After nearly three years of battling for rights to build a practice jet landing field on farmland in sections of Beaufort and Washington counties, Navy officials have begun to condemn tracts of land needed to begin construction there.
In Washington County, where the first 1,500 acres of condemned land had been added to the navy's already 1,100 acre acquisitions, residents are outraged saying the Navy is single-handedly taking over Eastern Carolina land before a final court ruling has been handed down. In a weekend rally, opponents of the outlying landing field spoke out against the land condemning. The Navy wants to eventually buy 30,000 acres in Washington and Beaufort counties and build a landing field for squadrons of FA-18 Super Hornets to practice aircraft carrier landings.
A hearing is scheduled next week in federal court on a lawsuit filed against the Navy by opponents of the field.