Navy Pushes (Again) For Carolina Base

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The U.S. Navy claims it has met all environmental and legal obligations to establish a 30,000-acre training base in North Carolina. It filed a 77-page document supporting its claim as part of an appeal in a tangled legal proceeding over the base. However, an environmental group and two county governments are accusing the Navy of massaging the data to make the base look like it fits better than it really does. There is major opposition to the base, which would include an 8,000-foot runway. It will be used for carrier training of F/A-18 Super Hornet pilots. Among the most contentious issues is the location of a nearby wildlife preserve. More than 100,000 waterfowl winter at the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Preserve. Environmental experts say the birds will be a major threat to the aircraft for about six months of the year. But in the Navy's view, the issue is location. The proposed base is between F/A-18 bases in Virginia and North Carolina. A judge has ordered the Navy to stop working on acquiring property for the base until a lawsuit filed by opponents is settled. The Navy has appealed the stop-work order and the lawsuit should be heard in January.