Fort Macon hosts the NCCC/NCACMA meeting for the first time

Photo of a Coast Guard person giving a presentation to event attendees.

Story by Lt.j.g. Yahaira Cervantes

On the 10th of October 2012, Coast Guard Sector North Carolina hosted the North Carolina Commanders Council (NCCC) and North Carolina Advisory Commission on Military Affairs (NCACMA) meetings at Fort Macon State Park.  Capt. Anthony Popiel, the sector commander, a member of both organizations, provided brief introductions at the start of the two meetings, highlighting the various Coast Guard missions and assets in the State and the unique opportunity to host the meeting in one of the state’s most historic parks.   

The NCCC was established to deal with the challenges of compatible land use and development encroachment on military installations and training areas.  The council provides an opportunity for military leaders to speak with a single voice to State leaders on issues of mutual concern. 

The NCACMA was established in 2001 under the North Carolina General Statutes Chapter § 127C-1 and typically meets at military installations throughout the State. Among the responsibilities that the Commission holds are advising the Governor and Secretary of Commerce on how to strengthen the State’s relationship with the military, study ways to improve educational opportunities for military personnel, and promote initiatives to improve the quality of life for military personnel in the state. 

The most significant topic covered at the meetings was the construction of wind turbine farms in areas with air corridors critical to the military; the Department of Defense has a vested interest in this topic due to the potential adverse impact it could have on military aviation training and operations in North Carolina.

The Coast Guard would also feel the impact with Air Station Elizabeth City’s search and rescue and training operations. 

Along with all the important topics covered at the meetings, the Coast Guard Sector Field Office Fort Macon galley hosted a lunch for all of the attendees. With the fall weather clear and calm, most attendees elected to walk the short distance from Fort Macon State Park to the adjacent Sector Field Office. The attending committee members were highly impressed with the skill of the Coast Guard galley cooks and praised the food as the best they have had on any military installation.  Several military retirees attending even remarked that had they known many years ago the Coast Guard ate so well, they would have joined our great Service. 

As with any successful evolution, the team behind the scenes, planning the event ensured everything went off without a hitch.  That team of Sector North Carolina military personnel included FS1 Sarah Ollerman, numerous personnel from the Engineering Support Division and LTJG Yahaira Cervantes and LCDR Doug Lincoln from the Contingency Planning and Force Readiness Division.  A special thanks goes to Mr. Randy Newman, the Fort Macon State Park Superintendent, for allowing the use of the facility.

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