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Troops prepare air show explosives as Cherry Point receives new air space ordinance

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT
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HAVELOCK, N.C. (WITN) - Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point detonated explosives on a base training field in preparation for the Cherry Point Air Show.

The explosives are designed to mimic the types of bombs that are dropped in actual combat. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Gaydeski explained that there is a lot of preparation that goes into troops performing these sorts of shows.

“The air show and the MAGTAF [marine air and ground task force] demo are definitely outside of the normal scope of what the Marine Corps does on a daily basis. It’s important that the Marines are trained because there are going to be civilians present. These are live explosives,” said Gaydeski.

Many troops, like SSgt. Dent Hall is especially excited to be a part of this event since he wasn’t able to last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“So far my favorite is definitely the strafe, and the one you guys saw was a shorter version of it, when it comes to the actual air show it’s going to be much longer,” said Hall.

The air station has also received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to extend its air space to heights that will better suit fighter jet training. Planes are now cleared to fly at 29,000 ft. compared to the 18,000 ft. they were previously limited to.

This approval comes in an effort to better prepare the air station to train the new F-35 stealth fighter jets. Marine Corps officials say impacts to the surrounding community will be minimal, however, the elevated airspace may actually reduce noise pollution and maximize airspace for commercial aircraft commuting to and from regional airports.

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