MCB CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
It’s been five years since Hurricane Florence brought devastating wind and rain to Eastern North Carolina, causing billions of dollars in damage to facilities across Marine Corps installations in Eastern North Carolina. Today, those installations are teeming with military construction sites and renovation projects that are setting a new resiliency standard to help withstand future destructive weather events.
To assist with rebuilding efforts, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Atlantic stood up Officer in Charge of Construction-Florence (OICC Florence) and assigned it the mission of executing the billion-dollar budget to repair and replace facilities across MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River and Cherry Point. The command provides engineering, construction, and acquisition services supporting the Marine Corps’ recovery from the hurricane.
The command has been instrumental in construction of operational facilities that include a CH-53K hangar supporting the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, general infrastructure repairs to the Marine Corps Air Station New River flightline, the Onslow Beach bridge, and the railroad trestle project connecting Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point.
“Since 2020, OICC Florence has navigated 191 Military Construction (MILCON) and Facilities Sustainment Restoration and Modernization (FSRM) projects for over 35 commands in support of the Hurricane Florence recovery efforts,” said its commanding officer, U.S. Navy Captain David M. Jayne. We have worked to maintain and enhance the capabilities of II MEF, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, 2d Marine Division, the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, and the Marine Special Operations Command so our Marines and Sailors are able to preserve their competitive edge across the globe. And as each project reaches completion, we are honored to have played a role in the Joint Strike Fighter deployment, as well as strengthened the readiness of expeditionary forces for MCIEAST and II MEF.”
Military construction projects across the installations in Eastern North Carolina range from headquarters buildings, a barracks facility and mess hall to training facilities, and several emergency services buildings. Aside from military construction, there are nearly 150 facilities sustainment and restoration projects which include maintenance and repair projects, real property renovation, planning and design.
“Since Hurricane Florence impacted our communities, we are making tremendous progress on our installation recovery,” said Colonel Adolfo Garcia, commander, Marine Corps Installations East – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “All of the repairs and construction work have been sequenced to better manage the workload and work force. Despite the global supply chain challenges we’ve faced, especially during the height of COVID, nearly 90% of the repairs to existing buildings and infrastructure are complete and construction of 40 new buildings is nearly halfway done. By the end of 2025, our installations will have buildings that are more resilient and more purpose-built to accommodate our Marines and Sailors as they prepare to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.”
Listed are some of the latest Florence-related construction developments at Camp Lejeune:
Camp Johnson Chapel
Built in 1941, the chapel on Camp Johnson sustained significant wind and rain damage during the hurricane. Its historical preservation and reconstruction was recently completed and marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 30, 2023, making it one of the first Florence-funded projects to be completed on MCB Camp Lejeune.
Two railroad trestles over the White Oak River and Queens Creek River are being replaced. These bridges are an integral component to the 34-mile line that moves heavy equipment and supplies between MCB Camp Lejeune and MCAS Cherry Point. The White Oak River trestle bridge will be completed ahead of schedule this fall.
Courthouse Bay Fire Station
A state-of-the-art fire station located at Courthouse Bay is slated for completion later this year. Located well away from the flood plain, it will feature numerous upgrades to include six drive-through bays and serve as a destructive weather shelter for firefighters.
Construction Projects Slated for Early 2024
A Marine Expeditionary Force Simulation Center, a headquarters building at Weapons Training Battalion, and a new Joint Reception Center at Camp Johnson are all coming online early next year.
Atlantic Marine Corps Communities has demolished more than 30 of the most severely damaged homes, has repaired nearly 3,500 homes and anticipates completing repairs to the nearly 60 remaining homes by fall of 2024. Following the completion of all repairs, AMCC will begin demolition of the nearly 250 remaining uninhabitable homes.