Story by LCpl Alexandra Amor Santosarambulo on 08/02/2019Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. The mayor of Cherry Point handed over the keys of the Marine Corps city that never sleeps to an AV-8B Harrier pilot during a change of command ceremony here Aug. 2, 2019.
Col. Todd W. Ferry relinquished command of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point and welcomed Col. Mikel R. Huber as the commanding officer.
"The heart of this air station is the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and the soul of Cherry Point is this community," said Ferry, in parting remarks of gratitude to the community members and partners who bolstered his success while in command.
With Ferry at the lead, the installation earned an array of Marine Corps and civilian accolades. It stood out for efforts in safety, emergency medical services (EMS), installation personnel administration, energy conservation, fuels management, Marine and family programs, community services and airfield operations. The programs amassed awards such as the USMC Ground Safety Award (2016-2018), Marine Corps Installations East Safety Award (2018), Emergency Medical Services Provider of the Year (2016-2018), USMC Installation Personnel Administration Center of the Year (2018), Secretary of the Navy Energy Award (Gold 2017), Marine Corps Outstanding Fuel Facility of the Year (2017), National Gold Medal in Parks and Recreation (2017), Commission on Fire Accreditation International (2017) and Top Installation for the Single Marine Program (2016-2017). A highlight for the installation's airfield operations was being named USA Today Air Show of the Year (2018).
Ferry will go on to serve as the Marine Corps Installation East deputy commander in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Huber assumes command at the 26-year mark of his career, and is well-acquainted with the local military community.
"Twenty-three years ago I started my journey in the fleet Marine Corps a couple of hangars down the flight line and so today to assume command of this air station is a tremendous honor," said Huber in his first remarks as commanding officer.
Huber has spent more than a decade of his Marine Corps career at Cherry Point in different assignments which included pilot training, instructor pilot, operations officer, and as the commanding officer of VMU-2 Marine Aerial Vehicle Squadron. He has gone on multiple deployments, seeing combat engagement numerous times as an AV-8B Harrier pilot. Prior to assuming command he served as the assistant chief of staff for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing operations.
"I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to continue to serve 2nd MAW as the commander of this air station," said Huber in remarks to the 2nd MAW commanding general and tenant unit commanders. "You can count on my support."
Huber added, "To the Marines, Sailors and civilians of this air station, our actions together speak far louder than my words, so let's get after it."
The air station commander is responsible for the primary air station complex in Havelock, as well as multiple outlying and auxiliary landing fields and bombing ranges in Carteret, Craven, Jones and Pamlico Counties. His responsibility stretches even further with Cherry Point's air traffic control services that cover more than 9,000 square miles of airspace for military, civil and commercial air traffic in the region.
Commissioned in 1942, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is the world's largest Marine Corps air station. It currently occupies more than 29,000 acres of land in Eastern North Carolina. Cherry Point provides air traffic control 24 hours a day, year round in the support of more than 150,000 annual flight operations for 22 visual flight rules and 10 instrument flight rules airports. Through its operation and development, the installation contributes approximately $2 billion to the state and local economy.