a lot of training,” said 1st Lt. Louis, a forward artillery observer with the French marines, which is a branch of the French army. “The best thing about coming out here is the ability to conduct live fires, which is something that is quite rare to do, especially in France and that is something that is deeply appreciated.”